Big Splash is one of those areas in Singapore that offers really terrific adventure opportunities for the whole family. We’ve talked about Lilliput mini-golf as a birthday party option, and it’s equally fun for a day out if you want to escape the heat or rain. Equally, Brussels Sprouts is a perfect spot to enjoy a meal, anytime of the day. There are plenty of other eating options around – including fast food outlets, like Carl’s Junior – or you can hire bikes, skates and even those curious “kangaroo shoes” to head out on the busy tracks along the beach. Definitely a place you can base yourself for a whole day.
Big Splash has an interesting history in Singapore, and was once famous for its water slides – I still remember the slides before they finally pulled it all down. The developers have done a good job, and to get there, you have a few options if you don’t have a car or would prefer not to take a taxi.
1. Mountbatten: take exit B for the Big Splash Shuttle Bus
2. Paya Lebar: bus 43, 76, 135
3. Bedok: bus 31, 196, 197
4. Orchard: bus 36
Bus 401 from Bedok Bus Interchange (weekends & public holidays only)
Bus 31, 36, 43, 48, 76, 135, 196, 197
Jump off at Amber Road bus-stop, and walk through the underpass behind the Chinese Swimming Club.
The shuttle costs $1 round trip and the pick-up points are Parkway Parade and Mountbatten MRT. The buses start hourly from 8.35am at PP and 8.45am from Mountbatten. The shuttle bus runs late into the evening.
I took the boys to Big Splash recently, to check out Fish@Big Splash. Located in the main car park opposite Carl’s Jnr, it has a number of offerings for kids and adults alike. Firstly, it has a really good Longkang fishing place, which has been purpose built. It costs $18 per child, and for that, they get a net, a little fish tank, can fish for an hour, and at the end keep up to 18 fish each – although they never check and we walked out with close to 40 of the little critters.
For those who don’t know, Longkang fishing originated from the days when Singapore was a fishing Kampong. When the rains came, it filled the drains, canals and rivers, so the local folk took to net fishing for the small offerings in the shallow water. Unlike other Longkang fishing places, there is an abundance of fish in this one, so success is practically guaranteed, which keeps the interest. However, when we were there a bunch of baby prawns somehow made it into the water and the boys proudly caught a heap of these – which, by the way, grow really quickly, so we were forced to “liberate” a few into a local waterway.
There are lots of other things you can do at Fish@Big Splash. You can feed the fish for a few bucks, which I personally thought was a great business model – let people pay to feed your product – genius!
Also next to the Longkang area, they have a couple of prawning tanks. You hire a rod with bait and again, keep what you catch. There’s also lots of stock, as every hour or so the owners put more prawns and mini-lobsters into the tank – but be warned, watch out for the stampede as everyone clamors to throw lines in. There is also a grill area here, so you can skewer your catch (whilst still alive) and cook them up on the spot. I watched families who had paid for hours and the prize was free dinner for all. Not my thing, but they enjoyed themselves.
For $20 you can also hire a proper fishing rod for the big fish tank. Here the deal is you fish for as long as you want, but as soon as you catch a fish your time is up, unless you pay again. There were a couple of groups, who had obviously been there for hours, with no result. Not surprisingly, they were pissed when Lex cast his rod and snagged a whopper – literally within five minutes. Lex was stoked and I was a proud Dad.
For the adults there is one of the cheapest fish spas on the island – costing only $10 for 15 minutes! But be warned, the fish are super-hungry, so if you’re ticklish (as Andrea is) you may want to give it a miss. It was my first fish spa and I really enjoyed it. Quite frightening how many fish decided to munch on my feet however…
The place appears family owned, everyone is really helpful and they’re obviously keen to make it a good experience for all their customers. More importantly you get the feeling they want you to come back.
Finally, for those looking for an alternative to a 4am kebab after a night boozing, Fish@BigSplash is open 24 hours, and after dark they switch on a few disco lights complete with a mirrored rotating disco ball…..if you think I’m joking, have a look when you go past. So if fishing for prawns in the early hours is your thing, this place is your own personal utopia.
The whole fishing area is well shaded, except for an outside play area they have set up, so come prepared in case this attracts the kids.
I really enjoyed this activity with my boys, and while Andrea was a bit shocked to come home from a business trip to be faced by a fish tank full of baby prawns, it’s definitely my kind of activity with the lads.
Let me know what you think if you’ve been or any other recommendations for great Longkang fishing is always welcome.