In a city of architectural splendour, Singapore offers unique vantage points to enjoy the panorama. From jogging tracks, bridges, flyovers and hotels, the iconic Marina Bay sights are on show. For the fitness conscious, a 3.7km Marina Bay jogging track provides an uninterrupted circuit combining exercise and tourism.
Merlion Park, in front of the Fullerton Hotel, is one of the locations you’ll find these famous creatures. Singapore, initially a fishing village named Temasek (sea town) and later Singapura (lion city), are both represented in the fish body and lion head. The Merlion is symbolic for Singapore and standing at over 8 metres tall with water shooting from her mouth, the mother is a sight to behold. Her much smaller cub is quite cute too.
Cross the newly built Jubilee Bridge to Esplanade Theatres on the Bay. On weekends Esplanade Theatres host free events. Performances are random and might include choirs, bands, exhibitions or “audience participation”. Experience 100 people singing acapella. Split into groups and sometimes slowly wandering the foyer, they sing in unison and perpetual canon (where a number of groups sing the same melody, but begin at different times). Anyone can join in so give it a go. Esplanade Theatres also has a mall attached for shopping, dining and relaxing.
Outside, Marina Bay Seating Gallery overlooks The Float @ Marina Bay. The Float is a permanent stage on the water, slightly larger than a soccer field, it has been a temporary venue for Singapore’s National Day Parade. The seating gallery and the float also play a part in Singapore’s Formula 1 Grand Prix track at turns 17 and 18.
A 5km coastal jogging route continues along the formula 1 circuit past the Singapore Flyer. With full butler sky dining, this is not your average Ferris wheel. For a chance to win a Valentine’s evening of romantic dining, check out their Facebook page.
Remaining on the Marina Bay route, Helix Bridge is the next major vantage point for Singapore Skyline views. Built for pedestrian comfort with shade and cover from downpours, the bridge curves with a double spiral structure representing the symbol for DNA. The bridge itself is a work of art but can be unappreciated when there are so many distracting structures to view from it, the ArtScience Museum for one. The lotus shaped building’s “fingers” with skylights at the “fingertips” are separate galleries with natural light showcasing the curved walls inside. Be transported there by the video below courtesy of ACG Travel Videos.
Of course, from the Helix Bridge, or anywhere in the Marina Bay area, it’s pretty difficult to miss the sleek ship-topped Marina Bay Sands Hotel. Developed by Las Vegas Sands, at SGD 8 billion (including land cost) it is said to be the world’s most expensive stand-alone casino complex. Swim in the Sky Park’s infinity pool, enjoy cocktails at Cé La Vi, dine at celebrity chef Justin Quek’s Sky on 57 or get a birdseye view of Gardens by the Bay. Where ever you are at the top of Marina Bay Sands Hotel the views of Singapore are second to none. (Gardens by the Bay is a world of wonders we’ll share separately at a later date.)
Stick to the boardwalk and take in the Promontory then at Raffles Quay turn left and head straight to Lau Pa Sat, the CBD Hawkers Market. Alternatively, catch the MRT at Bayfront Station and jump out 1 stop later at Downtown. It’s a little quicker, saving your legs slightly, but it depends on how urgently a Laksa is required. Lau Pa Sat is an Asian culinary paradise. Fish ball soup, Beef Noodles, Satays, Laksa, Hainanese Chicken & Rice, ice cold beer, tea, juices and ice-cream; what’s not to love? The architecture is impressive too. Built as an octagon with soaring arches, fretted eaves and filigree topped Victorian columns, the building remains as it was in 1894 (with the addition of a clock tower) when it was relocated to its current position from the waterfront.
Lantern at the Fullerton Bay Hotel is our last stop. The circuit hasn’t quite been completed, but once a cocktail is ordered and the panoramic vista sighted, it’s a strong willed individual who could drag themselves from this stylish rooftop bar. Excellent photo ops abound with the obligatory Marina Bay Sands selfie not to be missed.
Appreciating a bird’s eye view of Singapore’s Marina Bay sights: it’s a thing we love….