So, you’re in Singapore for a few days, probably the most Instagram-able city on the planet. After you’ve got your requisite pics of massive metal trees, ships on top of buildings, and the world’s most photographed infinity pool, you really need to step out and see the real Singapore. Changi Village is a step back, and a step away, from present Singas. If you want to know The Lion City from a local perspective, this is your place.
One of the city’s few surviving outdoor hawker centres is still in full operation here, offering the local faves: Laksa, Nasi Lemak, Satay, Bee Hoon….it’s all here. Served up in the traditional, no frills Bourdain-praised way you must experience to really know Singapore. Save room for Iced Chendol as well.
If you’re after souvenirs beyond the tiny Merlion figurines, this is also your place. There’s batik, rugs, baskets, fishing tackle, all sorts of SE Asian bric-a-brac to squeeze in to your carry-ons.
Nighttime is when this place really takes off, though. It’s a top local destination for Singapore East-Coasters for dinner and beers. Charlie’s Corner, serving Western dishes like burgers and fish & chips, has been around for decades. The Little Island Brewery is relatively new to this scene, but offers an array of locally crafted beers and a great menu. (https://www.facebook.com/Little-Island-Brewing-Co-1395693160732162/)
The Village is also your jump off point for ferries to nearby Pulau Ubin, for hiking, biking, swims, and excellent seafood. (http://www.wildsingapore.com/ubin/)
Take the MRT line eastbound, then grab a taxi to Changi Village. So much more the real Singapore.