I was leaving Laos after a week exploring the country. Next stop was Bali, Indonesia, but first I had to endure the flight and the overnight layover in Singapore. The least expensive flight I could find had the unintended consequence of a long layover in the most expensive city in Asia. Only positive was I did not have to lug around my check in luggage.
Check in Luggage adventure
Ambassador Transit Lounge reservation
Instead of booking an expensive hotel for a short period of time, I instead took advantage of the airport lounges. I paid $40.00 for a seat in the lounge for five hours in the Ambassador Transit Lounge.
Check in Luggage taken care of
One nice thing about the long layover is I did not have to worry about my check in luggage. I deposited my checked bags to the baggage handlers in Laos. Afterwards, I did not have to worry about all that weight and size until Bali. I did have a carry on bag with me.
Last time I flew out of Singapore, I failed to place my Swiss army knife in my checked bags, and authorities confiscated it. This time, I was not so scatterbrained. I remembered not to board with a knife, a toothpick, screw drivers, and other assorted gadgetry.
Fortunately found a friend
Travel is always better with a travel mate. During my slow boat to Laos, I met Juke from Australia. We also hung out in Luang Prabang. While watching an Australian rules football game in Luang Prabang and talking about future and past travels, we realized we would be on board the same flight from Vientiane, Laos to Singapore.
From there, he was returning to Australia, but I was flying to Bali. We both had extensive overnight layovers. I booked five hours in the lounge, but my layover was 14 hours, so I was glad to have someone to hang out with before I tried to get some sleep on a chair.
Roaming Changi Airport
Since airport food and beverage is already expensive, it is even more so in Singapore. We were both on a tight budget since I was traveling in Asia for a month, and he had been in Asia for even longer. Our strategy was to sit and drink a beverage somewhere for an hour or so and then wander around the airport for an hour in order to not get too bored and to kill time.
We first found a reasonably priced coffee and hung out there for awhile and then walked around the airport for an hour scouting for the cheapest beer prices. Believe it or not, the cheapest beer was at an Irish bar. It is shocking I know. The cheapest beer was like 8 U.S. dollars, and I splurged and had a Guiness for 15 U.S. dollars. We then ate a Subway sandwich for dinner.
Changi Airport is so huge, that we wandered for hours, yet we never ran into the most famous structure that everyone raves about. We never visited the indoor Changi waterfall. I cannot believe I missed it, but that is how big the airport is. We may not have come across the indoor waterfall, but we did run into “Naturally Ted.” A rebrand may be in order.
I parted ways with Juke and headed for the Airport Lounge for my five hour booking. They offered a decent buffet, so I ate some more and enjoyed a beer before they stopped serving alcohol at midnight. I then did my best to try and get an hour or two of sleep in one of the lounge chairs.
Unless some crazy serendipity takes place, and I run into Juke again on another overseas journey, I will most likely never see him again. My time on the slow boat on the Mekong River, Luang Prabang, and Changi Airport was significantly enhanced by his presence.
Ambassador Transit Lounge served its purpose
I would not say the Ambassador Transit Lounge was busy, but there were a few other travelers utilizing the same strategy as myself. I definitely recommend booking some time here. They also have personal rooms, but they are more expensive. A great place to pack in your carry on and kill some time before the next leg of the journey.
Layovers are like a dream
Getting through a layover is like trying to sleep when you are not tired. You flop in bed trying to find the right position just like you flop around the airport trying to kill time before the real adventure starts. Even though it seems like forever before you can fall asleep or before the flight start, when you look back on it, the memory seems sort of surreal. Before I knew it, I was in line with my boarding pass on the next adventure to Bali.