Staycation at Changi (Singapore): CSC Changi and Jewel Airport
We loaded our big piece of luggage in the boot and boarded the taxi, “Jewel airport, please”. In the midst of the ensuing silence, I could sense that the taxi uncle had a burning question. Sure enough, he finally asked, “Going overseas?”
“No, uncle,” I replied, although wishing we were. “Going for staycation.”
Because of the strict check in timing at Civil Service Club @ Changi (“CSC Changi”), we had some time to kill before 3:20PM. So we headed to Jewel airport to eat Shake Shack (I love the overpriced juicy beef burger), and explore the Jewel attractions.
An ongoing promotion in September gave us two free entry to the Canopy Park with any amount spent in Jewel airport. We got two receipts for admission, because children above 3 years old require a ticket.
It was a nice walk in the park as we took photos with orangutans, and animal sculptures made of flowers.
EX would have loved the sky nets and the slide in Canopy Park but she didn’t meet the minimum height required. Instead, it was hubby and I who went to the highest point to admire the famous rain vortex and took a fast trip down the slide. For those wearing skirts, be careful not to expose yourself when exiting the slide.
The only other attraction we were interested is the mirror maze, but we were running out of time. Mirror maze was not inside the Canopy Park and requires us to purchase a separate ticket. So will probably come back when we have more time to fully enjoy the paid attraction.
The nursing and diaper changing rooms in Jewel Airport are nice and comfortable, especially those in the Canopy park. Though the park is small, there are many nursing rooms in the middle of it. However, my experience was spoilt by the doors and the cleaner in charge. See my IG story here:
We took longer than expected at Jewel Airport because the emptiness of the place made it such a pleasant time to roam and explore. The very first time we went, the place was packed like sardines. Now with Covid, and the hype died down, plus it’s a weekday, the place was spacious enough for EX to run havoc.
We wanted to go on a staycation, somewhere with the sand, sea and pool. The first place that came to mind was Sentosa, but the accommodation I wanted was unavailable for booking until October.
Hence, we went to hubby’s favourite area for staycation — Changi Village! It’s mainly because of the food. Since CSC Changi was running a promotion and available on the days we wanted at the last minute, we clicked and booked.
We went there once for our godson’s birthday bash and the place was crowded, but now with Covid and our stay on weekdays, the pool and accommodation was relatively empty. Hooray! I am not a big fan of crowds, especially with two children. So, it’s a win for us.
The chalet was clean and spacious with two bedrooms, EX loves the space and was super excited to run around and explore the accommodation when we were there, not even wanting to go out like she usually would. It’s also nice to wake up to a great sunrise view at the balcony!
I think the place is well thought out, such as having water dispenser instead of the usual kettle, and mineral water, saving plastics and avoiding dirty kettle. Also, CSC Changi provided us a care pack of masks and sanitiser.
CSC Changi is very strict with their inventory though. A guest officer went through with us the quantity of a few items in the chalet and have us sign a form as confirmation. For example with towels, the housekeeping can only do 1 to 1 towel exchange, instead of giving us more.
Just so you know, no towel is supplied at the pool. So we had to use those in our rooms to wrap ourselves after pool time. Dripping wet, we waited for the housekeeping to bring fresh towels before we could shower. A tad troublesome, but I suspect it’s to prevent patrons from requesting for more and then accidentally packing a few home.
CSC Changi provided us with a cot as requested during our booking. Sure they gave us a nice cot, more like a wooden playpen with mattress. There was no cot bumper, so I didn’t feel safe to put her in to sleep. It became a playpen for her to hang around with us in the kitchen/dining area/living room.
During our stay (1 – 3 September 2020), the carpark at CSC Changi was converted to a Covid swabbing area for people who require regular swabbing, once every two weeks, such as construction site employees. So there would be big groups of workers hanging around the area just outside CSC Changi. Also, the hotel opposite of CSC Changi is also an accommodation for those with quarantine orders. This wasn’t a deal breaker for us though, but you might like to know.
Food around Changi Village area
We love the food around Changi Village. For our first night, we had our dinner at our outdoor balcony while JBL slept in the bedroom. We had nasi lemak, chicken wings, Hokkien mee and sugar cane drink from Changi Village Hawker Centre. All superbly delicious.
For breakfast we had dim sum at “Kungfu Mee Eki”. The place reminded me of eateries in Malaysia, and so we assumed the food is good. With not many patrons on this slow weekday morning, certain food items we ordered were taken out of the freezer to steam. Also, the chee cheong fun was way too salty. The yam (purple) bao was yummy though, EX loves it as well. Later we saw a bigger dim sum restaurant, just opposite, with big bamboo steamer “baskets”. Seems more legit.
As for lunch, we bought lala bee hoon from Woon Woon Pek Beehoon, Changi Village Hawker Centre. We got takeaway and it was still delicious after an hour.
The next morning, we ate at the only prata place opened in the morning (at least those near to where we stay). Wouldn’t recommend it. Not somewhere if you are looking for good food. It’s more for people who want to meet up for breakfast before going to work.
The highlight of our food journey is definitely Jacob’s Cafe. This gem was an accidental find because EX wanted lasagna. I was like what, lasagna amidst good hawker food? Still, we googled to see if there’s any option around and came across this cafe. From its online presence, I didn’t expect much of it, thinking it’s just another cafe, an old school cafe. The reviews were not bad though.
The food was much better than I had expected. For us, we love all the dishes we ordered — the stew, the lasagna, and the brownie. It’s not cheap but the country food was packed with homecooked goodness. So yummy, we detoured to buy their brownie home the next morning. Almost wanted to have our lunch there again. By the way, it was crowded on a Wednesday night and that meant something.
The last meal of our staycation was our lunch before we went home. Had it at the Chock full of beans. It had the usual cafe food, quite nice but overpriced in my opinion. I’m being an auntie here. With a family of four and rising expenses, such typical cafe food doesn’t make the cut for me anymore. T
It was quite anti-climax to end with this stop. Moreover JBL was fussing really badly because of her poop diaper we didn’t know about until we reached home. So I didn’t get to sit down properly to enjoy the meal. Perhaps that tainted my review of the place.
p.s. I walked around the shops to make JBL stop fussing and stumble upon a few provision shops with many old school toys.
Things to do around Changi Village
Second Day: Beach, bowling, and pool
EX pulled and tugged us away from the beach. “I want to play with the sand over there,” she pointed to the nearby playground. I looked at the beach, the sand was mixed with other debris and branches, and agreed with EX. It might be a better idea to play with the sand at the playground.
EX played her hearts out at the playground, while hubby and I took turns to stroll around the well-paved path with JBL.
Just before we left the beach area, I ticked off the very reason why I wanted a beach stay. That is, to bring EX to where the sea and sand meet, and let our feet enjoy the rolling waves of the sea. She was initially scared but later fell in love with running away from the waves rushing in.
After nap, it’s bowling time! Two complimentary bowling games came along with our booking. The bowling center is in the same compound as our accommodation, but still requires a short walk. It’s been ages since we played. Too bad there’s no shoe size and ball small enough for EX to play independently. Still, we had fun!
Next, it’s the climax for EX, a trip to the swimming pool! She loved the kids pool because of the shallow waters and water features. There’s also a dry playground beside the pool. On the other hand, adults can enjoy scenic sea view from the jacuzzi pool.
Beach, bowling, and pool was all we did for the whole of our second day. 3D2N definitely works better for us because we can have one whole day to play and relax.
Third Day: Coastal Walk
We stopped at the first pavilion to spot some monitor lizards in the waters and birds in the air. At one side, a middle aged man with a big bag slung across his body was holding up a big camera. He was pointing at the bird perched high up on the pole. “What are you doing?” another lady asked him. “Waiting for the bird to fly away.”
On our last morning, it was breakfast, followed by our morning walk. Years back when we were unmarried, we joined a silent retreat held at Changi Village. I had a nice walk with God at Changi Point Coastal walk. So thought it would be nice to return again with two children. This ideal was burnt out by the burning hot sun.
We walked a little more but the sun proved too hot to bear. EX was dragging her feet too, and so we made an u-turn soon after. From afar, the uncle was still waiting. As we approached him, the bird flew, and the man snapped the moment he was waiting for. Without lingering on, he took off to find his next target. His stoic front masked his excitement within. On the other hand, EX was shouting with excitement as she made her way back to the “hotel” pool for one last time!
JBL was 6 months old when we had this staycation. EX made her first overseas trip when she was 8 months old. Will JBL has the chance to travel young too? Till then, staycation is the next best vacation we can have.