Changi Point at the eastern tip of the island has been a popular seaside recreational haunt ever since the British colonial days in the 1930s. Infused with a laid back charm, Changi was and still is a resort “village” where people retreat to to escape the stresses of the city.
Parts of the Changi coastline were given a makeover in 2003 and 2006 to become more accessible to visitors, while taking care not to disrupt the coastline and waterside ecosystem. A boardwalk was put in place, and pavements along the nearby roads widened to be more pedestrian-friendly.
The 2.6km long coastal boardwalk snugly hugs the coastline. Starting off at the Changi Point Ferry Terminal near the parking lots by the food centre, it is an easy scenic walk. The walk covers different terrains and scenery – at times cutting through a forest, at times running alongside the beach, and other times jutting out over the water.
The official promotional copy describes the walk as having “6 distinct sections”, however this is something of a marketing gimmick since the entire walk is seamless and I doubt you will consciously be aware of what section you are in. The specifically named sections of the boardwalk do highlight the different characteristics of the coastal areas the boardwalk runs through however: Creek Walk, Beach Walk, Sailing Point Walk, Cliff Walk, Kelong Walk (a “kelong” is a fishing structure built on stilts over the water), and Sunset Walk.
The coastal walk is nice for an early morning or evening leisurely stroll. Be sure to schedule stops along the way to take photographs, breathe in the salty sea air and to just soak in the scenery. There is plenty of wildlife to look out for as well, including the usual monitor lizards, creepy crawlies, interesting birds, and snakes even.
On my trip a park cleaner pointed out a slim tree snake about 2 feet in length twined on a fence just inches away from my friend and I. The beautifully patterned and wonderfully named “Paradise Tree Snake” is apparently a common variety snake in Singapore. It is not a snake to be trifled with however as it has the ability to glide or “fly” from tree to tree and is mildly venomous, albeit to small prey such as tree lizards. Still, I don’t recommend you get too close to it if you spot one.
The Boardwalk is open and lit all night as well, so I imagine sundown and late evenings bring out a different crowd and type of wildlife altogether – the love-birds.
You can either walk back and forth along the entire boardwalk (total of 5.2km), or else exit after the “Sunset Walk” section to Cranwell Road and walk along the leafy Netheravon Road back to the starting point. This is a slightly longer route though.
HOW MUCH TIME
A round trip will take about an hour and a half to just under 2 hours at a leisurely pace.
- There are 15 species of Heritage Trees in Changi, some centuries old and growing to as high as 28 m. The Heritage Trees Scheme is a program by the National Parks Board (NParks) to protect mature trees, and anyone can nominate a tree for NParks’ evaluation.
- You can enjoy views of Pulau Ubin, Singapore’s 2nd largest off-shore island (after Sentosa of course) and Malaysia from the boardwalk.
- The wooden walkways of the boardwalk are made out of Balau and Ironwood, 2 common hardwoods used in SE Asia.
- The Changi Point Ferry Terminal is a small terminal where passengers catch bumboat rides to Pulau Ubin (Ubin Island) and to Pengerang, a small seaside village in Johor, Malaysia. It is not to be confused with the similar sounding Changi Ferry Terminal located a little further down on Changi Coast Road.
- Take note of a few “Don’ts” on the boardwalk.
- NParks comprehensive guide on the Changi Boardwalk
- Singapore’s Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA)’s guide to Changi Point (March 2012)
- NParks’ Heritage Tree Scheme site