A Bird’s Eye View of Singapore

With just 704 square kilometres to call its own, Singapore is second only to Tokyo in population density, and the island country has nowhere to build but up – and into the water. Today, more than 50 skyscrapers are crammed into the Central Business District, and the trend toward turning the city-state into a vertical city gained momentum in the 1970s and is still a noticeable force to be reckoned with. Construction cranes abound by the coast where land reclamation efforts over the past decades have turned parts of the world’s busiest port into solid foundations for towering buildings. Whether you’re interested in fine dining or some good, old-fashioned family fun, there’s a pinnacle in the Lion City for you. So hop on an elevator – it’s time to see Singapore from above.

The Marina Bay Sands Skypark

By shipping in tonnes of sand from Indonesia and Malaysia, Singapore has grown its total land mass by 20 per cent in the past half century, and the most impressive building on the reclaimed land is the Marina Bay Sands. Rising out of the Singapore Strait, the property is topped with one of the world’s largest cantilevers, known as the SkyPark, which balances across the three 55 storey towers.

Stretching over 1.2 hectacres, the staff of the Marina Bay are quick to point out that Skypark is longer than the Eiffel Tower is tall. The observation deck, which is open to the public for SGD20, includes panoramic views of the city from the 57th floor – including all the way to Batam Island, Indonesia’s closest island that sits 12 kilometres off the coast of Singapore.

In addition to the observation deck, SkyPark’s infinity pool has quickly become a major draw for the hotel as it is only open to guests, who inevitably change their Facebook photo after their stay to one featuring the Singapore skyline behind their bikini-clad bodies. But you better get up early to grab a good chaise; the pool is packed by breakfast with sunbathers gunning for a prime tanning spot.

Singapore Flyer

Just east of the Marina Bay Sands, the Singapore Flyer offers a scenic trip that the whole family will love. The world’s largest observation wheel at 165 metres high, the Flyer creeps around its ellipse at less than one metre per second, offering a full view of the entire city and beyond during its 30 minute ride. If you’re in town for the F1, the track runs directly under the wheel, allowing passengers to watch the cars from above as they whizz by.

For sightseers interested in a more dynamic viewing experience, the Flyer offers themed rides, including the Singapore Sling flight. Passengers receive a Singapore Sling made from the original 1915 recipe while riding in the VIP-themed capsule. Once your feet are back on solid ground, head to the street food stands on the first floor. The Singapore Food Trail serves up famous cuisine sourced from some of the most historic stalls in hawker centres around the city. Don’t miss the grilled chicken wings at the Alhambra Satay Club; the family run business has been serving up popular barbecued meat since 1967.

The Equinox Complex

Famous for its fine dining options, Singapore has more than its fair share of celebrity chefs and award-winning restaurants, but one restaurant group towers above the rest. Part of the Swissotel Stamford, the Equinox Complex includes five dining and nightlife establishments over three floors, the 69th to the 72nd to be specific, giving the complex the enviable title of tallest restaurant in the city.

When we lunched at JAAN, the complex’s modern French restaurant, we were treated to a show of Singapore’s afternoon showers. The floor-to-ceiling windows were blanketed in a layer of opaque clouds that obscured the view for minutes before blowing past to reveal a stunning panorama of the harbour and Malaysian mountains in the distance. As the five course degustation menu progressed, the clouds rolled back through and then on again, providing a show of nature that was only matched by the impressive food coming out of the kitchen.


As if the name didn’t already give it away, 1-Altitude is pretty tall – the highest al fresco bar in the world, to be exact. At 282 metres, the only thing that separates you from a vertigo-inducing plunge is a transparent glass barrier, which gives you a completely unobstructed 360-degree view of Singapore. If you prefer to take in the heights from a horizontal position, cosy up on one of its cabana beds and let the resident DJs always en vogue music wash over you. For the toe-tapping crowd, there’s a sunken dance floor so you can shake it on the tallest outdoor pedestal. Not surprisingly, the drink prices are sky high, but that’s pretty standard for Singapore. Keep in mind the cover charge too, but after all, you’re paying for the view. 

Slide @ T3

Changi Airport has made a name for itself in the grounded aviation world for its dedication to making flying fun again. From a nature trail including a two-storey butterfly garden to a free off-site tour of colonial Singapore, Changi is one of the few places in the world where you’ll actually long for a layover. And, in the context of this article, the airport has one very important reason to boast: Terminal 3 holds the city’s tallest slide (which also maxes out as the tallest in any airport in the world). Turns out those shrieks you hear aren’t cries of frustration from cancelled flights; they’re shouts of delight as riders plummet through the floors. 

The four storey playground slide is tied into the airport’s shopping centre – spend SGD10 at any store for a free ride. A feat easily accomplished at the airport, with stores offering everything from luxury goods to convenience stores, Changi’s shopping options rival most malls. Once you’ve cashed in your receipt, throw your cares to the wind and hop on the slide. Give yourself a good push to start and you can max out at six metres per second!

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