Having lived on and off in different countries in Asia since 2000, moving from one country to another for short periods of time to renew visas (i.e. the visa-run) is a fact of life for lots of tourists and foreigners. Last week my tourist visa to Indonesia expired so I took a short (i.e. one night) trip to Singapore. The city is like a second-home to me so when I arrived, I wanted to see something that I haven’t seen before. A quick trip downtown and I couldn’t miss the Marina Bay Sands Hotel and Casino, Singapore’s newest controversial source of revenue.
The feature you’ll notice is the roof of the hotel which is marketed as the “Sky Park”. So without much hesitation, I wanted to visit the park especially for a escape from the urban chaos I’ve been living in Jakarta. After walking over the very cool looking bridge from the mainland to the Hotel, I soon realized that getting to this park wasn’t as easy as I thought. I entered the hotel hoping to catch an elevator up to the 50+ floors to the park, but was quickly stopped by a stern looking security guard.
“Where are you going sir?”
“Uh, I want to go up to the SkyPark”
“Hotel guests are only allowed beyond this point – you’ll have to go around the corner and pay at the tourist entrance.”
“Pay? How much?”
“I just want to go to the park. You have to pay to go to the park?”
“Yes, $20, around the corner.”
I was a bit hesitant to go especially when parks are usually free. But I figured it was a good opportunity to see what a $20 park would be like – it must be fantastic, filled with fairies, trees, wildlife, etc. After reluctantly letting go of $20, I rode the elevator to the top and got out expecting a lush forest with walking paths. Here are some photos – you be the judge.
This is the only green space and tree-lined walkway in the SkyPark.
The pool is the main feature in the SkyPark, but it’s only open and accessible to hotel guests. Tourists and visitors get to watch from behind a fence. The hotel really makes tourists and visitors feel like they’re welcome!
The view from the observation deck for tourists and visitors without any benches or covered areas to enjoy the view.
Summary: While I wouldn’t call the SkyPark anything close to a park, if you have to pay $20, I’d wait until the restaurants and bars are open to enjoy the view of Singapore with a drink in hand or for dinner.