Airport hubs in Asia-Pacific have spared no expense on glass and steel to impress travellers. And some have also made efforts to go one step further to entertain. Below are five unusual activities designed to ease the boredom between flights.
CHANGI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (IATA: SIN)
Location: Terminal 3, Arrival Hall, Level 1 and Basement 2 (public area)
Activity: The Slide@T3, a 12-metre, four-storey tall twister slide, is yet another addition to the myriad of activities offered at Terminal 3 in Changi International Airport. Riders can hit speeds of up to 6m/s on this slide designed by Belgian designer, Carsten Höller. For the less gutsy, try the shorter, one-and-a-half storey slide at Basement 2.
Price: Every S$30 (US$22) spent at the airport redeems tokens for two rides (a maximum of 10 rides per receipt applies) on the slide at Level 1. Entry is free for the shorter slide at Basement 2.
Opening hours: Daily, 12pm to 10.30pm.
Verdict: Great for the young and the young at heart.
HONG KONG INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (IATA: HKG)
Location: Terminal 1, Departure Level (public area); Terminal 1, Departure Level near gate 36 (transit area)
Activity: Contrast your mental image of modern Hongkong with a cultural lesson that is the Bits of Old Hong Kong photo and story exhibition series. The Glimpses of Hong Kong exhibition, the first instalment running until the end of this year, features around 90 historical photographs documenting daily life in old Hongkong. Look out also for real models of a rickshaw and an old-style bicycle at the two exhibition venues.
Opening Hours: Daily
Verdict: Ideal for a whirlwind lesson in history, if a museum wasn’t in your itinerary.
INCHEON INTERNATION AIRPORT (IATA: ICN)
Location: 2029-1 Woonseo-Dong, Joong-Gu, along the Incheon International Airport Expressway
Activity: Perfect for the golf-crazy on a hectic schedule. Hit some balls or play a nine round between flights at one of northeast Asia’s largest golf courses, located just by Incheon International Airport. Sky72 Golf Club has a total of 72 holes in its Bada and Haneul courses and a round-shaped 300-box driving range to ensure you maintain that swing despite constantly being on the road .
Price: Prices range from KRW$139,000 (US$111) to KRW$239,000 (US$191), excluding caddie or cart fees, depending on time and course of choice.
Opening Hours: Daily from 5am to course closing, which varies
Verdict: Remember the adage about work, play and a subsequent dull boy. Sharpen your senses with some exercise before that next power meeting.
KUALA LUMPUR INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (IATA: KUL)
Location: Satellite Terminal A, Level 1 (public area)
Activity: Progress often means destroying the fruits of Mother Nature to make way for the new, but KLIA managed to preserve a forest reserve and subsequently created a jungle boardwalk through it for people to amble through. Take a breath of fresh air and a valuable respite from air-conditioning as you take in the sights and sounds of nature walking through an emerald pathway.
Opening Hours: 8am to 11pm
Verdict: A little green on the eyes never hurts. It’s also great once in a while to commune with nature, even if it's just in an airport.
NARITA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (IATA: NRT)
Location: Terminal 1, Central Building, Level 3 (transit area)
Activity: Never mind if you didn’t have the time to go witness the glory of Mount Fuji, or take a picture at an authentic tea house in the Land of the Rising Sun. The Henshin Shashinkan digital photomontage machine helps you fake it by photo-imposing an image of you dressed as a character from a costume drama with a scene from a tourist attraction in Japan as your background. Hai!
Price: JPY1,000 (US$11.40) a photo
Opening Hours: Daily, 9am to 7pm
Verdict: A quirky idea so Japanese that it makes a more apt souvenir than the average trinket.