Airports are often crowded places and Changi is no exception. According to the official web site, around 148,000 passengers a day pass through with 30% of these in transit.
That transit experience can leave us stressed and frazzled, or refreshed and energized.
7 Features Make Changi the Best Transit Experience For Me
Quiet: Noise and commotion is stressful, unusually Changi is carpeted. Many modern airports have bright shiny surfaces, easy to maintain and keep clean, but the effect of carpet is to dampen sound and reduce light reflected into the eyes. The terminals are busy, but the impact subdued. Even the friendly, polite staff are quietly spoken.
Sleep: On a long lay-over, I check into the transit hotel and get several hours sleep. Flying economy, a comfortable sleep is a challenge. No matter if its day or night in Singapore, the terminal hotel bedrooms are dark and quiet. Baggage is safely checked through to the destination, no immigration or customs, just a peaceful bedroom in which to relax. After a sleep and a shower I feel totally refreshed.
Swim: For around S$14 getting outside and taking some exercise is wonderful on a long journey. The price includes a glass of ice tea, towels and hot showers in the changing rooms. I plan ahead for this one and pack in my carry-on bag, a swim suit plus a plastic bag for the damp costume.
Neck and Shoulder Massage: I could get into the habit of a regular 30 minute neck and shoulder massage. A towel is draped over the shoulders, so no time lost changing. I often check in early for a flight from Singapore, longer treatments are available, but the 30 minute tension release is perfect for me.
Shopping: As always in modern airports, there is an abundance of shops. I’ve mostly looked at the electronic shops, bought good priced noise cancelling headphones, a must for a long flight, plus the occasional watch and a mobile phone. Melatonin, to help cope with jet lag, can be purchased in the terminal pharmacies.
Eat and Drink: I love Asian food, which is reasonably priced and excellent quality in Changi, but many styles of food outlet are also available. I’m usually looking for a good cup of tea, and if it feels like breakfast time for me, unsurprisingly it can be hard to find that sort of food if it isn’t breakfast time in Singapore.
Gardens and Wildlife: Not what you’d expect to find in an airport. When I visited in March 2015 the Cactus Garden was being redeveloped and the outdoor terrace doubled as a smoking area; I left there pretty quickly. The bar on the same level looked nice, but not what I was after. There is a Butterfly Garden in Terminal 3 and the large fish swimming through the indoor streams giving the terminal a calming ambience.
You have to be prepared to cover a bit of distance in such a big airport, a shuttle train between the three terminals is available, or I take the opportunity to stretch my legs and walk.
Skytrax named Changi the World’s Best Airport 2015. Wanderlust Travel UK gave it the Top Worldwide Airport award in 2014. It is the world’s most awarded airport and it certainly gets my vote.
© 2015 Extravitality