Whether you’re getting ready for your next adventure or trying to kill time during a layover, when you’re not on a plane, being stuck in an airport can feel like a penalty. But don’t despair—if your travels take you to these international locales, a stroll through the airport can be an attraction all by itself, thanks to these bizarre things you can find there.
A Snarky Gargoyle
Where: Denver International Airport
Imagine someone snarky enough to trash talk you to your face. You can be hilariously roasted at Denver International Airport thanks to their animatronic gargoyle. The saying “you’re being trolled” is taken literally as the airport authority pokes fun at the numerous conspiracy theories that surround the property. In early 2019, DEN (the airport code for Denver) installed the talking gargoyle in their concourse that engages in real-time conversations with passing travelers. He does everything from asking you for a date to teasing you about your outfit or the amount of bags you’re carrying.
Where: Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport
Yes, this is slightly morbid, but very true. Most people know Hilton Head as a gorgeous resort and beach town in South Carolina. But once upon a time, the current Savannah/Hilton Head airport site was once a cemetery. When the land was acquired by the U.S. military for an airport build to support World War II activities, most families agreed to have their relatives moved to a new location.
However, there were two plots of land where the family was unwilling to have their relatives moved. Since it’s illegal to move a grave without the next of kin’s consent, the military chose to simply pave over the grave sites of Richard and Catherine Dotson. As a sign of respect, they created flush gravestones which are still visible in the tarmac today.
Where: Kuala Lumpur International Airport
Maybe you prefer that your gardens are indoors. In that case, make sure you stop over in the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Malaysia so you can visit the Jungle Boardwalk. This name isn’t a misnomer: There’s actually a full-grown forest inside the airport—complete with waterfalls and botanical gardens. Just keep in mind that the entrance to this airport oasis is somewhat hidden. Hint: Keep your eyes peeled for the cosmetics shops and then find the glass door with yellow chain curtains.
Aviation Discovery Center
Where: Hong Kong International Airport
These last two airports offer a plethora of activities to keep you occupied if you’re stuck on a long layover. In addition to an IMAX theatre, aromatherapy spa, and virtual golf course, you can also get a history lesson at the on-site Aviation Discovery Center. This experiential venue even includes a flight simulator for little ones.
In addition to learning about Hong Kong’s aviation, you can also visit the SkyDeck, a panoramic observation deck for unobstructed views of Chek Lap Kok, the artificial island where Hong Kong International Airport is located.
Everything at the Singapore Changi Airport
We’re rounding out our list with Singapore Changi Airport. If you’re looking for the layover that has everything, then Singapore is the ultimate option. Relive your childhood by zipping down the four-story slide, relax at the rooftop pool, or get your nature fix with their butterfly garden, fish ponds, and a sunflower garden.
So, the next time you book a trip and realize that you have a long layover, don’t groan. Instead, check out the airport website and see what attractions might be available to you. And if you have to book a connecting flight for an international trip, be sure that you transfer through one of the airports we just described.