Jewel Changi Airport: 7 Reasons to Check In Early When Leaving Singapore
It’s always dreary to have to check in early for your flight, is it not? Not so at Jewel Changi Airport. The latest addition to Singapore’s multi-award-winning Changi Airport, “Jewel” is a toroid-shaped mixed-use complex conceptualized to resemble an indoor tropical valley. The spectacular 40-meter indoor waterfall is but one of the reasons you will want to linger in this lush wonderland.
1. HSBC Rain Vortex
The centerpiece of Jewel Changi Airport, the waterfall is as of 2019, the tallest indoor waterfall in the world. An absolute marvel to behold, the cascade is presented with the sky as a natural backdrop and is especially enchanting during light-and-sound performances in the evening. Listening to its splashing while surrounded by verdant landscapes is also, undeniably, a splendid way to prepare for or recover from a flight.
Architect Moshe Safdie designed Jewel Changi Airport as a toroid rather than a dome, in order for the vortex to be off–centered. Otherwise, the Changi Skytrain, in existence since 2007, would be drenched each time it passes through the Jewel.
2. Shiseido Forest Valley
Resembling something right out of a science fiction movie, the lush hillside encompassing the Rain Vortex is not only full of vantage spots, there are also multiple mini waterfalls to complete the sensation of an indoor oasis. Needless to say, this man-made valley is doubly mesmerizing in the evening when illuminated by the rainbow hues of the Rain Vortex.
3. Indoor Adventureland
The “top” of the Shiseido Forest Valley is home to a variety of attractions and alfresco-style eateries. Apart from mazes and slides, there is a flower garden, a suspended bridge, and even a topiary walk. For the fun-loving, the attractions not to miss are the two Manulife Sky Nets. Suspended as high as 25 meters above the ground, a bouncy stroll across either one of the nets is an experience you wouldn’t soon forget.
Pre-Purchase Tickets Online
Unfortunately, bundled i.e. discounted tickets for the indoor attractions of Jewel are only sold online. Buy your tickets via the official Jewel Changi Airport website before visiting.
4. Themed Restaurants and Hipster Food Galore
With over a hundred restaurants and eateries ranging from the elaborately themed to straight-forward “food court” stalls, you will find it’s quite the challenge to decide what to feast on when at Jewel Changi Airport.
In fact, if you’ve missed out on any of Singapore’s beloved snacks and dishes during your visit, there is probably nowhere else in the country more convenient for a catch-up. Of note, diners at the basement levels can also enjoy their meals while gazing at the rainbow-colored funnel capturing the downpour of the Rain Vortex.
5. Shoppers’ Paradise
The outer circumference of the Shiseido Forest Valley is ringed by several levels of shops, a selection of which includes Japanese lifestyle chains Muji and Tokyu Hands, Nike’s largest store in Southeast Asia, and luxury brands such as Coach and Kate Spade. Naturally, there are also many shops specializing in Singaporean products and souvenirs, thus making Jewel the perfect last-minute stop for visitors looking to bring home tropical memories.
What About My Bags?
Jewel Changi Airport is at the heart of the Changi Airport complex and well connected to Terminals 1, 2, and 3. At Level One, there are also early check-in facilities as well as paid baggage storage.
6. Catch a Movie
Located within the basement levels, Shaw Theatres Jewel is a cineplex equipped with several firsts in Singapore. These include Singapore’s first IMAX with Laser auditorium, a dedicated screening hall for families, and the first DTS:X capable halls in Singapore. Try not to mind your mini inflight screen too much after a few hours at this movie wonderland.
7. Kids’ Paradise
For kids and the young at heart, the foremost attraction at Jewel is undoubtedly the first Pokémon Center outside of Japan. Even if your child is not into Pikachu, there are still the attractions at the top level (see above) and the Changi Experience Studio (opening May 2019). The latter is an interactive exhibition with over 20 displays highlighting the workings of Changi Airport. Described as an “exciting virtual expenditure” from the past to the future, the studio will surely appeal to adults too, particularly air travel aficionados.
Questions & Answers
© 2019 Kuan Leong Yong