When flying long distances to Australia or New Zealand from London via Singapore book a flight which has a long layover time between flights and book yourself into one of the three Transit hotels. Each terminus has one, no need to go through immigration or customs just get off the plane and check in to your quiet hotel room. Brilliant and cheaper than flying business class.
Singapore’s international gateway, Changi Airport, has been open for business for 26 years and, in that time, has collected 250 international aviation awards. And it’s easy to see why. There are only two major terminals; check-in is very close to where you enter; security is a stone’s throw from check-in; and the lounges are comfortable, full of friendly staff, and a short walk from security. All of this means you can (for once) afford to turn up late – if you’re flying First or Business, an hour and a half before the flight is more than sufficient. The airport has numerous shopping and eating outlets, so you can actually get yourself or your family something useful on departure, including top brand name products from Prada, Gucci, Bulgari and Hermes. In addition, Changi has six open-air gardens, numerous business centres, internet and games facilities, prayer rooms, showers, a gym and even a swimming pool (!). Plus, this is an airport which, unlike “Tokyo” Narita or “London” Stansted, happens to be in the city it purports to serve. You can reach it by high-speed train (only 27 minutes to the centre), buses, taxis, limos, airport shuttles and the standard car rental companies. Going by road is good - ask your hotel to book you a car in advance and you can experience the luscious greenery of the East Coast Parkway.
Many people, when doing a south-east Asian tour on business, will find they have to travel between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur and vice versa. My suggestion is to think about using the executive coach travel available between both of these cities. It is not a great deal longer than the process of flying between these two points and involves a far friendlier and easier mode of travel.
The executive coaches have seats similar to airline business class ones. They have power points for laptop usage and food and entertainment on board for individuals. I have made the journey by plane many times and this was a little longer (maybe an hour at the most) but a lot less hassle and lot more pleasurable.
If you fly on Singapore Airlines to Asia or Sydney, then you will probably be eligible for a free Singapore stopover. You can also make use of a number of benefits offered by Singapore Airlines, such as discounted accommodation, special offers on shopping and food as well as a free shuttle bus up and down Singapore's famous Orchard road.
Singapore Taxis are incredibly cheap and efficient. Given that most people do not spend a great deal of time in Singapore and that it can be hot and sweaty wandering around looking for the best places, get a good guide and grab a taxi.
All around Singapore
Take the cable car to Sentosa for unrivalled views both of Sentosa Island and the huge shipping port. It also goes right over the top of the cruise ships that go in, so you can have a good snoop at the rooms!
Catch the cable car from the World Trade Centre.
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