Get the lowdown on the world’s finest place to be delayed…
Airports aren’t exactly synonymous with grandeur and game-changing beauty.
If you happen to be delayed at a terminal, you can almost guarantee it will be somewhere with a.) floor space only for sitting down, and b.) one measly kiosk open, selling key rings and vastly overpriced Toblerone.
With air travel on the rise, however, certain hubs around the world are competing to stand out.
Rather than simply act as a transit place for air passengers, these futuristic temples are fast becoming destinations in their own right.
And Changi Airport in Singapore is one of them.
The gateway to South-East Asia, and a popular stopover on London-to-Australia routes, Changi has just been named the world’s best airport for the seventh year running.
Over 13 million travellers worldwide voted to put Changi in the top spot at the annual Skytrax World Airport Awards, ahead of the likes of Tokyo International Airport (in second place) and London Heathrow, which came in ninth out of the top 10.
With a wealth of unique artworks, sculptures and carefully curated garden spaces, Changi certainly has a lot to recommend it as the reigning champion of airports.
Weary wanderlusters can burn time between flights at the rooftop swimming pool with a jacuzzi and nearby bar, or at two giant movie theatres with free screenings.
But it’s not all bling: the culture vultures among you can also take heart from live interactive theatre and installations such as the Enchanted Garden, with its glass bouquet sculptures and walkways lined by twinkling lights.
A new development promises to turn Changi’s wow power up a notch, too.
Opening on the 17th April, “Jewel” is a giant steel and glass dome created by architect Moshie Safdie.
Designed to emanate a tropical valley, it’ll be home to walking trails, an indoor forest and the world’s tallest indoor waterfall.
The 40-metre Rain Vortex (above) will shower down through the centre of the building, and every evening, it will transform into a sensory light and sound show.
If that’s not enough for you, there’ll also be a giant trampoline, a mirror maze and hiking routes that lead up through rocky falls, misted peaks, and over a million plants and trees.
In fact, avoid looking out the window and you may forget you’re in an airport at all…