Hougang, Punggol, Sengkang
District 19 is located in Singapore’s north-eastern region and is primarily a residential area offering residents lots of recreational activities while providing ample shopping areas and commercial establishments as well. The three main areas are called Punggol, Hougang and Sengkang.
The word “punggul” in Malay describes the action of tossing sticks at fruit trees to get fruit to drop off the branches. So, this is where the name for the town Punggol came from. Prior to the 1970s, people in Punggol made their living planting and harvesting rubber trees, raising pigs and poultry farming. Today, Punggol is an urbanized waterfront estate that offers a huge variety of recreational watersports and delicious seafood dining at restaurants and eateries like Cheng’s Seafood Village and Mei Chin Seafood Restaurant.
Punggol is mostly known for its namesake Punggol Waterway Park and why watersports enthusiasts flock here. Aside from watersports, the park also offers plenty of enjoyment for cyclists, joggers, hikers, and those who genuinely love being in nature.
Hougang (pronounced “Ow Kang”) means “back of the river” in native Hokkien. This village was originally populated by Chinese immigrants of Hokkien or Teochew descent. The British government sealed off the Trafalgar section (now called Buangkok) in 1928. This is now where the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) is located, which treats people with severe mental illness. Buangkok is the last kampong (village) left in Singapore.
Hougang attracts individuals and organizations seeking to help the less fortunate, because it is home to various charities that offer plenty of opportunities for people willing to help. As a result, a number of charity events are held here on a regular basis.
Today, Hougang is made up of a broad range of property types, which include HUDC flats, HDB flats, condos and private homes within Rosyth and Lorong Ah Soo. These areas are surrounded by businesses and amenities that provide for the basic needs of local residents. These are, Heartland Mall, Hougang Mall, Hougang Green Shopping Mall and Hougang1. Furthermore, Hougang is blessed with a strong community spirit due to all the charitable organizations located here. These include Pelangi Home, the Salvation Army, SIRLA, and Surya Home.
Sengkang started out as farmland with residents growing vegetables and raising pigs. It has since grown into a semi-urban area with residential HDB units. However, these units are a bit smaller in size than HDB units in other areas of District 19. But what makes Sengkang so desirable among families is its excellent Seng Kang Primary School and the equally good Nan Chiau High School. Residents can also enjoy the convenience of shopping at Rivervale Mall, Rivervale Plaza and The Compass Point Shopping Centre.