Changi Airport, Singapore
I spent a couple of hours in transit at the airport on my to and from Cambodia. This gave me time to visit the Butterfly Garden at Terminal 3. It's free to enter and it was so much fun to experience tropical butterflies at such close range.
Singapore's Changi airport has won several awards and is considered to be one of the best airports in the world. Easy to navigate, spotlessly clean as all of Singapore and with all facilities you can imagine. Beside Singapore Airlines, the airport is served my most Asian airlines as well as others from all over the world. Look out for Air Asia, Tiger Airways and Scoot for cheap flights.
Geting from the airport ino the city centre is pretty easy. Public transport is good in Singapore, especially the MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) railway system. Though you will most probably need to change trains to get to your destination, it is easy to navigate and very cheap. The MRT station at the airport is located between Terminals 2 and 3. Depending on destination, a ticket may cost you around 1 to 2 SGD (2010). Buses have slightly cheaper prices, but are only suitable for less popular areas or for a connecting ride from your MRT station to your final destination. They are not as easy to navigate as the MRT and ask for the exact money in coins.
Taxi rides are much more comfortable of course, but compared to the MRT they are also much more expensive. For westerners however, a 30 SGD ride (2010) into central Singapore is still cheap. Nevertheless, be aware of the different prices offered by different companies.
From Terminal 2 to the new terminal 3 it is going easy with sky train.
If you via transit it is a good moment to see a little of Singapore on the way- see the photo.
By the way mostly the time tables in the Terminals shows usually not all flights (i saw it april 2012) - not chronologic all flights from Changi - it seems it is shown casue of not enought place only the flights from the terminal where you just are. For all must for instance in Terminal III to the central tableau for to find out all.
Same at way back- when I arrived at the terminal III is was not shure and asked...
It is a little difficult, cause at my flight ticket from Leipzig (Star alliance connection) via Frankfurt (with Singapore Airlines via Singapore to Jakarta) was when starting from Leipzig only printed the time-but not the gate and Terminal.
But at least all was quite fine and even time to take a rest before the next start!
I love this airport. I think its the best in the world and Anthony Bourdain loves it too. It has everything that other airports have, but I think the best part is the free movie theater. Every terminal has a theater and its a great way to kill time and don't worry about missing a flight there is a big red digital clock on the wall to remind you what time it is.
If you have a lot of time to wait around at Chang Airport, have a look on Changi Airport's website. They have designated napping areas per the link below and load of suggestions for other things to do to fill in your time:
Singapores Changi airport is one of my favorite airports in this world. Lot´s of space there and few lines and free wifi as long as you sign up at the information counter. This is an extremely efficient airport to travel to and from and there is excellent public transportation to and from the airport too.
I only spent a hour here each way on my flight to and from Bali. What little time I did have here was relaxing and a welcome break in the flight. The airport design is stunning and the place is so clean and spacious. I don't normally enjoy my time in airports, but I wouldn't have minded a bit longer here to explore it.
This Ultra Modern Hub of Singapore was the former Largest Airport in Asia but is now Overtaken by the Modern Beijing Airport and the Dubai International Airport in Sheer Size that it is the third largest Airport in the World. The Airport is located about 20km (13 miles) northeast of the Downtown Singapore. Besides being the Main Hub of Flag carrier Singapore Airlines, it is also the maind hubs of Singapore Airlines Cargo, SilkAir, Tiger Airways, Jetstar Asia Airways, Valuair, and Jett8 Airlines Cargo. It is a hub for Garuda Indonesia and a secondary hub for Qantas, which uses Singapore as the main stopover point for flights on the Kangaroo Route between Australia and Europe. Changi Airport currently has five terminals. Terminals 1, 2 and 3 are directly connected with a common transit area and has it's own budget air carrier Terminal for Budget Carriers. Inside the terminal are expansive areas for dining, duty free shopping, shops, spas and other modern conveniences.
Here's your answer Nature Trail
it's a great airport, enjoy yourself, have a local snack in the food court before leaving.
- - it was my answer to a Misc Forum Question.
My guess is that the big majority of all tourists arrive in Singapore via Changi Airport. It's the fifth biggest airport in Asia (only 18 are bigger in the whole world) and had during 2008 more than 4300 flights departuring and arriving every week.
More than that, it's also the airport with best order that I ever visited. (I would love to send the directors from the biggest airports i Sweden, Denmark and Norway here so that they could learn something...). You simply can't get lost here (only problem would in that case be to know which terminal (1 to 3) you should go to.
But when arriving it's really simple. You just walk straight out and it's impossible to not find the way.
Onboard the flight when arriving you'll fill in the embarkment form, which feels as unnecessary as everywhere else. You'll type your name about 14 different times, then put an "x" for the answer "no, I've never been declined to enter Singapore" and then you're done. Oh yes, you'll have to sweat for about five minutes too before you rembember the name of the hotel you'll be staying at...
Passport and visa control can take some time, but as long as you don't drag your feet after you when you're leaving the flight the line shouldn't be too long. Although I always wish that I had a singaporean citizienship every time I get there, as they can just pass by all the lines (automatic clearance...).
After the control you're in the duty free area, and then it's the luggage room. Normally the bags comes really fast (yes, about half the time it takes to get the bag at any swedish airport...) and then you're 30 meter from the exit. If you're unlucky (or like me, aparently looking like a life threatening terrorist...) the security staff will stop you just before you exit to scan through your bags again.
Going from the airport is easy. You can either take the MRT train (metro) directly into town, or take one of the one billion taxis that are waiting outside the airport. The line with taxis sometimes feels like it starts already in the city center. :)
My beautiful girl always picks me up, so unfortunately I don't know the cost for a taxi. Would guess around 20-30SGD (10-15 euro).
Best thing with the airport? It's huge, but still in such order. You never get lost, it's easy to find your gate, there are so many tax free stores and it's clean all over the place. Plus, most of the time it goes really quick to check in.
Okay, so let's start with how to get to this fantastic country!
From Europe there are plenty of flight companies that goes here, so you can choose from a wide range of options depending on if you want great service or a cheap price. Or both of them.
On my five trips during 2008-2009 I've gone with in total six different companies. From Sweden the cost range from €650 and up to €900 (of course you can find way more expensive too if you want...) and so far most of them I would say that half of them have been good. On all of them both food and drinks (alcohol and non-alcohol) are for free.
Singapore Airlines: The best and most wellknown company, so of course also the most expensive one. But if you're booking early you can find good prices with SA too. Service is amazing, with stewardesses taking care of you during the whole flight. During the whole flight they walk around with drinks (water/juice/cola) for everyone who wants, and if it's still not enough you can just ask them for more. Good range of movies and tv-shows to watch in the video system. TV-screen on each place. And for sure the best tasting food I've ever gotten on a flight. +++++
KLM: The Dutch company was a positive surprise. Costed around €750 t/r. Okay food, the travellers got plenty of drinks (water/juice) often during the trip and the service was good. Huge difference in service on the flight from Sweden to Amsterdam and from Amsterdam to Singapore though. For some reason crap within Europe. On the long distance flight there was a good range of movies and games in the entertainment system. TV screen on each seat. If you go with them often it can be a good idea to become a Flying Blue member, but to even get close to gain anything on it you'll need to fly to Singapore once a month... crappy bonus system if you ask me. ++++
SAS: The Scandinavian company have economical problems and there is no doubt about why when you fly with them. Crappy service, if any at all. I'm glad I just took the flight within Europe with them. Plenty of space in the seat though. ++
Thai Air: Is supposed to be a fantastic company and the service was really good too! But how they thought when they decided to not have a TV screen on each seat I'll never understand. 12 hours flight from Copenhagen to Bangkok, and the only entertainment I got was two movies on a rather small screen five meters away... Have never been so bored in my whole life! Doesn't matter that the price was low when the whole flight is about to kill you... 2 plus only because of the good service. ++
Lufthansa: Quite good service although not even close to the one I got with the Asian companies. Just went with them within Europe. They had a great sale for flights to Singapore last winter according to their home page, but when trying to book the flights all of them were suddently sold out, no matter which flight and date I tried to book. Very strange... ++
Turkish Airlines: Have just started to fly to Singapore from Europe via Istanbul. Great, low, price (€650 from Gothenburg t/r) but it's not really worth the torture onboard (well, apparently it is as I've just booked a new trip with them...). Service is crap, to say the least. Then the flight was also delayed with 1-3 hours from both Gothenburg and Istanbul, in Turkey we sat on the flight for 1,5 hour before finally taking off, and with no explanation. The food made me stomach sick for three weeks.
TV screen on each seat and a quite good range of movies. Didn't have much fun with the turkish ones without english subtitles though...
Also watch out for with whom you're actually flying, as Singapore Airlines has just started to cooperate with Turkish Airlines. Meaning that you can book an expensive trip with Singapore Airlines, but end up on a crappy flight with Turkish Airlines. My advice, stay away from the flights taking off from Istanbul. Just wished I had followed that advice myself... +
There is also the Plaza Premium Lounge in the new Terminal 3. (plus one in transit in Terminal 2)
Friends of mine used that for an extended stopover in Jan this year & are still raving about it. It has food, drinks , chairs , internet and papers, plus a napping facility.
Ok Changi Airport is so comfortable that students actually camp there to study when exams are round the corner. Been there done that.
The skytrain shuttles passengers from one terminal to another (T1, T2, T3, excluding budget terminal where you have to take shuttle buses) so it's really convenient. There's lots to see, not like the big but boring KLIA.
If you're a backpacker or do not have large pieces of luggage, you can take the MRT/subway/metro/whateveryoucallit from the airport itself. It'll cost less than SGD2 to get to anywhere.
The budget terminal at Changi is pretty good. There is free internet access and a special gadget recharge lounge where you can recharge your mobile and other devices such as IPOD's and MP3s.
Of course there's a duty free shop for perfumes, a newsagency, a 7-eleven, a chocolate shop, duty free liquor & tobacco, general merchandise, a sports shop, delicatessen, Hang Ten and Tiny Toons. There's also a number of places to eat at, which looked pretty good. There's even a prayer room.
If you've got a fair amount of time to fill in, visit the Woodblock Rub - a popular Singaporean artform from the 50s and 60s.
There was definitely a lot more here than I was expecting.
There's airport shuttle services from the aiport and a cab to the city will cost around $18 - $32 SGD.
I've just found this website.
Tells you all about transfers from the airport to the city. It says the airport shuttle leaves every 30 minutes after midnight. But for the little bit extra that you pay & with a sleepy child for company it is worth catching a taxi at that time of the morning. But it's all on the webite.
Have a great trip.