I love to transit via Changi Airport in Singapore. Particularly if it is a long transit, I definitely want it to be via a happening airport like Chnagi. If you are at Changi there are many things to do. To make the most of the experience just download the iChangi App and get started. If you download the iChangi App your Wifi access is also free for 24 hours. The WiFi speed at the airport is amazingly good at Changi!
While I was coming back from Manila I had a six and a half hour layover. I used it to explore all the terminals. Even with 6 hour layoff, I ran out of time. If you are a transit passenger at Changi you first need to check out the Changi Transit Program.
The Changi Transit Program
If you are a transit passenger at Changi you can avail shopping voucher if you are flying, say Delhi-Singapore-Manila and back on Singapore Airlines, SilkAir or Air New Zealand. You can collect shopping vouchers worth SGD 20 to spend at the select outlets within the airport. It used to be SGD 40 earlier.
I was flying Delhi-Singapre-Jakarta but I was flying back Bali-Singapore-Delhi. I went to the iShop voucher counter and asked if I was still eligible? And the answer was yes. So do remember that if you are a transit passenger via Singapore on the above mentioned airlines you can now shop with your vouchers. Do check out the link above for inclusions and exclusions.
The Free City Tour
I missed out the city tour by a few minutes. If you have a lot of time, there are fixed departure city tours for transit passengers. I missed it by 15 minutes as I don’t pay attention to the departure times. If you have any trouble in locating the counter just ask at one of the information counters. There are many throughout the airport and the people are helpful.
If you do not have enough time, there is a lot to do at the terminals and the iChangi App is the best place to start.
Attractions at Terminal 1
Each airport has its unique set of attractions. You can travel between terminals via the Skytrain. There are buses between the terminals too. I hear that there is a Skywalk too but I have never used it.
The Social Tree
You go to the Social Tree to have some social media fun. You stand at a terminal, get your picture clicked and save it in the tree. It is silly fun but then at airports I can indulge in silly fun! I think you can retrieve your photo later but I have not tried it personally. When I was flying to and from Indonesia I had very little time at the airport.
The Cactus Garden
Do you like cactus? Then go explore the cactus garden on the roof of T1. It has about 100 species from all over the world. If you don’t like cactus, well there is a bar too!
The Piazza Garden
The Piazza Garden in T1 displays seasonal plants, with a special focus on the local culture. The iChangi App clearly shows the location of each attraction. However, if you are like me, you can always ask the good folks at the information desk if you cannot find an attraction! They always set me in the right direction!
The Sculptural Garden
There are three tall tree like structures in the garden where you can walk around on the ramps. The structures are covered in greenery and plants.
The Water Lily Garden
The Water Lily Garden at T1, as the name suggests, features water lilies. The gardens are not too big but it is a pleasure to come across them at an airport!
There is Kinetic Rain at T1 as well, but I was told it is after immigration. So I could not see it.
Attractions at Terminal 2
The top attraction for me at T2 is the Sunflower Garden, do look out for it on your transit.
The Sunflower Garden
If I have to pick up a personal favorite it would be a tie between the Sunflower Garden at T2 and the Butterfly Garden at T3. At the roof top there are rows and rows of sunflowers to enthrall you. I am told that the view is entirely different at night. But as of now, I have only been there during the day. One can see the runway too from the garden.
The Enchanted Garden
The Enchanted Garden is one the most popular spots at Changi to click selfies and family pictures. I have always found it crowded. The sounds in the garden are apparently triggered by motion sensors. I am a big fan of the floral arrangement in the garden.
The Orchid Garden
I find orchids everywhere at Changi. But there is a garden dedicated to them at T2. Please remember that at times some of the gardens might be closed for renovation and repairs.
Attractions at Terminal 3
My flight was from T3 hence I left it for the end. I spent so much time at T1 and T2 that I hardly had any time left at T3. So T3 for me was a rushed affair.
The Butterfly Garden
As I said it is a tie for me between the Butterfly Garden and the Sunflower Garden. I spent a lot of time at both the places! But I think I clicked a lot more pictures at the Butterfly Garden!
The Birds in Flight
The Birds in Flight is an art installation at T3 by the artist Baet Yeok Kuan. It is inspired by the Arctic Tern’s bird migration.
There is much more at T3 like the Daisy, Floral Inspirations, Going Home, Saga Seed, the Slide etc. I have marked them for the next trip, whenever I have time at Changi again!
This is a glimpse of Changi and what to do if you have about 6 hours of transit time at the airport! I am sure there is a lot of shopping at the airport but what I have mentioned in this post is all are free! However, the city tour would be my first priority if I have that kind of time again!
I often go to the airport but Blacklane is not my usual taxi service. Blacklane provides business class cars like Mercedes. When they asked me if I would like to use their services as a blogger I said yes. Blacklane is available in 200+ cities across the world. They operate within 10 Indian cities too. The prices you pay are all inclusive of toll taxes, tips, everything. For the airport they offer one hour complimentary wait and for other rides a free wait of 15 minutes. So when I was travelling to Philippines, this time my car to the Airport was provided by Blacklane. It was a Silver Mercedes – don’t ask me which model for I would not know!
Booking the Car
But let me start with the booking process, I booked the car from their website. You can go on the website, fill in the details and pay by credit card. As they are recent entrants to India the card is charged in US dollars. For a premium car like Mercedes from my house to the airport which is about 15 kilometers the price was $110. Booking the car was easy online.
As I was completely new to the service I was a bit concerned about the arrival of the car on the D Day. I usually give myself ample margin to start for the airport. That way if I get into a traffic jam or if the car doesn’t arrive on time, I would still have options.
Blacklane provide me with a prompt service. I got a message confirming my pickup two hours before the scheduled time. I called the number given in the message, because reaching my home can be a little tricky. The phone went to the owner of the agency and he said he’ll SMS me the driver’s number in a few minutes. True to his word within 10 minutes I got the driver details.
I called the driver and we had a chat about how to find my house. He came dot on time, a few minutes before in fact. I told him I’ll take a few minutes before we leave to which he agreed.
The driver, Mr. Madan, was extremely courteous. We chatted a bit on our way to the airport. I asked him how long he had been working with the local company? He said he was with last 14 years, I am sure the local company must be doing something right!
Even though it was in the evening we did not hit too much traffic and soon I was at the airport. The services of Blacklane Business Class were posh and prompt. If you are looking for a premium taxi service across cities across the globe, I would recommend them highly.
For the next few days I am in Bangalore. So blogging will be infrequent. Will be traveling to Chennai too. Have to meet a few friends. So kind of full days ahead.
The weather is so different from Delhi. Much more warmer. I sort of like it at the moment.
What do you do when you have trekked to Everest Base Camp and have finished writing about it? You get Low altitude sickness! And you want to throw tantrums. But on the brighter side I can still write about my Lukla-Kathmandu Flight. The Tenzing-Hillary Airport is probably one of the scariest in the world.
This is a Tara Air Plane and I asked someone if it was a new airline? He replied, “It was known as Yeti Air and they crashed a lot of planes. So they renamed themselves.” I also took a Tara Air flight, no wonder the candies still said Yeti Air.
If the weather goes bad the flights in and out of Lukla get cancelled. At the end of a trek you don’t want that to happen.
While we were waiting for the plane I saw the Everest climbers from Pheriche once again.
It was the gentleman on the left who had said at Pheriche that even though he had climbed Everest it was not a happy day because his friend died. At the Nest also someone pointed out an extremely thin gentleman and said in hushed tone, “He successfully climbed the Mount Everest.” The person was so unassuming that if it was not pointed out to me I could have never guessed.
It was interesting to see the Buddhist prayer cloth tied to his bag while they were waiting to board the Sita Air flight. Ours was the last flight in the morning and Deepak remarked at one point, “The weather is turning bad.” But after a while our flight arrived and for the first time on the entire trek Deepak raised both his hands in the air and shouted, “Yes.”
This time I knew if I would get close to the cockpit I could take pictures.
This was the co-pilot with his set of gadgets to look after! And at one point the pilot took out a newspaper!
I have to say it was quite a site but soon after we landed at Kathmandu safe and sound.
And I will leave you with this video of a landing and take off from Lukla’s Tenzing-Hillary Airport.