Long Layover: Singapore
After my first foray into long layovers at the Great Wall of China in Beijing (I will be sure to post about that layover as well)-- I was sold. If you're booking a flight and you have to stop for a layover anyway, plan a long layover during the day! Most countries allow you to leave the airport on a transit visa without needing a costly tourist visa (do double check this before booking your flight, though!) This time, on the way back to Melbourne from Phuket, I planned a long layover (7 hours) in Singapore.
When I hopped off the plane in Singapore, my first task was to find luggage storage for my carry-on so I did not have to lug it around the city for the whole day. This was easy to find, and cost $3 USD ($4 AUD) for the whole day. Be sure to keep everything you want for the day on you, including your passport-- don't lock it away in the airport or you won't be able to get back through security!
I followed the signs to the MRT (the railway system in Singapore) where somebody helped me buy the correct ticket. I hopped on the train, and took about a 40 minute ride to the Gardens by the Bay.
Coming out of the underground MRT station at the Gardens by the Bay was spectacular, with a view of the iconic hotel, Marina Bay Sands. The rooftop bar and pool at Marina Bay Sands look incredible, but I wasn't there for long enough to include that in my afternoon.
It was a pretty long walk (although I did get distracted taking photos along the way) and I was starving so I would probably recommend to pick someplace closer if you're hungry! However, by the time I got there, it was well worth it-- delicious and affordable.
After eating, I went into the first of the two indoor gardens: the Cloud Forest. It was absolutely spectacular and other worldly. You follow the ramp up and around and through the towering indoor forest. It felt so magical!
After the Cloud Forest, I crossed over into the Flower Dome. I was there in November, so the Flower Dome was decorated for Christmas with a gorgeous poinsettia garden, lots of nutcrackers and other decorations. The flower dome is organized by region, with flowers and plants from all over the world, some with stories told through the gardens.
Overall, I was so happy that I ventured out of the Singapore airport and got to visit the Gardens by the Bay! The Singapore airport is incredible, so it would be easy to spend a long layover wandering around the airport, but I definitely recommend getting out into the fresh air.
Even after the 40 minute MRT ride back I had some time to spare in the airport, and indulged in more chicken rice.
By the end of the day I had walked 20,000+ steps and my body was ready to relax on a plane for the remaining flight to Melbourne.
Have you taken a long layover and do you have any recommendations? I'm into it!