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Tiny bottles of shampoo, taking your shoes off to go through security, thousands of other people’s wheely cases getting in your way… Flying isn’t exactly the glamorous experience it used to be. And while we’re not knocking air travel per se, wouldn’t you prefer to hang out in a beautiful butterfly garden while you wait for your gate to be announced?
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Well, at Singapore’s Changi Airport you can do just that. And the tropical garden in Terminal 3, with over 1,000 butterflies fluttering about to calm you down, is just one of the many delights of this place.
Regularly named the world’s best airport, Changi has just had a huge £1.3 billion expansion designed by the same architect who created the city’s famous Marina Bay Sands complex.
The new development, Jewel Changi Airport, has a hotel, shops and restaurants like many airport complexes. But it also contains a four-storey indoor ‘forest valley’ housing 3,000 trees and 60,000 shrubs, a series of gardens including topiary and mazes.
It even contains the world’s largest indoor waterfall, the spectacular Rain Vortex, which is probably a bit more enjoyable to sit and look at a business traveller frantically looking for his boarding pass.
In fact, Changi makes us want to go to Singapore just to hang out in departures. And you definitely can’t say that about most airports.