|One of the denizens of the Butterfly Garden at Changi's Terminal 3|
That exclamation summarized my sentiments about Changi, one that made Samantha Lee, the airport's ever-smiling communications manager, laugh aloud. And that statement is warranted -- the airport seemed to me like a microcosm of Singapore itself in a lot of ways.
Firstly, there's always some sort of expansion going on. Last time I was here which was ages ago, Terminal 2 looked nothing like the sleek incarnation it has become and Terminal 3 which handles the behemoth A380s was most likely not even in the plans. Now, they're set to build Terminal 4 to handle even more flyers. Certainly a lot like Singapore which keeps building and reinventing itself (saw the giant stadium with retractable roof in mid-construction on our way from Geylang to Chinatown, among other developments).
|T1's Cactus Garden refreshes tired eyes|
Having only two hours to tour, there was not enough time to visit the Fern and Sunflower Gardens at T2 and Heliconia Garden in T1. But T2's Orchid Garden impresses, bedecked with epiphytes including a dendrobium named after the airport itself and a koi pond.
|Chasing a thousand butterflies before chasing your flight|
|Cooling off before taking off at the roof deck pool in T1|
Just downstairs from the roof deck, there's a Movie Theater where you can bring in your trolley while watching HBO or a feature film (Ridley Scott's "Prometheus" was playing when we dropped by). Only thing missing was a popcorn machine. Hmm, but the nearby lounge with a nap area looked very inviting, beckoning sleepy tourists to catch a few hours of shut-eye. The only danger here is oversleeping and missing your flight LOL. (Transit hotels in all three terminals located near the departure transit lounges, all on level 3. Rates vary. Click this link for updated fees.)
|You say shop, I say nap -- nap rooms in Changi|
Eats. And more eats. With 120 food and drink outlets, choices are aplenty. By serendipity, we decided not to check in at immigration early and chose to eat lunch at Waraku. Their pasta dishes are worth mentioning. We were rewarded with an incredible serving of Aglio e Olio so much so that I ordered another plate.
|Ever-changing Kinetic Display mesmerizes|
For those with a lot of hours to spare, say, five or so, consider taking the free Singapore tour. The Heritage Tour take guests through a tour of the city's highlights (Marina Bay Sands, Esplanade, City Flyer, Gardens by the Bay) while the City Lights Tour gives visitors a glimpse of the city glowing post sunset. (Schedules: Heritage Tour (9-11am, 11:30am-1:30pm, 2:30-4:30pm, 4-6pm daily; first-come. first-served basis • City Lights Tour 6:30-8:30pm daily)
|Trash bins are easy to spot and understand even for non-English speakers|
All three terminals are linked by SkyTrain; operating hours: 5:30am to 2:30am daily • As it is easy to get lost in this expansive airport, best to consult the interactive map here (Flash player needed)