En route to Cannes for the Sony World Photography Awards Festival

I’ve got a few hours to kill at Changi International Airport in Singapore, en route from Hanoi to Cannes for the Sony World Photography Awards Festival. If you have to kill a few hours in an airport, this has to be one of the very best. Free Playstations and XBoxes, massage, movie theatre, gardens, designated nap areas, free WIFI, and, most importantly, an absolutely amazing scotch selection at the duty-free shops, where the shopkeepers offer free tastings of bottles that cost over $200.


A few years ago, Bangkok opened its much-anticipated Suvarnabhumi International Airport, to much acclaim for its progressive design. No doubt the Thai government was seeking to match or even replace Changi as the region’s main travel hub, and they spent quite a lot of bhat to do so. But since its opening, its all been downhill, as frequent flyers using Bangkok as a hub quickly learned that renowned designer Helmut Jahn probably doesn’t actually do a lot of flying himself – Suvarnabhumi is now widely considered to be one of the worst-designed airports around. Add the fact that there is almost nothing to do once checked in, there is no free WIFI, and all the shops cater to ultra high-end handbag fetishists, and the whole experience is very painful.

Changi, on the other hand, offers free internet, free gaming, even free booze! Gotta hand it to the Singaporeans – they know how to manage an airport.


~ by Julian Abram Wainwright on April 14, 2009.

One Response to “En route to Cannes for the Sony World Photography Awards Festival”

  1. Funny that the best thing in Singapore is just being in transit. Nevermind. Anyway the best deal I think you’ll find there, bottle-wise, is S$125 for the Highland 21. It’s not far off the 25 but at half the price. Put that price into USD and it’s not that bad.

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