✦ You'll never see airports the same way again after visiting Singapore's Changi Airport.
Gone are the days of boring, endless hours of waiting in the transit lounge while your connecting flight ambles on the runway. Changi Airport has taken creativity up several notches and they are changing perceptions of the stuffy image of airports.
We bet you'd be planning a visit to Changi Airport just for fun and not to board a flight after reading this article! And that's what most Singaporeans do in their leisure time.
The Jewel in the crown
There is more than meets the eye when you are at Changi Airport. Connected to it is the Jewel or Jewel Changi as it is sometimes known. It is a nature-themed entertainment and shopping complex. It houses the world's tallest indoor waterfall - the Rain Vortex, and is surrounded by a terraced forest setting. You can almost imagine you're somewhere deep in the Amazon if you just close your eyes.
The Jewel is massive. The numbers are enough to astound, and we're going to run out of superlatives soon:
Total gross floor area = 135,700 m2 (1,461,000 sq ft)
10 storeys (5 above-ground, 5 basement levels)
Houses one of Asia's largest indoor gardens (5 storeys) with 3,000 trees, 60,000 shrubs of 120 species from around the world
Has the world's largest and tallest indoor waterfall at 40m
300+ retail and dining outlets
300,000 visitors daily
Built at a cost of SG$1.7 billion (not involving government funds or taxpayers' money)
Let's PLAY at the airport!
So if you are at Changi Airport, whether in transit or you may even be there simply to enjoy a day out, you'd be guaranteed a fun time, because PLAY is what people love to do there!
There are plenty of activities for any age group. And something we really appreciate is there is a baggage storage area so you don't have to lug your wheels around with you and can be free to stretch your legs and run around free!
Get on the Walking Net - a huge taut web 25m above ground and suspended across a void! It's like walking on air!
Why not have an augmented reality experience with dinosaurs? Go back millions of years with your TimeLens and get involved in a mission while learning about these amazing creatures!
Relax in a lush green sanctuary in the Shiseido Forest Valley where dancing lights illuminate the trees, soothing music emanates in the background, and there is even a gentle scent of SHISEIDO Ultimune to really engage all your senses and relax you. Each trail lasts about half an hour at a leisurely walk.
And these are just a few of the things you can do there. Check out their website for Bundle Packages that you can purchase so you can play as much as you can while you are there!
Let's EAT at the airport!
Time to makan! 'Makan' is an important activity in Singapore - it is a local word that simply means 'to eat', and boy do they eat well there! One would not normally associate good food or fine dining with airports. It's more common to think of airport food as overpriced and not-so-exciting for the stomach.
Experience Jewel Changi and you may just want to fly in for a meal!
You can feast on some of the most typical and well-loved Singapore street food here. Located in Changi Airport Terminal 3 Transit area, you'll find the 1960s themed Singapore Food Street. For locals, it's like taking a walk down memory lane. For visitors, it's a good way to experience authentic local food even before stepping into the rest of the country! Just for starters, try the Hainanese Chicken Rice (we even have the recipe here!), the famous Bak Kut Teh or a humble plate of Wanton Noodles (these are to die for)!
Let's get MARRIED at the airport!
Wait, wait... what?! Hold your horses!
YES! (And no, that's not our answer to 'will you marry me?') You can even hold your wedding at the airport! Imagine having your celebrations with the impressive Rain Vortex behind you. The 1,000 sqm Cloud9 Piazza could be the dream spot for your wedding. For your solemnisation, you can do it at a private open balcony overlooking the Shiseido Forest Valley. It's much cheaper than flying to the Amazonian Forest! And what about exchanging your vows at the Canopy Park, and perhaps finishing the celebrations with an elegant dinner at the Hub & Spoke, a fully-conditioned glasshouse café.
Celebrate Mid Autumn Festival at the Jewel
And if you are around from 19 August to 10 September, you can also take part in the Mid Autumn Festivities at the Jewel Changi.
The Mid Autumn Festival is one of the most important traditional Chinese festivals. People spend evenings admiring the moon (at its fullest and brightest), eating mooncakes and drinking tea. Learn more about how to celebrate it here.
At the Jewel Changi, there are carnival games with exciting prizes, and you'll get to step back in time to ancient China where you get to play old-school games!
And while you are there, why not bring a lantern and take a photo at any of the Mid-Autumn displays in the Canopy Park and join the Lantern Walk Photo Contest?
With so much to do at the Jewel Changi, you may want to extend your transit hours a little more so you can PLAY, EAT (and okay perhaps it's too hasty to get married, this is not Las Vegas after all) to your heart's content!
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