Monday, June 29, 2015

Sight-seeing SG50 Style #2: ION Sky

“Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.”  - Rabindranath Tagore, Stray Birds

Sometime in May, Kelvin went to Orchard with his friends and went up to ION Sky. He sent us photos through whatsapp and shared how beautiful the view was. I have read about ION Sky during my research for the top 50 places to see in Singapore for our SG50 family getaways and have been meaning to bring the boys there. 

Two weeks later, on the first week of the school holidays, the boys and I went on our long-missed Orchard Road window-shopping trip (just the 3 of us). After meeting up with my husband for a quick lunch at Jollibee, a famous Philippine fast-food, we headed to ION Orchard. Unfortunately, there has been a recent change in the schedule of access to the ION Sky that we were too early for the opening time.

Fast forward, after three hours or so of walking from ION Orchard to Takashimaya to 313 Somerset and then back, we were in time the official opening time at 3pm. The lift access to the observatory is on the 4th level of ION Orchard where the Art Gallery is. There was a lift attendant who ushered us into the lift. How cool is that! I felt like we were tourists.
from 4th to 55th in a few seconds!
It was quite dark inside the lift. Kelvin gave us a heads up as to what to expect on this lift ride. He said it was the fastest lift he has ever been to. I took a photo of the lift control panel which showed the lift service was only from level 4 to level 55. Because it was dark I was only able to capture the lighted part of the panel. I took a second photo, this time with flash, and was able to get a clearer, more complete shot. 

ION Sky may not be as high as other observation deck's we've been to before but it still provided great views of the city and beyond. You could walk from one window panel to another and see different parts of Singapore from afar. Some panels indicate what area you should look for. I was able to spot some of the more popular/iconic buildings and structures in the country. There was the Marina Bay Sands, Singapore Flyer, Kallang Stadium, and my husband's office not too far away.



We also spotted some greenery amidst the tall buildings in the city. Refreshing to the eyes.

Ira enjoyed the state-of-the-art telescope, first of its kind in Asia, which provides some historical information as well as old photos of the area which you point it to. He didn't want to leave as he wanted to explore as many places as he could using that telescope.

There is also a restaurant there, if you are in for a meal with a view.

My only not-so-positive comment about this place is that the windows should have been cleaned more often. 
dirty window pane :(
I also recommend to come up here a little later in the afternoon (around 5pm). It can get very hot in the early afternoon and sometimes it's difficult to get a good spot to take nice photos because of the back light.

After spending enough time at ION Sky, we headed back to the 4th level and checked out the Art Gallery. This specific display caught our attention and a photo op was a must! We were Prince and Queen for the minute :)

Fast facts about ION Sky:
Located at ION Orchard 56th floor observation deck (lift up to level 55 and walk up to the observation deck), 218 meters into the clouds.

Access is via the ION Art Gallery on the 4th floor. Open to public from 3pm to 6pm daily. Last entry is at 5:30pm.

Admission is FREE! Who says Singapore is an expensive country? There are still a number of FREE or low-cost attractions to choose from, you just have to be resourceful enough ;)

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