Feng shui is about how our surrounding environment affects us, and airports do not have the best environment to hang around. Most of us can’t stand it there for hours, let alone a long layover.
In this post, I’ve listed 10 airports that you won’t mind (as much) when you’re stuck inside the airport for a long layover. These are the airports that did some extra work on their interior feng shui so you feel like you’re NOT in the airport.
I am not rating these airports by architectural design, the beauty of the surrounding land, or the entertainment activities offered by the airport.
Rather, these are airports that take feng shui seriously by connecting the travelers with surroundings not associated with the typical airport – so you can feel anything other than frustration, agitation, and all those feelings when you experience during long waits at the typical airport.
10. Las Vegas McCarran International Airport, USA
Being the city where the most gambling happens, Las Vegas’s airport has more than 1,300 slot machines in Terminals 1 and 2.
Instead of just hearing boring announcements about flight and gate numbers, you are surrounded with the ding, ding, ding of slot machines that we associate with gambling and winning money. Ok, maybe it’s not awesome. But at least it gives you the feeling that you’re still in Las Vegas, whatever that might mean to you.
9. Athens International Airport, Greece
Greece is a country rich in ancient history. The airport created mini-museum that permanently exhibits around 172 archaeological artifacts of the country.
Some of these artifacts are hundreds or centuries years old, dating back from the Neolithic and Early Helladic to the Post-Byzantine period. They take your mind away from the airport and bring you back in time to the rich cultural heritage of the country.
8. Amsterdam Schipol Airport, Netherlands
Amster is also another country rich in culture, and Amsterdam’s airport sure used it for the traveler’s benefit. Amsterdam’s airport hosts a branch of the Rijksmuseum, a national museum dedicated to the arts and history of Amsterdam.
Usually eight to ten masterpiece of painting are presented and are rotated regularly. In addition to paintings, you can also experience music, literature, and other types of artwork. This airport would be great for those who loves visiting museums.
7. Austin Bergstrom International Airport, USA
Austin is the Live Music Capital of the world. That is why Austin’s airport has “Music in the Air”, where it hosts live music concerts and shows accessible to ticketed travelers only.
The onstage concerts and shows are featured almost every day, featuring everything from jazz to swing. Music brings auspicious energy that has the ability to affect our mood, depending on the type of music. The inclusion of music, especially lively ones such as jazz and swing, brings much more liveliness in a stale and boring airport.
6. Seoul Incheon International Airport, South Korea
Seoul Incheon Airport has a cultural center where live music and dance performance can be found.
Not only will you find live performance similar to Austin, the performers are also dressed up in traditional costumes. The atmosphere and environment provided by the addition of live performers give you an experience normally found in theme parks.
5. Tokyo Haneda International Airport, Japan
Tokyo Haneda Airport has an “Edo Marketplace” that’s built using traditional architectural design.
The place is filled with lanterns, wooden structures, and store signs printed on wooden boards, giving you a feel of Japan’s traditional culturalal settings. Not only is the marketplace a perfect escape from the typical airport setting, it’s vibrant energy from the people and its settings gives you the experience of an old busy street in Japan.
4. Dubai International Airport, United Arab Emirates
Dubai International Airport features fern Zen gardens that connects its travelers to nature.
The Dubai Airport displasy live plants, sand, and rocks that you can’t normally find in an airport. What’s amazing is that it also has water features that gives off the sound of moving water, which is known to soothe us due to our natural attraction to water.
3. Vancouver International Airport, Canada
Vancouver Airport features more than 5,000 marine creatures in a 20,000-gallon tank aquarium. In addition, it also has an area with water features and live plants.
I love marine creatures, and I could just stare at them and observe their behaviors for hours. After being fascinated by life under the sea, travelers can dine and shop while being connected to nature. This makes the airport a wonderful and relaxing place to stay.
2. Munich International Airport, Germany
Munich Airport has a huge, spacious, and open area with some garden features. But what’s more amazing about this airport are the events within the airport. It includes the Surf & Style that runs from July to August, featuring the biggest artificial waves, and its Christmas market, where you can ice-skate – all inside the airport.
The huge space gives you a feeling of being outdoors. The air that you breathe are natural instead of artificial. You can see the clouds and the sun during the day and the stars and the moon during the night. Their seasonal events, such as surfing in the summer and ice-skating in the winter, amplifies the vividness of the season. Put simply, this amazing airport completely takes away the feeling of being crammed and confined in a typical airport.
1. Singapore Changi Airport, Singapore
Although Singapore Changi Airport has no winter or summer events, it is by far the most “natural” airport that I know of.
Unlike other airports, most of this airport is filled with massive garden features. You could hardly disconnect with nature as you traverse through this airport. This is what makes this airport relaxing. It makes you feel like you’re immersed in a garden instead of an airport as we know it.
If you haven’t noticed, my favorite airports are the ones filled with nature. They are also ranked higher in terms of feng shui for a reason.
A few minutes of contact with nature can significantly reduce stress and take away anger, frustration, and many negative feelings. Further, nature can also brighten our mood and give us pleasant feelings, which can definitely help when you’re stuck at an airport.
This is supported by many scientific studies, which I will talk more about in a later post in conjunction with indoor plants and their feng shui. Remember to subscribe to this blog so you get notified!
Over to you: Which of these airports do you like best?
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Hi Victor, My current favorite is the Copenhagen T3, it does not try to be, or pretend to be, with nature or with awesome feng shui, it is just a simple, efficient and an honest place to get us from point A to point B. We were there only a few days ago on our way home from China.
Wow that looks pretty awesome. Thanks for the share!
I just realized, was this structure intended to look like a paper airplane?
Only from the air and only because it is a landing place for planes. You don’t feel it inside. A nicd yin/yang contrast, looking at and looking out from.
Cool airports but I don’t see the feng shui connections and I am surprised, given the title of the linked article, that it isn’t really mentioned. On a separate matter, my goal is always to get through an airport as quickly as possible. You can add a marching band on parade but I won’t be stopping to watch.
Great examples of form school and creating an aura of relaxation, to counter the anxiety that many people feel when traveling these days. Thank you for sharing….I live in Los Angeles and Los Angeles International Airport is ugly and depressing.
I think Kartar is talking about feng shui as in the quality of the environment, whereas Rob has a specific expectation of feng shui (eg. being appropriate). Victor being a marketer, he just wants to market feng shui as something awesome. I would like to see feng shui as an an applied art, where the practitioner has done something that is delightful, functional efficient and ritually correct that can enlightens the spirit at the same time.
Feng shui can be very confusing because there are so many levels we can engage and connect to our environment. Also feng shui can be viewed as its quality and also as it method of application at the same time.
Thanks for your great feedback – Howard, Rob, and Kartar! I noticed feng shui can get quite deep, and I’m still learning about it. As for me “being the marketer” (LOL), I’m trying to make it less confusing, especially for the new generation like me who grew up educated in science and uses data/analytics at work. All your comments help! I’ll reach out to you for future articles.
I think it is so wonderful to include Feng Shui . Many people experience the silence
I agree Katrine. The whole purpose is to help us relax and feel better!
yes, I was making a general statement about “shape” and “form” and such simple things as qi flow and having a pond or fountain at an airport to feel good around, things to look at, easy on the eyes. That is just one aspect of Feng Shui. Of course, we can’t expect major airports to take Feng Shui to the level of doing a flying star chart over the structure or the whole space. Wouldn’t be practical. But the Form School aspect to the airports you recognized is certainly going to make travelers feel better. Compare that to LAX where you feel like you are going to court to pay a ticket or the Denver airport which actually has satanic symbolism in their art work and other bizarre depressingc images to take in subconsciously!
One wonders how much effect even the most auspiciously designed buolding has on people merely passing through it. FS could benefit the airlines and the airport’s workers perhaps (although they don’t get to select what sectors they work in). But the passengers?
Hi Rob, to respond to your questions about who would be influenced the most: Someone could take the time to do a very tedious type of long term case study on the Feng Shui of any airport. Those traveling through would not be influenced nearly as much as those working there. However, if a passenger is injured or killed at an airport, then certainly we could find some correlation to the bad feng shui at that place and point in time. In the big picture, the owners of the airport and the commercial enterprises there, like shops and restaurants, could be assessed for where they are and the amount of accidents or near misses on the runway could also be correlated. Other details could be revealed such as which airports have the most missing or stolen luggage, and the list goes on…. But with “big picture” feng shui in mind, the ones which Victor highlighted, felt more like art museums, cultural centers, shopping malls, indoor parks, etc. They did not feel like drab or depressing airports where you are constantly aware of Homeland Security and other assaults on our privacy etc .
Imagine what a runway does to qi flow!
Hi Kartar, Good form has good feng shui but it might not have been done with Feng Shui. Just like a good fighter has good kung fu but he might not have learned Kung Fu. So what made them stand out and why bother learning them?
Good things and bad things can be correlated to feng shui but they might not have been caused by Feng Shui. I could have bought a lottery ticket in one of the airport kiosk Victor mentioned and won, but we know it is not because of the good feng shui of a particular airport that made me rich, it is just chance. The same can be said about runway accidents, it could just be bad planning. Correlation is not causation and although correlative thinking is often used in Feng Shui, it does not always make good feng shui.
I wrote feng shui in lower case to refer to feng shui as in the quality of the environment and in capital to refer to the practice of Feng Shui. The awesome Feng Shui referred to by Victor is his way of saying good feng shui (a pleasant environment), whereas when Rob said he cannot see the feng shui connection, he meant he cannot see (the practice of) Feng Shui being used.
Hi Howard, oh sure I agree with you. I was just trying to give some examples of events or circumstances….but we know that a serious event usually has a number of combining influences and not just one feng shui “flaw.” Here would be a theoretical example, if someone gets hurt at an airport, it could easily be based on the person’s feng shui at home, combined with their Ba Zi, and then the airport qi on top of it…..
Are you saying someone gets hurt at the airport could be CAUSED by the person’s feng shui at home, combine with his Bazi, as well as the airport qi?
Then I could say you are a pig because you are born in the year of the Pig, but are you really a pig?
Great discussion Howard and Kartar. The purpose of this post is to show how airports can give us a different feel by sprucing up its interior design and environment. I apologize for using the term “feng shui” too broadly to describe the environment. Personally, I liked Singapore’s airport because it massively integrated nature into it.
Hi Howard, we could talk semantics, as well as theory. We could say in one instance that feng shui does not “cause” anything to happen. The environmental influences may only bring to the surface something that is a potential. Within the realm of Feng Shui being a predictive art and a metaphysical practice, we can say that people do reflect some of the traits associated with their Year Branch and then we can go deeper into the 4 Pillars as well. One of the reasons Mark Johnson was ruminating about quitting practicing Feng Shui some 20 years ago (in an article in Qi Journal magazine), was because he felt that most people experience their Ba Zi chart more than their feng shui. I am not a Ba Zi practitioner (yet) so I do not have the vast amount of experience to say what is more influential. However, I have had over 5,000 feng shui clients and I do see a direct correlation between the person’s home and work environment and what actually transpires in their life. That is why I am still in business and still learning.
Hi Kartar, There are definite correlations between feng shui and what has happened to us but we need to bare in mind that they are (especially in compass feng shui readings) correlations to enable us to establish a meaningful relationship between us and our environment, they are not the causation until proven otherwise. But we tend to treat correlation and causation as the same thing and that gives rise to many unrealistic expectations and irrational fears.
Some of my Russian students felt the same way as Mark Johnson did, they felt that I don’t believe in feng shui when I tried to explain the difference between correlative thinking and analytical thinking used in Feng Shui. They don’t realize that the same way of thinking of integrating the two modes of thought in Form and Compass Feng Shui is also used in other forms of Chinese metaphysics (Xuanxue 玄學) like Bazi, and that is why I used the example of you being a pig earlier to try to get that message across.
Our modern scientific mind has a “cause and effect” bias, whereas in Xuanxue we are more interested in meaningful relationships to establish “ganying” 感應 or “mutual resonance” between things around us so we can be more efficacious. The traditional concept of “tian ren he yi” (天人合一) or “Heaven (Nature) and Man are One” is a good example.
I have also lost my faith in Feng Shui before and that is because I have not dig deep enough into the subject. IMO, Mark Johnson gave up too soon, and turning to Bazi is not the answer; he’ll do better in Xuanxue if he can get a deeper understanding of the traditional way of thinking and world-view.
I can understand why people can experience their Bazi more than their Feng Shui because in Bazi the correlation is one to one (correlation to person), whereas in Feng Shui the correlation is one to three, correlation to person and to his or her environment at an appropriate time (space/time/action). The connection is not so simple and there are also more options to consider, but the advantage of Feng Shui is that there are also checks and balances we can use to make the adjustments that Bazi don’t have. But that is another topic not relating to what we are talking about in this thread.
I never lost faith in Feng Shui. I have been impressed and amazed at the influence. I’m about to write an article on an on-going 8 year case study with a family member of mine, where the feng shui influences were so right on cue that it was scary.
PS I am a Metal Ox. 🙂
The Stems and Branches in a Mteal Ox are correlated to many potentials and tendencies associated with you, they only get scary when you think that they have made you who you are. 🙂 Thanks for the nice chat, we are walking the same path (Tongdaoren 同道人), more or less..