Coasting Changi

The Challenge team goes on a retreat in Changi and uncovers some gems on the eastern tip of Singapore.


Changi Cottage: The Cottage with a View

A gravelled walkway, lined with lush vegetation, ushers one down to the Changi Cottage. It prepares you for the “Ahhh…” moment when you step into the double-storeyed bungalow, and are greeted by an expansive sea view. Built during colonial times, the cottage’s red brick façade, gabled roof, window grilles with nautical motifs, and charming side-door with overhanging creeper vines are a blast from the past. But its newly refurbished interior boasts modern amenities and furnishings, including a flat-screen TV.

Located one bus stop from Changi Village, the cottage is accessible yet private enough. The Challenge team found it airy and spacious – perfect for a retreat in the day and a barbecue in the evening. For a spot of exercise, head down to the small door at the bottom of the garden that connects to the Changi Coastal Boardwalk. It’s hard not to like this place. Even the former Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Kuan Yew found it a great hideout. In his memoir From Third World to First: The Singapore Story, 1965-2000, he revealed that he stayed here for some months when he became the “Number One hate object in the Malaysian Malay-language newspapers and radio and television broadcasts” in the wake of Singapore’s separation from Malaysia.

Former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew stayed here for some months when he became the “Number One hate object in … newspapers and radio and television broadcasts” in the wake of Singapore’s separation from Malaysia.
  • Address: 30, Netheravon Road S(508522)
  • Website:
  • Rates: Public rates from $450 per night onwards. For corporate bookings, call 6581 9043 or email


Mention Changi village, and you’re likely to think of nasi lemak. There are a number of stalls selling it at the Changi village hawker centre but the International Food Stall stands out as the most popular, with the longest queue. Be prepared to wait up to 20 minutes during lunch hour. But the fragrant coconut flavoured rice dish isn’t the only draw here. Sri Bistari Nasi Ayam Penyet (smashed chicken), Xiang Xiang Cooked Food (Hokkien Mee) and Wing Kee Famous Ipoh Hor Fun have made it onto the foodie’s must-eat list in Changi. Nearby, cafes are popping up to join the scene. Chock Full Of Beans has a variety of bites from pizza to cakes, and serves up drinks topped with latte art of butterflies and bears.


  1. Xiang Xiang Cooked Food
    Blk 2, #01-73, Changi Village Road, S(500002)
  2. International Food Stall
    Blk 2, #01-57, Changi Village Road, S(500002)
  3. Chock Full Of Beans
    Blk 4, #01-2090, Changi Village Rd, S(500004)
  4. Wing Kee Famous Ipoh Hor Fun
    Blk 2, #01-04, Changi Village Road, S(500002)

Places to go

Changi Museum & Chapel


This is a de rigueur stop for anyone visiting Changi. Originally located next to the old Changi Prison, the new Museum and Chapel (above) was opened on February 15, 2001 to coincide with the 59th anniversary of the fall of Singapore to Japan. It honours those who lived and died in Singapore during the Japanese Occupation.


Through the documentation of significant events of the war, and artefacts donated by POWs, the museum lends rich insight into life during the dark war years.

For the families of POWs, this is a site for them to close the chapter on their painful past. You can light a candle or pin up a red poppy at the Chapel in remembrance of those who have passed.

  • Address: 1000, Upper Changi Road North S(507707)
  • Admission: Free
  • Opening hours: Monday to Sunday 9:30am-5pm; last admission 4.30pm
  • Tour: A 45-minute guided tour (in English) at S$8 per adult and S$4 per child
  • For more: Try the Battlefield Tour and Changi WWII trails by The Changi Museum and Journeys Pte Ltd at

All around Changi

There are other places and activities in Changi that will surprise you. Check out the heritage trees along the 1.2km Changi Coastal Boardwalk that connects the Changi Beach Club to the Changi Sailing Club. If you prefer something more sedentary, try bird-watching at the Changi Jetty, Beach Park or Boardwalk. For the bigger, noisier birds, head to Changi Beach Park Carparks C and D for the best views of planes landing at, and taking off from, the airport. If you like to be spooked, there are the infamous Old Changi Hospital and old Changi Commando Barracks but be warned, both are off limits, officially.

    Mar 13, 2012
    Nur' Ain Zainuddin
    John Heng
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