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Half-day Itinerary: An Intermission in the East

By: markhsx on 01 Jun 2011
The eastern end of Singapore is a peaceful retreat off the beaten track that provides a welcome contrast to the frenzied city, and the laid-back, relaxed atmosphere indulges the clichés of swaying palms, seaside bars and beach resorts. Although Changi lies at the centre of Singapore's aviation industry, its seaside setting remains an attractive leisure destination, and has been so even for the colonial British in the 1930s. Adjacent Pasir Ris is a largely residential area, but is home to open parks, rich mangroves, as well as themes park and holiday chalets that are popular with students. A day in the East is sure to calm your senses and take you back to a time when things were simpler.



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Retreat to the East (8am)


Take an early morning journey on the MRT from the city centre to Changi, at the eastern end of the Singapore, and alight at either Tanah Merah [EW4]. At Tanah Merah, cross the road onto the side heading east and board bus 2 from “Tanah Merah Stn” to “Changi Village Ter”. This journey will take approximately an hour.


Breakfast at Changi Village (9am)


Rustic Changi Village is the perfect spot for a casual breakfast, and is known for offering a diverse range of dishes amidst the rhythm of waves lapping the coast nearby. The Changi Village Hawker Centre (2 Changi Village Road.) beside the bus terminal is justly popular with locals, especially for nasi lemak (coconut-flavoured rice served with fried fish, peanuts, anchovies, egg and a spicy sambal sauce) at International (#01-57.), as well as Ipoh hor fun (flat rice noodles with chicken and mushrooms) at Wing Kee (#01-04.); try the traditional breakfast drink - teh tarik (“pulled” tea) - at Bismillah Sarabat (#01-68.). Charlie’s Corner (#01-08. +65 6542 0867.) is an outstanding Changi institution that serves up decent old-school pub grub to accompany a huge range of imported beer. After breakfast, take a short walk around and browse through the quaint shops.


Changi Point Coastal Walk (10.30am)


The ideal morning stroll to accompany a laid-back breakfast is the Changi Point Coastal Walk (45 min. from Changi Point Ferry Terminal.), a 2.6km route that hugs the coastline around Changi. The boardwalk and trail are divided into segments offers a different experience. At Creek Walk, you can

watch bumboats chug between Changi and Pulau Ubin, and young ones can build sandcastles at Beach Walk; end at Sailing Point. However, if you have time to spare, carry on under the lush greenery of Cliff Walk, and meet amateur fishermen at Kelong Walk, and finish the trail at Sunset Walk. Continue walking to Netheravon Road, which is home to heritage trees and colonial-era buildings. Board bus 29 at “Opp Changi Golf Club” and travel to “Changi Chapel Museum”.


Changi Chapel and Museum (11.30am)


The Changi Chapel and Museum is dedicated to the Prisoners-of-War (POW) who were interned at Changi camp during the Japanese Occupation in World War Two. Suffered appalling conditions and torture, they endured these dark years through their spirit of comradeship and a will to live. Their compelling and moving stories are told through memorabilia such as letters, photographs, and personal effects donated by formers POWs and their families, as well as paintings and sketches.


A replica of the Changi Murals are featured in the museum. These life-sized murals, created and subsequently restored by Stanley Warren, decorated a ward in the internment camp that was used as a chapel, and depicts scenes from the life of Christ. The original murals are now in the grounds of an operational military camp nearby. The Changi Chapel is a re-creation of one of many similar places of worship erected by POWs during their time in Changi, and sits in a garden frequented by veterans, as well as former POWS and their families.


(1 hr. 1000 Upper Changi Road North. +65 6214 2451. Daily 9.30am – 5pm. Admission free.)


Downtown East


Lunch at Downtown East (1pm)


At lunchtime, board bus 5 from “Opp Changi Women's Prison” to “Opp Downtown East”. Enter Downtown East, an entertainment and leisure hub which is popular with families and youth. Besides dining options, Downtown East houses eXplorerkid, Singapore's largest indoor playground, as well nEbO City cineplex and gaming centre and a 25-metre high Ferris Wheel, all at E!hub.


(1 hr. 1 Pasir Ris Close. +65 6589 1688. Admission free. Nearest MRT Station: Pasir Ris [EW1].)


Wild Wild Wet (2pm)


Part of the Downtown East complex is Wild Wild Wet, the biggest water park in Singapore, with a total of nine hair-raising water slides including a three-storey-high half-pipe, Slide-Up. Besides a wave pool and water rafting boats, there are a host of different rides suitable for different ages, from high-speed flumes to raft slides. Wild Wild Wet is an afternoon treat that will entertain for hours of fun in the sun.


(2 hr. 1 Pasir Ris Close. +65 6581 9128. Weekdays 1pm - 7pm, Weekends 10am – 7pm. Admission $15.50 adult, $10.50 child 12 & under, senior 55 & above free.)

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