Riding the Singapore Flyer

One of the best ways to see Singapore in panorama is to take a ride on the huge ferris wheel known as the Singapore Flyer.

It is the world’s tallest observation wheel, it soars to a height of 165 metres, or as tall as a 42-storey building.  Compared to the famous London Eye is it 30 metres (100 feet) taller. It is the largest working wheel ever made.

The Flyer doesn’t stop moving during its hours of operation, but as it travels at less than one kilometre and hour, boarding the Flyer is very easy, particularly as each capsule is quite large, about the size of a bus, so you are not being squashed into a small space.  It took the buildings many trials using a full mock-up carriage and volunteers to work out the optimum speed for people to embark and disembark safely.

The Flyer does a complete revolution every 32 minutes, so you have a lot of time to take in all facets of the journey.  It’s worthwhile trying the Singapore Flyer if you are worried about heights, simply because the capsule that you are in gives you the impression that you are in a room, and there is a long seat in the centre of the capsule so that you don’t have to wander out to the edges.  If you are sitting you look out, you don’t look down.  

You get some superb views of Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia as you complete your revolution.  There are grand views of Singapore city, and the Singapore River.  Singapore’s Formula 1 race track weaves its way around the Flyer, and you can see right across to Changi Airport and beyond, and past the rows of high rise apartments to beyond the metropolitan area.

For me, the most fascinating view was of Singapore’s coastline and watching the hundred of ships go about their business.

Apart from the wheel, there are many other activities available at the Singapore Flyer.  There are restaurants there, a very attractive tropical garden with waterfalls and a stream filled with koi.  The water actually comes from each carriage, and is the moisture left over from the air conditioning, which is dropped as each carriage completes its revolution. There is also a 737 flight simulator so that you can try your hand at crashing a plane.

One of the latest fads in Asia is fish massage.  You dangle your feet in a small pool where hundreds of “doctor fishes” that are imported from Turkey nibble the loose skin from your feet, so that they feel really clean afterwards.

The Western Flyer is not far from the Suntec City Shopping Centre, and the new Promenade Subway Station is now open just a five minute walk away – just follow the blue footprints.

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