Travel: Our Macau/Hong Kong Getaway (6D/6N)!

Follow our 6 day, 6 night adventure in these lands of amazing food, awesome culture and astounding sights. See how we ate, shopped and laughed our way through Macau and Hong Kong! :)

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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Travel: Sands Skypark @ Marina Bay Sands, Singapore

Adam and I seem to have made a habit of going to high-up places together (umm, that came out as sounding more atas that it actually is lah). It all started when I surprised him with tickets to go up to the Petronas Twin Towers skybridge for his 21st birthday some years back. Looking back now, the view was actually pretty dismal, but the whole element of planning a surprise and getting to do it together made up for the whole thing.

Weeks later, he brought me to Atmosphere 360, the resident revolving restaurant at the KL Tower for a serene view of our city centre during our 1st anniversary. Many new places to look out over KL have emerged of late, but after the two tallest buildings in the country... it's time to conquer the skyscrapers and peaks the rest of the world has to offer! :D (yay, this also means more trips!)

We unfortunately missed out on our chance in Bangkok because time didn't permit, but made up for it when we got to go up The Peak during our trip in Hong Kong for fantastic blue skies and the unrivaled view of Central Hong Kong's skyscape.

So, when we were in Singapore this year, it was a no-brainer that one of the things we wanted to do was to give the Skypark at Marina Bay Sands a visit. 

The sampan ride at Marina Bay Sands...  no, we're not kidding, that's exactly what it's called.

Getting to Marina Bay Sands could have been more straightforward with the MRT if we had decided to slow down to read signs. /sheepish :p

We saw a stop called Marina Bay on the MRT Circle Line Extension and cleverly (or so we thought) headed there first, only to realise that the right stop is actually Bayfront (CE1 on the Circle Line Extension/DT16 on the Downtown Line). Alighting at Bayfront leads you right to the doorstep of the Marina Bay Sands empire.

From anywhere in Marina Bay Sands, you'll find lots of signs directing you to the Sands Skypark, which will all lead to this archway heading down.

A replica of Marina Bay Sands, looking impressive even at this scale.

Yes, that's how delayed this post is :p

Buying tickets was pain-free as there were lots of counters open (or if you prefer, you can also get them online here). We spotted some dark clouds when we headed to Marina Bay Sands, and true enough, we were warned at the counter that if it rained, there would be no refunds provided. We decided to go ahead anyway! 

Up we go!

Tickets cost SGD 20 per person and you can stay up there for as long as you like. There are also three free 15-minute long guided tours available daily at 10am, 2pm and 9pm for all Skypark observation deck guests, but only a maximum of 50 guests per tour. Registration can be done at the SkyPark Box Office on a first-come-first-served basis.

After a short ride up the elevator, we emerged at the top of the stairs, just outside of the  KU DÉ TA   restaurant.

Sadly, KU DÉ TA was closed on that day, or we might have considered having a drink or even a quick bite there even if it would have cost us a small fortune. The view from the restaurant may not be the best, but there's something about dining in the sky that has a special charm, no? :)

Down on the (ledge?) platform, there's more than enough space for visitors to stroll around and take in the view. Sadly like we said earlier, the weather was really uncooperative, as dark clouds loomed even higher above us that threatened to rain on our parade view. It may not have rained in the end, but the dark clouds did turn all our pictures into rather gloomy shots! A shame really, but oh well.

Adam enjoying the strong winds.

So obviously the question on everyone's mind is, what can we see from up there? To the left of the bay, we had a great view of the city's signature skyline. I read somewhere that a lot of thought was given to the scaping of these buildings to achieve this impressive view, from the lighting, the layering, the sculptures, and I guess it shows. Unfortunately, the clouds were directly over this side of the bay when we were there, casting a dark blue hue over the skyscrapers. (A little like Gotham City...heh.)

To the right of the skyline, you'll catch the Esplanade - Theatres by the Bay setup, where Singaporeans go for all things performing arts - see the two domes by the waterfront, shaped like goggles? At the bottom right corner, you'll also see the colourful grandstand and the field/stage of The Float@Marina Bay where Marina Bay hosts its sporting events, concerts and festivals.

The lotus shaped ArtScience museum at the bottom, after the clouds had cleared a little.

On the other side of the observation deck (where there were no pesky rainclouds!), you'll see the the Singapore Flyer and the Formula 1 grandstand. Seeing the Singapore Flyer certainly brought back memories for the both of us, of that first trip we took to Singapore after graduation wayyyy back in 2008.

Gardens by the Bay's Flower Dome and Cloud Forest

Another stand out structure you can easily spot from the Skypark deck is the now open Gardens by the Bay, though it was only partially finished when we were there in February. Adam and I stood there for awhile watching the construction and the tractors move soil back and forth, where they looked much like toys from where we were. :p

We also got a fabulous view of the harbour and port of Singapore, where there were many ships out at sea that evening. Truly a sight to behold.

I really wish I had a panoramic function on my phone or camera that evening!

It can get crowded up on the Skypark Observation Deck, especially during peak season like school holidays or festivities. Especially in the evening, where you'll get lots of people who park themselves on the planked floors waiting for sunset or the occasional laser show. Lots of photographers armed with tripods as well.

The famed infinity pool that's now only open to hotel guests... that we could only view from afar! This shot was taken by stretching out my camera with nothing but 200 meters of air beneath it. Would have been a long sordid fall, but thankfully that's a story we don't have to tell. :p


Dusk approaching.

It was starting to get late and more crowded, so we decided to give the night view and apparently some laser light show that we could see from up there, a miss. I had initially dreamed of seeing some magnificent sunset there, but it was so cloudy that we didn't have a chance of that either. We left and decided to head down to the casino instead where Adam won us himself some SGD at poker!

When it was well and truly dark, we wandered out of the building and saw the same sight again... only now from a more down-to-earth perspective. Still as beautiful, especially with all the lights on.

It's clear that Singapore has got this whole area planned out, the view is breathtaking and they seem to have succeeded in creating this entertainment and tourism hub that's sure to continue to thrive for the next many years. I can't wait to return to check out Gardens by the Bay

One of the structures that is way more interesting up close than from the observation deck is the Louis Vuitton prism-like building out on the water. And shucks no, Adam didn't win enough at the casino for us to make a trip in there. :p

Just like this couple, we ended up our Marina Bay Sands visit on these steps, taking in the great view and breeze at Marina Bay. Time seemed to stop. :)

(Well, I was also busy googling for our supper destination - fried carrot cake, Singapore style, but that's a story for another day!) 

**The full set of photos can be found on our Facebook page.

Sands Skypark Observation Deck | Site
Marina Bay Sands
10 Bayfront Avenue,
Singapore 018956
Tel: +65 6688 8826
Opening Hours: Daily, 9:30am - 10pm (11pm on Fri, Sat & Sun)

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