Saturday, 24 January 2015

Visit to the Singapore Changi Airport Public Area

Needed to pick up Ada from the airport. Usually, I went there just in time to pick her up. I decided to go there a little earlier just for expressed purpose of "touring" the best airport in the world many years running, according to many authorities in the industry as well as travelers.

Since I'm not a ticket holder, and so most of the areas that make Changi Airport famous would be off limits to me. Examples like the Butterfly Garden, Sunflower Garden, 3D Electronic Zone, Science Museum / Centre, etc. All are free, and understandably in the Transit Zone where passengers have a lot of time to kill, and the need for relaxation and recharge within the confine of the airport.

So what I can do and see are limited. Initially, with a little research, I was going to visit the Aviation Gallery specifically.

I took the MRT to get the airport. When you get off, you're basically in T2 (Terminal 2). To go to either T1 or T3, you need to take the Skytrain. I've decided to hang around T2 first, and go to T3 later to pick up Ada.

T2 Check in Concourse, Singapore Changi Airport
The spacious T2 Check-In Concourse

So I went straight to the "Aviation Gallery" in T2. It was a disappointing experience. It was nothing but a Viewing Hall where you can see jumbo jets take off and land, made worse by a grey overcast day. Maybe I'm missing something here. Perhaps, the more interesting "Aviation Gallery" is located in T3.

Instead of chasing this "Aviation Gallery", I decided just walked around leisurely, soaking in the sights. It's a beautifully design airport from most angles.

Here were some of the sights I came across in the public areas of T1, T2 and T3.

T1 Public Area

Undoubtedly, the most eye-catching and impressive sculpture in the Departure Check-In area is the Kinetic Rain. This is the largest kinetic sculpture in the world, and was installed since 2012. The sculpture could be quite mesmerising with its ever changing patterns.

Of course, the effect would even be better if you listen to the Strauss' Blue Danube Waltz while looking at this as I have put them together for your pleasure in my youtube clip below.

T2 Public Area

Micky and Minni, Singapore Changi Airport
Mickey and Minnie

Giant figure of Minnie, T2, Singapore Changi Airport
"High four !"
"Talk to my hand !"
"Stop! In the Name of Love !"
"Hang on a sec...I'm posing for photo..."
"Don't come any closer! I need my personal space!"
"You can read palms? Great! How's my Hollywood career?"
"No comment! My relationship with Mickey isn't your business!"

These are the giant figures of Mickey and Minnie in the T2 public area. It seems like there's a clash of 2 cultures in this display. The cartoon characters are dressed in Spanish costumes that are surrounded by CNY (Chinese New Year) display.

This is because they have been here for 2 festive seasons. First, they were here since Christmas, and then they're adorned with CNY decorations.

Chinese lanterns, Singapore Changi Airport
Chinese lanterns take on Mickey's trademarked ears

Merlion, Singapore Changi Airport
One of the only 5 official Merlion in Singapore

Mural that made from LEGO pieces, Singapore Changi Airport
This is a mural that made up entirely from Lego pieces.
They were made in corporation by staff members, passengers, and tourists.
It's made from 115,200 pieces from 10 different colours of Lego plates.

Ronald Mcdonald waves at the passengers at the Arrival Hall at T2.

Ronald Mcdonald clown, Singapore Changi Airport
Howdy y'all ! Welcome to Singapore!
Give me five. No, don't give me skin, give five bucks!

T3 Public Area

Who would have guessed that Changi Airport decided to install the world's tallest indoor slide in the Arrival Hall at T3?

The Slide @ T3, Singapore Changi Airport
The Slide @ T3

If you spend $10 at the Changi Airport at a single receipt., you can redeem it for a ride at the information counter on L1 of the Arrival Hall at T3.

If you look at these photo carefully, There're actually 2 slides by looking at where the tubes connecting to the walls. The taller one starts at L1 and finishes at B3, and the lower one starts at B2 and slides down to B3.

More of Disneyland display in the public area of T3.

Mickey and Minnie in a CNY display, Singapore Changi Airport
Mickey and Minnie in a CNY display in T3

Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty Castle, Singapore Changi Airport
Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty Castle display

The 3-storey tall Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty Castle is part of the Disneyland promotion in T3 since late last year. For those who are in doubt that the Disneyland's Cinderella and Sleeping Castle is inspired by the Neuschwanstein Castle as I noted in my travel article, just visit the inside of this castle display.

Photos of Neuschwanstein Castle, Singapore Changi Airport
Photos of Neuschwanstein Castle in Munich
(click to enlarge)

The airport is putting in  all these things like the Slide and more to see and do in the Public Area of the airport because they're trying to promote it to the locals as a weekend shopping and lifestyle destination.

There're many things on the drawing board to keep this push going as well as keeping it as the number 1 airport in the world. This includes 3 new terminals and Project Jewel, which is a code-name of a upcoming impressive indoor retail and lifestyle complex that completes with a large man-made waterfall. It's earmarked to be completed in 2018. Can't wait.

Artist impression of Project Jewel, Singapore Changi Airport
Artist impression of Project Jewel
Photo credit: Changi Aiprort

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