“A Passage through Singapore”

Singapore, May-June 2019 (11 photos)

This is the conclusion to my Europe 2019 photo series.

Recently I spent a month visiting France and Portugal, with a short visit to Singapore for good measure. So, after 12 posts about Portugal and 7 posts about France, let’s visit Singapore. I’ve posted about Singapore in previous years so I’ll limit this post to a few new photos from my most recent visit there.

The tyranny of distance means that travel from Sydney to anywhere in Europe is not easy, and requires at least one stopover. Fortunately my preferred stopover is the garden city/state of Singapore which has one of the most efficient and highly regarded airports in the world, which makes stopping over less of a burden than it is at other stopover locations. Plus, there are great food options there.

On this trip I had a 6 hour stopover at Singapore on the way to Paris. This was plenty of time to allow me to visit the new Jewel of Changi Airport. Jewel is a large brand new shopping complex on the site of an old carpark at Changi Airport. You have to exit Customs to visit it, a process that took less than 2 minutes, compared with getting through Customs at San Francisco Airport which took about 20 minutes last time I was there. It’s then a 10 minute walk direct to Jewel.

The centrepiece of Jewel is the central Rain Vortex. There is an extensive internal multilevel garden with numerous paths and water features and an upper floor rainforest with restaurants. On the other side of the circular complex is a large multilevel shopping centre, with restaurants galore and a hotel. You can even check into your flight in Jewel rather than at the airport itself. The complex also includes Singapore’s first Shake Shack and I’d estimate the queue was about 200 deep when I walked by.

Water pours in over the roof to form a powerful central waterfall. The water is then recirculated to the roof.

The lights projected on the waterfall slowly change colour. Every hour (on the half hour) there is a 5 minute light and sound show centred on the waterfall. It’s quite a spectacular sight, one I watched 3 times.

If you don’t want to exit Customs, you can stay on the air side and catch the internal skytrain which passes through the complex.

On the return from Paris, I arrived into Singapore around 7am. Not being able to sleep on the flight, I spent the morning wandering and eating my way around Singapore before checking into the hotel for a nap, and then walking around and eating some more. I had hoped this strategy would help me cope with jet lag but it didn’t particularly. I wandered around most of the next day as well, before going to the airport for my midnight flight back to Sydney.

“Staying hydrated”

Singapore has a hot and humid climate, being only 1 degree (111km) from the Equator. It’s very important to stay hydrated. Something with gin in it always works well for me.

“Esplanade Bridge to the Merlion”

The Merlion is the official mascot of Singapore.

“Marina Bay sunset”

Marina Bay Sands is another iconic sight of Singapore. There’s a massive shopping complex below and a skypark at the top which includes an observation deck, restaurant/bar and infinity swimming pool. I’ve posted photos from the skypark previously. There’s a nightly light show at the front of the complex. In between ground level and the rooftop is a hotel, a casino, and theatre complexes amongst others.

Speaking of the hotel, I didn’t stay there, but I did walk on a bridge through the hotel to access the Gardens By The Bay – a passage through Singapore – that’s where the lead photo of this post was taken.

“The Helix Bridge”

“Nightfall on the Lotus”

The lotus shaped building is the ArtScience Museum. I’m yet to go inside it, but I do believe it is a beautiful museum where exhibits fuse art with science.

“Inside view”

Inside The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, another one of those massive shopping complexes that Singapore is famous for.


Like something from a science fiction movie, the Supertree Grove towers above the Gardens By The Bay. There’s a nightly light show here as well.

My previous post about Singapore was about Chinatown.

You can expect another post or two about Singapore in the future sometime, particularly since I’ll be there again before this year is ended.

In May and June 2019, I visited France, Portugal and Singapore.

Leica Etcetera, Photography Etcetera

A Passage through Singapore


90 thoughts on “A Passage through Singapore

  1. Wow. The more I hear about Singapore the more I think I wouldn’t be sorry to visit there. Gorgeous shots, but the lead one is most intriguing so thanks for saying where it was. Why are you returning there this year? What travel destination awaits you?

    • Singapore is a relatively easy destination from Australia and English is the official language so it makes for an easy trip, although it will be hot and humid at times. It’s very clean, the food is good and gardens abound, including the Orchid gardens Singapore is famous for.
      I’ll be passing through again, with a short stopover on the way to and from somewhere else. Sorry, you know I don’t give that information away too early. That way I can surprise you with a future series of posts. πŸ™‚

  2. Great skyline! I was in Singapore for a layover along the way to Australia. A half day was enough to get a general overview, even though I hope to come back again sooner or later in order to visit this beautiful Country in a better way πŸ™‚
    Congrats for your photos: beautiful, as always!!

    • Thank you. Being such a small state, they make great use of their available space. The humidity hits you as soon as you step out of the plane. It can be a bother if you’re not ready for it.

  3. I understand that Sydney is terribly distant from everywhere but it is also a wonderful city and gives you the pretext to stop over in other beautiful places ☺️ very nice shots indeed

  4. Lucky you to view such beauty and ingenuity. Airports are perfect public spaces to introduce art to those who love it and everyone in-between. But, of course, only those that can afford to travel by air get to see it. Unless it’s a destination as you did.

    • My understanding is that Jewel has been heavily promoted to locals, since it is “land-side” at the airport and locals don’t have to go through Customs. The indoor waterfall and rainforest is a huge attraction.

  5. What a fascinating and beautiful mix of architecture. I just love the photo of the Lotus building…how pretty! My daughter has been fortunate enough to spend time in Singapore and raves about it. I don’t think I’d want to leave that airport πŸ˜‰

    • Changi airport is often voted as the best airport in the world. Apart from Jewel, there’s all the artwork, play areas, movie theatres, and butterfly garden, to name a few features. But please do leave the airport. There’s so much else in the city. πŸ™‚

  6. Singapore has changed a lot since I was last there (2003) but I shall definitely have a stopover on my next Australian trip. I really want to see those Super trees and the gardens by the bay there on the waterfront.

    • It’s one of those cities that never stops evolving. There’s a walkway connecting the super trees with a cafe up top of one, but I’ve not done that. The Gardens are large and beautiful, and don’t forget to visit the indoor cloud forest.

  7. J.D. Riso says:

    “The tyranny of distance”. What a perfect way to describe those grueling journeys across the planet. Singapore airport is one of my favorites. Unfortunately, Ive never been able to venture outside into the city. Gorgeous photos, as always.

    • Thanks. Singapore airport is a destination in itself now, particularly with the new Jewel centre. They even have a tour bus to drive you around the local city sights if your layover is at least 6 hours. But Customs is also very efficient, and I have a friend who makes it a habit to zip out to the local Hawker Centre to eat then return whenever he has a few hours between flights.

  8. seraphsun says:

    I’m from Singapore and just wanna thank you for taking such beautiful pictures of my country. Please visit it more often and take more fabulous photos to share with the world!

  9. Great photos ~ and I remember my first stop over in Singapore, and I told my friends just roaming the airport alone felt like a holiday. And I agree with you, great and efficient city, and for me the best part is the food, incredible.

    • Thanks. Indeed, Changi airport is designed for the transit passenger, so many attractions within it, and the free city tour as well. Singapore, even the sample inside Changi, is a foodie haven.

  10. Kasinohai says:

    Singapore is one of the best countries in Asia I’ve set foot in. Hospitable people and clean city. It’s a small country too so if you’re staying for weeks, you need not rush things up.

  11. I remember you mentioned you stopped over in Singapore briefly, and I was waiting for this post. Marvellous captures all round as usual. The Jewel is such an amazing attraction, and perfectly positioned beside customs for a convenient visit for many transiting travellers. If you watched the light show beside the central waterfall three times, it must be quite the show πŸ™‚

    The Merlion seems to be such an attraction to tourists. I have a some Singaporean friends who don’t really see much hype around the statue – then again, they’ve seen it all their lives and do understand its significance. I remember seeing the statue years ago, but don’t remember that many people crowing around. Hope you’re doing well, Dragon.

    • Agreed, Jewel is only a 10 minute walk from the international terminals so if you have a few hours on stopover it’s a very easy visit. You have to go through Customs though but it is so efficient and easy to do. So many Michelin starred restaurants in Jewel as well. Even a Shake Shack. πŸ™‚ Don’t miss the evening light show on the waterfall if you get the chance.

      Thanks, I’m well. Hope you are as well, or as best as possible in your current lockdown.

      • I last went to Singapore just before Jewel opened, so it’s been a while. Definitely looking forward to going back. Sometimes fast food is a hit and miss with me…but I wouldn’t mind trying Shake Shack πŸ™‚

        Good you are well. I’m well. It’s mainly a lot of staying indoors over here. Hope you don’t run out of travel content soon _ I am sure you have aces up your sleeve πŸ™‚

        • I heard there were discussions about opening a travel bubble between Australia and Singapore. Let’s see how that goes. Jewel is a good place to take a break when on a stopover at Changi airport. That day, the queue at Shake Shack was about 50 people long, mostly due to the novelty of the place I assume. No way I’d queue for that but many did.

          I’m glad you’re well. No fear, I have plenty of photos. It’s more likely I will run out of free storage space on WordPress first, hence the significant slowing down of my posting.

        • Yes, there might be travel bubbles happening at some point. Hopefully that will happen next year, and international travel will probably come around again in 2022.

          Hehe, imagine how many other photos of Jewel you can take in that time in line for Shake Shack πŸ˜€ There’s always the option of upgrading plans to help with storage space on WordPress if that interests you 😊

  12. So picturesque! Amazing photos. My regret is not going outside Singapore airport to witness how beautiful it is outside too. Been there twice but only transit.

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