SINGAPORE'S Changi Airport offers enough to do to be a vacation all by itself. Last year more than 65.6 million passenger's passed through Changi.

That puts it among the top 20 airports in the world for passenger traffic, cargo and aircraft movements in the latest World Airport Traffic Report from Airports Council International, a trade association.

Beneath a giant glass dome, where a waterfall plunges 130 feet through a forest, and a winding path leads past palms and fig trees, orchids and antthurium, a robot a robot came rolling around a bend.

It was about five feet tall and cruising my way. In its frame were shelves of bottled water, and with a lifting voice, it encouraged passers- by to grab a drink.

Delighted I obliged, Alas the robot didn't stick around for small talk, and neither did I. It was time to cross a Sky Net suspended more than 80 feet in the air.

So began my airport vacation.

Before you recoil at the though of an airport holiday, let me explain. This is no ordinary airport.
It's Singapore's Changi : part theme park, part futuristic, pleasure dome. And while an airport is typically a limbo - a swinging door between where you've been and where you're going - Changi is a rare airport that invites you to stay.

It's so inviting that while planning a trip to Southeast Asia, I suggested to my husband that rather than just transit at Changi, we stay overnight.

The plan was to spend 27 hours taking advantage of its dazzling attractions. i could idle in the rooftop Sunflower Garden, watch butterflies in the tropical sanctuary, get lost in the Mirror Maze, zoom through a tube slide and explore indoor ''walking trails'' as verdant as any found outside.

Never mind airplanes, Changi's website reads like a brochure for an all-inclusive resort : free movies in 24-hour theaters, retro arcade games, light-and-sound shows starring the soaring waterfall spilling from a oculus in a roof.

The World Students Society thanks author Stephanie Rosenbloom.


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