The free Singapore tour, Changi Airport offers is a fabulous way to spend a long stopover regardless of whether you’ve visited Singapore earlier or not. We’ve both been to Singapore on numerous occasions either as children or later on work, so we didn’t really want to stop off in Singapore and spend in time there on our way to Australia but since it was a long layover at Changi Airport, we decided to take this quick, free and air conditioned jaunt to revive our memories.
Getting onto the Free Singapore Tour, Changi Airport
To qualify for the Free Singapore Tour, Changi Airport requires that you have at least 4 – 4.5 hours to spare between flights. We walked over to one of the two registration counters (Terminal 2 and Terminal 3) where you need to sign up an hour prior. (Check out the timings of the tours in the links at the end of the post) There are two tour types (the day tour and the night tour) We’re sure the CityLights Tour (at night) must be lovely with the lit up skyline of Singapore sparkling in all its glory but we went on the Heritage tour since it was broad daylight.
This also meant we had to place our hand baggage in storage for a fee (but we intended on doing that anyway). We waited at the meeting point till all the people had arrived, and our guide (dressed in a bright and flowery Hawaiian shirt) then took us through immigration, (Visas not required but certain conditions do apply), we all hopping into an air conditioned bus (much required in the hot and humid Singapore climate). He checked our stick- on badges and then began talking us through the island nation’s history as we looked out from the large windows.
We passed the manicured lawns, our ears ringing with statistics of employment and real estate prices as we passed buildings that looked like lego creations. We passed the grand Singapore flyer, a massive ferris wheel that gives you a great view of the entire city. It looked really pretty against the backdrop of the tropical sky. We passed the Gardens by the Bay, Marina Bay Sands, saw the Esplanade at a distance.
We then finally had a chance to get off the bus and stretch our feet at the Merlion Park. Singapore’s iconic mascot, the Merlion stood spouting water at the end of the promenade. We watched other tourists milling about and then rushed back to the air conditioned comfort of the bus (Charles was sweating profusely) and we’d also heard about how the bus leaves people behind if they take longer than 15 minutes. They offered a few trinkets and drinks onboard, as we passed through the Colonial District, Chinatown (the tour also says Little India but I guess they skipped it) and the Central Business District before we passed through an underground route that went below the sea back to the airport.
All in all, nothing fabulous, but a nice way to get out for a while between two long haul flights. Find all the information you’ll need to do this at the Changi Airport Website. Have you been to Singapore? What did you like and dislike about it?