Singapore: Changi Airport & Random Things

A few more random notes and observations from the Singapore leg of my vacation . . .

The Singapore Tourist Pass (info at YourSingapore.com, as you’ll probably guess from the photo) was something Papa and I used nonstop during our trip since we used the MRT to get around every day and, with this pass, we could also have used the buses and the LRT, with the exception of a couple of special lines.

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The three-day tourist pass was Singapore $20 plus a $10 refundable deposit for unlimited use. I didn’t do the math to figure out if we used more than $20 in MRT fees during our excursions, but not having to worry about how much we needed to put on the cards and if we needed to add more to the card every day made it worth it for me.

I always love seeing what foreign currency looks like: the different sizes, colors, images, denominations — even the different anti-counterfeiting measures countries use.

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Look America — I love that our dollar is stronger than the Singaporean dollar and the Philippine peso, but greenbacks are boring. Can’t we have a red, white, and blue George Washington or a purple Abe Lincoln? Check out the clear plastic panels embossed with the Singaporean seal in white. Let’s add something like that to our paper currency. Functional and cool and interesting. Let’s get on that, shall we?

We should also look into having much more interesting airports. While researching Singapore, I kept reading that Changi Airport was really interesting on the departure side — a particularly great airport to be stuck in if you’ve got a layover. After the Hello Kitty playground at the airport in Taiwan, I wanted to see what Changi was all about. Papa enjoyed laughing at me for going on and on about the 40-foot-tall slide at the airport that I was determined to find and go down.

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I was disappointed to find out that the slide is only for children, especially since I had to go all the way to Terminal 3 before anyone mentioned that to me. I’d say the six-year-old in me was disappointed, but really . . . who would I be kidding?

I was glad, however, that I got to see two of the terminals. My head does an odd thing when I stumble upon a surprisingly vast indoor space — I literally experience the sensation that my head is exploding. It’s only happened at two venues so far and Terminal 3 was the second one. When you come off of the tram, you walk a bit down a normal-size hallway that suddenly spits you out into this wide-open terminal. It’s not that the international terminals at SFO and the like aren’t equally large, it’s that the layout at Changi really shows off the space.

Changi Airport really would be a great place to have a long layover. There was no shortage of interesting things to see and comfortable places to sit. Spongebob SquarePants holiday setups were a big thing, there was a lovely orchid garden with a koi pond, and it looked like there were tons of shops and restaurants up on the second floor. Not a bad impression to make on travelers.

Currently listening to: “Working Man” by Imagine Dragons
Currently reading: And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini

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