Sprawling, squat, sinister-looking Changi Prison was built in the 1930s by the British and was used by the Japanese in World War II to intern some 70,000 POWs, who endured terrible hardships here. The prison, which now houses thousands of convicts, many of whom are here owing to Singapore's strict drug laws, is being renovated. It's where serious offenders are hanged at dawn on Friday.
The museum's walls hold poignant memorial plaques to those interned here during
the war. It's a replica of one of 14 chapels where 85,000 Allied POWs and civilians gained the faith and courage to overcome the degradation and deprivation inflicted upon them by the Japanese. The museum contains drawings, sketches, and photographs by POWs depicting their wartime experiences. Organized tours take you through the old British barracks areas to the former RAF camp. Here, in Block 151 —a prisoners' hospital during the war—you'll see the simple but striking murals painted by a British POW, bombardier Stanley Warren. The scale of military spending in the 1930s by the British—who put up these well-designed barracks to accommodate tens of thousands of men—is amazing. You can clearly see why the British believed Singapore was impregnable! This is still a military area; most of the barracks are used by Singapore's servicemen during their 2½-year compulsory duty. There are regular guided tours to give you more comprehensive information of the area depending on your interest.