Friday, September 07, 2018

The Impressive Terminal 4 of Changi International Airport - Automated Process, Heritage Zone @ Singapore #changiterminal4

I have always been proud of our Changi International Airport and i think its newest addition, Terminal 4, was impressive even though it didn't have a SkyTrain connection to other terminals!

It has been opened since October 2017 and despite having an open house before its actual operation, i had never stepped foot on Terminal 4's grounds until my trip to Langkawi via AirAsia.

Refreshing would be the accurate mind that came to mind when i strolled into the air-conditioned terminal; ridiculously spacious (given the scarce land we have), bright and not as crowded as the airport's other terminals.

Checking the panel to confirm the check-in row for our flight. As you can probably deduce from the panel, most of the flights came from AirAsia.


Retail and dining outlets that were open to the general public; frankly, if you are not at the airport to take a flight, Terminal 3 has much better commercial offerings.

Taken from second level of the public-accessible area; notice anything amiss? Instead of rows of check-in counters manned by humans, there were just many machines that looked straight out from a science fiction movie!

Under a concept known as "Fast And Seamless Travel at Changi" (FAST@Changi), most of the processes are automated; from check-in, bag deposit and immigration clearance!

Even the printing of luggage tags!

You have to secure the tags yourself too! With continual manpower shortage (no thanks to a low birth rate that's partly contributed by me), automation is key to the development of the country even though at the same time, it also resulted in job redundancy.

Automated bag drop - now, i have yet to reach middle age but i think the older folks would not find it easy to use the machines. However, please do not get too stressed. If you don't know how to proceed, there are friendly helpers who would guide you!

Loving the weighing scale! It's always good to ensure you keep within the limit. Should you breach the allowable weight; do what i did in Taiwan.

Alex trying out the automated bag drop; it was quite a frustration as the luggage tag had to be placed on top so that the machine can successfully identify and scan it.

Photo-taking for the bag drop; not sure why this is required but i am guessing it's more for disputes when baggage got mixed up or lost baggage.

The automated immigration; this wouldn't be a problem for most Singaporeans as this was already in place for quite a few years, ever since we had bio-metric passports.

Cleared the immigration and inspection!

Time to check out the departure area; i usually make a beeline for the duty free liquor retailer as i am curious to see if Absolut Vodka has come out with any new design! It's a pity we couldn't buy any duty free liquor if we were to return from Malaysia.

Copper Dog - said to be "fruity with a hint of honey and spice", i would have take a sip of two if there's a promoter on site at the booth.

Flower-petal lights on the ceiling.

Shimmering with golden opulence, the TWG store was a sight to behold and should have been included as show set for the Crazy Rich Asians movie!

Many comfortable and attractive-looking sofa chairs said to be extremely durable (can withstand up to 100,000 rubs), with plenty of power sockets and USB ports; basic and essential things i don't get to see in most airports.

Statues (The Travelling Family) for photo-taking!

In line with its flower concept, you can also find a mystifying art installation called Petalclouds in Terminal 4; the choreography for the kinetic sculptures had that strange, hypnotizing effect on people!

Time-lapse as shared on my Instagram for your viewing pleasure.

Light breakfast at Paris Baguette cafe! 

Steel in Bloom - live plants, koi pond, hanging terrariums and a 6-meter tall metal centrepiece. Such themed gardens are available in other terminals and reflect Singapore's status as a garden city.

Checking out the upper floor. 

Aside from a convenience stall, a food court and airport lounges, my objective was the 150-square meter Peranakan Gallery; a collaboration between Changi Airport Group and National Heritage Board! Click here to read more. 

Steel in Bloom from the upper floor - thought it wasn't visually pleasing and professional to have the bars of LED lights on top and over the plants. 

Panorama from my iPhone.

The above is the most photographed place in the entire Terminal 4 and i can imagine why; a row of life-sized Peranakan shophouses ahead of us and all the retailers were traditional Singapore brands like Bee Cheng Hiang, Bengawan Solo, Eu Yan Sang etc! 

Do you know that the facade designs span over four time periods from 1880 to 1950? The baroque (1880-1900), rococo (1910-1920), peranakan (1920-1936) and modern deco (1936-1950). To think that i always collectively placed them as simply peranakan! 


Some of the windows open up to furnishing and fittings common in the past; if you have time, wait for the six-minute "Peranakan Love Story' that would be played out across a 10-meter by 6-meter LED screen that cuts across the shophouses. 

Had a badly needed kopi-gao at Heavenly Wang! 

Traditional biscuits (e.g. jewel biscuits) which would be good souvenirs for foreigners! However, it might be good to offer sampling so that those who have not tried before would know how good they are! 

Loving the dogs and chick chairs dotted all over the area in front of the heritage shophouse replicas as they add a layer of fun and quirkiness.

As you can see, plenty of photo opportunities and those into Instagram postings should factor in extra time to find the right angle and compose the picture for that instagram-worthy shot. 

Got a kilogram of Bee Cheng Hiang bak kwa for Alex's auntie whom we would be visiting in Alor Setar on day two of our trip! I knew her for more than ten years but have not seen her for a long time; it's only right i bought her a small gift.

Sampling for pandan chiffon cake - seriously soft and not very sweet! 

Peranakan-themed toilet! Changi Airport should have more of such toilets in other terminals too even though the disadvantage is that many people would also be taking photographs inside the toilet and this could result in privacy issues. 

Boarding gates are alongside the retail outlets and you don't really have to walk very far from one end to another, unlike other terminals where the boarding gates branched off from the commercial zone located in the middle.

Trees were real trees! 

Smoking room where second hand smoke were inhaled by the culprits themselves. With Singapore getting stricter with outdoor smoking, this kind of room would likely be the norm in the future.

Need to charge my mobile! 

AK733 to Langkawi at Gate G7; another half an hour to go before boarding. Remember FAST@Changi? The boarding gates are automated too! It's frankly an eye-opener as we have been so accustomed to having a human touch from start to end! 

Last two photos! 

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