The thematic routes prove Sembawang is more than Yishun's quiet, uncharted neighbour

The Sembawang neighbourhood we recognise today is typically known for its parks and eats (yes, we’re talking about Chong Pang Nasi Lemak and Sembawang White Beehoon), but its naval history is now coming to light thanks to the all-new Sembawang Heritage Trail.

Featuring 31 trail sites and nine heritage trail markers, the newly minted experience will invite locals to explore Singapore’s northern coastal town from when it was first mentioned in maps in the early-1800s, to the decades before and after World War II.
 


Did you know that the name Sembawang was derived from mesua ferruginea or the Sembawang tree? (Credit: NHB)
 

Just choose from three thematic routes to discover the multi-faceted history of Sembawang; that includes the Historical Landmarks of Sembawang which takes trail-goers to sites that recall major milestones in Sembawang’s past as well as the Communities of Sembawang that spotlights coastal villages and homes around the former naval base.

There is also From Dockyard to Shipyard, a 5km route which takes participants to a variety of lesser-known landmarks which were key to Singapore’s naval history.
 


Once a major rubber growing area, Sembawang was later developed into an important naval facility for Britain’s Far East Fleet during the pre- and post-World War II decades. (Credit: NHB)
 

But the trails offer more than just boring ol’ history lessons—these routes also tell the stories of the communities that settled in the area, including its earliest known inhabitants, the Orang Seletar.

So take it to serene Sembawang when you get the chance; we promise you’ll discover that the residential town is more than the notorious Yishun’s quiet, uncharted neighbour.


Download the Sembawang Heritage Trail companion guide and map from NHB’s heritage portal, Roots.gov.sg. Printed copies of the guide will also be available for a limited period at Sembawang Community Club, Sembawang Town Council and Canberra Community Club. More information available here.