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A guide to Singapore’s Changi Airport

Singapore’s Changi airport has consistently topped the surveys of the world’s best airports. In fact, for the last three years Changi has won first place at rating agency Skytrax’s World Airport Awards. What is that makes Changi Airport so special that travelers actually enjoy a long layover at this popular gateway to Asia?

Changi Airport is currently the world’s sixth busiest airport in terms of passenger traffic.  It has three main terminals and will soon be adding a fourth terminal in 2017. In addition to these three main terminals, Changi also has a JetQuay terminal reserved for VIP travelers.

All three terminals serve a variety of international and regional airlines with homegrown Singapore Airlines occupying the bulk of Terminal 3. A Sky Train connects all the three terminals making it easy to move from one terminal to another.

Explore the lush greenery at Changi Airport

Singapore is one of the greenest cities on earth and its airport amply illustrates this.  Green installations dot various areas of the airport including a lush five floor tall green wall in Terminal 3, a vertical garden adorned with   more than 10,000 tropical plants.  Additionally, the airport has five gardens that encourage travelers to venture out and get some fresh air. These five gardens are the Sunflower Garden (T2), the Orchid Garden (T2), the Enchanted Garden (T2) the Cactus Garden (T1) and the Butterfly Garden (T3). The Butterfly garden is an enclosed verdant space home to more than 47 species of dancing butterflies and a twenty-meter (6 foot) dancing waterfall.  The Sunflower Garden is located is a rooftop garden located atop of level three of the departure transit lounge at Terminal 2 and is a riot of sunny color at all times.  If you have a long layover at Changi, you are encouraged to peruse the airport’s nature trail by exploring all its five gardens located in the three terminals.

Kick back and relax

The main ethos of Changi Airport is to create a restful ambiance where travelers do not feel stressed and rushed as result the airport is littered with comfy chairs and banquettes all over. In fact, Changi’s Terminal 3 also has a Snooze Lounge a tranquil area outfitted with loungers ideal for taking a short nap. Additionally the airport also has within its folds a transit hotel, the Ambassador Airport Hotel (the hotels are in all three terminals) and the Ambassador Transit Lounges, which offer facilities for napping, working out and showering. Travelers can enjoy a refreshing swim at the hotel’s rooftop Balinese pool. The Ambassador Hotel’s many services are available to all classes of travelers for the payment of a small fee.

Enjoy free Internet access

Changi Airport understands the modern day traveler’s need for Internet access at all times. Hence, free Wi-Fi is available for free at both the transit and public areas of the airport. Additionally, more than 550 Internet stations dot the various areas of the airport.

Love movies? Catch a free show at Changi Airport

Changi has not one but two movie theaters. These theaters are open round the clock and screenings are free. These theaters are located at the departure transit lounges at Terminal 2 and Terminal 3. You can also catch the latest sporting action broadcast on the big screens at the Xperience Zone situated in the departure area of Terminal 2.

Are you traveling through Changi with kids in tow?

In order to keep children of all ages entertained, the airport has playgrounds in all terminals. In addition to playgrounds, the airport also has electronic entertainment gizmos at its Entertainment Deck located at the departure transit lounge of Terminal 2. This area offers entertainment facilities like a Xbox Kinect Room, XBOX360 and Playstation3 gaming consoles, an MTV Booth, a cafeteria and a movie theater. The Entertainment Deck caters to older kids and teens, as does the Zone X video games arcade located in the basement area of Terminal 3.

That’s not all Terminal 3 also features another kiddie attraction in the form the Slide, a four-storey tall metallic structure shaped like a jungle-gym that provides hours of fun for young kids.

Other than games and gizmos, the kid’s activities at Changi Airport also include arts and crafts activities. Children can also try their hand at woodblock rubbing an ancient Singapore art form the 50’s and 60’s. They can try to make their own woodblock prints at any of the three woodblock rubbing stations located at three terminals.

Shop till you drop

A plethora of well-known luxury retail outlets such as Bvlagri, Gucci, Hermes, Bottega Veneta and many more have a presence at Changi airport’s duty-free shopping section. However, in addition to upscale shopping the airport also hosts outlets of popular mid-market brands like Uniqlo, Billabong, and Lacoste amongst others. Changi’s many other shopping outlets offer a wide range of liquors, fragrances, cosmetics, fine jewelry, candies and chocolates, books and magazines, electronics, travel accessories, souvenirs and gifts and even everyday groceries and foodstuffs. The presence of these plentiful shopping outlets gives credence to the fact that Singapore is indeed one of the world’s premier shopping destinations.

Devour local foods and more

Singapore is a world-renowned foodie destination. This tiny city-state’s hawker fare has legions of fans around the world.  Discover Singapore’s many delectable local eats like Laksa, Bak Kut Teh and Chicken Rice at one of the airport’s food courts. If you rather not stray from the tried and the tested, you will be happy to know that Changi hosts outlets of popular fast food restaurants like Macdonald’s, KFC, Burger King along with local and international coffee shops, restaurants, bars and cafes.

Pamper yourself

If you are in need of a pampering session or then a spot of rejuvenation after your long haul trek, then you can head to one of Changi airport’s many spas and wellness centers. My Foot Reflexology (T3), TranSpa (T2), Wellness Spa(T2) are some of the spa outlets located within Changi airport that offer a host of beauty, spa and wellness treatments for the travel-weary.

With such a wide range of amenities and entertainment facilities on offer for travelers of all ages, it is hardly surprising that air travelers love Singapore's Changi Airport. So much, so that they don't hesitate to give it top marks every time.

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