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 recently had the opportunity to use ZenFone 3 from ASUS on my visit to Philippines. It is time to share the pictures with you! ZenFone 3 has 16 MP rear camera and 8 MP front camera. Other highlights are World’s First 14nm Snapdragon processor with with 64-Bit Octa-Core CPU @2.0Ghz. For me the camera is the most important feature and that is what I am going to focus in this post. The phone is priced at 22K Indian Rupees.
I loved the Auto Mode
I lug a lot of gear on my trips. Still there are times when I wish to just take a quick picture in the auto mode with a cell phone. Below are some pictures clicked in the auto mode with ZenFone 3, I will leave the judgement to you!
I was in a hurry when I clicked this picture. I was getting late to go for the evening party at TBEX and here was a glorious view waiting to be clicked. That is when having a good cell phone which can click beautiful pictures in auto mode comes in handy.
The boats are known as Paraw and they are popular with tourists for sunset sails! I clickd this picture again in auto mode as our group was about to away from this spot in Boracay, Philippines.
I think I clicked this picture in auto mode because I was simply stunned with the beauty of the Puka Island in Boracay, Philippines. I didn’t think at all, I simply wanted to click!
I was in a hurry to take this picture so that I could get the two kites in the frame. Once again you know what happened, I used the auto mode! I was not thinking.
Boracay is so stunning that I was taking two pictures for every three steps I walked! No wonder I used the auto mode a lot!
Below is a more extensive selection of pictures clicked in Auto Mode on ZenFone 3.
Every hotel that was at the beach front would put out sand art every day! I was quite smitten by this one!
I stayed at Shangri-la Boracay for one night but they offered our group complimentary spa and their Filipino Hilot was divine!
I had a long layover at Changi while coming back to Delhi. I put it to good use by exploring all the terminals! The only editing I did on the ZenFone 3 pictures was increasing brightness or straightening the horizon. Most of the pictures in this post are straight from the camera.
The HDR Mode
My next most preferred mode was the HDR. As I love to click landscapes HDR is an obvious choice.
I feel the HDR pictures come out really well without looking completely unreal! I don’t like those HDR pictures much where everything looks completely overblown. The ZenFone 3 gives good HDR pictures at the click of a button.
Puka Island was a thing of beauty. I clicked this picture a little later on the island, so had the good sense to change the mode and try HDR!
On our last day at Boracay, Typhoon Haima was making a landfall. We were not in its path and yet the weather in Boracay also turned stormy. I used the HDR mode to capture the changing weather.
This was the same day as when the typhoon was making the landfall. Only a few of us were out that morning.
And even in that weather someone was out at the beach to do the art! I think they kept it simple because of the bad weather!
After the HDR it is time to showcase the pictures using the ‘effects’ mode.
The Effect Mode
The camera has an option of sitting to effect mode where we can choose from Hue, vintage, cartoon and many more modes.
This was the walkway at the Lind Hotel which led to the infinity pool! I used the ‘hue’ effect and I quite liked the result!
Once again it is the Lind Hotel, the view from my balcony with the ‘hue effect.’ I quite liked the end result in this case!
I was a fan of Shangri-La because they were not using plastic containers in the bathroom. Using reusable bottles is good for the environment. However, a normal picture looked quite boring. I liked my ‘vintage effect’ for the picture.
The Super Resolution
This is the result of using ‘super resolution’ mode on the ZenFone 3. As I as mostly shooting landscapes I did not get as much opportunity for using this mode. But I love the butterfly picture!
The Depth of Field Mode
Getting the bokeh effect with the depth of field is a lot of fun! That I can get the effect without taking out my DSLR makes it even more fun.
To sum up, I thoroughly enjoyed using the ZenFone 3 camera. I use the cell phone when I am in a hurry and I simply want to put the camera on and click. I loved it that ZenFone 3 takes beautiful pictures in the auto mode. But for someone who needs more features, ZenFone 3 gives you many options right from HDR to Depth of Field and much more in between.
PS. I was given the phone for review on a returnable basis. All the pictures clicked with the phone and the thoughts are mine!
Photo Credit R.A.R. de Bruijn Holding BV on Shutterstock
There are many places in this world that have such fond memories for me. Ladakh is special because my first blog post (in 2005) was about it. London and Oxford are special because I used to go there repeatedly for work. Thailand is special because it is my most visited country on earth till date! Singapore is truly special because it was my first visit abroad way back in 1999. I still remember how wide eyed I was when I boarded my first flight ever on Sri Lankan Airline. It was a Delhi Colombo Singapore flight!
2016 has been a year of revisits for me, it started on just the right note. In January I went back to Ladakh after nearly 11 years. In May 2016 I went back to United Kingdom after a gap of five years. On June 1, 2016 I am flying Sri Lankan Airline again but to Colombo! So you see, 2016 has been a year of revisits of sorts!
Now all that remains is to revisit Singapore, my first international destination and hence so very dear to me. I actually touched Singapore in 2015. I went to Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia on a Singapore Airlines/Silk Air FAM. So I transited via Changi Airport. It was a fabulous trip but then it is not the same as revisiting Singapore. I need a holiday in Singapore.
I hardly talk about FAMs that do not materialize but there have been 3 in the recent past which did not and all were about Singapore. They didn’t happen in the end due to various reasons. But I was so close to a trip and then it vanished! I do want to go.
There is so much new there since 1999. It could be almost like visiting another country. I have faint remembrance of Orchid Road and the malls. The Garden by the Bay was not there, Marina Bay Sands was not there, I definitely need another date with Singapore Tourism!
Here are the 5 things I would like to check out on a trip to Singapore!
The Singapore Botanic Gardens
The immediate draw is that Singapore Botanic Gardens are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and I am a big fan of such sites. I love flowers and it would be nice to spend at last half a day there.
The Garden by the Bay
I have been yearning to visit the Garden by the Bay ever since it has opened. From what I read and see it looks like I will need a lot of time to explore the various parts of it like the Sun Pavilion, Flower Dome, Cloud forest etc!
I know it sounds slightly crazy that I want to spend time at Changi but it is one of coolest airports I have ever been to! I was transiting through it in 2015 and I could only visit the Orchid Garden. I would love to explore the butterfly park and the kinetic rain section too! The airport Wifi speed is such that I got more work done there than some of the hotels I have stayed in! Changi is one airport where I would like to spend more time in transit!
Universal Studios Singapore, Sentosa Island
If I am traveling with my daughter Chhavi, we are surely going to check out Universal Studios! With seven cool zones to explore I am sure we will need a lot of time!
I am truly partial to parks! And hence I would like to check out the iconic Merlion of Singapore! We share same year of birth too!
I truly visit I will go back to Singapore, in my year of revisits!