Ah January, month of reading and travel resolutions, goal setting and list making. As you're designing plans for your year of long weekends ahead, I've gone ahead and put together a list of my favourite places to cosy up pre-flight with a book. And if you need inspirations on not just where, but what to read, the gorgeous WH Smith Singapore outlets across T1-T3 transit areas are a literal treasure trove - and they also house my #JemmaRecommends curated reads in store.
1. By the Koi pond
Read by the Koi Pond in T3’s transit areas, and you can also check out the Butterfly Garden right next to it
Should you be the sort to fancy a serene environment to complement your current read (Ikigai, anyone?), settling by the Koi Pond beside the Butterfly Garden in T3 should sound just about perfect. Sit by the pond with your travel companions or have a moment of quiet by the floor to ceiling windows - either way, the beautiful koi pond lends itself to long periods of peaceful reading.
2. With a complimentary drink at DFS Long Bar by Raffles
Have a cocktail while you read!
One of Changi Airport's best kept secrets - DFS Long Bar by Raffles, located on the 2nd floor of DFS Wine and Spirits Duplex Store in Terminal 3 transit, where you can get free drinks from the hours of 6 to 1am. That's right - complimentary tipples are available more than three quarters of the day. Yet another reason to check in for your flight early - I have become quite the regular there over the past couple of years. Papa Hemingway will approve, is all.
3. Obviously - Starbucks, Terminal 4
Relax with a book at Starbuck’s T4 Departure Check-in hall, with the majestic Petalclouds in the background.
My reading habit was formed traversing down many a caffeinated pathway - books and coffee have had a long history of going hand in hand, after all. There are 36 cafes across Changi Airport and 6 of them are Starbucks outlets, with at least one in every terminal. But this has to be my favourite, with its open design overlooking Terminal 4's moving installations, the Petal clouds. Whilst you're likely to find the higher tables populated by students or travellers in transit working off their laptops, these lower couches are obviously designed for lounging, conversing, reading, the like.
4. Perched on any one of the expansive couches in Terminal 4
Read before boarding your plane, along the Boulevard of Trees in T4’s transit areas
I know I'm not alone in my appreciation of Changi's ample seating space - not only do outbound travellers never have to fight for somewhere to settle before their flights, they're totally spoilt for choice when it comes to picking what types of seats they want. There are seats for one, seats for couples, seats for kids, seats for families, and seats that are basically pieces of art. You can find these huge couches (pictured above) that are perfect for bigger groups by the gates in Terminal 4's Boulevard of Trees, but there are so many of them that it's not hard to find a space for yourself at all.
5. Alongside the Peranakan shophouse displays
The Heritage Zone in T4 is another great spot to relax with a book. You can even watch the Peranakan Love Story playing at regular intervals
If you're travelling in a group, where better to temporarily set root than in the hub of Terminal 4's iconic Heritage Zone? The kids entertain themselves on the animal chairs, the soccer fanatics are mesmerised by giant screens streaming live matches during football season, and people of all ages are mesmerised by the animated Peranakan display which is a work of art in its own right. Like the rest of Changi, ample seating abounds, and you won’t have to worry about not being able to find a corner to nestle away with a book while the rest entertain themselves. Not bad, not bad at all.
6. Whilst getting a foot massage
Another comfortable option – the free-to-use Snooze Lounge at T3’s transit areas
Tucked into various corners in Changi you have rows of (free!) massage chairs and sleeping couches, which goes to show that Changi truly is the gift that keeps on giving. Even if you aren’t up for getting your feet gently squeezed in intervals, the super comfy couches are a perfect place to curl up with a book - or to take a nap when in transit.
7. Privacy chairs
You can also check out the lounge area in T3’s transit areas, behind Louis Vuitton
While not exactly being a privacy booth, these chairs with high sides and backs function as classy reminders to the outside world that the one residing within has chosen this seat for a specific purpose: i.e. for some privacy. Where better than to turn your face away from the world and towards the pages of your latest read? You can find these chairs in Terminal 3, behind the Louis Vuitton store.
Bonus: Juice up at the same time
If you’re a fan of reading while watching planes taxiing, how about relaxing along the full length windows in Changi’s terminals?
While guessing whether you can charge your devices in flight or not can be a bit of a gamble, it's a sure thing at Changi. Most seating areas in Changi Airport come with USB ports and universal power points, so you can have your phones, laptops, and powerbanks charging up whilst you finish a chapter of the latest Ferrante. The only thing you'll have to bring is your own wire.
The #JemmaRecommend reads are available in the WH Smith stories across T1-T3 transit areas. Look out for the #JemmaRecommends shelf standees to locate the stickered titles instore, and don't forget to tag us in your bookstagram pictures too!
The views expressed in this article are those of the author, Jemimah Wei. Curated reads from Jemma in collaboration with Changi Airport and WH Smith. Pick up a book. Take a trip. Go places.
About Jemma: Jemimah Wei was born and raised in Singapore, where she has been an online television host, travel blogger, film producer, screenwriter, English teaching assistant, copywriter, and through it all, the writer behind lifestyle blog jemmawei.com. Originally launched in 2007 as an avenue for writing and expression, it has now grown to also encompass photography and personal thoughts on travel, literature, fashion, and cats.