Butterfly garden…in an airport?

Singapore’s Changi Airport is frequently referred to as the best airport in the world, and for good reason.  It’s easy to transfer, customs are easy, and they have a massive variety of attractions and activities to keep you occupied during a long layover, things like:

  • Free movies playing in movie theatres inside security
  • Transit hotels inside security
  • An outdoor pool (where you can get rent a towel for a few bucks)
  • Plenty of airline lounges
  • Butterfly garden

Wait, a butterfly garden?!

Yep.

I like butterflies.  They’re pretty, industrious, and have never stung me (like that one wasp) or looked at me menacingly (like all cockroaches).  So with much joy I was walking through Changi airport the other day when I saw signs for the butterfly garden!

Butterfly Garden

The butterfly garden at Changi is located in Terminal 3.  The signage didn’t point to the entry very well, so check the airport maps and ask at an information counter if you need help finding it.  When you walk into the garden you’ll be so amazed that you immediately start sweating profusely (since the garden is an open-air garden and you’re walking from the mega-air conditioned airport terminal into the humidity of Singapore)!

Anyway, there are over 1000 butterflies that call the garden home and you’ll be absolutely SWARMED by them.  Of course, by “swarmed” I mean “largely ignored”, the butterflies kept to themselves and tried as best they could to Handle Their Business well.  The gardenkeepers set up feeding stations with flowers and pineapple slices at various places around the garden to entice the butterflies to hang out for a bit and get some sweet, sweet sugar, so most people hung out by the feeding stations.

singapore changi airport butterfly garden

Butterfly on a pineapple!

What I found the most fun was just picking a spot and sitting still, eventually butterflies would get used to me chilling there and would start flying around more, showing off their beautiful colors.  I should point out that this had a deleterious effect on their livelihood as I’d immediately whip out my camera and EnormoLens to take their picture.  We found a good healthy balance and I got to shooting.

singapore changi airport butterfly garden

Butterfly on a flower!

They were absolutely beautiful!

My favorite was probably this little blue guy who was chilling on the second story of the garden, waaay too cool to hang out with those First Floor Butterflies.

singapore changi airport butterfly garden

Blue Butterfly on a pineapple!

Then I got all filtery and instagrammy for the next few pictures.

singapore changi airport butterfly garden

Warm glowy butterfly on a leaf

singapore changi airport butterfly garden

Not quite as warm but equally glowy butterfly on a different branch

Wrapping it up

I didn’t have a ton of time to visit the garden but found it’s a great way to kill 30 minutes or so (as long as you can stand the humidity!).  If you’re a photographer this place is a dream!  So many beautiful butterflies who are mostly comfortable with you getting up close, I just wish I would’ve had my 90mm macro lens with me!

One of the hardest things for me photographically was finding really good composition (I took about 400 pictures and the ones on this post are the only ones I’m even marginally happy with).  I finally found this butterfly who was either exhausted from a long day of flying away from cameras or had overdosed on those pineapple slices and was taking a sugarnap.  Either way, I ended up with a shot with which I was very happy compositionally.

singapore changi airport butterfly garden

Butterfly on another leaf!

 

Have you been to the butterfly garden in Singapore?  What did you think?

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