I’ve always been used to airports as a place I just usually drive in and fly out. It’s not a place I would stay too long unless I end up with a long layover in between flights. Singapore Changi Airport is a lot different though. While I have been to this airport several times already throughout the years it was on my recent visit that I got to know it more. I got an invitation from Samantha Lee, Corporate Communications Manager of Changi Airport, last year about a tour of Changi when I’m in the Singapore. Fortunately, the invite was still open so I took it up on my recent visit there. She and her associate made us discover that there’s a lot more to see in Changi Airport enough for me to say that it’s definitely a destination in itself.
Terminal 1: Kinetic Rain and a Pool Surprise
After meeting up with Samantha and her assistant, we took the SkyTrain to Terminal 1. The train is very convenient as it connects all the three terminals of Singapore Changi Airport. As we entered Terminal 1, my eyes were transfixed to the dynamic sculpture Kinetic Rain Sculpture by the escalator at the public area. This captivating display is made up of 1,216 copper rains motor controlled from the ceiling to morph into 16 different shapes in the span of 15 minutes. It’s a very zen-inducing display.
We passed through the immigration to enter the passengers area. Our first stop was the Rooftop Swimming Pool. I think this is the only airport that has a pool and jacuzzi available for passengers. Airport transit hotel guest have free access, other passengers would pay a fee of $14 for the pool use. Its a great way to cool down and pass time in this Balinese inspired pool.
Plant lovers and gardening enthusiast would be happy to know there’s a Cactus Garden as well containing around 40 species of cacti and succulents in this mini outdoor park. If one is just looking for a an open air breeze with the Lily Pad Garden on the West Outdoor Deck would be the perfect place to stay.
Terminal 3: The Butterfly Garden and Movie House
I never thought a photographer like me would find another good subject aside from transit scenes. The lush Butterfly Garden with its numerous species of carnivorous and pitcher plants are home to a number of butterflies. It’s a wonderful spot in the airport to do some macro shots and admire this tropical garden. Just beside the garden is a Koi Pond if you want a cool and calming change of scenery and colors. Movie buffs also has a place at the Movie Theater for the latest blockbuster films.
Terminal 2: Shopping and Orchid Garden
Our last stop was the familiar Terminal 2 where we would be boarding. It’s hard not to notice the many products (especially electronics and chocolates) sold at the many retail shops in this terminal. My eyed continued to wander until we reached the Orchid Garden with its wonderful and colorful array of orchids including the Dendobrium Changi where the airport was named. We had to say our goodbyes to our generous host as boarding time was near.
More of Changi Airport
If I had known there were a lot to do in Singapore Changi Airport, I would a lot a few more hours just to enjoy its facilities. As of this writing, Changi Airport is currently building its Terminal 4 on what used to be the Budget Terminal. It seems there is always something new happening here. It sure is exciting to know what developments and changes they would add to this already wonderful airport.
For more information on the airport facilities, visit www.changiairport.com
Ferdz Decena is an award-winning travel photographer, writer and blogger. His works has found print in publications such as Singapore Airlines’s Silver Kris, Philippine Airlines’ Mabuhay, Cebu Pacific’s Smile and Seair InFlight. He has also lent his expertise to various organizations like the Oceana Philippines, Lopez Group Foundation, Save the Children and World Vision, contributing quality images for their marketing materials.