Airports, I know. What a hassle.
Some airports are really grim, and will have you hovering for hours waiting for your next flight. Time is literally dead and the minutes drag into the hours.
Chances are, if you travel in Asia, you’ll find yourself connecting between flights.
It doesn’t have to be a chore, or that’s the approach taken at Singapore’s Changi Airport (ranked again the best airport in the world for 2016).
Here are a few examples of why, if you can, connecting via SIN is a smart choice.
Catching some sleep
Singapore has some nifty transit hotels which, for an affordable sum, will allow you to get a bit of shut eye. Simply flash your credit credit, take the door card and sleep away your remaining transfer hours. Nothing better if you’ve just come off a longer economy leg.
Transit hotels are situated at Terminals 1, 2 and 3.
- Terminal 1 – Aerotel Transit Hotel
- Terminal 2
Location: Level 3, Departure Transit Lounge (above Orchid Garden)
Operating Hours: 24 hours
Tel: +65 6542 8122
Location: Level 3, Departure Transit Lounge (next to Movie Theatre)
Operating Hours: 24 hours
Tel: +65 6507 9788
Not a bad way to do it? I think airports should work harder to put hotels in transit areas.
Image credit: estelheitz
Greenery is a great way to chill and Singapore Airport offers a number of gardens for you to relax in.
I find this really helps.
Hanging out with plants.
OK that sounds a bit crazy but studies back this up.
Surely you find a bit of natural life refreshing too? I’m going to wager “yes”, particularly after ten hours or more stuffed into a thin metal tube at altitude.
Choose from the Cactus Garden (T1), the Sunflower Garden (T2) or the Orchid Garden (also T2).
All these gardens are in the transit area, so you don’t need to clear immigration to enjoy a bit of nature.
It’s nice to see that Lee Kuan Yew’s vision of Singapore as a “garden city” extends to the airport. Thanks Lee Kuan.
Image credit: shinhee74
Shopping and dining
OK, what airport would be complete without the shopping and the dining?
Well Singapore takes this to the next level and adds an Asian touch.
But you don’t have to be super well-heeled to enjoy this. Most recently, the Airport promoted “9 must-buy souvenirs under $50”. Check these out:
Via Changi Airport
Surely mum or girly (or boybrains) back home deserves at least one of those?
Hit the Airport blog post here for the corresponding descriptions.
The tiger balm was a big hit back home for me.
But of course there’s a whole universe of consumerism waiting for you, with all the luxury brands, duty free and clothing outlets to keep you happy.
If you’re super organised, try ishopchangi.com. It’s going to give you a pretty good idea of what’s on offer.
In the dining department, you’ve got the lounge (lucky you) or any number of terminal restaurants. (If you’re in the Singapore Airlines lounge, hit the Laksa. Seriously…)
- La Cave Wine Bar (T1 Transit Area) – Grab a pint or classy vino at this rooftop bar, essentially in the Cactus Garden. Really swell.
- The Green Market (T1 & 2 Transit) – Good, nutritious and healthy. Blast the crap you normally get at the Airport and hit up something you’ll feel better for. The fish offering is good.
- Tai Hing (T2 Transit Area) – Hong Kong roasted meat. I haven’t tried but looks good. This might be the go if you’ve just gotten off economy and need your man spirit back. Wash down with beer afterwards.
(Folks, to some extent you’ll be limited by the terminal you’re in.)
Changi Airport has two movie theatres, which perfect for killing that odd bit of time between now and your next flight. These are located in T2 and T3.
Departure Transit Lounge, near the Sunflower Garden, Level 3, Transit Area
Opening hours: 24 hours
Please be informed that the Movie Theatre, Terminal 2 will be closed for weekly maintenance between 2200hrs Thursdays – 0400hrs Fridays.
Departure Transit Lounge North, near the Ambassador Transit Lounge, Level 3, Transit Area
Please be informed that the Movie Theatre, Terminal 3 will be closed for weekly maintenance between 1300hrs – 1800hrs, every Thursday.
Image credit: dbreen
Take a dip or enjoy a wellness spa
Where else can you do this? What better for a tired and frazzled nomad than to collect a fluffy white towel and hop into a pool or perfectly heated Jacuzzi? This is entirely possible at Changi, which has a Balinese-themed rooftop pool and Jacuzzi in Terminal 1 at the Ambassador’s Transit Hotel. There is also a poolside bar for your pleasure. Entry to the pool is charged at SGD 13.91, which is reasonable for what you get (towel, free drink and locker).
This is really a great way to feel you’ve arrived, before you’ve actually arrived.
If you fancy a massage, head over to the Wellness Spa in Terminal 3. They have a range of organic and classic massage treatments, full shower facilities and places to nap. A perfect way to relax and ease the pressures of economy!
Image credit: rhythmuswege
Seeing a bit of Singapore is very doable, even for just a few hours, and is well worth it. If you have the time, why not venture out the of airport and catch a bit of the Lion City? A Singapore Sling at Raffles or quick tour of the Cloud Forest a might do the trick.
Great travels, nomads!
Image credit: AC Barbosa
PS: Turns out we’re not the only folks that think SIN is pretty awesome, check out the vlog below on Singapore by Christian LeBlanc:
What are your friendly tips? Don’t be shy. Let us know by leaving a comment below.