Friday, 16 October 2009

Changi Village Hotel

This year, I celebrated my 1/4 of a century birthday with YQ at Changi Village Hotel. We booked the Weekend Escapade package at $199++ which includes a 2nd nite free for room only. Although the hotel research was done by me, the rest of activities were plan by YQ.

YQ check-in in the afternoon first and pick me up after work. We had our dinner at Suki Sushi at Ang Mo Kio Broadway Plaza. Nowadays I don't dine at Sakae Sushi anymore as their sushi standards really sucks. The sushi at Suki Sushi Ang Mo Kio outlet is cheaper and better than Sakae Sushi but I have not dine at other branches yet. After dinner, we drove to Changi Village Hotel.

I always feel that the journey to Changi Village Hotel is far even though Singapore is not that big. In my opinion, Changi Village is situated in a 鸟不生蛋的地方 far and away from the urban city. We parked the car inside Changi Village Hotel since there is complimentary parking. The good thing is there is no restriction on the no. of complimentary parking unlike some hotels which have only 1 complimentary parking. Before heading to our room, we get the complimentary parking pass and requested for tomorrow Straits Times (it's free).
I like the colourful balcony
Lift access to the roomsSaltwater cafe

We were given a 5th floor Deluxe room with King's bed although the Weekend Escapade package comes with twin bed (YQ check-in in the afternoon bcos of this). Too bad that our room does not come with any sea/ golf course view cos our room is facing the interior of the hotel. I also find that the hotel is a bit weird in the sense that although the building layout is in a triangle shape, there is no direct links from one corner to another corner.

There is no complimentary internet access in the room and it cost $12/hr. YQ needed internet access for some urgent stuff so he requested for 15min which cost ~ $5. That's exorbitant!
Long corridor to our room

Nothing fantastic about the room. Although the bed given is king size, but I feel that it's still smaller than the one at Fairmont, maybe that was extra king size. The unique part is the transparent glass window in the bathroom but there is a window blind for privacy.

Interior of the room


I asked YQ to buy the bath soap as I wanted to try. The bath soap disolved easily in the bathtub so nothing special. Alamak, I requested for the hairdryer without knowing that it's in the cabinet below the TV. 0_0"
Bath soap

We wake up around 9am in the morning and had breakfast at the Changi Village hawker center as the package does not comes with complimentary breakfast. Initally, we wanted to try the famous Nasi Lemak International Food Stall but the queue is very long. We settled for nasi lemak at the opposite stall instead.
Long queueWe tried Sri Sujana stall nasi lemak
Our breakfast

After our breakfast, I walked to the Changi Point Ferry Terminal which is a stone throw away while YQ went back to the hotel to get lozenges for me.The Changi Point Ferry Terminal serves 2 desinations only - Pulau Ubin and Pengerang, Malaysia. The bumboat to Pulau Ubin departs when it reaches 12 passenger. $2.50 would be collected from each passenger before the bumboat departs. The journey to Pulau Ubin takes aboutt 10min only which is relatively short.
Opposite the ferry terminal is Changi Beach
Boarding the bumboat
Another bumboat overtaking us Saw the chair that the steerman is sitting? It's those normal plastic chair
On the way to Pulau Ubin
Kelong near Pulau Ubin
Reaching Pulau Ubin
Bumboats queueing for passengers to alight

Pulau Ubin is an island situated at the North East of Singapore. It is one of the last rural areas to be found in Singapore. In the 1960's, there were few thousand settlers but has dwell to about a hundred today. Legends has it that Pulau Ubin was formed when a frog, a pig and an elephant challenged each other to a race from Singapore to Johor across the Straits. Anyone that failed would be turned into a rock. The frog failed and turned into Pulau Sekudu or Frog Island. The Pig and Elephant also failed and turned into Pulau Ubin. But the island is well known to resemble a boomerang. So where are the resemblances to the animals in the legend? According to Pulau Ubin Stories, Pulau Ubin had not always been one whole island. In fact, the main island itself was originally two halves, bisected by Jelutong River. The mud bunds built by the prawn farmers was formed across the river and eventually joining Pulau Ubin into one island.

From the jetty, we walked to the Information kiosk and took a map of Pulau Ubin. Overheard someone enquiring about Chek Jawa and noted that the low tide is at 4pm. Haha... I don't know why YQ thought that there is admission fees to Chek Jawa and he checked with the person at the Information kiosk that it's free admission.
I'm at Pulau Ubin
Information kiosk
Map of Pulau Ubin
Vehicle in Pulau Ubin start with the car plate "PU"

We rented a tandem bicycle at the first bicycle shop for $12 a day. We also rented a bicycle lock which requires a $2 deposit.
Lots of bicycle for rent
Paying for our bicycle

We decided to explore from western part first, then from there to the central of the island and lastly to Chek Jawa which is at the eastern part. After cycling for abt 10 min, we reached Belatok Hut and we discovered that we are heading to the east direction. We headed back to the bicycle shop to pump more air into the tyres.

I ask YQ to pass me the map so tt I can guide him. If it's the other way round, I'm surely lost at Pulau Ubin. It's not that hot as there are trees along the paved roads. We stopped at Pekan Quarry for a photo shot before continuing our journey.
Beautiful flower
Pekan quarry
Road to nowhere

The next quarry that we passed by is Ubin Quarry. This is also the place where the Republic Polytechinc set up their water adventure facility. Next year, the polytechnic plans to open the centre to the public. There is a Celestial Resort further down and I didnt see any single soul when passing by the resort. We also passed by some houses selling drinks. When we reached the Y junction leading to either Ketam quarry or Kekek quarry, we decided to go to Ketam quarry first.
Ubin Quarry
No entry sign

While researching for information to blog my trip, I discover that there are a lot of fatal accident on the slope up Jalan Wat Siam which is the only route to Kekek quarry. The latest accident is a housewife who died after she was flung off a tandem bicycle together with her daughter in Sep08. Old-timers on the island have dubbed it 'cemetery road' because there's an old Chinese cemetery on top of the slope. A longtime resident said he avoids cycling along that stretch because of stories about an old female ghost lurking there. Sounds eerie.... Luckily we didnt went to Kekek quarry.

The earth trail to Ketam quarry is bumpier which is popular with mountain bikers. When we stopped at a signboard to figure out how long it takes to the quarry, I feel a bit dizzy and we cycled to a nearby hut to rest. Must be the blazing sun shining on me and there are no trees providing shelter on the trail. After resting for abt 15 min, we dropped the plan to Ketam quarry and headed back.
Blazing hot sun

We passed by a house selling drinks and decided to have coconut drinks to quench our thirst. We bought along a 1 litre water bottle and a mineral bottle but it's not enough. OMG, 2 coconuts cost us $5, I was shocked when we pay for the coconut price. It's exorbitant.
This is where we had our drink
$5 coconut!!!

After our drinks, we cycled to Noordin campsite. The National Police Cadet Corps Campsite is also situated here. We took a short rest here. The shore was fenced up with those wooden poles. I guess this is to prevent those illegal immigrants from swimming onto Pulau Ubin.
Trees with unique leaves
One of the remaining kampong house
Beware of slope ahead
Finally succeed after few attempts
Why are the facilities not open to public?

We headed back to the jetty to have our lunch as it's already 1.30pm. We ordered two bowl of rice and a small plate of Kampong chicken. I wanted to eat boar pork but they no longer sell it. I realised that all coconut seems to be sold at $2.50 in Pulau Ubin.
What is YQ looking at?
The famous Chinese opera stage
Our lunch

After our lunch, we cycled to Mamam campsite. On our way, we saw two women selling drinks at the entrance to Mamam campsite. I joked with YQ that we can also sell drinks here during the weekend and it's definitely profitable. The Mamam campsite is similar to Noordin campsite with those wooden fence. There is a signboard at the beach of Mamam campsite directing to a Orchid farm but it's not within the sight of our naked eyes hence we continued to our journey to our last destination - Chek Jawa.
Mamam campsite
Where is this Orchid farm???

There are 2 routes to Chek Jawa but the Jalan Durian route is closed. There are people from the National Park stationed near the Beberek Hut to warn cyclist to cycle carefully to Chek Jawa.

We passed by Balai quarry and this is the most scenic one compared to the other quarries. We pushed the bicycle as it is very tired to paddle up the slope. Before we realised it, we had reached Pulai hut where we had to park our bicycle as bicycles are not allowed beyond this point.
Balai quarry
Must follow the rule
So many bicycles

After walking for abt 5 min, we reached the information kiosk. There is someone at the kiosk for people to seek enquiries and brochures on Chek Jawa. The drinks vending machine at here is surrounded by people as many are buying to quench their thirst. The person at the kiosk told us that there is another vending machine at the House No.1
Information kiosk

We decided to check out House No.1 first before going to the Chek Jawa Broadwalk. House No. 1 is a two storey tudor-style cottage built in 1930 by the then Chief Surveyor, Langdon Williams, as a holiday retreat. There is even a fireplace inside the cottage. However the fireplace is no longer in function and it's not suitable for such a hot weather in Singapore too. At the back of the cottage, there is a jetty linking out to the sea which has a scenic view of Pulau Sekudu. There is a washroom in front of House No. 1 which was previously the worker's quarter.
House No.1Fireplace
Buying drinks
It's low tide
I'm sweating all over
Pulau Sekudu

We left House No. 1 and head to Chek Jawa. There are 2 walks - Mangrove broadwalk and Coastal broadwalk. We check out the mangrove broadwalk first. There is Jejawi Tower which has a paranomic view of the coast. We were already very tired after cycling and has to climb up the 110 steps to the top of the 20m tower. But we really enjoyed the scenic view at the top of the tower.
Jejawi Tower
@ the top
Saw the creature camouflage in the water (beside the tissue)
Able to spot the mini red crab in the centre of the photo?Mangrove broadwalk
Coastal broadwalk

Was pretty disappointed that we didnt spot any special sea creatures today. I think it would be more enjoyable to walk in the beach than the coastal braodwalk.
Are you scared?

We walked back to Pulai hut and cycled back to the jetty. I really enjoyed myself today even though I got sunburn at my back.
Replenishing dehydration

We reached Singapore at around 5plus and had a bath before we drive out for our dinner. Initially YQ had make a reservation at Carnivore Brazilian Churrascaria at Vivo, but I was sick and don't feel like eating meat buffet so we went to Ang Mo Kio to have butter crab instead. On the way, we went to Tampines to collect my present. YQ want me to look at him everyday so he give me a mug with our photo. ><"

When we reached Ang Mo Kio, the queue was super long so we waited almost 45min before we got a seat. Yummy, I love the butter crab. After our dinner, we drove back to the hotel.

The next morning when I woke up, I realised that I'm voiceless. We went to Changi VIllage hawker centre and had wonton noodle and fried pork chop noodles for breakfast. After that, we went back to the hotel and changed to our swimming wear and went to the jacuzzi located at the top floor. There is also a swimming pool at the cafe behind the lobby.

We were figuring out how to operate the jacuzzi when a caucasian in the swimming pool told us to press a button. While soaking in the jacuzzi, we watched the planes ascending into the sky. How relaxing it is.
Roof top swimming pool
Where is this plane heading to?

We washed up and pack our things before checking out the hotel. Really enjoyed myself for the past 3 days, thank you dear dear for planning it.

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