Changi Airport: A tourist attraction

Singaporeans normally view Changi Airport as a place to board a plane for exotic tourist destinations. But, with travel curbs in place, the airport has itself become a tourist attraction.

Kudos to the folks running the airport for the immense efforts to draw people to the airport for reasons other than travelling. Well, if you stay at the other end of the island, it may feel like you’re heading to another town, another place.

Opened slightly more than a year ago, Jewel is a delightful mall to spend time a day in. It’s got everything — from food to shops, and hairstyling saloons to hotel. For this season, the gardens around the centrepiece Rain Vortex has been decked in Christmas glory, making for great sight seeing and photo opportunities.

Families who want something a little different can consider spending a night glamping at Cloud9 Piazza at Level 5.

While Terminal 3 may not be as crowded as before, it has also been given a Christmas makeover with dinosaurs, in line with the theme of Jurassic Mile. The fact that there’s less of a crowd is great because you can take your time to delight in the exhibits and take photos without having loads of photo bombers.

For the F1 wannabes, a go kart circuit — with separate tracks for children and adults — has been set up at the taxi rank outside Terminal 4.

A little round the corner is Jurassic Mile, which has also been decorated with lights to make it a sight to behold at night. Whether you’re a cyclist, walker or jogger, this stretch is worth exploring. But do note that you need to book a slot if you’re planning to be there on Fridays to Sundays.

So, if you’re looking for a place to go to during the holiday, consider Changi Airport — and you don’t have to worry about forgetting to bring your passport.

Mesmerising Jewel!

Singapore has a new attraction. And it’s one that excites Singaporeans across the nation. So much as that an estimated half a million people squeezed into Jewel Changi Airport for a preview earlier this month.

When my turn came two Saturdays ago, I decided to avoid the Jewel car park and park at Terminal 3 instead.

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Jewel is connected to Terminals 2 and 3 by link bridges that come with travellators so visitors can save some energy for when the action starts.

The sound of waterfall greeted us as we stepped into the building. It was like the sound of the Pied Piper and all of us were drawn towards it.

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Much has been written about the 40-metre tall HSBC Rain Vortex, the world’s tallest indoor waterfall and the centre piece of Jewel. Facebook and other social media posts were filled with photos and videos from others who have seen it.

But, whatever has been read or seen online is nothing compared to the real thing. We felt like we were in a scene out of Avatar as we walked past trees towards the viewing gallery at Level 2.

Many were already waiting in anticipation for the light show as we inched our way to a good spot to watch and catch some good shots.

The waterfall was a delightful sight to behold. Though it’s man-made, it is so wonderfully designed. Just looking at the curtain of water flowing down from the roof to the basement made me feel so proud to be a Singaporean.

A burst of ooos, ahhhs and wows accompanied the lights that came on.

The half-hourly show was enchanting with the play of lights. It’s a must-see so make sure that you plan to stay till night time when you visit.

Besides the glorious waterfall, there are many other insta-worthy photo spots, including the Shiseido Forest Valley, which features more than 900 trees and 60,000 shrubs.

Shop and eat
Shopaholics will feel like they’ve entered a combination of Marina Bay Sands and Vivocity (two mega malls in Singapore). Jewel is huge and packs more than 280 shops and eateries. Locals were drawn to A&W, which went off grid many years ago, and Shake Shack.

For me though, the sight of Zara, Marks and Spencer, and Lim Chee Guan, the famous bak kwa store, is enough to convince me that this place is worth many more visits. My family calculated that it’d take more than two years of weekend dining to complete all the eateries here.

Play and enjoy
Catch the latest movies at the cinemas, including Singapore’s first dedicated children and family hall and next-generation IMAX hall which comes with laser.

By mid-May, children and the young at heart will certainly go wild as several Canopy Park attractions will open at the highest level. These include bouncing and walking nets, hedge and mirror mazes, discovery slides, foggy bowls, petal garden, topiary walk, and the canopy bridge.

Thoughtful planning
Sometimes, it’s not the bells and whistles that draw the crowd but the desire to provide good visitor experience. With its many levels of parking, one could be forgiven for forgetting where the car is parked. Here’s where a car finding system lets you enter the licence plate of the car and gives you the exact location. Now, that’s what I call “great deployment of technology”.

Thought is also given to travellers, since the mall is located at Changi Airport. Get this — up to 24 hours early check-in is available for 26 airlines, including Singapore Airlines. Those who cannot check in can store their luggage at Baggage Storage at Level 1 for between S$10 and S$45 for 24 hours. Even smaller items such as travel pillows can be stored at S$5 for 24 hours.

Asia’s first Yotelaor offers smartly designed cabins for travellers to catch some rest, work out or do some work.

Crowning glory
As such an iconic mall, Jewel will surely cement Changi Airport’s position as the world’s best airport. It’s the crowning glory to an amazing airport that I take great delight in whenever I’m travelling. I’m mesmerised and foresee that my family will be spending lots of time here, and find any excuse to do it.

 

 

 

 

 

New hangout at Changi Airport T3

IMG_20190303_201714.jpgFootball fans, rejoice! There’s a new place to catch your team live — at The ST3PS at Changi Airport Terminal 3. Best of all, it’s in the public area so you can rally your folks and watch there if you’re staying in the eastern part of Singapore.

My family discovered this new hangout when we went for a stroll around Terminal 3 after breakfast on March 2. The area was cordoned off for its opening ceremony that evening.  A band was setting up their instruments in preparation of the concert that night.

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Thanks to the kindness of the team there, we were able to get behind the barricade for a closer look and to take some shots. According to the team, the place is available for booking through Changi Airport Group.

It certainly looks like an interesting venue if your event is open for public viewing and not something you want to do behind closed doors. The natural lighting from the roof of T3 makes the place nice and bright.

IMG_20190302_114514.jpgBack to watching football, if you’re catching a match there, there’s plenty of food options for meals, including Yakun for coffee and toast, and snacks are just steps away at NTUC Finest.

Well done, Changi Airport Group! Now I have one more reason to visit T3.