SQTalk  

Go Back   SQTalk > General > Trip Reports

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 26th September 2015, 01:55 PM   #1
yflyer
SQTalk Life Solitaire PPS LPP3
 
Join Date: 12-May-2011
Location: Singapore
Programs: Krisflyer/Star Gold, Qantas Gold/Oneworld Sapphire
Posts: 6,931
Default SG50 Fireworks and Flypasts - A Staycation at the Marina Bay Sands

On August 9th earlier this year, Singapore celebrated 50 years of independence. While the National Day Parade in Singapore happens every year, the celebrations this year, with the tagline “SG50”, marked a significant milestone.

I thought it would be memorable to mark the SG50 celebrations in Singapore by making it a staycation at the Marina Bay Sands on August 9th.



This was not the first time we stayed at MBS on National Day. The first time was in 2010, the year MBS opened. The atmosphere that day was electric, especially at the Sky Park, and in the pool. Indescribable. Since that day in 2010, I’ve thought about returning to the MBS Sky Park to watch the NDP.

When I started checking room availability in the 2nd half of this year, MBS looked to be sold out on Aug 9th, but couple of weeks before National Day, rooms opened up, and it was possible to book a room just for the evening of Aug 9th, although room rates looked to be high. I suspect these were rack rates. Certainly they were far higher than regular room rates. But SG50 only comes along once. I booked a room.

Last edited by yflyer; 19th July 2020 at 11:56 PM..
yflyer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th September 2015, 01:56 PM   #2
yflyer
SQTalk Life Solitaire PPS LPP3
 
Join Date: 12-May-2011
Location: Singapore
Programs: Krisflyer/Star Gold, Qantas Gold/Oneworld Sapphire
Posts: 6,931
Default

On the morning of August 9th, I showed up at the hotel early in the morning to check-in. Based on the room category I booked, I was guaranteed a high floor and a city-view, facing Marina Bay, and the Padang, but I was pleased to be assigned a room on the topmost floor, right under the Sky Park itself.

Mrs yflyer and the kids arrived later that day. As the MBS carparks were full, they parked close by, at Gardens By the Bay, and walked across the elevated bridge to MBS.



The hotel was busy that day, but not overcrowded.


Last edited by yflyer; 19th July 2020 at 11:56 PM..
yflyer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th September 2015, 01:57 PM   #3
yflyer
SQTalk Life Solitaire PPS LPP3
 
Join Date: 12-May-2011
Location: Singapore
Programs: Krisflyer/Star Gold, Qantas Gold/Oneworld Sapphire
Posts: 6,931
Default

My booking was for a Deluxe Room with City View. In other words, a standard room on a high floor, facing the bay and the fireworks.

The room itself, in Tower 3, had a very unusual shape: A large, but very long room, which could accomodate 3 adults and one child under 12.

There are rooms of various shapes and sizes at MBS. I don’t think the room we were assigned, at the end of the corridor, was the most desirable on this floor, but it had a great city view, and at least for today, that was what counted.



This was a fairly large room, in terms of total area, however the fact that it was long and rectangular, rather than square, somewhat diminished the impression of spaciousness.



The sofa close to the wall-to-wall windows could be folded out into a decent-sized double bed.



Large, flat-screen TV.



The real surprise was the bathroom, which came with a shower stall, but no tub.



Other rooms at MBS had large bathrooms with huge tubs. For some reason, this particular room had only a shower stall. I found it very surprising that a hotel like MBS could have any rooms without a tub, given their target traveller profile.



Any other day of the year I would probably have called the reception to request a change of room, if there was one available. But today, I consoled myself with the fact that I would be heading for a soak in one of the world’s largest (and highest) “tubs” on the rooftop in a few hours time.

So overall, fairly mixed opinions about this particular room, which I do not think is a typical room layout at MBS.

Automatic window blinds…



And a very nice view out the full-length windows…



This is the view from the corridor outside the room, which has glass windows at one end. We were on the uppermost floor of Tower 3.


Last edited by yflyer; 19th July 2020 at 11:57 PM..
yflyer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th September 2015, 01:58 PM   #4
yflyer
SQTalk Life Solitaire PPS LPP3
 
Join Date: 12-May-2011
Location: Singapore
Programs: Krisflyer/Star Gold, Qantas Gold/Oneworld Sapphire
Posts: 6,931
Default

I headed to the Sky Park. Entry to the Sky Park is by showing your room key card…one key card per hotel guest admitted, and this was strictly enforced by the staff at the Sky Park entrance (A good policy, I think.)



The thrill of walking around the Sky Park, with it’s stunning views of Marina Bay and much of the island of Singapore, has not diminished over the years. It is still an amazing place to be.



More selfies must be taken up there than almost any other location in Singapore.



You had stunning views of the city, the bay, and the Merlion far down below.





Even at this hour, in the late morning, crowds were starting to gather, to reserve the best spots for viewing the fireworks and parade/flypast later that evening.



At the far end of the Sky Park, looking East, you could see all the way to the Changi Airport control tower, shrouded in haze, Bedok Jetty, and Changi Naval Base as well…







You also had stunning view of Gardens By the Bay.


Last edited by yflyer; 19th July 2020 at 11:57 PM..
yflyer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th September 2015, 01:58 PM   #5
yflyer
SQTalk Life Solitaire PPS LPP3
 
Join Date: 12-May-2011
Location: Singapore
Programs: Krisflyer/Star Gold, Qantas Gold/Oneworld Sapphire
Posts: 6,931
Default

At the stroke of 12, the RSAF Black Nights began their flying display…





I’ve never seen the Marina Barrage so crowded…



For the next 20 minutes, the Black Knights, in their gleaming F16’s, thrilled the crowds with a high-octane display of aerobatics, most of it flown at very low levels…



While there are many great places to catch the Black Knights display, especially on the Barrage itself, the benefit of watching from the MBS Sky Park is that you get a top-down perspective on the action, and the opportunity to capture images of the aircraft not just against the backdrop of the blue sky, but amidst the shipping and coastal scenery as well…






Last edited by yflyer; 19th July 2020 at 11:58 PM..
yflyer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th September 2015, 01:59 PM   #6
yflyer
SQTalk Life Solitaire PPS LPP3
 
Join Date: 12-May-2011
Location: Singapore
Programs: Krisflyer/Star Gold, Qantas Gold/Oneworld Sapphire
Posts: 6,931
Default

We spent part of the afternoon strolling around the Marina Bay Shoppes, where there were massive crowds, including queues for the ArtScience Museum, which stretched the entire length of the Shoppes.


Last edited by yflyer; 19th July 2020 at 11:58 PM..
yflyer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th September 2015, 02:00 PM   #7
yflyer
SQTalk Life Solitaire PPS LPP3
 
Join Date: 12-May-2011
Location: Singapore
Programs: Krisflyer/Star Gold, Qantas Gold/Oneworld Sapphire
Posts: 6,931
Default

That evening, we headed up to the Sky Park again to await the flypasts and the fireworks.



The infinity pool at MBS remains one of the most remarkable places in Singapore to watch the flypast and the fireworks.





First up was SQ’s A380 (More on that in the SilverKris Magazine)…



Although it was flying a very safe and unadventurous flight path, never going below 2100 feet, it was a favourite with the crowd…






The military flypasts up next provided far more visceral excitement…

This began with the flag-bearing Chinook, escorted by a couple of sleek, and very deadly, Apache attack helicopters, which passed very close to the MBS, on the way across the sky over the Padang…



…the sight of this flag in the sky is one that never fails to send shivers down my spine….



A procession of fast jets followed…



Far below, a motorized barge carried ceremoniol cannon out onto the bay, very close to the Merlion, where they performed a 21 gun salute, with the flash of smoke appearing a few seconds before the loud rumbling boom of the cannon could be heard.


Last edited by yflyer; 19th July 2020 at 11:58 PM..
yflyer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th September 2015, 02:00 PM   #8
yflyer
SQTalk Life Solitaire PPS LPP3
 
Join Date: 12-May-2011
Location: Singapore
Programs: Krisflyer/Star Gold, Qantas Gold/Oneworld Sapphire
Posts: 6,931
Default

For minutes on end, helicopters and fast jets roared overhead, very low over the Sky Park, causing children and adults alike to cover their ears…



These went by too fast for an amateur photographer like me to take proper photos…







One of our favourite moments was when a solo F-15SG made a high-G combat turn right around the bay…



A real “shock and awe” moment…



Nothing like a low level pass on full afterburner to impress the crowd, myself included…

Last edited by yflyer; 19th July 2020 at 11:59 PM..
yflyer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th September 2015, 02:08 PM   #9
yflyer
SQTalk Life Solitaire PPS LPP3
 
Join Date: 12-May-2011
Location: Singapore
Programs: Krisflyer/Star Gold, Qantas Gold/Oneworld Sapphire
Posts: 6,931
Default

And then it was night, where we lined the edge of the infinity pool in anticipation of the fireworks display…





In a flash of colour, the black night sky exploded to life when the fireworks began…








Last edited by yflyer; 19th July 2020 at 11:59 PM..
yflyer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th September 2015, 02:09 PM   #10
yflyer
SQTalk Life Solitaire PPS LPP3
 
Join Date: 12-May-2011
Location: Singapore
Programs: Krisflyer/Star Gold, Qantas Gold/Oneworld Sapphire
Posts: 6,931
Default

An amazingly varied display of light and colour. The fact that you were so close, either around the promenade surrounding the bay, or from the Sky Park, meant that each burst of fireworks was accompanied by thunderous blasts of sound that enveloped your senses and pulverized your ear drums in a way that no TV broadcast can yet replicate.



There was no bad spot in the Marina Bay Area to watch the fireworks, but the view from the Infinity Pool was stunning…you had a bird’s eye view, looking down at the festivities, with the fireworks exploding right before your eyes…





















A night to remember!

Last edited by yflyer; 20th July 2020 at 12:00 AM..
yflyer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th September 2015, 02:13 PM   #11
yflyer
SQTalk Life Solitaire PPS LPP3
 
Join Date: 12-May-2011
Location: Singapore
Programs: Krisflyer/Star Gold, Qantas Gold/Oneworld Sapphire
Posts: 6,931
Default

The next day, before checking out, I returned to the Sky Park for a final dip in the pool…

It was a typical day by the pool…the sun was up and the poolside and pool itself were already very busy. Guests were either sunning themselves on the deck chairs, or wading into the water, camera or smartphone in hand, to take photos and selfies of themselves against the stunning backdrop…







Hotel staff, dressed in bright yellow, took drink and snack orders, and also did a good job of maintaining the ambience by the pool, for example, by keeping kids out of the designated adult section of the pool…





If your idea of a hotel stay is relaxing by a tranquil hotel pool, this is not the place for you. You are more likely to be prodded by a selfie stick here than probably any other pool in Singapore…





But that said, I thought the pool ambience was fine, in a “happening” sort of way…not too crowded, folks doing their own thing and simply enjoying the sights and sounds of Singapore far below.





I personally had a great time up there, just relaxing in the cool water, people watching and just admiring the view.


Last edited by yflyer; 20th July 2020 at 12:00 AM..
yflyer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th September 2015, 02:13 PM   #12
yflyer
SQTalk Life Solitaire PPS LPP3
 
Join Date: 12-May-2011
Location: Singapore
Programs: Krisflyer/Star Gold, Qantas Gold/Oneworld Sapphire
Posts: 6,931
Default

Overall impressions?

It was an amazing stay. While the regular rooms in MBS are nothing really special, the Sky Park is a unique spot to be in Singapore, and a dip in the pool would still count as one of the more memorable things to do when visiting this country.

And on an occasion like National Day, the Marina Bay area was a great place to be, to soak in the atmosphere and festivities, with everyone around you dressed in Red.

There are many places around Marina Bay to get fantastic views of the flypast and fireworks, but viewing these from the pool atop MBS really provided a perspective on the SG50 celebration unlike any other.

Thanks for reading!


Last edited by yflyer; 20th July 2020 at 12:00 AM..
yflyer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th September 2015, 03:20 PM   #13
CarbonMan
SQTalk Life Solitaire PPS
 
CarbonMan's Avatar
 
Join Date: 27-Jul-2011
Location: Singapore mostly
Posts: 2,681
Default

Fantastic pics, yflyer! You've a great eye for angles and subjects! Wished I was there, great vantage point. Need to wait another 50 years.
CarbonMan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th September 2015, 05:40 PM   #14
icn.sg
SQTalk Elite Gold
 
Join Date: 21-Dec-2006
Location: Singapore
Programs: Krisflyer, ROP, ANA Mileage Club, World Perks
Posts: 242
Send a message via MSN to icn.sg
Default

Excellent report. Reading and browsing the photos of the parade and fly pasts was enough to send chills down my spine...I kid you not.
I was at ground level to watch the fireworks display... definitely a day many Singaporeans will remember for a long time to come....
icn.sg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27th September 2015, 08:10 PM   #15
yflyer
SQTalk Life Solitaire PPS LPP3
 
Join Date: 12-May-2011
Location: Singapore
Programs: Krisflyer/Star Gold, Qantas Gold/Oneworld Sapphire
Posts: 6,931
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarbonMan View Post
Fantastic pics, yflyer! You've a great eye for angles and subjects! Wished I was there, great vantage point. Need to wait another 50 years.
Thanks, CarbonMan! Very much an amateur when it comes to taking photos, although I think I have mastered the art of taking portraits of Y meal trays

The Sky Park infinity pool is a great spot to take photos...just about everyone is taking photos, so you don't feel self-conscious snapping pics...

Don't have to wait 50 years, any celebration at the Bay or at the Padang would be worth a stay!
yflyer is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT +8. The time now is 09:39 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Techadmin: Luke | Hosting: www.lomag.net