Travel—particularly through airports–changed drastically after 9/11. Tighter security translated to no shoes and more wasted time.
Passengers are held in limbo for seemingly endless hours. Most airports give you three options for your wait: eat, read or nap.
But some airports now compete to tempt us with anything from extreme shopping to luxury spas, museums, theatres, tropical gardens or bicycle paths. As well as gambling, golfing, soaking or swimming.
Wait for flights in the lap of luxury or play 9-holes at SkyCity Nine Eagles Course, open day and night, but closed for typhoon warnings. (Cost: $60)
Bring golf shoes--or rent a pair. Hire a caddy, if you wish. Prefer virtual gaming? The i-Sports centre boasts uber play options: soccer, basketball, golf, boxing, skiing, car racing, skiing, or shooting. (Cost: $1-6 per game)
Not a gamer? Shop at nearby AsiaWorldExpo (70,000 sq. ft.) or see 3D at the first airport IMAX.
Walk along Holland Boulevard, home to a library where you can read from 1,200 titles translated into 29 languages, watch films on available iPads, or download for your next flight. Play poker at the casino or indulge with massages.
Meander through to view a permanent collection of Dutch Masters, as well as exciting changing exhibits on loan from the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam. Hours are 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. and admission is free.
R&R is an understatement. Before you spruce up at the beauty salon, soak in the hot tub or swim in the outdoor rooftop swimming pool. (Cost: $12) Try the four-story spiral slide, gaze at an 18-foot waterfall, or watch the massive Koi fish swim.
Have more time to kill? Explore seven different gardens: cacti, fern, sunflower, light, fragrance, orchid and tropical butterfly.
But you can also procure private porter service provided for a fee. A porter will pick up bags from anywhere in the airport (5:15 a.m. to 11 p.m.) and ensure delivery to a final destination.
Bookings may be called in, 24 hours in advance. Once your hands are free, rent bicycles and in-line skates to explore beyond the airport's boundaries.
Marvel at the special yellow Christoph 1, one of the first helicopters to ever provide rapid air rescue services and save lives, plus three historic aeroplanes: the Douglas DC-3, the Junkers JU 52, and the Super Constellation. (Cost: €1). Find history to be yawn inducing?
Watch beach volleyball tournaments, play a game of mini-golf, or for an unusual pastime treat, take a tour to examine items previously seized from travellers by customs officials.
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