On the eastern outskirts of Singapore lies Changi, a sleepy village with a long history. Changi, which takes its name from the Changai tree, was once home to dozens of coconut plantations. Nowadays, it is a peaceful beach town that makes for a relaxing day away from the hustle and bustle of Singapore city center.
What to do in Changi
1. Get some sun at Changi Beach
This beach park is one of the oldest coastal public spaces in Singapore and is a great spot to watch planes landing and taking off from the nearby Changi Airport, or to take in the sunrise. If you fancy a picnic, there are lots of barbeque pits and picnic tables scattered around the beach, making it an excellent place for a family outing.
2. Walk the Changi Boardwalk
Spanning from the Changi Beach Club in the west to the Ferry Terminal in the east, this 2.6 km long boardwalk stretches along the western coast of Changi. It’s a good track to go for a walk or a jog, or to simply admire the unspoilt coastal scenery.
3. Get cultured at the Changi Museum
Learn about the lives of Changi residents and trace its history to the pre-World War II era. See the effects that the war had on Changi, which was the site of a POW prison. Changi Museum now houses records on almost 5,000 internees that were detained in Changi between 1942 and 1945.
4. Get out on the water with the Water Venture
Try your hand at exhilarating sports like ocean kayaking, sailing, windsurfing and power boating, or experience something really unique: dragon boating! This traditional Chinese sport includes a team of rowers that oar a long boat to speed. Water Venture offers half-day dragon boating orientation courses for beginners.
5. Try Nasi Lemak at the Changi Hawker Center
The traditional dish of Malaysia, vendors at the hawker center are famous for Nasi Lamak and it’s not uncommon to have to wait in a long line to get it! Nasi Lemak is a simple dish of rice soaked in coconut milk and served similarly to a tamale, with cucumbers, anchovies, peanuts, a hardboiled egg and a spicy sauce called sambal, all wrapped in a banana leaf and steamed.
How to get to Changi
Getting to Changi Village couldn’t be easier. Take the MRT to Tanah Merah Station and, from there, hop on SBS Transit Bus 2 to the village center.
If you’re still in the mood for exploration, head to the Changi Point Ferry Terminal, from which you can get bum boats to the nearby island Pulau Ubin, or long-distance ferries to international destinations in Johor, Malaysia.