Changi: War Sites, Old Beaches and Good Food by the Airport
Changi is a very idyllic area that's a remnant of old Singapore. There are very few buildings and those that are there are mostly quaint, old and low-rise. Changi roads are narrower than most and are lined with huge angsana and palm trees. The area is not crowded and is mostly populated by those working in the airline companies nearby.
In the 1600s, Changi was called Tanjung Rusa. Tanjung Rusa was later renamed Tanjung Changi in the 1800s. The name 'changi', like many other district names in Singapore, was derived from the name of a plant that was abundant in the area. However, nobody is sure exactly which plant 'changi' refers to, or how the district came to be named as such. What people did discover, however, was that Changi was an ideal venue for picnics. In 1926, the plantations and coastal cliffs off Changi were cleared for an air base and a hospital. The area was mainly used for military barracks and administrative quarters by the British, who built an airbase, a prison and a hospital for military personnel. These places are still standing today. Changi was also an important World War II site. Changi Prison, built in 1936 was where 7,000 to 8,000 POWs (prisoners of war) were kept. Significant POWs include H.L.A Hart, a prominent British jurist and philosopher of law. In 1981, the British Air Force base in Changi was dedicated to the new Changi International Airport.
Places of Interest
Some places of interest include Changi Chapel and Museum, Changi Exhibition Centre and Changi Village and Pulau Ubin.
Changi houses many sites of historical interest such as the Changi Chapel and Museum, located on Upper Changi Road North. The museum traces the history of Changi and the events that took place during the Japanese Occupation of Singapore. Along the same road is Changi Prison, a large complex with quarters for male, female and political prisoners. Nearby is the old Changi Hospital, a military hospital that was utilized during World War II. The hospital is now closed and visitors are not permitted to enter, but its façade is visible from the main road.
Changi is currently the centre of Singapore's aerospace industry, although there are plans to shift it to Seletar. Changi Exhibition Centre holds the Singapore Airshow and Asian Aerospace exhibition, events that are held annually. These events allow you view the latest airplane technology, incorporating live air shows displaying fighter aircraft and helicopters.
You can relax at Changi Village by residing in chalets can also be found in the area. A resort available to the public is the Aloha Changi Chalets, which allows locals and foreigners alike to enjoy the quiet away from the urban clutter. The other chalets are only open to certain groups of people, such as military personnel and civil servants. If you prefer to stay in a hotel, you can stay in Changi Village Hotel (formerly Le Meridien Changi), located close to pubs, eateries and shops. Try Changi Village's famous nasi lemak, located that corner of Changi Village Hawker Centre.
Changi Village is a popular place for water sports. Sail or windsurf at Changi Sailing Club or Changi Beach Club. Alternatively, golf at Changi Golf Club.
Located very near the main island is Pulau Ubin which is accessible through the Changi Point terminal. The boat rise costs $2 for a one-way ticket. There is also the Changi Boardwalk, located at the western point of Changi, it connects the Changi Beach Club and the Changi Sailing Club at it's mid-point to the ferry terminal located at the eastern end.
You can also travel to the Indonesian island of Bintan from Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal, located along Changi Coast Road.
There are many residential areas around Changi, comprising mostly private property. There is a large area of landed property with bungalows, terraced and semi-detached houses. There are also a few condominiums. Most of these residences are located near Changi Prison, and can be accessed from Upper Changi Road North. There are provision shops, coffee shops, pubs and restaurants within this estate. There is also public housing in Changi Village, mostly old 3 or 4-storeyed HDB buildings that have not been redeveloped or upgraded. The only school in Changi is The Japanese School, an international school. Even if you're not studying in this school, you can go there for courses on Japanese arts or culture. Singapore Aviation Academy is also located in Changi.
Industry The main businesses in Changi involve the aerospace industry, particularly for commercial airlines. Aircraft maintenance takes place in the SIA Engineering Company, located along Changi Coast Road. Changi Water Reclamation Plant is also nearby. This district is also close to Loyang Industrial Estate.