When I first saw pictures of Jewel, a spectacular mall at Changi Airport in Singapore, I gasped! The image of a massive dome and a vortex-like waterfall surrounded by a lush tropical forest seemed absolutely surreal, like something out of a science fiction movie. I knew, there and then, that I had to see this with my own eyes! Well, it just so happens that I visit my family in Kuala Lumpur a few times a year so it wasn’t too difficult to plan a visit to Changi Airport to see Jewel. For my recent trip to Kuala Lumpur, I booked a flight via Singapore on the return leg, with a four-hour layover at Changi Airport. I was so glad I did!
How to visit Jewel at Changi Airport
My flight from Kuala Lumpur arrived at Terminal 2 at Changi Airport. I walked to the Info Desk and the friendly lady gave me precise instructions on how to get to Jewel. As the mall is located landside (i.e. you have to pass through immigration to visit the mall), I had to fill in a landing card and pass through immigration. For those of you wishing to visit Jewel during a layover, make sure your layover is at least four hours long and that you don’t need a visa to enter Singapore. If your layover is short or if you need a visa, you can opt to take the Skytrain connecting Terminals 2 & 3. The train passes through the Jewel atrium, giving airside visitors a glimpse of this architectural wonder.
I took the train to Terminal 1, where I passed Immigration and Customs. As I exited the Arrivals Hall, there were signs pointing towards Jewel. I entered the mall and took the escalator up to the first floor. What greeted me was simply mind-blowing!
HSBC Rain Vortex and Shiseido Forest Valley
I gasped (again)! It took my eyes several moments to comprehend what I was seeing: a gigantic dome hovered above a verdant tropical forest, and at its centre, a waterfall tumbled into what looked like an abyss. The HSBC Rain Vortex is, at 40 meters or 130 feet high, the world’s largest and tallest indoor waterfall. The Shiseido Forest Valley is one of Asia’s largest indoor gardens, spanning five levels and houses around 3,000 trees and 60,000 shrubs of 120 species from tropical forests around the world.
See Jewel without exiting the airport
Airside passengers can also see Jewel by taking the Skytrain that connects Terminals 2 & 3. As the train enters Jewel, it slows down, giving passengers the opportunity to admire the view.
Jewel is a mall with more than 300 retail and dining outlets. The basement has a large variety of restaurants while the top floor houses many cafés and bars. Also on the top floor is the Canopy Park, with its lush flora, as well as the Canopy Bridge, a suspension bridge 23 meters high that provides panoramic views of the forest and the Rain Vortex. There are also the Sky Nets, where you can walk or bounce on nets above the forest canopy, and a Mirror Maze!
Jewel HSBC Light and Sound show
In the evenings, visitors are treated to a light and sounds show. The Jewel light show lasts approximately five minutes and starts at 7:30 pm, 8:30 pm, 9:30 pm, 10:30 pm and 11:30 pm. You can choose to view the show from the ground floor or from one of the upper levels. There’s no entry fee and you can see it from different spots. The show is absolutely magical and is worth the wait to watch it.
I was absolutely impressed by Jewel. The architecture and indoor landscaping are simply incredible. If you’re visiting Changi Airport (on a trip to Singapore or on a layover at Changi Airport), I highly recommend visiting Jewel!