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Design

Why Singaporeans Really Love Their Airport

The Moshe Safdie-designed addition to Changi Airport allows even more Singaporeans to do their favorite thing: Hang out at the airport.
Among the many new attractions at Singapore's Jewel Changi Airport is a giant indoor waterfall and a vast air-conditioned rain forest.
Among the many new attractions at Singapore's Jewel Changi Airport is a giant indoor waterfall and a vast air-conditioned rain forest.Courtesy of Jewel Changi Airport

As a child, my grandmother and I would often spend the day at Changi Airport in Singapore. We weren’t going anywhere; we’d just sit at the head of the Skytrain with a bag of french fries from McDonalds at Terminal 3 between our knees, shuttling from one terminal to the next. It felt like a vacation.

We might go to Terminal 1 to watch planes touch down, or visit the  secret staff canteen at the basement of Terminal 2, behind an unlabeled door, where we could get chendol and char kway teow at local-hawker prices.