Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Changi Airport Must-Know Spots

More on Changi Airport information.  One post is just not enough.  If you are taking a cab going to the airport, the cab driver will ask you which terminal will you be getting off.  In case you don't know which terminal to tell the driver, below are the airlines operating per terminal:

Terminal 2:

Air India - AI                         Air India Express - IX                    All Nippon Airways - NH
Asiana Airlines - OZ               Berjaya Air - J8                             Cebu Pacific Air - 5J
Etihad Airways - EY               Firefly - FY                                   Hainan Airlines - HU
IndiGo - 6E                            Korean Air - KE                           Lao Airlines - QV
Lufthansa German - LH          Malaysia Airlines - MH                  Mandala Airlines - RI
Pal Express - 2P                    Philippine Airlines - PR                   Royal Brunei Airlines - BI
Scoot - TZ                             SilkAir - MI                                   Singapore Airlines - SQ
Southeast Asian Airlines         Sriwijaya Air - SJ                           SWISS - LX
Tiger Airways - TR                TransAsia Airways - GE                 Vietjet Air - VJ

Terminal 3:

China Eastern Airlines - MU                                    Sichuan Airlines - 3U
Garuda Indonesia - GA                                           SriLankan Airlines - UL
Jet Airways - 9W                                                    Transaero Airlines - UN
Qatar Airways - QR                                                United Airlines - UA
Saudi Arabian Airlines - SV                                     Vietnam Airlines - VN

* Airlines not listed operates from Terminal 1.

Services in this airport are endless.  Some of the services listed on the guidebook are as follows:

*  Fly-Cruise:
     -  Available at Terminal 3, Arrival Hall.  If you are embarking on a cruise ship from the airport you can check-in your baggage at the Fly-Cruise Counter 48 hours prior to the departure.  Baggage will be delivered directly at your cruise cabin.

* Left Baggage:
   - Available at Terminals 1,2 & 3 Departure Transit Lounge and Public Area. If you plan to go and explore either the airport or the city and you don't want to carry too much stuff you can leave your things at the Left Baggage Counters which is available 24 hours for a certain fee.

*  Medical Services & Pharmacies:
   - Available at Terminal 1, Departure Transit Lounge; Terminals 2 & 3, Departure Transit Lounge and Public Area.  For medical requirements there are counters to provide you the necessary medicines and assistance.  Airport Clinic Emergency Hotline is +65 6543 2223.

Passengers' needs are also provided by the airport.  Too bad I didn't check all of it as I was too lazy to read the guidebook while I was there.

For families:
-  Children's Play Area - Terminals 1,2 & 3 Departure Transit Lounge
-  Family Zone - Terminal 2, Departure Transit Lounge
-  Baby Care Room - Terminals 1,2 & 3 Departure Transit Lounge

For Leisure:
- TV & Entertainment Lounges - Terminals 1,2 & 3 Departure Transit Lounge
- Free WIFI - Terminals 1,2 & 3 Departure Transit Lounge and Public Area
- Free Internet Access - Terminals 1,2 & 3 Departure Transit Lounge
- Spa, Massage & Foot Reflexology - ( Terminal 1 -  the Fish Spa & Reflexology; Terminal 2 - The Ultimate Spa and TranSpa; Terminal 3 - My Foot Reflexology)

For Others:
- Shower Facilities - Terminals 1,2 & 3 Departure Transit Lounge
- Powder Room - Terminals 1 & 3, Departure Transit Lounge
- Prayer Room - Terminals 1, 2 & 3 Departure Transit Lounge
- Special Needs - Terminals 1,2 & 3  Departure Transit Lounge and Public Area
- Laundry Services - Terminals 2 & 3, Public Area
- Free Rest Areas - Terminals 1,2 & 3 Departure Transit Lounge
- Smoking Areas - Terminals 1, 2 & 3 Departure Transit Lounge

And lastly, here's the layout.  Hopefully it could help you roam the busy floors of Singapore Changi Airport.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

What You Don't Know About Changi Airport

While I was sorting out papers from our pile.  Correction, piles.  We have tons of papers filed in "creative" ways everywhere in the house.  Anyway, while I was sorting I saw this small booklet I got when I was in Singapore Airport waiting for my flight back here in Abu Dhabi.  I was scheduled to fly around 10 pm, unfortunately on that same day my sister had a doctor's appointment at 7:00 pm -ish so they need to send me off earlier.

I have never stayed long on airports before because I usually well, just go.  I don't like lay overs.  Plus I'm a non-revenue passenger.  We usually don't have that luxury.  As much as flying with a high travel class is absolutely amazing, being bumped off in case the flight is full is the complete opposite of amazing.  Sigh.  Life of a NR passenger.  But hey, I'm not complaining!

grabbed from commons.wikimedia.org

Back to the booklet.  It was all about the airport - Changi Airport for that matter.  I just realized that I have missed a lot.  While I was killing time, I was just roaming around and thinking of buying some stuff that are small enough to shove inside my backpack while trying to connect to their wifi.  I don't know what seems to be the problem because I just can't.

So I just roamed around, while looking for the loo, I found some internet stations.  I was able to let me family in Davao and my husband in Abu Dhabi know where I am currently at.  I can't stay long there because they don't have seats.  It was intended for short term use only.  So I went back to listless walking.

I got tired of walking so I looked for some lounge chairs where I could sit and read my book. Unfortunately, where ever I go chairs are occupied.  I don't want to go to coffee shops because its too far from my designated gate.  I ended up sitting by the departure gate area, where most of the passengers were sitting on the floor.  If you can't beat them, join them.  To make this post longer (*sheepish grin*) here are what I have discovered from the booklet I got from the airport, which is too late by the way.  But for you potential Changi airport bystanders here are some helpful information.

Below are free services at Changi Airports' Transit Areas:
    -  Avail of the 550 internet stations all around the airport.
    -  Free WiFi access airport-wide (I can't...I just can't)
    - Watch movies at the Movie Theaters in Terminals 2 and 3
    - Play and Enjoy Xbox 360, Playstation 3, MTV booths and LAN Gaming at the Entertainment Deck
         at Terminal 2
    - Watch worldwide news and sports at  TV & Entertainment Lounges
    - Relax at Foot and Calf Massage Stations
    - Stroll at the various themed gardens
    - Make art creations at the Art Interactive Zones
    - You can do local telephone calls
    - Have the kids run around at the Children's Play Area
    - If you are staying longer than 5 hours, take the 2-hour Singapore tour.  Look for the Singapore
          Tour booths in level 2 of Terminals 2 and 3.

The airport's layout will be shown and more information of Changi Airport on my next post.  Hope this could give you an introductory activities while killing the time during one of your transit time in Singapore city.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Royal Treatment

Thai cuisine has always been on my top list of go-to food whenever I feel like binging.  I have tried cooking Thai but its always a disaster, so I rather have it ordered than cook it myself.

A have this voucher expiring soon and its from Royal Orchid.  I was not so keen in using it because the name of the restaurant doesn't ring a bell.  While I was feeling a bit adventurous, I checked the net for any information about this Royal Orchid Restaurant.  Lo and behold, I was surprised that this restaurant has received a number of awards. 

(got the picture from roundmenu)
So we decided to try out the place.  The restaurant is located behind ADCB bank corner Salam St and Electra Street.  It is also near ADNOC with the Marry Brown fast food.  We wanted to make that night a little bit special with a bottle of red, that's why we opted to eat dinner at home (by the way, alcohol is not normally served here).  Around 6:30 I called to make the order and to pick up the food.  I was informed that they will only open around 7 pm.  So they will not be taking any orders until then.  When we went there, there's no customer yet, I was greeted with two lovely ladies, and immediately accommodated me.

The ordering didn't take much time.  I was informed that it will only take 15 minutes.  We have to buy something else, so I told them I'll just come back.  A few moments later, I received a call from them informing me that my order is already ready.  When I got to the place, they were already waiting with my order.

from left to right: paking duck, lettuce, lemon chicken and pad thai.

I must say, the service is excellent.  At home, when the table was set and ready to go, we dug in.  We ordered Lettuce wraps with Peking Duck, Honey Lemon Crispy chicken and Chicken Pad Thai.  All of it are amazing.  We couldn't stop eating until there was none left.  There's only a few Thai restaurants in the city and most of them are not so good except for one place - Taste of Thailand in Al Ain Palace Hotel.  They have authentic Thai food but quite expensive.

The food, the price, the service - Royal Orchid is something one should visit whatever the occasion may be.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Making a Good Choice at The Choices,Yas Island Rotana

A recent opportunity lead us to Yas Island on a sunny Friday afternoon.  As much as we want to laze around and sleep practically the whole day, the brunch service of Yas Rotana hotel is only from 12 noon to 4 pm.  We have to make the most of it.  Besides, who could pass up a chance for an international buffet?

Yas Island is a short drive from Abu Dhabi city.  This is where Ikea (weeho!), The Ferrari World, Yas Waterworld and the Formula One racetrack is located.  Locating Yas Island Rotana was easy because it is situated on the part of the island near the race track.  If you are coming from Abu Dhabi you can take Corniche Road thru Mina Road.  Once you are in Yas Island, follow the signage that states Yas Leisure Drive.  It will lead you to all the hotels in Yas Island - Centro, Crowne Plaza and Radisson Blu.  The drive was tricky, because the main entrance is a bit narrow and you won't easily notice it.  Both Yas Island Rotana and Centro share the same driveway.

The parking is at the basement of Centro hotel and doesn't have an entrance to the Yas Island Rotana hotel.  So you have to pass thru the Centro hotel before you get to the Yas Island Rotana.

The Choices restaurant is just one of the restaurants of the hotel and its located on the ground floor, opposite the main front desk.  Friday brunch is always a jam packed day for the restaurant.  We had to make a reservation a week ahead.

We arrived there around 1:45 pm and it was already buzzing with hungry diners.  Most of the diners were hotel guests and some expat's family.  I was so ecstatic because they have a counter for Ethnic food.  And they have chicken biryani! The international menu was impressive.  Especially the roasted meats.  I love their roasted chicken.  It was juicy and tasty.

my biryani!
I nearly overlooked the salad bar, because it was situated opposite the mains.  I was hoping that the arrangement of the salad would be right next to the mains.  Unfortunately, the sushi bar was around the corner next to the mains.  Hohum.  Plus, there's not much salad ingredients and dressings.  It was a bit of a letdown.

They also have a crepe station and you can choose whatever topping you want..  I was sort of hoping for a pancake or waffle station since its a brunch.  I was not so happy with the dessert station.  Yes, they have the chocolate fountain which is a hit with the kids, but there is nothing appetizing with chocolate dripping (Sorry, I'm not a chocolate lover).

About the dessert bar, while I was checking what they were serving.  There's not much that could fix my sugar craving.  So I got some chocolate pudding on a shot glass, some banana beignets and some French macaroons.  Although, they serve some mini cakes, I didn't get some as they look too dry for my liking.  I like my cake dense or fudgy.  Hey, I'm choosy when it comes to cakes, so no judging.

I didn't take much pictures as I felt too embarrass to take some.  All in all the dining experience in The Choices restaurant was incredibly scrumptious.  The service was also good.  Everybody was accommodating.  And the plates were cleared immediately.  A lot of the staff roam the floor to assist diners in their needs.  A must visit if you feel like splurging on good food with a classy ambiance.