24 July 2019
By Hanna Hussein
Despite numerous visits to Singapore, the city state still impresses Hanna Hussein, its latest attraction being Jewel Changi Airport.
HERE I am again, in Singapore, for the I-don’t-know-how-many times. Yet again, everytime I come and visit, there’s always something new to discover.
After a short flight from Kuala Lumpur (klia2) via AirAsia, I safely arrive at Terminal 4 of Singapore Changi Airport. Before I head out to roam the Lion City, I make a quick stop to check out Changi’s latest development, Jewel Changi Airport.
Linked to three Changi Airport terminals, Jewel is a nature-themed retail and entertainment complex, an ideal place to drop by before a flight (and even upon arrival in the city).
Unfortunately, Terminal 4 is the only terminal that is not linked directly to Jewel so it’s not possible to walk there. But there’s free shuttle provided for passengers to and from Jewel, and it’s very frequent!
JEWEL OF THE CITY
Only opened a couple months ago, Jewel is a 10-storey (five above ground and five in the basement) 135,700-square-metre space offering more than 280 retail and F&B outlets.
There are a number of interesting flagship stores including the first Shake Shack (the American fast-casual restaurant chain based in New York City) in the city, and the first permanent Pokémon Centre in Asia outside Japan. There are very, very long queues to enter both places.
However, I am more intrigued by the centrepiece. Located in the heart of Jewel is a stunning work of architecture-art known to be the world’s tallest indoor waterfall, a cascading 40m-tall Rain Vortex.
It’s so spectacular by day as it flows down from the “sky” especially when the sunlight catches the spray. I wish I had time to stay longer to see the night view. It is said to be so stunning at night when the sky darkens, and the vortex takes on a mystic splendour as the water becomes a screen on which a light-and-sound show is projected.
It’s a remarkable sight to see the man-made waterfall surrounded by the dramatic greenery known as Shiseido Forest Valley, inside a huge glass dome. The forest valley is a four-storey garden complete with walking trails and few viewing points from where you can see the vortex at different angles.
There are also other cool attractions such as exploring the 14,000-square-metre Canopy Park located on the top floor. There are many activities up there including restaurants, themed gardens, Hedge Mazes, Sky Nets, Discovery Slides, a 50m Canopy Bridge, and more.
PEEK INTO THE WONDERLAND
Another interesting place to visit in Singapore is the Art Science Museum located at Marina Bay Sands. From the outside, the building looks like a blooming lotus and due to its beautiful architecture, it has become Singapore’s iconic landmark.
Inside, you can explore a few exhibitions where art, science, culture and technology come together.
There are basically 21 gallery spaces, where the works of many of the world’s best known artists such as Leonardo da Vinci, Salvador Dalí, Andy Warhol, Vincent Van Gogh and M.C. Escher have been exhibited.
I visit one of the seasonal exhibitions which is the Wonderland Exhibition happening until Sept 22.
Alice in Wonderland was one of my favourite cartoons when I was younger, so I am very excited!
Each visitor is given the Lost Map of Wonderland, which is very important in your exploration. You can choose one of the four map characters — the White Rabbit, Cheshire Cat, the Queen or the Mad Hatter. I received the Mad Hatter map which I’m sure is going to be a crazy experience!
With the map, you can start your adventure and explore the wonderland — each will give a different feel and experience. Well, basically, the map experience is like a riddle, and you must look out for the unique symbol to unlock surprising experiences and uncover hidden stories throughout the journey.
It’s a very playful exhibition, celebrating Lewis Carroll’s timeless tale of Alice’s adventures. You can also discover how artists and filmmakers have portrayed Alice and her story for over a century.
Before this, I was not aware that there were more than two Alice movies. There are actually more than 40 films and over 30 television programmes about Alice.
Alice in Wonderland has also become a subcultural icon through her presence in music videos, video games, high fashion, advertising and more.
You can also see over 300 artefacts and objects including first edition books, drawings, original costumes, films, magic lantern projectors, animation and puppetry!
My favourite part of the exhinition is the Mad Tea Part experience which gives me a real feel of the moment! The space is developed using VFX techniques and cutting edge projection mapping, where one can join in the madness of the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party as it comes alive through a timed audiovisual feast.
LIKE A DRAGONFLY
Have you been to the Gardens by the Bay? It is the world’s largest glass greenhouse where one can explore diverse plant species from around the world in the cool conservatories and towering vertical gardens.
Do check out its brand new offering which is the Floral Fantasy. It is a thematic garden with four diverse landscapes, each showcasing a different concept. The floral journey starts from the Dance landscapes where you’ll venture the Upside-Down Rainbow Tapestry which is a collection of more than 15,000 flowers hanging upside down that will greet you at the entrance, followed by the Dance of Flowers Delicate where spherical arrangements made out of 150 Phalaenopsis orchids and baby’s breath perform a gentle, wave-like dance above you.
You can walk through different landscapes surrounded by vibrant beautiful flowers. The walk will end at the Drift where you will go on a 4D Ride called the Flight of the Dragonfly.
This amazing ride will let you go on a tour of the Gardens by the Bay from the eyes of a dragonfly. Your sight, sound, smell and touch will be triggered as you are taken on a simulated journey of a dragonfly’s flight path.