If you’re like countless people, your first glimpse into Singapore was as the backdrop for the popular movie “Crazy Rich Asians.” From the jaw-dropping buildings to the luxury accommodations, the island city-state has become a popular destination for people from around the world. So, if you’re dusting off your passport and thinking of visiting the place where chewing gum is illegal, then you’re going to want to put these four top sites on your itinerary.
Esplanade Theatres on the Bay
Imagine a complex structure made of two glass domes that both feature a spiky exterior designed to look like durian fruit. This place isn’t a fantasy. It’s the Esplanade Theatres on the Bay. It’s one of many new buildings that were built within the last few decades. Ground broke on the Esplanade in 1998, and it took roughly four years to complete construction. Today, the theatres offer almost 3,000 performances annually including artist residencies, informal shows, and speaking engagements.
The land where the Esplanade sits today didn’t always exist. It was once the Singapore Straits until it was later filled in. More importantly, the massive hall was designed to be acoustically perfect. The concert hall was designed by the master acoustician Russell Johnson with the ability to be customized depending on the performance.
If you’re looking for Instagram-worthy backdrops for your vacation photos, you can’t go wrong with the Helix Bridge. The pedestrian walkway is an easy way to cross through the Marina district and offers direct access to the Marina Bay Sands resort. The bridge officially opened to foot traffic in 2010 and was designed with four spirals to provide plenty of shade from the hot sun. While the bridge is pretty by day, the best time for pictures is at night when it’s brilliantly illuminated. Take advantage of the viewing platforms for unobstructed shots of the bridge.
Marina Bay Sands
One of the most iconic scenes in “Crazy Rich Asians” takes place at the Marina Bay Sands. But before you write this place off as just a luxury resort and casino, you should know that there’s plenty to see and do here. In addition to the unique architecture that features three sloping towers and an impressive infinity pool, check out the observation deck where you can take in panoramic views of the surrounding Marina, including the Singapore Flyer and the Esplanade Theatres.
Once you've hit up the casino and observation deck, there are plenty of other fun things to keep you occupied that don’t require leaving the grounds. Choose from four nightclubs, 18 bars, and 45 restaurants. Take in a show at the on-site Sands Theatre or enjoy one of the many special events that takes place at the Marina Bay Sands throughout the year.
We’re rounding out our list of Singapore's “must-see” attractions with the Henderson Waves. Located in the Southern Ridges, this architectural gem and pedestrian bridge connect two separate parks — Mount Faber Park and Telok Blangah Hill Park. The bridge is aptly named as it spans across the Henderson Road below it and stands 114 feet above the ground. It’s the tallest pedestrian bridge in Singapore and measures almost 900 feet long.
As the name implies, the bridge is designed to look like a wave and was created in such a way that there are niches where pedestrians can sit and rest. But just like the Helix Bridge, if you’re looking for iconic photos, the best time to visit is during the evening when the LED lights are illuminated and you catch gorgeous glimpses of the entire island for the backdrop.