Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Changi Point revisited

Changi beach on New Year/s Eve, late afternoon. Weather (though the sky was overcast)  was perfect for a leisurely walk.No crowds here, except for one or two couples, and a few family outings. The crowds were at the Village food centre, long queue at the nasi lemak store, the outermost stall facing the row of shops. The other one was still setting up. Chicken wings not fried yet :)
CHANGI Point is very different from the one I knew as a child  where there were lots of canvas deck chairs for you to sit as you drink your Green Spot (or Sinalco?) and gaze out to sea.  However, it is not too different from my teenage memories. Especially the bus terminus which has been at the exact spot since time immemorial. And if I am not wrong, the same pavement stones skirting one end of the terminus!The shops have retained their flavours too.

There was a  fishery station or something by the Primary Production Deparatment which is now gone from the spot. The link bridge is still there. The waters are much cleaner than what I remember. The beach  as well. The new (new to me, but has been around for some time) boardwalk is great!

The old jetty has of course, been spruced up years ago. You can catch a boat to Pulau Ubin, and if you have your passport with you, to Pengerang for seafood :)

I still like Changi and prefer it to the East Coast Park (though of course, East Coast Park is very nice too.) In my childhood days, the beach at Bedok was a great contender to Changi, as I remember we could walk far out into the sea during low tide and stand among its corals and watch tiny waves lapping by our feet. There were nice beaches at Pasir Ris and Pasir Panjang too, but the beach we visited most during my childhood was Changi Point.

Postnote: A little trivia on the area, which I got from the NetOriginally called Tanjung Rusa in the 1600s, the name was later changed to Tanjung Changi two centuries later. The area was a low-lying mangrove swamp and the name Changi most likely came from changi ular, a climbing shrub, or from a tree called chengai. Even as late as the 1900s, tigers came to Changi Hill to deliver their cubs. This hill was totally flattened to provide the soil for reclamation that created the land on which Changi Airport is built.

Nice  stone benches instead of those old canvas deck chairs of my childhood. I vote Changi as the No. 1 beach in Singapore.

3 comments:

streetsing said...

In the sixties Changi Point was one of the favourite place for picnics.
I remember my older siblings will drive here passing the imposing black walls of Changi prison and the airfield with parked turboprop planes at one of the airfield in Changi :)

Tienyin Lo said...

Yes, you are absolutely right. I remember those black walls of Changi prison rather well too. Opposite this prison was the bus stop where we changed from bus 81 (or 80 something) to bus No. 2 which would take us to Changi Point bus terminus (which still does). There was a coffee shop behind this bus stop (and I think a provision shop as well) -- do you remember? And oh yes, the Changi Airfield. I remember a sort of "burnt" plane parked there on display... is it a "turboprop plane"? :)

streetsing said...

Yes I remember the coffee-shop and the provision shop. There were no flats there then, only single storey shophouses. There was a Chinese tailor shop along the main street. The burnt out plane you mentioned is I think for training in fire-fighting. Actually before Changi airport existed, there was an airfield somewhere after the prison with RAF propeller driven planes. Was excited to see them when I was a small boy :)