If ever there was a good reason to stay put in Singapore, it is (ironically) for reasons of travel. I think Singapore is the best basecamp for anyone who is passionate about travelling. First of all, flights out of here are relatively cheap. There is also a lot of variety. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, we have the best airport in the world. After being in really shitty airports and others not-so-shitty but with annoying customs staff, our efficient, grand, airport with its awesome facilities is something I”m not just proud of but extremely thankful for.
Sure, there are other airports in the world that are bigger, brighter and more architecturally marvellous than the one in this city. Still, there is nothing appealing about being poked, prodded and rudely herded about by surly staff in LAX or JFK at the end of a lovely Napa Valley tour or an awesome month of shopping and feeding in NYC. Or the low ceilings and drab atmosphere of Ngurah Rai in Bali and the spanking-new but tremendously incompetent Terminal 3 of Indira Gandhi International in Delhi.
The Singapore terminals trump all for being huge yet cozy and efficient at the same time.
And do not just take it from me. Lonely Planet says so too…
And of course the other thing to be proud of is how after all these years and all they have been through, Singapore Airlines is still top of the carrier heap and the first choice of any savvy traveller when it comes to the ultimate in passenger flying experiences. Possibly, only having your private jet would be better.
There are some other carriers that also do a good job. One of my most memorable experiences was flying ANA to Newark. The flight crew were attractive, quietly attentive and passengers experience a feeling of true privilege to be assisted by them, even when asking for an extra pillow or a glass of water. Plus, they had a great “pantry” of cup noodles, choc-bars and Japanese rice-crackers.
Air France also gets my vote for stocking up on ice-cream for late night (mid-flight) foraging during lang-hauls.
I”m dying to check out the other top ten airlines that I have not been on, like Qatar Airways, Aseana and Kingfisher.
Having Singapore as a homebase is basically great all-around; you have our safe streets, planned living and decent food to come home to with your family. Possibly, only the early-morning MRT service sucks, along with present car prices. And then there is that old argument that we are a sterile society. *shrug* I will get my culture, UNESCO world heritage sites and exotica fixes elsewhere. In the meantime, I thank my lucky stars for being Singaporean and here today.