Once seen by many as a backwater, Woodlands is currently undergoing a complete makeover to transform it into a Star Destination of the North. This northernmost neighbourhood is primarily known for the causeway that links Singapore and Malaysia. But, as one of several mature areas to be revamped under the government’s Remaking Our Heartland (ROH) programme, Woodlands looks set to become a thriving hub for living, working and playing.
Despite the name, there are no woods in this region. However, it does have the 27-hectare Admiralty Park with its abundance of mangroves and hiking trails. Favoured by those looking for a quiet haven, Woodlands also has an up and coming Woodlands Waterfront and views across to Malaysia. This leafy green neighbourhood is home to a large American expat population because of the Singapore American School here.
As a mature town, Woodlands has a good deal of amenities including parks, recreational facilities, shopping centres and medical clinics. The four-storey Woodlands Regional Library is the largest outside of Singapore’s National Library, and the Causeway Point mall offers everything from chain stores such as Cold Storage through to restaurants and cafes. There’s very little to do by way of nightlife in Woodlands and, apart from two main hawker centres and clusters of cafes close to expat communities, there’s just a smattering of bars and restaurants.
Plans for Woodlands’ future include new homes, a Woodlands Health Campus with an acute care hospital, running and cycle tracks, more recreational spaces along Woodlands Waterfront, and the development of the existing Woodlands Town Garden into a Discovery Playground.
Part of Woodlands’ appeal is its offering of spacious homes at reasonable prices. Popular expat communities include Rosewood, Casablanca and Rosewood Suites in Rosewood Drive, and condos and landed properties at nearby Woodgrove. Also, Chiltern Park, Sunrise Gardens, Villa Begonia and The Springside.
There is a strong suburban neighbourhood vibe here with plenty of community events centred around the American School. Also worth a mention is the thousands who head to Woodlands during Halloween to experience Singapore’s ultimate trick-or-treating experience.
There are good public transport links and highways running from Woodlands, although the commute to the Central Business District can take up to an hour.
Woodlands is serviced by three MRT stations on the North-South line: Woodlands, Marsiling and Admiralty. If driving, the Seletar (SLE) and the Bukit Timah (BTE) Expressways link Woodlands to the city centre. Once completed in 2020, the new North-South Expressway (NSE) will help to keep traffic moving between northern areas such as Woodlands and the Central Business District.
There is one international school here, the well-established Singapore American School.
The closest hospitals are Yishun Community Hospital and Thye Hua Kwan Hospital in Ang Mo Kio, and an acute care hospital is under development at the new Woodlands Health Campus.
Causeway Point mall, which is linked to the Woodlands MRT station, has more than 250 stores. Smaller shopping centres in the neighbourhood include Woodgrove Shopping Centre and Vista Point, and it’s only a short drive across the causeway bridge to shops (and cheaper prices) in Johor Bahru, Malaysia.
Woodlands is most well-known for its natural attractions, including Admiralty Park and the promenade at Woodlands Waterfront. There are play areas at Woodlands Crescent Park and Woodlands Town Garden, and Singapore Zoo and the Night Safari is just a 10-minute drive away. Head across to Malaysia for a day trip and you’ll find plenty of temples and museums in Johor Bahru.
Bars and restaurants
There’s a wide choice of fast food and fine dining at Causeway Point, hawker stalls at Woodlands Centre Road and the Marsiling Lane Food Centre, and cafes dotted around popular communities.
Who lives here?