Changi may not be highest on the list of must-visits in Singapore, but it sure is every local’s favourite hangout, if not for an evening of quiet stroll by the coastal front then for its famous nasi lemak.
Attractions in Changi Village
As one of the oldest coastal parks in Singapore, Changi Beach Park has come a long way since the 1960s. Stretches of sandy beaches between Changi Point and Changi Ferry Road are dotted with coconut palms, BBQ pits, park benches and shelters. This makes it the prime spot for weekend family get-togethers and overnight camping. It is the smaller albeit quieter twin of East Coast Park, complete with sporting facilities such as water sports and opportunities for fishing. The beach also offers you an unobstructed view overlooking Pulau Ubin.
Find the vestiges of Singapore’s last villages or “kampongs” in Pulau Ubin, a small island off mainland Singapore. Embark on a forest trail, either by foot or bike, through the overgrown wild ferns of the island. Its natural and rustic charms juxtapose the concrete jungle of mainland Singapore, providing an ephemeral break from city life.
Directions to Pulau Ubin: Take a bumboat from Changi Point Ferry Terminal. Price: The bumboat ride costs $2 per trip; Entrance to Pulau Ubin is free.
Whether you are here for an evening stroll or to catch the sunrise, Changi Boardwalk is not to be missed. This 1.2-kilometre boardwalk hugs the Changi coastline from Changi Beach Club to Changi Sailing Club, and is made up of four segments – Sunset Walk, Kelong Walk, Cliff Walk and Sailing Point Walk.
- Sunset Walk offers a splendid view of the sunset over Changi Point, amid a backdrop of huge boulders.
- Kelong Walk is a stretch of boardwalk with wooden stilts built over water, that is reminiscent of the traditional kelong days where fishermen used to fish from.
- Cliff Walk, located just below the hilltop chalets, allows a respite from urbanization through a walk in lush greenery. Viewing decks along this stretch at vantage points make for superb photography spots.
- Sailing Point Walk offers another type of view—situated near Changi Sailing Club, this walk provides panoramic views of the sea. Entrances to the boardwalk start at Netheravon Road and Cranwell Road.
If you happen to be at Changi on the third Saturday of a month, there is a free guided walk of Changi Boardwalk at 10am organized by the Green Volunteer Network.
Transport yourself to the rough days of World War II in Singapore during the Japanese Occupation at Changi Prison Museum, situated between the junction of Tampines and Changi Roads. It commemorates the various prisoner-of-war (POW) camps where the Japanese occupiers once held allied POWs, through a collection of wartime stuffs, artefacts and audio visual displays.
Dining in Changi
When you mention Changi Village, images of Mizzy Corner’s good ‘ol nasi lemak instantly comes up. Nasi lemak a classic Malay dish made up of fragrant grains of pandan-infused rice, crunchy ikan bilis (fried anchovies), chunky deep-fried chicken wings, and sambal sauce interspersed with chopped bits of chilli.
Address: Block 2, Changi Village Hawker Centre, #01-26
Your nasi lemak dish cannot go unaccompanied by Mei Xiang’s goreng pisang. Fried in sizzling hot oil, bananas are coated with granular-like batter coating to encase their soft pulp. This goreng pisang snack is the perfect combination of sweet, soft and crumbly.
Address: Block 2, Changi Village Hawker Centre, #01-51
Tucked in a corner, Charlie’s Corner has been a fixture in Changi since the late 1970s. This unassuming watering hole offers over 100 craft beers and ciders at some of the most affordable prices in Singapore.
Address: Block 2, Changi Village Hawker Centre, #01-70
If your sweet palate is not yet satisfied, visit Bunny and Pony. It is a delightful dessert parlour that sells fluffy waffles alongside lifestyle products like lamps, bags, and notebooks. Crowd-pleasing flavours include Pina Colada, Dark Sesame, and Gula Melaka.
Address: Block 1, Changi Village Road, #01-2000
A Spoonful of Sugar is another gem for the young ones. In addition to serving conventional dessert items such as ice cream and cakes, they also hold regular baking classes for children.
Address: Block 4, Changi Village Road, #01-2072
The newest kid on the block, Little Island Brewing Co., has beer-lovers flocking down to them. Resembling a typical European beer garden, this brewery brews their own beer in-house in an industrial-chic space, with concrete counters and communal wooden tables. You can finally experience what it is like to tap your own beers with its self-service function. Expect pints full of wheat beers, Scottish ales and pale and golden ales.
Address: Block 6, Changi Village Road
While a tad inaccessible, the casual The Coastal Settlement is still worth the drive, if only for its interiors that are dotted with quirky vintage furniture that range from old telephones to classic bikes. A haven for vintage and photography lovers, they have a unique blend of items on the menu, such as Half & Half Pizza, with wagyu beef slices, caramelized onions and sautéed mushrooms on one side, and pepperoni and prosciutto on the other.
Address: 200 Netheravon Road
Looking for something European? Queen’s Garden is a cozy, family-style upscale restaurant, serving up familiar dishes such as spinach salad, risotto, duck leg confit and wagyu beef burgers.
Address: 33 Hendon Road
Hotels in Changi
For more affordable group stays, try the chalets at Aloha Changi. Catch the sunrise through their backyard that leads directly out to the boardwalk.
With a huge gamut of wines in the world, ranging from Italy, Argentina, Portugal, to India, The Straits Wine Company at Village Hotel Changi guarantees wine savants will lose themselves in their favourite labels.
Shopping in Changi
Looking for retail therapy? Head to nearby Singapore Expo. They hold regular massive sale exhibitions.
Another mall is Changi City Point, known for sports apparel at wholesale prices. If you do stop by Changi City Point, indulge in your very own food mania with customizable food platters at Table Manners, with items ranging from salads to carbs, meat and seafood.
Changi is a quiet cosy enclave, perfect for those who want to escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, which—let’s be honest—sometimes overwhelms us, and connect with nature.
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