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How to visit the Marina Bay Sands Sky Deck – A night at Ce La Vi Skybar

I dare say that the Marina Bay Sands with it’s unique design ( the top deck is shaped like a giant ship, resting on three seperate skyscapers ) is Singapore’s most iconic landmark. The building hosts a casino and the 5-star Marina Bay Sands Resort, featuring a wide range of spa amenities, numerous bars and restaurants and a spectacular Sky Deck with a luxurious 150 metre long infinity pool. It is an incredible architectural masterpiece with views that are absolutely one-of-a-kind. The sad part is, that it’s amenities, including the larger area of the Sky Deck and the pool are exclusively for guests of the resort and that the room rates start at around 400 $ a night.

But don’t be discouraged just yet, as I am going to tell you now, how me and my friend still got up to the top and had a great night high above the city.

Singapore Gardens by the Bay

Singapore Gardens by the Bay

We started our evening with a beautiful walk around the Singapore Marina, right where the Marina Bay Sands is located. After checking out the Merlion statue, the national icon of Singapore with the head of a lion and the body of a fish and several architectural masterpieces showcased around the water arm, such as the Esplanade that is shaped like a durian. If you plan a trip here, also make sure you are there to see Wonder Full. The light and water show displayed everyday at 8.00, 9.30 and 11.00 pm is an absolute highlight, making the waters of the Marina reflect the beams of light that are coming from the Sky Deck of the Marina Bay Sands.

 

After that, get yourself some dinner at one of the close by asian food courts. The one we have been to was a big open-air space with eating tables, surrounded by a huge number of little hawkers stalls. There are plenty of reasons why this must me my absolute favourite dining option when in South East Asia. First, it’s fresh and delicious! The food is being cooked fresh right in front of your eyes and always is surprisingly good. Also you get a huge variety of choices, which is most fun if you are a group of people and just get heaps of different, yummy-looking plates of “whatever-that-is” to share. And then it also is the most authentic way to eat out: Being right in the middle of all the buzz, surrounded by the different smells of cooking food, the sound of laughter, vital conversations and hawkers loudly advertising their treats, maybe even sharing a big table with locals, for me is the epitome of what travel means. Also it is usually very cheap. And believe me, when you are travelling on a budget this will be a much better option than investing a lot of money in a luxurious dinner in one of the Marina Bay Sands restaurants.

After dinner it is getting time to make your way up to the Skybar, as you’d want to try to get there before 9 pm to avoid the entrance fee (that’s on weekends). You enter the hotel lobby through the main entrance or through the neighbouring shopping centre The Shoppes. Once in the lobby all you have to do is to search for the right elevator to take you up to the bar. Look out for a big sign saying Ce La Vie and a concierge monitoring the numbers of people entering the elevator and their dress code. In my experience the dress code ( stylish-chic ) wasn’t very strict at all, just make sure to look proper, don’t wear flip-flops, shorts or singlets and you’ll be sweet.

 

And that’s it. You’ll be in the elevator in no time, making your way up to the top ( level 57! ). Once you get out it’s only a few steps towards the balcony and the views down on the Marina Bay Skyline will blow your mind. It is incredibly bright and shiny under the dark night sky and the reflections on the water make it look even the more dramatic. If you can, pick a bar table at the edge of the balcony ( these will be taken in no time once it gets a bit later and more people come in for a night out ), then wait for a waiter to come and hand you over the cocktail menu. It’s worth checking it out, before going for the easy way out and ordering a spirit, as there are some incredible creations on there. I can still perfectly remember what I had: the Geisha, made with fragrant nashi pears, Tanqueray Ten gin, rosemary and saké. Super extraordinary taste, loved it! It does cost about 25 Singapore Dollars if I remember it correctly, but if you were to go to the SkyDeck you’d pay the same money simply for admission. And how much better is it, to enjoy the view with a beautiful drink in your hand and great music from a phenomenal roof-top bar setting hosting a mix of international and local people out for a great night, than to be perched on a void viewing platform with a crowd of wildly selfie-taking tourists? Yes, i know, i’ve got a point!

So make sure you give yourself plenty of time to enjoy the marvellous views in all directions and soak in the great peaceful feeling you get from being so high above the ground, that everything else starts to feel far away and almost unreal.  Now, depending on if you are still feeling in spending mood, maybe get another drink and have a little boogie on the dance floor, or make your way back down, where you if not in the mood to go home yet can still go for a nice stroll through the gardens by the bay (just across the street). In my opinion the Super Trees become even more beautiful once you’re feeling a bit tipsy.

 

 

How I fell in love with Singapore! – First Day Itinerary

Singapore has been the first Asian city I have ever travelled to, making me love this beautiful continent from the very start. It has been so different to everything I had ever known before: so diverse, vibrant and full of adventures and foreign places ready to be explored. This city has instantly captured my imagination and still now, after travelling a rather large part of South-East-Asia, it still is one of my absolute favourite cities. With the exciting combination of Chinese, Indian, Malay and Western influences, Singapore is truly a cultural melting pot. From great nature over delicious street-food, giant skyscrapers, bustling markets, amazing light shows to contemporary arts – Singapore doesn’t cease to surprise you over and over again!

I’ll have to add: These days in Singapore have worked out absolutely perfect for us. We have been very lucky to just randomly stumble across incredible places,meet awesome locals to show us around and I am pretty sure that if things had gone differently I might have not enjoyed our stay as much as I did.

So therefore, here is a new guide to help you start of your Singapore Adventure right and make you fall in love with this city, too.

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Start your day at Chinatown. The cramped five-foot-ways, dingy alleys and raucous street hawkers will be the perfect introduction to the cultural heritage of the city.You could easily spend the whole day wandering through these still-narrow streets, strolling past family-run goldsmiths, medicinal halls and teahouses, but also some more modern shops. Chinatown also is where Hindu temples and mosques sit right next to Chinese temples, perfectly capturing the spirit of the entire city. Leave yourself some time to explore both the streets and temples, grab some lunch at one of the hawker stalls at the Chinatown Food Street and then make your way to the Gardens by the Bay.

12620447_1119636398060091_1314475764_oThe Gardens by the Bay are an amazing place. Right in between the modern business district of the city and the ocean they are enormous public garden facilities with great views on the Marina Bay Sands. There is heaps to do here, but I’d suggest you start of with a visit to the Cloud Forest. It’s one of the two domes featured in the gardens and is designed to take you up high into a mysterious mountain world, with lush vegetation and pretty waterfalls.

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It’s also a very informative place where you can learn interesting facts about plants and our environment. Afterwards you can either check out the Flower Dome or have a wander around the gardens. Definitely check out the boardwalk over the Dragonfly Lake as well!

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Then for dinner check out Satay by the Bay. It’s a nice little food court right in the heart of the gardens, hosting local food stalls. You’ll notice that a large number of them are specialising in Satay, which is a typically local dish of seasoned, skewered and grilled meat, served with peanut sauce. Definitely get yourself a good amount of these: they are great! The dining experience is rounded off by the ridiculously small tables and chairs, often to be found in asian countries.

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Finished your meal? Alright, let’s go on. There is one more stop that you should not miss out on at the Gardens by the Bay, literally my favourite experience in Singapore at all: the Super Trees! Measuring between 25 and 50 metres tall, they are massive vertical gardens in a unique tree-like look that is created through a trunks and large outspreading canopies. If you have already seen them earlier in the day (which is pretty likely, as they are towering up high above the gardens) you’ll be surprised by how different they look once it’s getting dark. Get there around 8 pm, look for a nice place to sit down close to the trees (the little plaza in between the biggest ones is perfect) and then wait. What you are waiting for you wonder? It’s called the Garden Rhapsody and basically is a light and sound show, bringing the Super Trees to live in bright colourful variations of light that are aligned to the sounds of classical music. It is absolutely stunning to watch and one of my most distinct memories of Singapore still is laying on the floor at the Gardens by the Bay, looking towards the sky and letting my mind drift away while watching these giant trees glow far above my head. This must have been the moment I fell in love!

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