Thursday, February 29, 2024

Sky-high experiences in Singapore

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Any city worth a flight has a beloved landmark that makes you say “wow”. And in Singapore, it’s the triple-towered Marina Bay Sands that does it for me.

Much like the Sydney Opera House or New York’s Empire State Building, the massive building is a sight that’s hard to miss, and one that’s instantly recognisable.

Israeli-born architect Moshe Safdie designed the building, which includes three main towers with a low-lying ship-like structure placed on top, which makes sense given Singapore is home to one of the busiest ports in the world and the cargo ship is practically a symbol for the nation.

However, people don’t always realise the building’s high-rise towers are supposed to look like sets of playing cards leaning up against each other — a nod to the largest casino in Singapore which is conveniently housed within the colossal building.

But aside from slot machines and poker tables, inside Marina Bay Sands is also a luxury 2200-room resort, the world’s largest infinity-edge swimming pool, and an epic observation deck at the very top of the building.

The panoramic view from the deck, officially known as SkyPark Observation Deck, is unreal.

Not only do you get a bird’s-eye view of Gardens by the Bay and the impressive Supertree Grove, you also get to see an array of other well-known landmarks that make Singapore the glitzy city it is.

  • For those who aren’t staying at Marina Bay Sands as a guest, you can still access the gigantic infinity-edge pool and sky-high observation deck for a fee. At time of print, the cost stands at S$26 ($29) for adults and S$22 ($24.50) for concessions. There is also a family package available that covers two adults and two children for S$74 ($82.50).
  • For more information, visit marinabaysands.com.
Camera IconCable cars at sunset. Credit: Yik Keat

Another sky-high activity worth doing in Singapore is the cable car journey from Mount Faber Station on the mainland to Sentosa Island.

The ride itself takes about 15 minutes and presents spectacular views across Sentosa and Singapore, as well as all the way to Indonesia and Malaysia in the distance. It also gives you a good bird’s-eye-view of Resorts World, Adventure Cove and the lush jungle foliage on Sentosa.

On Sentosa Island, there’s almost an endless supply of things to see and do. You can really spend an entire day there, especially if you’re travelling with young ones, or you’re just young at heart.

But for those who are suckers for a good view, I recommend you head straight to the SkyHelix and book a seat on the open-air ride.

Right outside the gift shop at the Imbiah Lookout, the helix-like structure rises 79m above sea level, making it one of the highest vantage points on the island.

The ride itself lasts 12 minutes in total, including two minutes on the way up, and two on the way down. This means you spend about 10 minutes at the highest point of the ride, with your feet freely dangling in the open air below you. While here, the top of the helix starts to spin slowly, giving you a spectacular 360-degree view of Sentosa and the developing Greater Southern Waterfront. You also get a nice cold drink to enjoy when you’re up at the very top, which is included in the ticket price and makes the experience feel more like an outing to a cool bar in the sky than a heart-stopping theme park ride.

SkyHelix, Sentosa.
Camera IconSkyHelix, Sentosa. Credit: Mount Faber Leisure

For a sky-high dining experience like no other, head to Swissotel The Stamford in Singapore’s civic district and ride the express elevator to level 70.

As you emerge from the elevator, a friendly staff member from the restaurant, SKAI, will welcome you to the venue, which offers exceptional views of Fort Canning Park, the CBD and Marina Bay Sands.

SKAI, Swissotel The Stamford
Camera IconSKAI, Swissotel The Stamford Credit: Masano Kawana

The cocktail menu at SKAI is a real work of art, featuring inventive concoctions containing wild and wonderful things like sunflower seed umeshu, matcha jasmine bitters, cheesecake foam, and so much more.

I couldn’t resist trying the El Beri cocktail. It’s a refreshing blend of Milagro Silver tequila, Cointreau, fermented berry, ginger beer and lots of lime — the perfect complement to a warm Singapore evening.

But SKAI isn’t just about the drinks — the food menu is equally impressive. In the venue’s more casual bar area, you can select things like a charcuterie platter and fine French cheeses. In the main dining area you can pick between an a la carte menu, a set lunch menu, or the set dinner menu.

SKAI also runs a very popular high tea throughout the week.

  • For more information, visit skai.sg.

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