Seletar Fishing Village


Seletar Fishing Village: Singapore’s last tie to a former aspect of its maritime heritage.

Seletar Fishing Village 1
- Weng Yung

Discover Singapore’s Last Fishing Village

Nestled in the Northern reaches of Singapore, near the serene Lower Seletar Reservoir, the Seletar Fishing Village, once a hidden gem, has recently captured the attention of avid hikers. A discreet haven with a seemingly shabby exterior, this village, situated alongside popular locations like Rower's Bay Park, Yishun Dam, and Seletar Airport, boasts kampong huts and the Jenal Jetty, where local fishermen pursue their livelihoods. Though the village and jetty remain off-limits to the public, intrepid individuals can delve deeper through private tours to witness the daily rhythms of Singapore’s one remaining maritime community.

Seletar Fishing Village 5
- Jake Wang

Beyond a Fishing Village

Recognised as the last fishing village in Singapore, Seletar's allure extends beyond its fishing heritage. Cyclists and explorers have uncovered its best-kept secret – a beach and breakwater that offer perhaps the most picturesque sunset point in the city. During low tide, adventurers can traverse the beach and swamp area. For those with time to spare, the nearby Punggol Barat Island and Rower's Bay Park promise additional breathtaking scenes, making Seletar Fishing Village a unique haven where local fishermen continue their age-old trade by the sea.

Seletar Fishing Village 3
- Jake Wang

Historical Roots of Seletar Fishing Village

The historical roots of the charming Seletar Fishing Village can be traced back to a time before even Sir Stamford Raffles set foot in Singapore. In those early days, the native orang laut — aboriginal coastal inhabitants — dwelt in the mangrove areas at the mouth of the former Seletar River, which is now the Lower Seletar Reservoir. The specific community in Seletar was referred to as orang seletar. During Singapore's affiliation with Malaysia, the orang laut freely roamed the Johor Straits. However, as Seletar saw the influx of other cultures, Sultan Abu Bakar directed the relocation of the orang laut to Sungai Pulai in Southwest Johor.

Seletar Fishing Village 6
- Christopher (Kit) Rabson

Over time, the Seletar Fishing Village became a hub for fishermen, predominantly of Chinese and Malay descent, who utilised the quaint kampong-styled huts as their working spaces. These charming dwellings, elevated above the water on wooden stilts, served as storage for fishing gear, nets, and boat supplies. Although many fishermen don't reside there, the allure of the rustic and rural atmosphere persists, drawing visitors seeking fresh seafood at affordable prices directly from the local fishermen.

Seletar Fishing Village
- Stanley Photos

Jenal Jetty at Seletar Fishing Village

Named by a Malay fisherman, Jenal Jetty is a hidden gem, tucked away without public access, inside the Seletar Fishing Village. Despite its humble surroundings on swampy, animal-carcass-strewn and mosquito-infested lands, time spent at the jetty sets a feeling of peace and ease within you. A great place to spot the jetty from, with its wooden huts and boardwalks set on stilts, is the Yisham Dam. And a good time to go is around 6:30pm (and stay until around 7:30pm) to catch the golden hour around sunset!

Seletar Fishing Village 4
- Jake Wang

Jenal Jetty isn't a singular structure; it comprises four jetties managed by different owners. Unofficially they each have different nicknames such as “Chinese Jetty” or “Malay Jetty” according to the ethnicity of the men that fish there. Today, despite claims of them operating illegally in the past, the jetties are no clandestine operation — fees are paid annually to SLA ensuring its sustainability and legality.

What sets this fishing village apart is its detachment from modern amenities. Devoid of electricity and online connectivity, it remains as it always was — a tranquil oasis for the predominantly senior fishermen who frequent its shores. While the mosquitos keep anyone from actually living there, the jetty remains a hub for around 80 fishermen to gather, exchange stories, and sell their catches.

(Now, it might seem obvious that fishing villages are unlikely to have such amenities, but we have seen many TV screens and smartphones on several remote floating and fishing villages throughout Asia! So it is a unique quality.)

Seletar Fishing Village 2
- Jake Wang

Despite the rustic charm, Jenal Jetty isn't a mere relic frozen in time. The spirit of community thrives as boat owners, friends, and regular customers have exclusive access to this unique enclave. Against the backdrop of Singapore's hustle and bustle, Jenal Jetty offers a refreshing escape — a place where the ebb and flow of the sea dictate the rhythm of life, far removed from the trappings of modernity.

Our Thoughts…

As Singapore marches on with its urbanisation and futuristic designs for all aspects of life in the city-state, Seletar Fishing Village remains a time-capsule of its former, more traditional way of life. A visit to the village promises an opportunity to experience the warmth of a community that has sustained its cultural heritage against the backdrop of change. And maybe the opportunity to eat some really good seafood!

Explore Singapore with CityDays

The fascinating city of Singapore awaits - and there’s no better time to explore it than right now!

CityDays create fun, interesting and challenging trails around the world to help you immerse yourself in a city’s culture, history and quirks. We’ll show you hidden gems, share some fascinating facts and even offer you the chance to win prizes for your brilliance.

We also provide Singapore team building activities to help your colleagues have a seamless day of bonding, learning and fun! 

Want to find out more?

Check out all our available activities in Singapore here and embark on an adventure you’ll never forget: CityDays awaits! 

Seletar Fishing Village Questions


What you need to know

Seletar Fishing Village
Located at the mangrove area between Yishun Ave 1 (Yishun dam) and Pulau Punggol Barat
1.412256, 103.836041
Tips before you visit