Changi International Airport, Singapore

This article is written by Srinidhi Hande. Srinidhi is a Business Analyst by profession and a Blogger by passion.

Of the few international airports I had explored in recent past (including Dubai, JFK, Colombo, Sau Paulo and Santiago), I find Changi international airport in Singapore more equipped to engage passengers. The reason I say so is because while all airports are loaded with duty free supermarkets trying to sell stuff, Changi offers lot of value added (most of them free) services to enable passengers make their wait a pleasant experience.

Below are some of the provisions at Changi airport, which I couldn’t find in other airports I’ve been to.

  • Free leg massage chairs: Enjoy nice massage to your knees and foot at various massage chairs. No charges. In other airports, this service will be chargeable
  • Free big screen display: Enjoy favorite game at some of the big screens. No charges- killing couple of hours is not an issue
    • View aircrafts from up close (few other airports also facilitate this)- you can get close view of aircrafts landing and taking off. I clicked below picture while observing the landing and take offs
    • Kids play zone: free playing materials for kids to kill their time
    • Free internet- many airports offer this. But I found very few kiosks in Dubai and Colombo. Changi has considerably large number of kiosks to access internet, so you’ll not have to wait for long
    • Sky trains for inter terminal moves. (JFK had Air train connecting terminal to city though)
    • Clear Signages- In Dubai, I found an Indian restaurant in terminal 1 purely by luck. In Changi, restaurants and other facilities were easier to find due to adequate sign boards indicating what is where.
    • Changi airport authorities are very active on social media, responding to comments and concerns.

    Changi on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/fansofchangi
    On twitter : @FansofChangi

    Below: Casino counter at Changi Airport… 30SGD for a ticket

Changi also offers free city tours to those passengers who have couple of hours to spare before their connecting flight. If only I had this option in Dubai, I could have explored Dubai twice by now.

No wonder Changi is rated as one of the best airports in the world.

Srinidhi Hande

23 June 2012

http://www.enidhi.net/2012/06/changi-international-airport.html

Singapore in three days

This article is written by Lakshmi Sharath. Lakshmi is a media professional , a traveller, a travel writer and consultant .

Its tough to touch, feel and see any country in a few days , especially if you are a traveller like me. But if you are visiting Singapore as a tourist or on business and you have anything between a few hours to three days in hand, you can still get to experience the country based on your interests. There are no must sees – it just depends on what you want to see .

For instance, while we were at Changi airport on transit, we decided to go over to the orchid garden and then an airport official recommended a visit to the butterfly park in Terminal 3.  A friend recommended that I go over to the Changi beach while the information desk asked me if I was interested in a free city tour . I find Changi one of the friendliest international airports and here, you can even get a foot massage for free or you could visit a spa after duty free shopping.

A stopover in Lion City

This article is written by Shantanu Ghosh.

After Hong Kong returned to China in the late 90s, Singapore pretty much became the top choice for the white man’s outpost in Asia. Modern and efficiently run, this city of steel and glass considerably eases the transition from the West to the East. At some level, expat businessmen and their lives here are probably not very different from British governors from another age – but that’s another story. To me, this tiny city is like a sampler platter of delicious morsels that you can savor over a single meal. You can take that literally too! Singapore’s culinary scene is quite mind-blowing: from swanky restaurants run by global celebrity chefs, humble hawker centers, and everything in-between.

Today, Singapore’s cosmopolitan character allows for a seamless melding of cuisines where you can dig into crispy Peking duck skin with five-spiced foie gras at renowned chef Susur Lee’s Chinois or order Laksa pesto linguine and roast Chilean sea bass with chai poh and chicken congee at Wild Rocket, another delightful eatery on Mount Emily.

Between business meetings, my colleagues took me to a Cantonese Chinese restaurant called Taste Paradise for lunch. I wasn’t too worried that it was situated in one of the shopping malls – I have tasted some interesting foods in Singapore malls before. Two girls in traditional regalia greeted guests at the entrance while bright orange slats curved like a dragon’s back above the dining room and lit up the hand-painted portraits of emperors on the walls.

Taste Paradise was started by a local restauranteur who began with a small coffee shop but now owns a string of successful eateries in this city. I decided to let my host order for all of us, and what a good thing that turned out to be!

We began with a soup of chicken. The waitress brought out the large pot to the table and ladled out clear soup into our bowls. She fished out pieces of chicken and neatly put them on a plate, but apparently these were not meant to be eaten. Carmelized cashews and cups of steaming green tea followed.

Then came a series of dim sums: Ha Kau, Siew Mai, Xiao Long Bao, Char Siu Bao – the last one being among the best roast pork buns I have eaten.

The steamed Cheong Fun with honey BBQ Pork filling was excellent too as were the Crackling Pork Belly. The XO Carrot Cake is a popular item on the menu and it was certainly interesting but not exceptional in my opinion.

For me, the stand-out items were the ones we ended with. The Custard Bun, Liu Sha Bao, with its molten bright yellow middle was fabulous as was the unusual dessert made of chilled avocado with a scoop of coffee ice-cream that was served in a dish with heavy white fumes coming off its base!

On Friday evening, after a long day a few of us headed to the watering holes in Orchard Road. First in Alley Bar, a dim-lit and high-ceiling L-shaped place popular with expat businessmen and hipsters alike. I was meeting with some old friends after a while and it was fun chilling out over glasses of Guinness and Truffle Fries.

We then walked down to Marche, a Movenpick owned restaurant themed like a bustling open marketplace in the basement of one of the swanky malls on Orchard Road. I settled for grilled sea-bass, German sausages and beer.

Finally, we walked down at Wine Connection to give in to our sweet cravings with a glass of Kracher wine and Tiramisu. I had a flight to catch so by midnight, when the night was still young, I headed back to my hotel. The Holidays were in the air with Christmas trees, lighting and sweet cakes and pastries on display everywhere.

Shantanu Ghosh

10 Dec 2011

http://www.shantanughosh.com/2011/12/stopover-in-lion-city.html

The Henderson Waves Bridge – Singapore

The Henderson Waves Bridge – Singapore

Henderson Waves is a 274-metre (899 ft) long pedestrian bridge. At 36 metres (118 ft) above Henderson Road, it is the highest pedestrian bridge in Singapore. It connects Mount Faber Park and Telok Blangah Hill Park. It was designed by IJP Corporation, London, and RSP Architects Planners and Engineers (PTE) ltd Singapore.

The bridge has a wave-form made up of seven undulating curved steel ribs that alternately rise over and under its deck. The curved ribs form alcoves that function as shelters with seats within. Slats of yellow balau wood, an all-weather timber found in Southeast Asia, are used in the decking. The wave-forms are lit with LED lamps at night from 7pm to 2am daily.

Description

Henderson Waves springs from a scenic location off Mount Faber and spans some 284 meters above Henderson Road, a six-lane freeway running through the south coast of the island state. This man-made structure, the largest of its kind in Southeast Asia, is smoothly integrated into the landscape.
It has seven spans, six of typical size (3.5 meters high, 24 meters long), and a larger one (6 meters high, 57 meters long). The upside spans unfold above deck level and house temporary activities, such as seating, lounging and sight-seeing. The remaining spans unfold below deck level and are not accessible –simply ensuring the continuity of the structure.
Two inclined decks extend the bridge at both ends, linking it with existing pathways and plazas. The full length of the bridge runs close to 284 meters, and the difference in elevation between springing and landing is equal to the full height of a seven-story housing block.
The design concept of Henderson Waves is based on a folded three-dimensional surface-form created by means of simple mathematics. The architect of the project used proprietary mathematical techniques to define its form simply and rigorously. Hence the form bends, undulates, and ascends by twenty-one meters in one movement; in the process it also deforms to provide adequate egress, sloping, shelter, and scenic viewing to pedestrians and cyclists.

Materials
The surface-form of Henderson Waves is made of steel and timber. Steel is needed for structural purposes, whereas timber celebrates the beauty of natural forms.

Steel
The primary structure of the bridge features a sequence of steel arches and catenaries (or down-facing arches) joined across, and resting upon, reinforced concrete pylons. These pylons (the tallest of which reaches 38m) sit between waves as it were, at the point where the surface-form self-intersects and tapers down to a single beam.

Timber
The 1,500 square meter timber deck sitting on top of the steel structure is the centrepiece of the project.
The complex, doubly-curved portions of this large expanse of tropical hardwood form a tapestry of 5000 modular boards, each varying by a single degree every 10m –and many tapered to measure.
The entire deck being supported on a steel sub-frame with vibration dampeners, the coordination of steel and timber became a challenging task. Using its proprietary equations, the architect issued precise numerical descriptions of the surface at regular 500mm intervals, and provided dimensional coordinates that greatly assisted the production of the timber manufacturer’s shop drawings.

Coda
The Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Hsien Loong inaugurated the newly completed project on Saturday May 10, 2008. This stunning piece of public infrastructure is one of three new linkways built by the Urban Redevelopment Authority in the Southern Ridges, at a total cost of S$25.5 million.

Architect IJP Corporation and RSP Architects Planners and Engineers PTE Ltd, SIngapore. Engineer RSP Architects Planners and Engineers PTE Ltd, SIngapore. Concept and scheme design engineering by Adams Kara Taylor Consulting Civil and Structural Engineers, UK.

Source: Wikipedia