Airports are not nice places. They are people-processing facilities par excellence, designed for maximum efficiency, maximum control of the hordes of people who pass through them. “Getting stuck at the airport” is an acknowledged hazard of travelling by air, and no-one ever says they “had a great time at the airport” or visited an airport just for fun. That said, not all airports are equally soul-destroying. Singapore’s Changi, in fact, is not bad at all: if I had to get stuck at an airport, it would be my first choice. In fact, it was my first choice, since I picked it as our stop-over between here and Europe last month after comparing it against others endured on previous trips.
Why? In the first place, the background colour is not grim steel-and-concrete grey but a warm sandstone. In the second, they have gone to a lot of trouble to bring the natural world indoors. There is a whole wall of greenery in a large atrium and seven themed gardens (bamboo, Heliconia, cactus, sunflower, ferns and orchids), koi ponds and (the clincher for me) a two-storey-high tropical butterfly garden with its very own six-metre waterfall.
Click on these thumbnails for larger images.