This Chaotic International Airport Is One Of Samantha Brown's Favorites

Samantha Brown has devoted her career to teaching us the best places to visit and how to travel smarter — and that includes making the most of our time at the airport. While you might not always get to choose which airports you fly in and out of, Brown highlighted one vibrant hub for travelers visiting Asia: Changi Airport in Singapore.

The pro jet-setter told Forbes, "[Changi is] overwhelming. It's almost like Las Vegas in an airport." She explained that, much like a city, the airport has "side streets" away from the main walkways, and if you explore away from your gate, you'll find Zen gardens, koi ponds, waterfalls, and comfy seating areas.

As Brown can attest, Changi is arguably one of the coolest airports in the world and a destination in and of itself — the type of place you'd enjoy spending your time, rather than a dreaded part of your vacation. The travel expert admitted, "The last time I was there, I had a three-hour layover, and I still had to run to make my plane."

Changi's amenities will keep you busy for hours

Typically, you'd want to spend as little time in the airport as possible, but if you're traveling through Changi Airport, you might just want to leave time to linger. The Singapore hub is packed with entertainment, fun activities, and areas built for relaxation. One must-see feature of the airport is its iconic Rain Vortex, the world's largest indoor waterfall. The sight can be found inside the airport's Jewel building, which is also home to attractions such as Experience Studio (an interactive digital game center) and the wondrous Canopy Park.

Elsewhere in Changi, discover green gardens just steps from the boarding gates. One popular spot is the airport's Butterfly Garden, where you can watch over 1,000 butterflies in their lush, flowery habitat. Have more time on your hands? Adventurous types can partake in rock climbing, while the airport's movie theaters may be more appealing for tired and jet-lagged travelers.

For a luxurious experience, spend some time relaxing by the rooftop pool, located at the Aerotel Airport Transit Hotel. Grab a drink at the poolside bar, and when you're done, use the showers to freshen up before your flight. The facilities are free for hotel guests, but visitors can stop by for a fee.

Leave room in your stomach for Changi's top-notch food

Samantha Brown isn't Changi Airport's only famous fan: Anthony Bourdain once said his favorite airport food was at Changi. In an interview with The New York Times, the travel foodie applauded the travel hub's staff canteen, an underground hawker-style food court serving cheap meals to employees. The good news: You don't have to work at Changi to dine there! Load up your plate with chicken rice, noodles, and other local specialties for a fraction of the typical cost of airport food.

If you don't mind splurging on your meal, eat at one of Changi's restaurants or casual food joints. There are over 240 establishments to choose from, so you'll find something to satisfy almost any craving. If you're traveling in a group, share the delectable hotpot at Coucou Hotpot, or for lighter fare, nibble on dim sum classics at Peach Garden Chinese Restaurant.

Given Singapore's unique blend of Asian influences, you can also find iconic Eastern dishes throughout Changi Airport. Look out for ramen, nasi lemak, sundubu jjigae, Hong Kong-style egg tarts, sushi, and bubble tea.