If there’s one thing we do a lot at airports, it’s waiting. Waiting for upcoming flights, waiting for friends and family to arrive, and of course, waiting for the flight that was supposed to arrive an hour ago. A state of intercontinental limbo, if you will. Under most circumstances, the wait entails seeking refuge by a power outlet, eking out what we can from the terminal’s WiFi—that is, given that you have the good fortune to find yourself at an airport with WiFi. We aren’t always so lucky.
Singapore’s Changi International Airport, however, is a game-changer in that regard. It isn’t just any airport—it’s the airport. While most people could never imagine choosing to spend a day at their city’s local airport without the promise of an impending flight, here, a day out at the airport is as normal as spending a day at the mall. What with all it’s got going for it, it practically is a mall. For years, the airport has held the coveted title of the world’s best airport. Weary travelers in the region breathe a collective sigh of relief when their unappealing layover, at the very least, lands them in Changi.
Nowadays, however, the layover at Changi may just be one of the highlights of the trip. Travelers (and locals) can now immerse themselves in the airport’s newest attraction: Jewel Changi. Taking the aviation world by storm at its grand unveiling in April of this year, Jewel Changi houses the world’s largest indoor waterfall, more luxury brands than one would imagine finding at a transportation hub, and the thing that’s got everyone talking: Asia’s first Shake Shack. The last of which may require a lengthier layover.
Built on the site of a former terminal 1 carpark, Jewel Changi is the airport’s latest effort to solidify its place as a major aviation hub in the Asia-Pacific region. The star of the show? The giant Moshe Safdie-designed Rain Vortex that pumps 500,000 liters of rainwater from the steel latticework-like roof above. Majestic and surrounded by five stories of forested terraces, it sure is a sight for sore eyes.
At a place as spectacular, one could expect to find some stellar coffee options. Besides a selection of traditional kopi tiam-style shops, people have the option of unwinding at a familiar chain coffee shop or exploring Jewel’s many other caffeine options. An example of the latter is [email protected] on the second floor.
Compact and well-thought-out, it has everything you’d need for a pleasant layover. Split between the main serving counter and a charming terrazzo-lined seating area, the shop is fitted for people from all over with international power outlets, comfy seats for both the solo adventurer and group travelers, WiFi, and of course, great coffee. Proper coffee.
It wouldn’t be difficult to imagine kicking back for an hour or two, suitcase propped by your side, book in hand, waiting for a flight. In any case, it’s just as great for a thirty-minute breather before heading out, or for a quick pick-me-up after taking in Jewel’s sights and sounds.