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Singapore’s airport upgrade: See photos of the waterfall, play areas and topiary apes

Singapore’s airport upgrade: See photos of the waterfall, play areas and topiary apes
Jewel Changi Airport in Singapore features a play area where visitors can bounce and roam at Canopy Park. (Changi Airport Group)

Singapore’s Jewel Changi Airport is now a “lifestyle hub” that is trying to lure travelers with a giant indoor waterfall, a forest valley and gardens galore. The aim: to make Singapore a stopover destination for travelers to Asia.

In short, airports are becoming more than just airports. Will flying ever be the same?

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The Rain Vortex is a 130-foot indoor waterfall guaranteed to be an Instagram darling.
The Rain Vortex is a 130-foot indoor waterfall guaranteed to be an Instagram darling. (Changi Airport Group)
The Topiary Walk features characters such as orangutans crafted from foliage.
The Topiary Walk features characters such as orangutans crafted from foliage. (Changi Airport Group)

As with new ballparks and malls, adding retail is bound to be an ever-popular move for airport managers looking to maximize their businesses. In Singapore, 280 new stores and restaurants share the mixed-use facility that covers 10 stories – five above ground and five below.

Nature is the dominant theme at Jewel Changi Airport. The Petal Garden in the airport's Canopy Park features beds of flowers and a pedestrian path.
Nature is the dominant theme at Jewel Changi Airport. The Petal Garden in the airport's Canopy Park features beds of flowers and a pedestrian path. (Changi Airport Group)

Among the attractions:

  • The Rain Vortex, reportedly the world’s tallest indoor waterfall at more than 130 feet tall and a sure-fire photo/Instagram op.

  • Canopy Park and a 164-foot-long Canopy Bridge, suspended 75 feet in the air, with walking nets, and integrated play areas, including four slides.

  • Forest Valley, a lush green sanctuary that comprises a four-story garden.

Visitors can bounce or walk along sky nets in the Canopy Park at Jewel Changi Airport.
Visitors can bounce or walk along sky nets in the Canopy Park at Jewel Changi Airport. (Changi Airport Group)

The new features are open for public preview, and the airport will swing open the doors to shoppers and diners April 17.

Some attractions, including the Canopy Bridge, will not open until summer. The airport’s new look was inspired by Singapore’s “City in a Garden” reputation and was designed by architect Moshe Safdie.

Four slides make up the “playscape” where kids (or anyone) can skip the stairs and slide through.
Four slides make up the “playscape” where kids (or anyone) can skip the stairs and slide through. (Changi Airport Group)

The expansion of the airport’s Terminal 1 led to the decision to expand retail and dining options, as well as recreational facilities.

Here’s where you can find the full list of international brands and shops.

The lounge inside Jewel Changi Airport, slated to open to the public on Tuesday.
The lounge inside Jewel Changi Airport, slated to open to the public on Tuesday. (Changi Airport Group)
The Skytrain rolls through gardens and trees at Jewel Changi Airport.
The Skytrain rolls through gardens and trees at Jewel Changi Airport. (Changi Airport Group)
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