Changi Heritage Trail

Changi has been a leisure destination since the mid-1840s, where bungalows built in the area capitalised on Changi’s natural beauty and the many leisure activities that its coastal location afforded. One notable bungalow, previously owned by entrepreneur Ezekiel Saleh Manasseh, still stands as one of the oldest buildings in the area today.
Built in 1950, Changi Cottage is well-known as the location where Singapore’s founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew recuperated and worked after the tumult of Singapore’s independence in 1965. The Cottage is now part of the CSC@Changi resort and can be rented by the public.
Originally established as social and sporting clubs by soldiers of Changi Cantonment, and later Royal Air Force (RAF) Changi, Changi Sailing Club (founded in 1936) operates as a private members’ club today.
Originally established as social and sporting clubs by soldiers of Changi Cantonment, and later Royal Air Force (RAF) Changi, Changi Beach Club (founded in 1950) operates as private members’ club today.
With the completion of Changi Cantonment in 1937, Changi Village grew significantly as traders and hawkers established themselves and catered to the base’s personnel, offering goods and services that earned the village a reputation as a retail haven.
Once frequented by colonial day-trippers and the servicemen of nearby RAF Changi for leisure activities, Changi Beach has become a popular vacation spot for members of the public in the post-World War II era. Changi Beach was also one of the many sites where the Japanese military carried out the Sook Ching massacres.
Changi Prison was the last penal institution built by the colonial government. Established as a response to overcrowding in Pearl’s Hill Prison and Outram Prison in 1936, the prison was also used as a place of interment for POWs during the Japanese Occupation. The prison underwent redevelopment in the 1970s and 1980s, and a stetch of the original prison wall, entrance gate and two turrets were preserved and gazetted as a National Monument in 2016.   Image courtesy of Singapore Prison Service
Built on part of the former Changi POW camp, Changi Chapel and Museum features diverse narratives about the Japanese Occupation and reflections from POWs. These stories are presented through personal artefacts and recollections, as well as recreations of the well-known Changi Murals and St. George’s Church.
Constructed between 1927 and 1937, Changi Cantonment was a British military base that guarded the eastern end of the Straits of Johor and the Naval Base at Sembawang. Before World War II, the cantonment housed Royal Artillery and Royal Engineers units, with artillery batteries installed within and around the base. After the war, the base was taken over by Royal Air Force (RAF) and became known as RAF Changi.
Located on the top of the hill, former Changi Hospital was completed in 1962 and served residents until 1997 when Changi Hospital was merged with Toa Payoh Hospital and relocated to Simei.
Built in 2005, the ferry terminal replaced two longstanding wooden jetties used by boat operators and fishermen for decades. Today, many Singaporeans and visitors associate Changi with boat trips to Pulau Ubin. This practice likely began in the 19th century, with local fishermen ferrying passengers to Pulau Ubin, Pulau Tekong and other islands, as well as to parts of Johor.
Completed in 1946, Sree Ramar Temple traces its history to a tree shrine regarded as sacred by Hindu residents of Changi Point. Today, the temple houses sanctums to Ramar, Hanuman and deities of both the Vaishnavite and Shaivite traditions, as well as shrines dedicated to non-Hindu deities Buddha and Guan Yin.
Founded in 1939, Yan Kit Village Chinese Temple enshrines Shui Wei Sheng Niang, 108 Brother Deities and other deities. The temple was established by residents of the former Yan Kit Village, which was located in the same area, and it continues to maintain longstanding connections with the Hainanese community while also welcoming worshippers from other communities.
Built in 1981 over an exisitng runway built during the Japanese Occupation, Changi Airport continues to expand today, with Terminal 5 and a third runway slated for completion in the 2030s.
First opened in 1987 in Sembawang Camp, Singapore Navy Museum explores the history and heritage of the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN), the navy’s operations and defence roles, as well as check out guns and weapons systems from some of the RSN’s pioneer ships.

This is a self-guided trail.

For centuries, Changi has been a site for cultural, social, economic and military activities. In the early 19th century, its coastal attractions and natural beauty facilitated rare interaction between the elites of colonial society and the working-class residents of the kampongs. The establishment of Changi Cantonment (now known as RAF Changi) and its supporting amenities from 1927, further influenced the livelihoods and lives of the people of Changi.

Changi's landscape has also undergone significant transformation, with primeval forests being cleared for timber, plantations, and settlements. Land reclamation and kampong redevelopment began in the 1920s and dramatically reshaped the eastern coastline from the 1970s. The departure of the British military in 1971 and the subsequent growth of Changi Airport further altered the area's economic and social dynamics. 

Over time, the stately barracks, officers' bungalows, and grand messes of Changi Cantonment transitioned from military, to governmental, and then to commercial ownership. Today, many of these buildings have been repurposed into hotels, restaurants, and resorts, including the iconic Changi Cottage.

Explore the diverse narratives of Changi, from the hardships endured by prisoners-of-war and civilians during the Japanese Occupation to the vibrant cultures of the kampongs in the area. Uncover the memories and experiences of the different communities that once called Changi home, and the commonalities they shared.

Explore the Suggested Short Trails

- Bungalows and Beaches in Changi, 1 hour with public transport (4km)
- War and Peace in Changi, 1.5 hours with public transport (7.6km)
- Gateways and Communities in Changi, 2 hours with public transport (12km)


Changi Heritage Trail Booklet
Changi Heritage Trail Map - English