Some people might say I’m a bit ridiculous writing about my stay in Singapore. We didn’t actually leave the airport. But since Changi Airport website says that it is a “destination in itself” and we had a 20 hour (!!) wait time looming until our next flight, I had the perfect opportunity to test out whether hours on end in a terminal can actually be a fun part of a holiday.
I might be cheating a little because it wasn’t all ‘sitting on green plastic chairs, waiting for the gate number update’. We spent about half the time at Changi’s Ambassador Transit Hotel. A hotel in an airport! Sure, the rooms are windowless and the beds aren’t exactly the most comfortable ones in the world but who can complain? The only real downside is that it is pretty expensive. You book the rooms in 6 hour blocks from $110 SGD (almost $ for $ with us). If you’re staying overnight, like we were, you book two blocks.
We were ready to leave after 10 hours. Any longer and you stop appreciating the Transit Hotel for what it is and start getting irritated with things found ‘quirky’ when you arrived. Like a random step up to the bathroom that I’m sure has brought down a jetlagged person or two in its time.
There are also lots of things to see out in the airport. While we didn’t make it to the pool or the ‘enchanted garden’, we saw the rooftop sunflowers and a butterfly garden.
Pretty cool but I think the best thing about them is that they’re outside and you can get a bit of fresh air. There are also the endless rows of shops you find in any big airport.
As much as I love going into Kate Spade etc, asking how much something is and then trying not to noticeably react when the answer shocks me… this gets old pretty quickly. There weren’t any bargains as such, or anything you couldn’t get anywhere else. I have to admit I started looking for the gate number quite a few hours out.
While Changi is a great airport, it is still ultimately a place for waiting. And waiting. It was good to board that plane and, like most people, it was a ‘destination’ I felt happy to leave.