Traveling Ted is a blog that takes readers along on my adventures hiking, canoeing, skiing, and international backpacking. Many blogs focus on one aspect of backpacking, but I tackle both the outdoor adventure side and international exploration as well.

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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.

Vientianne Laos

My last day in Vientiane, Laos before flying to Bali, Indonesia

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.

Related: West Bali National Park snorkeling adventure

check in luggage

My check in luggage and carry on in Chicago

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.

Bali Rice Terraces

The beauty of Bali, Indonesia awaited, but first I had to survive a layover in Singapore

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.

Laos slow boat

Juke to the left with arm extending out the window on the slow boat to Luang Prabang in Laos

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.

Leaving Laos

Flying out of Laos on Scoot Airways as the Mekong River looms below

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.

Luang Prabang

Juke and a friend from Israel in Luang Prabang

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.

Naturally Ted

Naturally Ted

Parting ways

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.

Changi indoor waterfall

Changi Indoor waterfall – What we should have visited, but did not – Wikimedia Creative Commons – By Nigos – Own work, CC BY 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=80029105

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.

Flying Scoot Airlines

Before you know it, I was back in line ready to board the next leg on Scoot Airways and reunite with my check in luggage

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.

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