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17 January 2011

Singapore Flyer

We finally managed to get on the Singapore Flyer as our previous attempt had been thwarted by bad weather.  Though as it happens we picked our window at just the right time as it had rained beforehand and started again shortly afterwards so we were very lucky.  The Flyer is Singapore's version of the London Eye.  Singapore's version is actually the largest observation wheel in the world and reaches a height of 165 metres.  You can also enjoy cocktails and fine dining on the Flyer (if you book these) but we just stuck to the regular ride!  The Flyer is in the Marina Bay area of Singapore and looks across the Straits of Singapore out to sea, across the Eastern part of Singapore towards Changi airport and our home and over towards the city and the Central Business District (CBD).
   






Just as on the London Eye there was a commentary to listen to as you rode.  However the difference here being that a lot of what we were told focused on explaining the importance of feng shui and how the principles of this were used to build much of modern Singapore.  Even down to the direction that the Singapore Flyer rotates.  From our vantage point we were able to spot a number of buildings built on this basis and the reasons behind certain features on the buildings and the importance of these were explained.  I found that very interesting and it is definitely something I'd like to find out more about. 

As well as the feng shui of the buildings and design of Singapore and the places of interest that were pointed out, the commentary also recounted the story of how Singapore came to get its name.  I have mentioned this before but this is the tale of the Sumatran prince who landed on the island of Temasek and believed he had seen a lion there so deemed the spot should be called Singapura which means lion city.  We even learnt that the design of the $1 coin is based on the principles of feng shui as well, the octagon shape within the coin being a sign of good feng shui.

I have to admit that in terms of view and what you can actually see I do think the London Eye is in a better vantage point where it is and has a lot more to offer in terms of historical interest.  However you don't get a view of the sea from the London Eye so both have their own uniqueness.  The emphasis on the feng shui also added to this, definitely a pleasant way to spend an afternoon if you don't have a fear of heights!

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