|The wharf at Changi Point, with idyllic waters on a lazy afternoon.|
There are hidden places and insights into Singapore that most visitors and perhaps residents as well do not see or venture into. I am fortunate to have been able recently to be on such a site when Mona took me and my friends a long drive to soak our mindset, feet and awareness into Changi Point, at the north eastern tip of the island Republic. To me, it was like travelling back in time, when the rural areas resonated with a pace so lacking in today's modern and over built societies. Life is about harmony and moderation - and in today's Singapore, Changi Point cannot be under estimated as a national treasure.
True, the Singaporeans cannot help themselves by ensuring facilities like a ferry terminal, hawker centres, hotels and shopping, even in the quiet serenity of the Changi Point area. These are all hubbed at Changi Village, which started life naturally as an old styled village but now has been modernised.
More fascinating to me are all the Government run bungalows from British colonial days, together with the sprawling training College for the French bank Paribas. There is also the Changi Coast Track for some outdoor fun and exercise nearby. Pulau Ubin is not far away and another place to earmark for an out-of-Singapore experience.
The sea waters have a shallow tropical hue, echoing quiet bays with the Straits of Johor and gentle laps of water current. The sandy beaches have undisturbed yellow coloured sand. Modern yachts do not change the character of some thing that has been left natural for a long time. A sleepy setting? Maybe, but I feel reinvigorated with the salty fresh air, the slightly warm embrace of what has been left much untouched and a lack of sense of rush and time. Several individuals hang around the pier to wait for fish and fishing.
There were groups of youth seen in organised excursions visiting the Changi point area. The colonial concept of bungalows, accessible to the public or families of its administrative or military service, has long gone - Singapore people gather at hotels, resorts of city spots instead of living for a few days together in more natural surroundings. At times, I recollect the best times of my adolescence at such bungalow stays but always within the vicinity of camping, camp fire singing and trail walking possibilities.