TRAVEL | 002
Jewel in the Far East
I found myself wandering down a winding cobblestone path. The air was misty and chilled.
Above me, mottled rays peek through a lush canopy of palm and fig trees, orchids and anthurium. Alas, the pathway gave way to an impressive amphitheatere lined with more exotic greenery. I made my way up the steps through tall trees and lush shrubs onto a viewing deck. Where the center stage would have been, a giant rain vortex falls over 25 meters from a geometric glass oculus, further vanishing into an endless abyss beneath my feet. This was neither a scene from a dystopian science fiction film nor a fantastical creation in the metaverse. I was, in fact, in an airport.
Singapore’s Changi Airport to be exact, a crowning jewel of the tiny nation state. While an airport is typically a limbo – a swinging door between where you were and where you are about to be – Changi is the rare airport that invites you to stay.
Its directory reads like a brochure for an all inclusive resort: Free movies in 24-hour movie theaters, a gym and an outdoor swimming pool, rooftop gardens, indoor nature trails, retro arcades, light-and-sound shows by a soaring waterfall. Perhaps no airport has pushed the envelope as far as Changi for what an airport can be. The latest evidence of that: Jewel Changi – part mystical garden, part theme park, part retail heaven, part foodie’s paradise, part reimagining of utopia.
In most cases many of us push the limits as to how late we can arrive at the airport. In this case you may want to make an exception.
On your way in (or out), be sure to pick up a bottle of El Supremo Rum at the Lotte Duty Free, located in Terminals 1, 2 and 3. You can also arrange for pre-order and self-collection via the official ishopchangi website.