(KRON) – Even the most experienced travelers typically don’t think of airports as fun places. But travel enthusiast Dana Rebmann says she’s found one where you’ll want to stay awhile.
Singapore’s Changi Airport is unlike any other in the world.
Dana showed off the Jewel and the Rain Vortex, which happens to be the world’s tallest indoor waterfall. You can get here from any airport terminal. (It’s connected to terminals 1, 2, and 3. Terminal 4 runs a shuttle to Terminal 2.) And once you’re here you can stroll on aerial walkways or bounce on giant nets in the sky.
The Forest Valley boasts more than 2-thousand trees and palms and more than 100-thousand shrubs. Behind all that green are the hundreds of stores where you can go shopping and eat in the mall.
There are early check-in counters and baggage storage facilities, but there is also a supermarket, so this isn’t just for folks flying through. Locals come here too. It’s a destination in its own right.
The world’s first butterfly garden in an airport is also in Singapore. More than a thousand butterflies call the lush spot in Terminal 3 home. The butterflies are the star attraction, but the flowering plants are worthy of attention as well. There’s a lot of opportunities to get a close-up look and it’s simply a nice calm quiet spot to be, right in the center of the airport.
You can feel kind of cooped up in an airport, so let’s step outside of terminal 2 to the sunflower garden where there’s about 500 sunflower plants on display.
Most of them are grown in the airport’s plant nursery. Started from seed, depending on conditions and the variety, the sunflowers take about 90 days to grow before being brought to the garden to bloom and impress.
If you’re just connecting through Singapore, and have never been before, the airport wants to show you why you should come back – by running free guided tours of Singapore.
If you have at least 5.5 hours to spare until your flight, you can join a free 2.5 guided bus tour. The bus tours runs seven times a day with itineraries that include a couple short photo stops at famous landmarks like Merlion Park and the Gardens by the Bay. It’s a quick taste of Singapore, and it might help tire you out a bit for the long ride home.
If you’re already simply too tired to think about any of this.. just go see a movie. Free screenings run 24 hours a day in two theaters. (One’s in Terminal 2 the other in Terminal 3.)
Or how about you go for a swim. You have to pay to swim, but it’s only $12.50 for three hours.) Or you can find a nice place to sit and watch the koi fish, or maybe sit next to the orchid garden.
Dana ran out of time and didn’t get to ride on the world’s tallest slide in an airport. So she’s planning a trip back to Singapore.
For more about Dana’s adventures and writing, follow her on Instagram @danarebmann and Twitter @drebmann.