This former cemetery turned residential area is home to lush parks, great cafes and nostalgic spots, amongst other things.
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Bishan? Is it the central location, beautiful parks, ample hawker food or just the slow paced nature of the heartland ‘hood? If you haven’t had a chance to discover everything it has to offer, now’s the time. In this guide, we explore all the best things to do in Bishan, fascinating places to check out and hidden gems to unearth.
Best things to do in Bishan: Eat
Cool down on a hot day with homemade ice cream at Denzy Gelato. Take your pick from unique flavours like whisky salted pecan, skinny dark chocolate, hazelnut chocolate chip, elderflower mojito and blood orange. Or enjoy freshly baked waffles at the quaint cafe. Can’t get enough? Have a pint or two delivered to you.
Denzy Gelato, #01-404, 506 Bishan Street 11, Singapore 570506
Sin Ming Roti Prata
Many have debated if this is actually the best in Singapore so you’ll have to go over and try it for yourself. You won’t be able to resist its flavourful and fantastic roti prata, which is crispy on the outside and delightfully fluffy in the middle. Definitely good enough to be eaten on its own, but we recommend sampling the accompanying fish and chicken curries.
Sin Ming Roti Prata, #01-51, Jin Fa Kopitiam, 24 Sin Ming Road, Singapore 570024
We don’t deny that Bishan is rife with amazing hawker food and local eats. Looking for a change of scene? Hop over to the halal-certified Good Bites for fusion western meals, burgers and pastas – all under $15. Plus, the gorgeous space is located in Bishan Sports Centre so you can fuel up after your workout.
Good Bites, #03-01, 5 Bishan Street 14, Singapore 579783
99 Thai Story Kitchen
Make your Sunday family dinner a memorable one at this Thai restaurant, which serves zi char-style grub. Try the crab bee hoon, steamed fish, omelette and, of course, Thai classics like pork basil, seafood tom yum, papaya salad and pineapple rice.
99 Thai Story Kitchen, #01-195, 151 Bishan Street 11, Singapore 570151
Ming Kee Chicken Rice
Bishan residents will know of the snaking queues at this humble chicken rice stall. Oh, and don’t go sending your chicken back if it’s cold, ‘cos that’s exactly how they do it here. Yup, the chicken is dunked in an ice bath before it’s served with your warm rice. Apparently, the cool temperature creates a smooth jelly under the skin, resulting in flavourful and tender meat.
Ming Kee Chicken Rice, #01-522, Kim San Leng Coffee Shop, 511 Bishan Street 13, Singapore 570511
284 Kway Chap
Night owls, cure your hunger pangs with a hearty bowl of kway chap. This famous stall serves its star dish until 3am. For the uninitiated, the lesser known local delicacy consists of silky rice noodle sheets in a warm soy sauce broth or thick gravy. It’s served with an array of pork skin, intestines, tongue, ear, rinds and belly. Not your scene? There are also other side dishes like boiled eggs, fishcakes, preserved veggies and dried tofu that’ll fill you up nicely.
284 Kway Chap, Blk 284, Bishan Street 22, Singapore 570284
Hup Seng Duck Rice
Are you a fan of duck rice? Don’t miss this unassuming stall in Ah Sin Family Eating House. Tuck into a plate of tender braised duck served with white rice (no yam rice here) and the peppery salted vegetable duck soup. You’re guaranteed to leave with a smile on your face.
Hup Seng Duck Rice, 22 Sin Ming Road, Singapore 570022
Sequestered right smack in the middle of Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park, Grub serves up delectable Asian-Western cuisine in a lush setting. Burger lovers can choose from hot classics like crispy fish burger and double cheeseburger, as well as fusion favourites such as har cheong gai burger and mala xiang guo burger.
Grub, Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park, 510 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1, Singapore 569983
Canopy Garden Dining
Can you imagine having your meal in a beautiful setting like this in your neighbourhood? Here you can. Kickstart your morning with a scrumptious brunch menu of salads, egg dishes, pastas, burgers and sandwiches, then wash it all down with a robust combination of fruit juices. Oh, and you’re welcome to bring along your fur babies at this hidden gem.
Canopy Garden Dining, Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park 2, 1382 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1, Singapore 569931
Best things to do in Bishan: Explore
Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park
Located in between two quaint heartlands, this picturesque park is a hotspot for joggers and cyclists. But did you know that the 62-hectare Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park also holds great eats and even a spa? Just check out Grub Bistro for hearty burgers that hit the spot, Canopy Garden Dining for an elevated dining experience and the tranquil Aramsa Spa for a relaxing afternoon. Oh, and if you’re a canine lover like us, you’ll be pleased to know there are two dog runs! Go during the weekends to witness a parade of furry friends.
Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park, along Bishan Road and Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1
The most popular reservoir out of the four in Singapore, MacRitchie has well-marked hiking trails, clean waters for kayaking or canoeing (you can rent them on site from Paddle Lodge), and a lovely boardwalk for strolls around the water’s edge. For avid photographers, don’t miss the TreeTop Walk or the seven-storey Jelutong Tower – both offer gorgeous Insta ops and views of forest surrounds.
The Salvation Army
Did you know that the territorial headquarters of the charitable organisation is located right here? After 50 years in Clemenceau Avenue, growing services required a bigger space, hence the move to Bishan. Donate your preloved clothing as well as household goods, electronic devices, furniture, toys and books to those in need, right here. Just make sure they are still in good condition!
The Salvation Army, 20 Bishan Street 22, Singapore 579768
Bishan Public Library
The idea to build a library was conceived in the late 90s due to the crowds at the Toa Payoh and Ang Mo Kio community libraries. Finally, in 2006, this library opened with much fanfare. Spread over five levels, the library carries over 250,000 titles. Look closely and you’ll notice cool protruding windows – these are actually reading pods should you need some quiet time away from the crowd. The building has also won numerous awards for its unique design and architecture.
Bishan Public Library, #01-01, 5 Bishan Place, Singapore 579841
Junction 8 has everything you need in a heartland mall – a good mix of restaurants and cafes, a cinema, a departmental store, a supermarket and fashion boutiques. From a humble suburban mall (it was the second mall to open after Northpoint in Yishun) to a swanky, bustling building, Junction 8 has come a long way. Trivia: The name of the mall was derived from the old Bishan MRT station numbering N8.
Junction 8, 9 Bishan Place, Singapore 579837
Bishan Harmony Park
Located at the junction of Bishan Road and Braddell Road, this park may be smaller than its counterpart but it boasts a skate park, a hilly walking trail and a small hedge maze. Pros can strut their moves on the large bowl and ramps while beginners can practice on the flat concrete space.
Bishan Harmony Park, Bishan Road, Singapore 579778
Aptly located within the lush greenery of Bishan Park, the exotic resort-like spa makes you do a double turn. Try one of the massage, specialised, detox, water, wrap and anti-stress therapies for an overall top-to-toe pampering or a skin-specific Elemis facial.
Aramsa Spa, Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park 2, 1384 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1, Singapore 569932
Talk about nostalgia! This clock playground screams 1980s with its sandpit and mosaic tiles. Feel free to bring the kids to this humble play area that looks like it has been taken right out of a nursery rhyme. It’s also one of the few standing sandpit playgrounds in Singapore.
Clock Playground, Blk 514B Bishan Street 13, Singapore 572514
Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery
This monastery and Buddhist temple is a sight to behold. Built in 1921, it is one of the first traditional Chinese forest monasteries in Singapore. The massive space (equivalent to 11 football fields) is also a strong contender for the title of one of the most significant religious monuments in Southeast Asia. You can catch a glimpse of the serene space along Bishan Park.
Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery, 88 Bright Hill Road, Singapore 574117
Bookmark our guide to Bishan for interesting tidbits the next time you want to explore this neighbourhood!