On my way home from Kathmandu, I flew with Singapore Airlines and had an 18 hour layover in Singapore, arriving at 6am. It wasn’t ideal but it was the only connecting flight I could book at that time.
So what do I do in a layover that is too long to hang around at the airport but too short to stay for a night? Plenty it turns out! I did so much in such a short space of time, even I impressed myself.
My flight from Kathmandu departed late at 10:10pm and I knew there would be no sleep for me, so I booked a day hotel located in the city prior to my trip so I could get some rest and hang around in the city for the day. I ended up booking a room at Grand Park City Hall. It wasn’t the cheapest but I’m glad I did it because I needed some zzz after such a busy week in Kathmandu.
Tip: I used the website dayuse.sg to book my day hotel. If you would rather stay in the airport terminal, there is an airport transit hotel located inside Changi Airport called Aerotel.
After resting for a few hours at the hotel, I met up with a friend for lunch and we went to a Chinese Restaurant nearby (I can’t remember what it’s called) and had a feast (for a lunch!). Cockles, steamed fish, fried whitebait… just to name a few dishes.
After lunch, we went to Marina Bay Sands to do a bit of shopping and then stopped by Bugis Junction to do more shopping. On the way back to the hotel, I bought some kuih (local dessert) to take back to the hotel. They’re my favourite – every time I go to Singapore or Malaysia, they are a must.
Tip: I didn’t have time to see other attractions, but if you are around Marina Bay Sands, check out the Gardens by the Bay too. I went there on my last trip to Singapore and it was amazing. Make sure you visit the Flower Dome and Cloud Forest while there. Check out some pics I took from my last visit.
And… it was back to the hotel for a bit of rest and then dinner with another friend. We went to Makansutra Glutons Bay – an outdoor hawker-style food place. We also walked around the Esplanade and I took a few pics of the beautiful harbour and Marina Bay Sands.
Then it was time to head off to the airport and embark on my 8 hour flight home to Sydney.
Many of you will know Changi Airport is rated one of the best airports in the world for shopping and things to do. One of my favourite places to go to while in transit is the Butterfly Garden. It is located in Terminal 3. Check out some of the photos of the outdoor garden.
Tip: If you’re in another terminal (there are four terminals), you can easily move between terminals within the airport. There is also a skytrain if you prefer not to walk.
Tip: If you have a shorter layover (e.g. 5-6 hours) and you want to do some shopping outside of the terminals, check out Jewel Changi Airport. The mall is connected to all four terminals. You will need to exit the transit area and go through Immigration, although it is a pretty quick and easy process. Just make sure you fill out the online SG Arrival Card which you can pre-fill up to 3 days of arrival.
If you do decide to go to Jewel, make sure you visit the HSBC Rain Vortex. It is not to be missed! My last two Singapore layovers happened to be at the end of the year and each time, I had the opportunity to see their massive Christmas Tree.
It was a short trip there and I didn’t get the chance to see other friends and family, but I will be back again… hopefully soon.
Until next time… sweet travels!