It's been a long week with many late nights at work, and mummy and daddy decided to put aside some time to spend with their two girls on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Besides having the right to brag of having been on the 'world's largest giant observation wheel', we decided on the Singapore Flyer for a few reasons. Firstly, there was a 20% discount on admission for the month of April if you buy your ticket online. Secondly, K was on it when she was only a few months old and we've always promised her that we'd bring her some day. We were last there with A when she was much younger, so much so that she was often commenting that she would like to ride it again.
|"That's the bridge we saw the ferris wheel from!"|
Getting off our cab at the main foyer taxi stand, we were greeted by a Sunday crowd of tourists from around the world. The crowd quickly dissipated as the friendly guides from Singapore Flyer attended to them the moment they got off the cab. Still, it was never at any point in time too crowded for a family outing. It helped that mummy had our e-tickets handy, which meant that we didn't need to join the queue.
The main lobby houses a number of quick bites and tour operators, such as the Duck and Hippo which we vow to try another time when time permits!
|A wide selection of tour operators catering to tourists.|
|The food and beverage options were a plenty. We opted for the healthier choice!|
After picking up a large cup of juice and fresh fruits from Juiceland, we proceeded to explore the landscaped greenery in the middle of the ground floor just under the boarding platform. We snapped a few photographs here and there, and even took turns to take family photos with a friendly family we met along the path. Within the greenery, there is a waterfall and walk through 'cave' that make for interesting photo portrait backgrounds. The border of the mini 'park' is lined with sign posts suggesting things you could do here other than the ride on the wheel. Some of the cartoons were very cute and generated many comments and questions from the kids.
|Family portrait infront of the waterfall.|
Enough hanging around! We headed to the second level and proceeded to catch our ride. Along the way, here are some interesting things we saw, all of which are options for us to try perhaps another time.
|Interested in becoming a commercial pilot anyone?|
|Gawking at a tourist having her feet cleaned at the fish spa.|
We had printed out our e-tickets and paid for them online, which made checking-in a lot quicker and smoother. The security element was something that was not there the last time we went, which was about 3 years ago. This time, we had to pass our bags and belongings through an x-ray machine and walk through a metal detector, just as you would at the airport. The security check was creatively done up aesthetically to simulate a real airline flight too. In fact, after the security check, you get to walk through what was done up to look like an 'aero-bridge' before reaching the boarding platform.
Before we got to the boarding platform, we passed through a futuristic art gallery, featuring a handful of large sculptures with descriptive boards hung up on the walls beside them.
|An artistic compilation of about 1500 objects by artist David Chan Kien Wai called Oneiroi Orb.|
|The Planet matches the circular theme of the giant observation wheel, and on this spherical screen is projected a video depicting the story of the Singapore Flyer.|
|The Numeric sculpture is really a compilation of facts and figures about the Singapore Flyer.|
|A sneek peek into the premium capsule in which you can book a table to dine in and enjoy the night skyline at the same time. It's empty right now!|
We carefully stepped into our ride mindful of the childrens' safety, and found a place to sit down. A. preferred to explore the confines of her transparent viewing box and sit anywhere she wanted. As the capsule went higher and higher, the girls started to have reservations about the moment the 'box would be upside down'. We had to reassure them that this 'box'was specially designed to remain right side up, and we'd never have to find ourselves hanging from the ceiling.
|"Can you see that? That's where we were just now!"|
|The girls had no reservations sitting where they could get the best views.|
|A panoramic view of the Gardens by the Bay.|
|Enjoying the Marina Bay scenery.|
However, after ten minutes, all my panaromic shots, no matter how breath-taking, started to look the same, and I had put the camera down for a rest. Even the kids were no longer smiling for the camera, and preferred to find a spot on the hard floor or hang from the railings. There were no tantrums however, and the constantly changing scenes always ensured there was something to spot. It helped that our girls love to play the childhood game of 'I spy with my little eye...'.
Here's a tip: if you're susceptible to vertigo, fear of heights, or motion sickness, do take preventive steps (e.g. medication) to ensure your ride is as enjoyable as it should be. You get pretty 'high' literarily, and even though there are no jerky or sudden movements, motion sickness can still strike in the form of headaches or nausea. Take it from the mummy.
During the descent, we caught sight of a trampoline-like set up and decided to check it out when we were on the ground. It turned out to be a booth by the adventure team MegaZip which provides rides (or jumps) for children and adults attached to bungy cords that allowed adjustments to be made according to their height and how high they could jump. It was quite an interesting contraption, and A. was keen to try it out. It cost $10 for visitors with a Flyer ticket ($15 without). They are only open on weekends and public holidays. It was such a thrill for her and an experience I am sure she will never forget!
|"Look mummy I'm flying!"|
|Up, up, up and away!|
|A trishaw 'parked' outside the food court.|
|Old school stalls and deco. Note the vintage street signs.|
|Mock up of a tailor's shop?|
|A display of antiques and artifacts from the memory lane!|
|Ang Mo Kio Heng Baby Squid Fried Hokkien Mee|
|Newton Circus Prawn Noodle Soup|
|Boon Tat Street BBQ Seafood Sambal Stingray|
|Whampoa Ngoh Hiang Prawn Cracker|
|Vintage soft drink glass bottles!|
What an outing, enriching and stimulating both to the mind and body! It is no wonder that tourists (at least the ones we know) who have been to Singapore Flyer all exclaimed Singapore's beauty and were left in awe. We took a long cab ride back to the east, and the ladies in the back seat drifted off into a deep sleep...