Want to take the kids for some good, old-fashioned fun? No childhood in Singapore is complete without longkang fishing, so grab a net and go fish a fun day out with the children!
We really love finding simple childhood pleasures in Singapore to keep things real for the kids. While there are plenty of great indoor activities in Singapore, we also relish those days spent outdoors with the kids. An outdoor activity that we truly loved as kids? Longkang fishing, an age-old national pastime for kids in Singapore! Back then, older Singapore generations grew up in kampongs (which means ‘villages’ in Malay) that were surrounded by longkang (the Malay word for ‘drains’). Thus, catching fish and tadpoles was perfect entertainment for kids in Singapore, especially when the storms hit. So, to relive this nostalgic family activity, we’ve found a few spots in Singapore where you can go longkang fishing with the kids… minus the storms, of course!
Where to go longkang fishing in Singapore
Scrambling for ideas on where to bring the kids on the weekends? Forget the usual shopping malls! Head down to ORTO instead to experience this old-school activity. Admission is $12 for children aged three to 12 and it includes a plastic tank and fishing net. Kiddos can spend unlimited hours trying to catch fish here! The pond’s suitable for both tall and short kids, and its non-slip concrete flooring ensures safety. Sorry parents, you won’t be allowed to join in on the fun… The closest you can get is to assist the little ones as they fish. When you’re done fishing, explore the other parts of ORTO, or just grab a bite at any of the yummy eating places.
ORTO, 81 Lorong Chencharu #01-09, Singapore 769198
2. Mainland Tropical Fish Farm
We love Pasir Ris for its many fun and family-friendly activities, which includes longkang fishing at this fish farm. Pay four dollars for 30 minutes and let the little ones relive the good old days at the fishing area, which looks like a stream. Any fish caught by the kiddies will be theirs to keep it they like, though you’ll probably need to talk to them about owning a new pet! The farm is also home to ornamental fish, which you can admire and feed.
Mainland Tropical Fish Farm, No 1 Pasir Ris Farmway 1, Singapore 519352
Want to go longkang fishing in Singapore without needing to slap on the sunscreen? This indoor space lets you do exactly that, and more! Located on the seventh floor of Bugis+, younglings aged two to 12 can enjoy an hour of fishing for guppies and swordtails in the small ponds. Adults can also enjoy their own rooftop fishing and prawning. Otherwise, just grab a bottle and enjoy the view of the city skyline. If Bugis is too far for you, it has another branch within The Grassroots Club at Ang Mo Kio. Just so you know, the Ang Mo Kio branch is outdoors and directly under the MRT tracks!
FishBugis+, 201 Victoria Street #07-05, Singapore 188067
4. Qian Hu Fish Farm
If you’re planning to visit the farms of Singapore, be sure to have this one on your list too. Longkang fishing over here is only $10 for a full hour and the littlies can keep any (or even all!) of the fishes that they catch! Kids – and even adults – will surely enjoy bonding over this childhood activity. Done fishing? Purchase bagged pellets going for a dollar and feed the numerous koi and turtles in the pond. There are also kiddie rides if the little ones are not interested in fishing. Be sure to have coins handy!
Qian Hu Fish Farm, No 71 Jalan Lekar, Singapore 698950
Tips for keeping fish at home
Often, your kids (or yourself) will catch a lot of fish while longkang fishing. So what happens when you can’t dissuade your children from bringing their caught prizes home after a day of longkang fishing? Here are some basic tips for keeping your new fin friends alive.
Items you’ll need:
- A tank to store your fish. Something reasonably sized is fine since fish caught in the longkang are typically small. If you have a larger living space, a bigger tank is definitely better. Fish need plenty of room to swim.
- Invest in a decent filter, like a sponge or canister filter and filter media. Filters help keep the water clean and remove any waste, pollutants, and debris.
- Place an air pump, which pumps oxygen into the water and keeps it moving. This is great for the fish, though this step can be optional.
- Add substrate to your tank. Substrates can be gravel or sand. This gives the tank a more attractive look, like the ones you see in fish farms and pet shops.
- Include plants and perhaps some ornaments. The plants let your fish hide and play, thus making them feel safe. Real plants can also help maintain the nutrients in your tank, but artificial ones are fine too.
- A net to transfer your fish in and out when it’s time to clean the tank.
- Fish food – this one’s self-explanatory!
Setting up your fish tank
- Where you place your fish tank is very important. Pick a spot away from direct sunlight, windows, and heating.
- Rinse all your decorations and substrate so that no dust or debris will enter the tank before adding them in. Start by pouring the substrate (a one- to two-inch thick layer) on the tank floor.
- Put the remaining equipment, such as the filter and air pump, in place. Don’t switch anything on just yet!
- Fill up the tank with water, turn on the filter, and add in a little fish food to start the fishless cycle.
The above are just some very basic fish-keeping tips. You can find extensive information with a little bit of Googling.
Parents, please note: try to bring home as few as possible depending on your tank size. Bringing them all home will overcrowd your tank and the fish will eventually die. More importantly, talk to your kids about the responsibilities of keeping a pet. After all, you don’t want to end up being the one cleaning the tank and feeding the fish!
Happy longkang fishing!
Top image: Shahril Roslan via Flickr