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West and East-siders have never been able to come to terms with where the better side of Singapore is. Is East side really the best side?
Well, both have their charms, but there’s nothing quite like the East for sure. And we believe Changi Precinct is just one of the many living testaments to this popular local claim. Covering a fraction of the East and housing a cluster of towns from Changi to Bedok, there’s just so much to explore! While overseas travel remains a distant fever dream, we’ve rounded up six interesting sights in the East to help spice up your Instagram square spaces.
1. A Quiet Spot: Inscription of the Island
Look up in the sky. It’s a bird, it’s a plane.
Situated right at the tip of Changi Point is a solitary bronze sculpture, boasting a hand with its index finger pointed high up towards the vast blue sky. Framed by earthy palettes of green, beige and blue, the sculpture nicely divides its backdrop into five horizontal shades, as it sits peacefully before the eastern coastline.
A semi-buried hand is no common sighting here in Singapore’s suburbs. Unbeknown to many, this colossal installation once stood at the front lawn of the Singapore Art Museum during the 2016 Singapore Biennale. Since then, many have questioned the meaning behind this sculpture, given its abrupt appearance. But even the artist himself wishes for the audiences to go wild with their imagination, leaving its interpretation to creativity’s work. That means you get to decide its story.
What then, lies beneath? What could its finger be pointing to? Are we all just living Thumbelinas? A little creativity (and effort) goes a long way for that Instagram post. And as a destination that sees the earliest dawns of the island, Inscription of the Island could make a rejuvenating sunrise spot for the early birds flocking East.
Address: Changi Coast Track along Changi Beach Park
Opening hours: Opens 24 hours daily
2. Head Offshore: Smith Marine Floating Restaurant
Fancy an offshore aesthetic for that ‘overseas’ fix?
Seek no further, as the Smith Marine Floating Restaurant promises an idyllic experience of dining like no other – far off at sea. More than just a restaurant, this offshore experience makes for a perfect Instagram trick that would have your friends question whether you’re actually outside of Singapore. If you’re looking for things to do in the East, a meal at this quaint dining space should surely be one!
Located just a stone’s throw-away from Pulau Ubin, this rustic Halal kelong offers an assortment of delectable seafood and local tze char (wok fried) favourites to devour your heart’s content. You could even fish your own food, as the restaurant offers a sure-catch pond of snappers and sea basses to try your hands on.
Diners can also choose to stroll leisurely along the decks of the kelong and unwind to the rumbling tides of the sea. An evening here for dinner is nothing short of tranquil, being far from city life, and if you’re lucky enough, you might just catch a glistening sunset before your meal is served. Don’t forget your cameras! It’s all for the ‘gram.
Address: Johor Strait
Nearest Location: Changi Point Ferry Terminal
Opening hours: Opens from 10:00am to 8:00pm daily
Reservations are mandatory and must be made 3 days in advance via phone. 2-way ferry transport will be arranged during reservation and is capped at $100 for 12 pax.
3. For the Pastel Hues: Xtreme Skate Park
Colour and composition have always been top-of-mind when it comes to achieving an aesthetic Instagram feed. And for the ones who love a vast, pastel aesthetic, the Xtreme Skate Park is sure to swoon you for its minimalistic and monochromatic appearance.
Nestled in the heart of East Coast Park, the 1.4-hectre skate park is an all-time favourite spot for skate and extreme sport enthusiasts. Albeit a space for sports, its earthy shades boasts beautifully textured curvatures that are great for clever shadow play under the afternoon sun. We highly recommend a monochromatic dress code for a perfect balance of colour.
And as cameras are creators of sovereign borders, go forth and experiment with different angles. However, remember to do so with caution, as the skate park may be crowded and potentially dangerous with speed skaters. As aesthetic as a minimalist photo gets, be mindful of fast skaters on site and do so with adequate distancing.
If you’re also game for a skate, why not grab your skates along and have some fun right after your shoot? This skate park has designated bowls for both professionals and amateurs alike, so you won’t have to worry if you’re still new to the sport.
Address: 1 East Coast Terrace, East Coast Park (near Car Park F1)
Opening hours: Opens from 7.30am to 10:00pm daily
4. Navigate Nature: Puaka Hilltop Lookout
Our natural surroundings serve as a great respite from the city’s landlocked life, and Puaka Hill presents herself as one such instance. This rocky hill in the East is home to some of Singapore’s oldest granite in the 1970s, where much was extracted to build public roads on the mainland. Boasting expansive views of the pristine Ubin Quarry at its peak, this perilous hilltop lookout is a popular attraction among photographers and hikers visiting Pulau Ubin.
Located at the heart of the offshore island, Puaka Lookout stands at a height of 74-metres and is the highest point of Pulau Ubin, offering panoramic views of the catchment and the Singapore Strait from afar. If you’re looking for different vantage points of the quarry, the hill offers two viewpoints – a lower lookout that provides a slightly elevated view of the catchment and the summit, which is about 10 to 15 minutes away from the former by foot.
If you’re craving splashes of greens and blues on your Instagram feed, this location promises majestic views you can’t find anywhere else on our sunny island. As you arrive at the lookout, soak up some sun and daze into the clouds as you marvel the wondrous prowess of nature at its rawest beauty. Put on some sunscreen while at it!
Address: Jalan Endut Senin, Singapore 508346, Pulau Ubin
Nearest Location: Na Du Gong Shrine
Opening hours: Opens 24 hours daily
A 2-way bumboat ferry ride from Changi Point Ferry Terminal costs S$6, with each trip lasting approximately 10 minutes each.
Tip: Please be equipped with appropriate covered footwear, as thick vegetation could pose risks to trekking.
5. Go Prehistoric: Changi Jurassic Mile
Travel back in time at this Changi Airport attraction that boasts Singapore’s largest permanent outdoor display of pre-historic mega-creatures. Spanning across a 1-kilometre cycling and jogging path along the Changi Airport Connector, this attraction is home to more than 20 different towering dinosaur exhibits, making it Singapore’s very first full-fledged dino-themed pathway at the Eastern corner. It was launched in October 2020, as part of Changi Airport’s initiatives to spur local tourism and has welcomed Singaporeans from all walks to check out the dinosaurs “live in action”. Did we also mention a recent addition of eleven new dinosaurs scattered along the outdoor cycling and jogging track? So as you ride along while plugged in with your earphones, keep a lookout for these creatures - say hello, or stop to snap a pic!
If you’re game for something fresh off the beat, go forth and play pretend with these life-like dinosaurs. The pathway offers many areas that stand as good vantage points of the exhibits. Who knows? A playful pose with our friendly T-Rex could easily be an opportunity for the next Instagram trend.
Address: Airport Boulevard
Nearest Location: Terminal 4 Arrival Carpark 4A or Hub & Spoke Café at Terminal 2
Opening hours: Opens 24 hours daily
6. Recreate Travel: Changi Airport
Here’s a challenge. Tell us you miss traveling without telling us you miss travelling.
We know you’re travel-deprived. It’s all too uncertain when travel would resume to how it used to be. But one thing for sure is that as we wait, we can still reminisce and dream. On days when the travel nostalgia hits bad, head down to Changi Airport in the East of Singapore, and fulfil your wanderlust by recreating your favourite (and funniest) travel moments on camera with our iconic attractions.
Our very own control tower creates an iconic photo opportunity to pose with a tall landmark – a familiar (yet cheesy, but that’s where the fun lies) travel must-do that is adopted by many when we’re overseas. Not forgetting the HSBC Rain Vortex at Jewel Changi Airport, where you’d actually get to pose with the world’s largest indoor waterfall. How cool is that? Sometimes it’s about realising how beautiful our country’s sights can be, which makes for a timely reminder to appreciate our little red dot more. You could also check out our previous article on refreshing sights to visit around Singapore to satisfy your wanderlust.
When the world feels like home, home can feel like the world for a change. Go forth and get creative with your cameras!
Is the East area the best in Singapore?
We think yes.
From parks and beaches, to beach-front chalets and late-night supper joints, Changi Precinct offers a wide array of attractions and offerings to unwind on top of everything else the East has to offer (not forgetting the various things to do in the south and north east of Singapore too)! And there are plenty of picture-perfect places worth the ‘gram, which makes it all the merrier.
Why not experience this for yourself?