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THE JEWEL VORTEX
I love Singapore and have visited many times over the years. On my recent trip I got to experience the biggest indoor waterfall in the world, called the Vortex, at the world-class Jewel complex in Changi Airport.
The indoor waterfall at Singapore Airport is a ‘must-see’ tourist attraction in its own right.
At the centre of the new Jewel of Changi Airport, which opened in April 2019, stands the most amazing attraction that you will ever see at any airport. A 40 metre high rainwater waterfall called the Vortex, streams down from the funnel-like roof structure made of glass and steel. The shimmering water cascades down through all the levels of Jewel to the basement and recycles continuously. It is breathtaking to watch and it’s free.
About the Jewel
There are 10 levels at the Jewel, a futuristic nature theme park entertainment complex, from which to admire the waterfall. From the upper levels the water flows openly creating a lovely cooling mist effect, with gardens encircling the perimeter of the vortex. At the lower levels the water is enclosed in an acrylic casing so and you can go right up to the cascading water without getting splashed. Everything has been perfectly thought out. There is no risk of getting wet or of any danger.
I love indoor water features and this is a sight to behold. There’s something soothing and quite magical about it, and really is a fabulous way to welcome weary passengers after a flight. I stepped off my 7 hour flight from Australia and was greeted by this magnificent spectacle connected to the Arrival Hall. I thought I was hallucinating! It’s simply mesmerising to watch.
Surrounding the waterfall is an indoor rainforest with over 60,000 plants from around the world. Lush tiered gardens with smaller water features throughout further enhance the conservatory. The garden, called Shiseido Forest Valley (named after the Japanese makeup brand), certainly is befitting of Singapore’s City in a Garden theme. There are walking trails, steps and seating to relax and take it all in. I didn’t want to leave this enchanting garden paradise.
There is a monorail Skytrain too, that you can ride on, between Terminal 2 and 3, for an aerial view of the waterfall.
Other things to do at Jewel
- The rooftop on the 5th level has the Canopy Park which has some activities you can access for free and some which are ticketed attractions. The free things to enjoy here are the slide sculptures, foggy bowls in the clouds, animal topiaries and garden. You must purchase tickets for the maze and mirror maze, skynets and the canopy bridge with glass floor.
- Check out the Pokémon Centre, for pop culture enthusiasts.
- Enjoy a plethora of Restaurants, Cafes and Bars.
- Shopping galore, including local and international brands.
The extraordinary waterfall can be enjoyed whilst dining, shopping and playing at the airport’s Jewel. So cool!
Tips to see the indoor waterfall at Singapore airport
The indoor waterfall at Jewel is located in the public area of the airport, which is accessible from Terminals 1, 2 and 3.
If you want to go to Jewel on a layover at Singapore airport, you have to go through Immigration. The Arrivals Hall connects directly to the Jewel. So best make sure you have a few hours available between flights.
If you want to visit Jewel prior to leaving Singapore, you can access early check-in and baggage storage, so you can enjoy the waterfall, rainforest and other activities more freely.
Everyone has access to Jewel
The Jewel isn’t just for travellers. Everyone, including non-travellers, has access to the Jewel in terminal 4. It is open 24/7 and you don’t need an airplane ticket to be able to visit, as it is located in the public part of the airport. This means you can come back to the airport another day, if you are staying in Singapore a while.
This place is an entertainment precinct, a futuristic recreational park, and a major attraction in Singapore, for locals and tourists alike, not to be missed.
The waterfall at night
At night the Vortex is illuminated with a show-stopping spectacular light and sound display, also for free. The show lasts a few minutes and runs 5 times throughout the evening. So try not to miss it.
The indoor waterfall at Singapore Airport was a highlight of my trip. I would say it’s on par with the Marina Bay Sands and Gardens By The Bay.
Other fun things at Changi Airport
- A Butterfly Park and pond at Terminal 3.
- Cinemas in Terminals 2 and 3.
- Cactus garden at Terminal 1.
- A rooftop pool available at Aerotel Airport Transit Hotel Terminal 1, for use even if you’re not a guest, for a small cost.
Singapore airport tours
Singapore airport transfers
If you are flying in or out of Singapore, make sure to allow plenty of time to enjoy the Jewel and Vortex Waterfall. There’s nothing like it in any other airport. So don’t miss it!
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