Set off on a relaxing getaway in a ‘first-class cabin’ to escape working from home

How To Not Waste Your Annual Leave starring Chua Enlai is an easy guide to quenching your wanderlust... until international travel resumes. This week: The diverse East side

Chua Enlai gets appropriately dressed up to explore Changi on his Singapoliday. Watch the video embedded in this story! PHOTO: SPH

Besides being home to our world-class aviation hub, the Changi region of Singapore is often seen as a rather remote place. But this peaceful locale on the far eastern tip of our sunny island is teeming with hidden gems for a rejuvenating Singapoliday with your loved ones - while staying safe and being responsible, of course.

Recharge your batteries with a unique staycation at futuristic lifestyle destination Jewel Changi Airport, a treasure trove of first-rate retail, dining and entertainment options. If it's fresh air and tranquility in nature you're after, the rustic and laidback Changi coast area will be right up your alley.

SPH Brightcove Video
How To Not Waste Your Annual Leave starring Chua Enlai is our series about better ways to spend your annual leave and quench your wanderlust... until international travel resumes. This week, take a Singapoliday in the East side and rediscover Changi.

PS: It's also a foodie haven filled with unique dining experiences you won't find elsewhere. If you really want to feel like you're "overseas", offshore island Pulau Ubin is just a 15-minute bumboat ride away!

We highlight eight great ways to make this corner of the island your next getaway, and even use up your digital SingapoRediscovers Vouchers while you're at it. As you head out to explore, safety is still the utmost priority so remember to always wear a mask, keep to groups of no more than five people, and adhere to safe distancing measures whenever you're out.

Take off for your Singapoliday in a plane cabin-style hotel

Miss flying and feeling like a traveller? Satisfy your wanderlust with a relaxing staycation at YOTELAIR Singapore Changi Airport, where the rooms resemble luxurious first-class aircraft cabins complete with mood lighting.

The cabins are cosy (they're meant for transit passengers, after all) but cleverly designed to offer everything you need for a comfortable night's stay. Each cabin comes equipped with an ensuite bathroom and monsoon rainshower, a smart TV, free high-speed WiFi and a plush adjustable SmartBed™ that can be converted into a couch at the touch of a button. The kids will love the Family Cabins that come with a bunk bed and their friendly service robots who will deliver amenities, such as bottled water and towels, safely to your cabin doorstep!

The best part of staying at YOTELAIR? It's located within Jewel Changi Airport itself, where you'll never go hungry or get bored with over 280 dining, retail and entertainment choices at your fingertips.

Expend the kids' energy at the rooftop Canopy Park and visit the Pokémon Center, then order takeaway from Burger & Lobster and catch a late-night movie, before heading back to your room for some R&R. The next day, you'll get to wake up to verdant views of the Jewel gardenscape and majestic HSBC Rain Vortex waterfall.

To reassure guests, the hotel has also enhanced their hygiene protocols, such as frequently disinfecting all high-touch surfaces, cabins and shared spaces, as well as performing temperature taking and SafeEntry.

Where: 78 Airport Boulevard, #04-280 Jewel Changi Airport (lift lobby H), Singapore 819666
Tel: 6407-7888

Marvel at the world's tallest indoor waterfall up close

Singaporeans may visit Jewel Changi Airport for its myriad shopping and dining options, but the biggest draw of this urban oasis is its breathtaking architecture and awe-inspiring indoor landscape.

Go on an eye-opening Discover Jewel Tour* that will take you to the beautiful Shiseido Forest Valley and its walking trails, where you'll get stunning and unblocked views of the world's highest indoor waterfall, the 40m-tall HSBC Rain Vortex, as well as the lush foliage below.

Pick up little-known nuggets of information about Jewel, such as the architect's design considerations and interesting retail offerings not available anywhere else in Singapore. Make sure to get your camera ready to shoot at the many unique photo spots!

After the 1.5-hour tour, spend some time with your little ones at Canopy Park, Jewel's indoor rooftop playground with iconic attractions and gardens.

*Tour capacity is subject to prevailing tour group size.

Where: 78 Airport Boulevard, Jewel Changi Airport, Singapore 819666

Get lost in a maze like Alice in Wonderland

Imagine you're in a fairytale at the Hedge Maze, Singapore's largest indoor hedge maze located in Jewel Changi Airport's Canopy Park.

Inspired by the enchanting hedge labyrinths of Europe, the shrubs stand tall at 1.8m, making the Maze perfect for a spot of hide-and-seek and plenty of photo ops to update your Instagram feed with.

As you wind your way through the intricate maze, keep an eye out for the beautiful flowers that will bloom as you walk past, thanks to strategically-placed motion sensors.

The goal here is to reach the raised platform at the core of the maze, where you'll get to enjoy a bird's eye view of the entire labyrinth. Be sure to wear comfy covered shoes as you may be wandering around in there for a while!

To ensure a safe experience for you and your loved ones, the maze and other Canopy Park attractions are sanitised frequently, and are operating at a reduced capacity.

Where: 78 Airport Boulevard, Canopy Park (Level 5), Singapore 819666
Opening hours: 10am to 10pm (Mondays to Thursdays); 10 am to 11pm (Fridays to Sundays, eve of and on public holidays)

Indulge in gourmet cookies with a local twist

Just as you would buy handmade souvenirs when on overseas trips, why not take home a bit of local heritage while on your Singapoliday? While you're at Jewel, be sure to visit The Cookie Museum for a taste of their famous heritage cookies and purchase some tins to share with the family.

Baking since 2004, the award-winning home-grown confectionery brand specialises in handcrafted gourmet cookies, from locally-inspired flavours like Pandan Chiffon and Chilli Crab to unique floral-infused ones like Raspberry Rose.

Tempt yourself even further with their boozy range of signature liqueur-infused cookies, such as Pink Sea Salt Lychee Martini and Sake Peach. Each flavour comes beautifully packaged in seasonal gift tins perfect for surprising a loved one at any time of year or to simply treat yourself with!

Where: 78 Airport Boulevard, #01-234 Jewel Changi Airport, Singapore 819666
Tel: 6288-1965/6749-7496
Opening hours: 11am to 9pm daily

Level up your style game as you support local

Stepping into home-grown fashion boutique In Good Company's largest outlet at Jewel Changi feels more like entering a modern art gallery than a regular retail store, thanks to its high ceilings, framed glass doors and vibrant curved wall designs.

Here, you'll find stylish and timeless wardrobe essentials that are works of art in themselves, as the label is known for reinventing classic silhouettes with clean, thoughtful design and quality fabrics.

Perfectly tailored for stylish urbanites, browse and try on their curated collection in-store for ladies, men and children, as well as check out their selection of complementary lifestyle accessories ranging from books to scented candles. If you're looking to level up your style game, it's best to start here!

Where: 78 Airport Boulevard, #01-214/215/216 Jewel Changi Airport, Singapore 819666
Tel: 6241-3786
Opening hours: 11am to 9pm daily

Conquer your fear of heights

For the more adventurous, challenge your buddies to a workout at The Rock School, a state-of-the-art climbing gym at Our Tampines Hub (OTH). Besides getting to pick up a new skill, rock climbing is also a great way to build both your fitness and mental strength, especially after all that working from home.

Encourage your teammates as they scale the various colourful walls, from an 8m Tower wall to a 13m Spaceship wall, and even a free-standing 4.5m bouldering zone. The different lanes of the highwall routes are refreshed every two days, so you'll always have something new to look forward to.

Don't worry if it's your first time either; the gym's one-hour Climbing Exploration Session (suitable for kids as young as four) is the perfect way to get initiated, as patient and passionate instructors teach you the ropes (literally) in small groups.

Be sure to abide by the gym's safety measures, such as wearing your mask throughout the session. To give all climbers peace of mind, the gym follows strict safe distancing and SG-clean measures such as sanitising all high-contact areas regularly.

If you want to get serious, consider signing up for one of their climbing classes (such as ClimbFit Fundamentals for Adults) or purchase a pass that allows you to practise climbing independently on auto belay lanes or the boulder wall. Parents can also enrol their young ones in the Step Up! coaching programme!

To book a programme or a Day Entry timeslot, download The Rock School App available on both iOS and Android.

Where: 1 Tampines Walk, #02-81 Our Tampines Hub, Singapore 528523
Tel: 9635-3488
Opening hours: 11am to 10pm (weekdays); and 9am to 9pm (weekends and public holidays)

Brunch in an old military base...

… that's been transformed into a quaint-but-spacious diner that might just be Changi's best-kept secret. Tucked away in the outskirts of Changi Village, The Coastal Settlement (TCS) was once used by the UK's Royal Air Force as a central office for fault control and telephone exchange.

Here, you'll get to reminisce the good old days as the restaurant's rustic, retro-themed interior is filled to the brim with nostalgic paraphernalia, from antique furniture to typewriters, old radios and even vintage vespas.

Ideal for relaxing brunches, lazy afternoon teas and romantic dinners, take your pick from the menu's variety of delicious Western and Asian fare, including all-day breakfast and a kids' menu. Must-tries include the TCS wagyu cubes, laksa and sambal grilled fish, but don't forget to check out the in-house bar as well for excellent cocktails, wines and gin and tonics.

The space is air-conditioned but you can choose to dine alfresco amid lush greenery. TCS is also dog-friendly, so feel free to bring your furkids along (dogs aren't included as part of current dine-in group sizes!).

Where: 200 Netheravon Road, Singapore 508529
Tel: 6475-0200
Opening hours: 10.30am to 11pm (weekdays); 8.30am to 11pm (weekends and public holidays)

Enjoy a BBQ and craft beers under the stars

A cold pint in hand. The cool sea breeze in your hair. The aroma of smoked meats wafting through the air. Little Island Brewing Co (LIBC), a local microbrewery-cum-restaurant nestled in the far end of Changi Village, sure knows how to make you feel like you're on holiday.

Come for the chill open-air vibes, but stay for what makes this establishment extra special - all of its craft beers are expertly brewed onsite by award-winning brewmaster Steve Spinney, and served straight from the tanks via a sparkling row of tap dispensers.

No matter what your alcohol preference is, you'll definitely find a drink to satisfy you, from citrusy malt-in-the-mouth pale ale to creamy dry Irish stout. You can even take a peek behind the curtain at the brewing process - a one-of-a-kind experience indeed!

On the menu is a range of delectable smoked and grilled meats and seafood, as well as burgers, with a variety of hearty platters for sharing. On cooler evenings, the expansive alfresco dining area is perfect for kids to roam as the adults enjoy relaxing conversation and vibe to the restaurant's playlist of 70s/80s music.

Where: 6 Changi Village Road, Singapore 509907
Tel: 6543-9100
Opening hours: 12pm to 10.30pm (weekdays); 9am to 10.30pm (weekends)

Want to get more out of your trip to the far east? We asked Mr Suen Tat Yam, CEO and founder of Monster Day Tours, a multi-award-winning local tour company that specialises in free walking tours, bespoke private tours and learning journeys around the island, including Changi, for his best recommendations.

In partnership with Singapore Tourism Board

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