Long layovers at airports put the fear of God into most travelers, particularly those of us who travel for work. There is no pool to lounge by, cocktail sipping or sightseeing at the other end of the long wait for the next flight. The wasted time seems to pass like a slow dripping tap, each minute seeming longer than the one before. At most airports the only way to fill the time is to wander through the duty free, find a chain eatery that sells heartburn on a plate to hide in, find the wi-fi zone at the opposite end of the terminal to your boarding gate and try to de-fog from the first leg of the flight as you prep for the next leg, and the work to be done when you finally arrive at your final destination. That is unless you happen to be laying over at Singapore’s Changi Airport.
Voted by many as THE best airport in the world, Changi Airport offers visitors not only some of the best duty-free shopping, but a plethora of other activities and entertainment to make those painfully long and slow transits speed by in a flash of light. There is so much to do that whether you just have a couple of hours to kill or have the better part of a day you are guaranteed to find something that will either entertain you, regenerate and rejuvenate you, relax you or get you in the right headspace for that very important meeting you have as you hit the ground at your final destination.
Here is a list of seven of the best things on offer at Changi:
- Shop till you drop – For those who are so inclined, Changi has a line up of some the top duty-free shopping. With over 350 shops to choose from ranging from high end and designer brands such as Mont Blanc, Louis Vuitton and Burberry to high street favourites such as H&M, even the most restrained person will be tempted. There are also a variety of shops selling cosmetics, perfumes and an array of spirits and wines.
- Pamper yourself – Forget the aches and pains of travelling with one of the many spa and relaxation therapies available throughout the terminals. You can have a free foot massage at one of the several stations scattered throughout the airport, the Rainforest and Ambassador Transit lounges offer a range of spa and beauty treatments for the budding businessman or women who wants to look good and feel good for the final destination, the Fish Spa and Reflexology will get your feet ready to hit the streets or you. For the ultimate experience, try the Ultimate Spa which not only offers rejuvenating treatments but also shower and rest facilities so that you can begin the next leg of your journey in a zen-like state.
- Pool party – Cool off, unwind and lie back on one of sun loungers by the pool at the rooftop swimming pool. There is a nominal fee for use of the pool and Jacuzzi, which also has showers. You can order food and drink and watch the planes as they land and take off from Changi’s runways.
- Catch up on sleep – Whether you take advantage of the various snooze zones and quiet areas scattered throughout the terminals or check in to the Ambassador Transit Hotel, there is no need to arrive at your end point feeling tired and haggard. The quiet zones are kitted out with ergonomically designed recliners that are so comfortable you just need to make sure you don’t miss your connecting flight.
- Naturally Refreshed – Changi Airport has a variety of beautiful hideaways where passengers in transit can escape and retreat into nature. Terminal 1 allows guests to explore natural extremes – the arid Cactus Garden is a stark contrast to the exotic Water Lily Garden, but none the less beautiful. Terminal 2 is home to the roof top sunflower garden with over 500 sunflowers adorning the space. In the same terminal, guests can also visit the peace and tranquility of the tropical orchid garden, which is home to Singapore’s national flower – the Vanda Miss Joaquim. Visitors can also explore the Enchanted Garden in this terminal, which is an interactive decorative display made from glass and mosaic. Terminal 3 is home the captivating Koi Ponds and the idyllic Butterfly World.
- Slide into action – For the more adventurous traveller, or to put that daunting meeting that lies ahead into perspective, why not take a trip to Terminal 3 where you will find The Slide. At 12 metres high it is the world’s tallest airport slide.
- That’s entertainment – Whether you choose to pass the time watching the latest Hollywood blockbuster in the cinema in Terminal 3 or play XBox 360 at the Entertainment Deck in Terminal 2 there is no shortage of games to play or things to watch. Throughout Changi, there are also wi-fi stations so you can stay connected wherever you are and whatever you choose to do.
And if none of these appeals to you there is so much more on offer at Singapore’s airport.
With an array of places to eat, things to do, ways to pamper yourself and restorative measures you can take a long layover at Changi Airport can, in fact, be a blessing after the first leg of a long haul flight.