The 'World's Best Airport' just got better.
When Singapore's Changi Airport was named the world's best airport in the Skytrax Awards, the ambitious $1.84 billion expansion hadn't even been seen by judges.
They needen't have worried, because the ambitious expansion
With just a week before the public opening, they've provided a sneak peak of what to expect from the ambitious garden airport.
What the airport is describing as 'the world's gateway to Singapore' will soon be open to travellers. The 17th of April is set as the official date.
The 137000 square-metre complex has been designed by the architect Moshe Safdie.
The Israeli-Canadian architect is behind some of Singapore's most famous landmarks including the Marina Bay Sands.
However he's crammed the giant glass dome full of features to make an airport terminal worthy of the crazy-rich Asian city.
Of note is the 'world's biggest' indoor waterfall, cascading 40 metres from the ceiling.
You'll also find lush green gardens and trails.
Among the 100,000 species of plants from Australia China and Spain are even wilder sculptures.
It seems almost unsurprising to meet a Pokemon at the shopping centre.
The Pokemon Centre on Level 4 is sure to be popular with young travellers.
Two wise-looking Orangutans guard the topiary walk.
Ms Jean Hung CEO of the airport development says it's not just for the transient arrivals to enjoy, but for the whole city state: "By providing innovative and fresh experiences for Singapore residents and working professionals in its vicinity."
She hopes it will be a stimulus for Singapore's eastern precincts.
Last year over 600,000 passengers travelled between New Zealand and Singapore. Up seven per cent on the previous year.
With a welcome like this, it wouldn't be hard to imagine Singapore becoming even more popular destination for Kiwi travellers.
Best new food stops in Changi's Jewel development
Arriving at Jewel, it's best advised to leave your diet on the plane, writes news.com.au's Vanessa Brown. The food court will leave you overwhelmed for choice, but after some thorough taste testing (yes, we were given enough samples to feed a small village), I've narrowed the options down to five favourites out of more than 111 eateries:
1. Emack & Bolio's
— if you're a sweet tooth who doesn't mind mixing your favourite childhood cereals with ice cream, this is a must do while at the Jewel. I went with the Fruit Loops-covered cone and Space Cake ice cream.
For $11 for a single scoop and cone, it's well worth the calories. Some of the other scoops of deliciousness include melted marshmallow, black raspberry and cake batter.
2. Shake Shack — OK, so not a local cuisine, but the burgers are quick and taste just like they're straight off the grill in California. You'll find it on Level 2 right next to one of the best views of the rain vortex in the whole dome. So take a selfie, and then grab a shake.
3. Rich & Good Cake Shop
— Be prepared to wait in line, but as someone who isn't a huge cake fan — it's well worth it. These cakes are light and fluffy and filled with coconut cream. Soft and eggy, these Swiss rolls cut down to around 12 slices.
As one of two stores in the world, expect to wait a while to grab yourself one. But for about $10, you won't be disappointed. Try the D24 durian roll and mango Swiss roll, or the green tea Swiss roll filled with red beans.
4. Burger and Lobster — If you're seeing a bit of a carb trend here, you're not mistaken. Jewel has focused on catering not only for international palettes — but for what locals like to eat when travelling abroad. Burger and Lobster is popular among Singaporean travellers travelling to London especially, combining a love of good seafood and burgers under the one roof. The house favourite is the original lobster roll, but make sure you leave room for their oysters and claws.
5. Beauty in the Pot — This is for the health conscious traveller looking to have a good meal, with a few added benefits.
Beauty in the Pot is exactly as the name suggests, offering soup-based meals coupled with beauty benefits. All the ingredients are made by chefs on site, and if you're after a bit of help to wave off jet lag — give their iconic beauty collagen broth a go.
With additional reporting from news.com.au