February 20, 2013

The First Attraction in Singapore: Getting Around Changi International Airport

The plane touched down. I was excited. The blood in my body was rushing to get out of the plane. I was kind of nervous actually because I haven’t really planed our way out of the airport. I know that there is MRT going to the city center but I was with my girlfriend and family and I feel the burden of directing our tour! Hehe… ok I stressed myself.





When we went out of the tube I first saw the long walkalators of T2 or terminal two. I first looked for a comfort room. According to my economic professor in college one of the sign of a developed country is the airport’s comfort room. It proved my professor’s theory. It was perfect though NAIA Terminal 3’s comfort rooms are not far. The only thing is the comfort rooms have a touch screen for evaluation of the maintenance of an elderly with a picture on it.





We stepped onto the walkalator then stepped on the thick carpet to experience walking and riding the walkalator. (hehe… so childish) Things began to change so dramatically when I saw the common area where a free internet services are available. There was an orchid garden in the middle where every first timer can’t afford to miss a pose. A signature shops on every sides are saying hi to your wallet or maybe credit card. There are maps, brochures, and guides everywhere for free. And all those things are found in all the terminal.













There is this long wooden table like with engraved images on top of it. I wonder what it is. But when a saw a large sheet of paper and a set of crayons I knew it is one of the amenities of Changi airport. Each engraved images picture out the symbols of this small island nation. I put in to place the large sheet of white paper on the engraved image that I liked then began scratching my favorite Crayola colors. It will take you a precise rhythm to get a perfect art. And mine? I don’t know… hehe. The masterpiece (not actually mine) serves as my remembrance of my arrival in Singapore.






That was just the arrival hall of Changi T2.  

I know for a fact that Changi Airport is one of the best airports in the world competing with Incheon and Hong Kong Airport. Most of the travelers, foreign and local (Travelers I met in the Philippines and other Asian country), easily mention Changi Airport whenever I asked them of the best airport they have ever seen.  So as I visit Singapore I said that maybe if I have a chance to go around the airport I will do so to see the whole airport. And base on what I have read and heard the airport is a tourist attraction.



We headed to the immigration after the long delayed cause by our amusement of the airport. After grabbing some free candies in front of the immigration officer I realize that I still do not know how to get to Bugis area where our hostel is located. I was so stupid not getting the information from the free internet inside. Now my agenda was to look for a free internet access or a wifi hotspot and use my IPad. I wasn’t at peace because of this dilemma. After grabbing our bag from the conveyer we headed to the exit and still I do not know how to get to Bugis.

When we exited there was a man who approached us and we were shock he was looking for us! I don’t know who was he but I observed that Phoebe’s parent were all smiling and shocked as well. It was Tito Gel, the husband of Phoebe’s aunt Tita Pilita who I also met months ago. Tito Gel is a Commodore of the Philippine Navy based in Singapore. He was practically there to fetch us! Whoa! That was a total relief for me. We have a guide!!! Haha… Tito Gel generously treated us for a breakfast inside the airport. It was my first time to eat two uncooked egg with kaya and coffee.

I thought we are heading to the MRT to get to our hostel but tito Gel offered to tour us around the airport. We all agreed especially me =)





We went first to the departure area of T2 just an elevator away from us. Everything in this airport is attractive. One thing you would notice is the spacious area and high ceiling common to most airports. The artistically engineered ceiling of T2 is themed after a palm leaf to give the impression of a garden inside the airport.








We walked towards the east side of T2 to transfer to T1 via the Skytrain. The three terminals of Changi Airport are connected via skytrain.  Different shops from dining to tech shop lined up the airport that gives us the impression of being in a mall. And yes it is as if you are in a mall and a garden. Did I mention that aside from garden and playground there is a theater inside the mall, I mean Changi T2! Hehe…







Can I say this again: That was Changi Terminal 2 =)

It will just take you less than two minutes to get to T1 the first terminal build in Changi airport. The 30 years old terminal accommodates 24 million passengers per year. So that’s two million passenger traffic per month or 66, 000 people stepping on this terminal every day! No wonder there are wide range of shops inside the terminal.









The main attraction in this terminal is the state-of-the-art Kinetic Rain located at the Departure Hall. Thousands of cooper droplets perfectly choreographed will let your eye glued on each. Each piece perfect and smooth moves relaxes each traveler before departing. To further understand what I am saying here are the videos of the Kinetic Rain.







That was just Changi Terminal 1

Change T3, the “green” terminal is the newest of the three terminals which opened on 2008. The five years old terminal has a lightning system that allows natural day light to enter the terminal thus giving a peaceful atmosphere. The ceiling is beautifully engineered and it entails a lot of time to finish that, for sure. Like the kinetic rain, the ceiling itself is an attraction in T3. I can’t help but to study each details of the silver colored panel. Those panels are perfect for the ceiling of my bachelor pad. Hehe…






Another attraction in T3 is the Green Wall. The Five story high tropical garden vertically planted with over 10,000 pieces of plants. I always see this picture whenever Changi Airport is portrayed by media. At the bottom of the vertical garden is the wall which embosses welcome greeting of different languages of the planet. I was bless and proud to see “Maligayang Pagdating” the hospitality greeting in my homeland – Philippines.




That was Changi Terminal 3

Aside from the attraction that I mentioned above there are still a lot of stunning things to see in the three terminals. Like in the malls and theme parks, and I told you Changi Airport is soon to be labeled as one, there are themed attraction in each terminal depending on which season or festival you are in there. Overall Changi Airport of Singapore is one of the best I have ever seen. It is a backpacker/traveler friendly airport. And I bet this is the favorite airport for all because of the amenities and attraction. I heard that airports in Hong Kong and Incheon can be comparable with Singapore’s Changi airport. I haven’t been there but I love to see it =) For more information you can visit the airport’s website for your guide. What I wrote here is just the tip of the iceberg. There are still a lot of things to see in Changi Airport.

And that was Changi International Airport of Singapore.

They say that Singapore doesn’t have any natural resources as compared to its neighbors. Buy after 50 years of independence the city state with 63 islands on the tip of Malaysian Peninsula is world class as it is. Truly if we are given much it is very hard to attain prosperity inside and out. The Singaporean has almost nothing to show in the world when they became independent but look at them now, one of the richest country in the world. I salute the people’s spirit of this nation. The masses especially the forefathers lived up their name - SIngapura. Only with a lion heart you can attain such success with very limited resources.  
  

Happy Travels =)

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This is the travel blog of Jherson Jaya - banker by profession, adventurer by passion. Everything written here were based on his experiences. The lust of seeing new places thrilled him to explore both the explored and unexplored world. Old and new architecture fanatic; lover of food, both exotic and indulgence; and founds peace in long bus and train rides - thats how he describe his way of traveling.    

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