While many developed parts across the island hardly bare traces of Singapore’s long standing heritage, there remains plenty left in the Changi area that takes one back to the city’s idyllic past. Almost as if it has stood still in time, a stroll about the Changi neighbourhood offers a nostalgic look back at the island’s past as a fishing village.
From strolling along the coast line to bird watching and indulging in gastronomical delights, this guide takes one away from the hustle and bustle of the city to explore the charms of the far flung eastern end of the island.
The allure of Changi lies in its coastal charm. To take in uninhibited views of the sunrise that extend as far as the eye can reach, start the day off at Changi Beach Park. One of the oldest beach parks in the island, it offers a quiet respite from the hustle and bustle of the city. When the tides are low, it’s also a hotspot for marine life spotting.
While you’re there, stroll along the coast and spot the “Inscription of the Island” hand sculpture that’s tucked away at the far end of the beach. The legends have it that the hand was once a part of a towering statue that was a guide for ships.
Changi Beach Park
Nicoll Dr, Singapore 498991
The Changi area has earned a reputation throughout the years as a destination for foodies. Certainly living up to the name is the Changi Village Hawker Center. First built in 1975 as part of a government initiative to breathe life into the eastern end of the island, the Changi Village Hawker Center has cemented its place amongst the island’s vibrant hawker scene.
Changi Village Hawker Center
2 Changi Village Rd, Singapore 500002
Monday-Friday: 6am-2am; Saturday & Sunday: 24 hours
While Changi Village Hawker Center is particularly known for its nasi lemak stalls, a lesser known gem located in its periphery is Makan Melaka – where you can find arguably one of the best traditional Cendol Melaka in Singapore.
1 Changi Village Rd, #01-2046, Singapore 500001
To discover the history of the island’s far-flung east during the Japanese Occupation, the Changi Chapel & Museum offers an insightful experience. After three years of major redevelopment, the Changi Chapel & Museum reopened its doors in May, earlier this year.
The war museum tells the stories of Singapore’s prisoners of war and civilians detained in the Changi Prison Camp during the Japanese Occupation. Deep dive into a lesser-known part of Singapore’s war history with the moving stories of heroism that await your discovery.
Changi Chapel & Museum
1000 Upper Changi Rd N, Singapore 507707
For lunch, stop by the stretch of Indian-Muslim stalls and restaurants along Changi Village Road. Some of the more popular names along the stretch include Rasa Sayang Village and Mr Mamak. While the former has a wide-ranging menu that features diverse cuisines that range from Western dishes to standard local fare, the latter is the place to go to for a hearty plate of Hyderabadi Dum Biryani Mutton, a speciality briyani where the mutton is marinated and cooked along with the rice.
Stop by the Changi Golf Club for a leisurely game of golf. While there are plenty of golf courses across the island, the Changi Golf Club’s terrain once borne hints of Singapore’s historical connections to World War II.
The course once wound through an area filled with mementos of the British presence like the soldier’s barracks, officer’s quarters, gun-emplacements and air-raid bunkers. While the mementos are no longer on the golfing grounds, it’s a quiet corner to break away from the city to indulge in a game of golf with friends.
Changi Golf Club
20 Netheravon Rd, Singapore 508505
Monday: 12pm-7pm; Tuesday-Sunday: 7am-7pm
The industrial area might not strike many as a terrain where wildlife thrives. However, the Changi Business Park canal is a hotspot amongst bird watchers here. If you’re a novice to the bird watching hobby, you can find a comprehensive list of birds to look out for which have been previously spotted here. Grab your binoculars!
Stella Restaurant sets the backdrop for an idyllic alfresco dinner setting near the sea and under the stars to wind down after a long day. It also doubles up as an idyllic spot to watch the sunset while you enjoy the cool sea breeze. It is an experience unlike anywhere else in the city – a tranquil oasis for you to take in as you while the night away sipping on your choice of beverage.
11 Changi Coast Walk, Singapore 499740
Monday-Friday 4pm-10:30pm Saturday & Sunday 12pm-10:30pm
🎥 For other unique experiences in the heartlands around Singapore, catch the entire Under My Block series here:
📍 Wondering what else to do in Singapore? Here’s a handy map of all the locations featured in the articles and videos under this series: https://bit.ly/3srQf2m