Wednesday, 11 January 2012

in transit at Singapore?

Have a stopover / layover is Singapore for a few hours?

Be it 4 hours or 8 hours, you will not be wanting to hang around the airport for that length of time, though to be fair there is a lot to do at Singapore's Changi Airport and you will not be bored!

At the airport there are many dining experiences for any palate. But you may wish to just wander around and 'shop' duty free, again many stores to choose from.

At T1 (Terminal one) there are many stores for perfumes and cosmetics, in T2 there is Hudson News, SK Jewelry, Chomel as well as many others.  In T3 you will find Bata, Bratpack, Giordana, Samsonite, Swatch, Watsons and Cotton On to name a few…..

If you prefer to just rest, there are airline lounges located in all terminals. Check here.

If your stopover / layover is up to 3 hours:

  • Surf the Internet or send out some emails with FREE Internet services (15 mins)
  • Enjoy a stroll in the world's first Butterfly Garden in an airport at Terminal 3 (20 mins)
  • Get a FREE foot massage at the Foot and Calf Massage Stations (15 minutes)
  • Pick up fantastic gifts from a wide selection of souvenirs, toys, fashion and books (30 mins)
  • Grab a light and healthy meal at Quick Bites (30 mins)

If your stopover / layover is up to 4 hours:
  • Try out a fish micro-massage therapy at the Fish Spa & Reflexology (30 mins)
  • Refresh with a quick shower (20 mins)
  • Have a go at the FREE Xbox 360 and PlayStation® 3 games at the Entertainment Deck (30 mins)
  • Shop at the wide selection of fashion labels, gift choices and lifestyle brands (1 hour)
  • Enjoy delicious gourmet dining at our wide range of restaurants (45 mins)

If your stopover / layover is up to 5 hours:
  • Soak up the sun and take a refreshing dip in the rooftop swimming pool (30 mins)
  • Get a new hairdo or manicure (45 mins)
  • Catch a blockbuster movie for FREE at the Movie Theatre (2 hours)
  • Rediscover the beauty of nature at one of Changi's themed gardens (15 mins)
  • Tuck into a hearty meal and chill out at Harry's Bar or Hard Rock Cafe (45 mins)

If your stopover / layover is OVER 5 HOURS:
  • Join a FREE Singapore Tour and take in the sights and sounds of Singapore, as well as get a glimpse into Singapore’s ethnic heritage and tourist attractions. (2 hours)
  • Try out the various cuisine from local, Asian and international dining outlets in the airport (45 mins)
  • Don't miss out on some great buys from our wide range of duty-free products (1 hour)
  • Catch a nap at one of our quiet Rest Areas or check into a napping facility (1 hour)

For a short rest after a long flight, just book a room at the Transit Hotels if you are transiting in Terminal 1, 2 or 3. You don't have to clear Immigration to get to the hotels.

Terminal 1 - Tel: (65) 6542 5538
Terminal 2 - Tel: (65) 6542 8122
Terminal 3 - Tel: (65) 6507 9788

Visit the Transit Hotel webpage.

The transit area in the Budget Terminal is not linked to Terminals 1, 2 and 3.

Passengers who are transferring between two flights in the Budget Terminal will not be able to access the Transit Hotels in Terminal 1, 2 and 3.

You are allowed to enter Singapore during your transit as long as you have the valid travel documents (passport, visa etc). Passengers arriving on or connecting to a budget airline must clear Customs and Immigration into Singapore.

You may visit the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) website for further information on entry requirements into Singapore.

You will only be able to re-enter the Transit Hall if you are holding the boarding pass of your flight out of Singapore issued by the airline or a self-printed boarding pass which has been endorsed by the airline.

Please note that if you leave the transit area without a valid boarding pass for your departing flight, you will only be able to check-in for your connecting flight when your airline starts its Check-in operations in the Departure Check-in Hall.

Check-in counters generally open at least 2 hours before flight departure. Please check with your airline for the exact opening time of Check-in counters. For further queries, you may approach any of the Information Counters at the airport.

*note* all of the above information can be found on the Changi Airport website. It has been transcribed here for ease of reading with this particular blog post.

Yes, you can leave your baggage at the Left Baggage counter located in all terminals. This service is available at:

Terminal 1
* Departure Transit Lounge East, Level 2
* Basement West, Public Area

Terminal 2
* Departure Transit Lounge South, Level 2
* Arrival Hall North, Public Area, Level 1

Terminal 3
* Departure Transit Lounge North
* Basement 2 South

Budget Terminal
* Departure Check-in Hall

OR ….

You can take the train to anywhere in Singapore from CHANGI MRT (rail station) located at the basement of Terminals 2 and 3, accessible from the Arrival and Departure Halls through escalators and lifts.

After purchasing the SINGAPORE TOURIST PASS for $8.00 SGD at the rail station, proceed thru the ticket barriers and board the train at CHANGI MRT.

Just two stops later transfer to the west bound train at TANAH MERAH MRT (train station) at Tanah Merah station all you need to do is cross the platform to board the train towards JOO KOON - which is the terminating point (on the far left) of the green line as seen below in the MRT Map:

Once on the train, you have the whole island to explore!!

You can stay on the train all the way to JURONG EAST INTERCHANGE (where the red 4 is located to the left on the above map) and transfer to the red line (terminating point will be MARINA BAY which is right at the bottom of the map where the red 5 is located). By traveling on the red line via WOODLANDS etc you do get to see quite a bit of the Singapore heartlands and countryside.

If you have decided to travel this route, taking the red line from JURONG EAST MRT, you can alight at BISHAN MRT. This is located in the centre of the above map where the red lines intersects with the orange line. The orange line being what is locally called "the circle line". It takes about a hour to travel from one end to the other. One of my Blog Posts on The Circle LIne is HERE.
Entirely up to you .... you can stay on the red line and continue all the way to ORCHARD MRT or SOMERSET MRT and alight at either of these if you wish to wander along Orchard Rd.

 image above is Somerset MRT

If you do change trains at BISHAN MRT and take the circle line (or yellow line) then you could board the train that is going towards DHOBY GHAUT MRT. This is a major interchange between quite a few train lines.

If you look at the above train system map from BISHAN MRT in the middle of the above map, going towards DHOBY GHAUT interchange means you will be on the orange line going towards the right. Follow it around and you could alight at PROMENADE MRT if you wish to take a ride on the SINGAPORE FLYER for example, or continue on towards BAYFRONT or MARINA BAY MRT on the extended orange line (newly opened JAN 14 2012) as seen in the following abbreviated map:

 above the train door the map will look like this:

If you decide to alight at BAYFRONT MRT it is directly beneath MBS (Marina Bay Sands) so a good opportunity to have a look around this area.

as this is a newly opened line (JAN 14 2012) be aware until further notice the following applies:


During off-peak hours, things get a little less straightforward. There will be a shuttle train service that runs from Marina Bay station to Stadium station. This means commuters going towards the two new stations should alight at either Stadium, Nicoll Highway or Promenade stations to board the shuttle train.

Trains alternating between Dhoby Ghaut and Harbourfront will run at a frequency of 3.5 minutes during peak hours. The shuttle trains which operate during off-peak hours will run at a frequency of seven minutes.
This is until we here further news on an extended train service. But during peak times, the train will run as 'normal'.

But if you find this a little confusing, do not attempt to travel to BAYFRONT or MARINA BAY on the orange circle line. You are here to have a quick look around Singapore, so you do not need to have any added stress and worry about what train or where or if you need to catch the shuttle train.

Better if you alight at ESPLANADE MRT and do a nice walk of 2.5 klms around Marina Bay itself. All the way around the bay and back to the ESPLANADE MRT will stretch your legs nicely for the next flight!

By doing this you get to see the ArtScience Museum, Marina Bay Sands, Fullerton Heritage area, the Fullerton Hotel, the Esplanade Theatre as well as the Merlion!

At this time you may wish to board the train at ESPLANADE MRT back to DHOBY GHAUT MRT..... depending on how much time you have left, you can take the purple line to LITTLE INDIA MRT or to CHINATOWN MRT.

An hour or so wandering Little India  or Chinatown will give you a small sample what they are like.

Again, depending on how much time you have left, you may like to change trains at DHOBY GHAUT MRT and take the green line towards CHANGI MRT (eg: on your way back to the airport) but instead of staying on the train, alight at BUGIS MRT and wander around the Kampong Glam area. Fabulous colours, foods, fabrics and people in this area!

There is much to see and do in and around Singapore. If you take any of the above suggestions, you will also find many areas for good food. Not always at the local hawker markets, but still the above will take you past some good food areas. There is a good one near the ESPLANADE MRT for example. But you can always find restaurants, coffee shops (kopitiams) and cafe's everywhere you look, you will not go hungry in Singapore!
                                                  please do remember:
          that there is no drinking or eating on any train or bus in Singapore.

The above is by no means all there is to see in Singapore, but hopefully it will give you a taste of what it is like and that one day soon, you will return for a longer visit.

You could stay for a month and still not see everything ..... I have not touched on any of the amazing parks. The Botanical Gardens, The Orchid Garden, Pasir Ris Park, Labrador Park just to name a few.

There are the islands sitting just off Singapore where you can take a ferry to enjoy a peaceful picnic, a bike ride or a swim. They are Pulau Ubin, St John's Island, Kusu Island to name just three!

Then there is the Singapore Zoo or Jurong Bird Park, the many Temples, the Asian Civilisation Museum, The National Museum and Art Galleries, the Raffles Hotel or the Fullerton Hotel and the list goes on and on ......

We hope you do return and experience the hospitality of The Little Red Dot.

                      in the mean time we do hope you enjoy your short 'stopover' 
                   and we wish you a safe journey on your next flight out of Changi.

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