Top places to watch FIREWORKS!!!

9th August is coming, and once again, most Singaporeans would flock to the best places to watch the annual National Day Parade (ok not so much of the parade), but possibly, THE FIREWORKS!

 

I’ve received questions from many friends on where’s the best places to watch fireworks come next Tuesday when Singapore celebrates her 46th birthday at the Float @ Marina Bay. So, I decided to do some research and here’s my findings:

 

For your convenience, I’ve split them up into:

1. High level venues that will give you a bird’s eye view BUT you need to pay
2. Places for you to watch fireworks for free (but you have to squeeze more, a lot more)

 

HIGH LEVEL VENUES (MUST PAY!!!)

1. The Ritz-Carlton Millenia, Singapore 

If you have the moolah to spare, and wish to have either (a) a romantic getaway with your significant other, or (b) a crazy party with your friends, or (c) just a normal family gathering over NDP, you can consider Ritz. There are NDP packages found here at this link, but do note that it’s only a 1 night stay and you’re probably paying A LOT for 20 minutes of ka-boom in the skies.

 

Screen shot of the sky high rates at Ritz Carlton for NDP

 

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Summary
Pricing: from S$1,000.00++
Pros: You get to see the Parade ‘live’ from your window and probably the best seats for fireworks out of the Float
Cons: It will set you back by a LOT of money, and you only get to enjoy the luxury for one night.

 

2. Swissotel The Stamford

If you decide that you don’t have that much to spend or are not willing to fork out the money for Ritz, you can consider Swissotel’s NDP package here.

 

Swissotel The Stamford's package for NDP 2011 - screenshot from the Swissotel website.

 

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The view you'll get from a Swissotel room (facing MBS and the Marina reservoir)

 

View of the fireworks you'll get. This was my shot from NDP 2011 (note that the NDP is at the Padang). But not to worry, they're firing the fireworks from the same location (over the sea beside MBS).

 

Summary
Pricing: from S$438.00++
Pros: Nice angle of the fireworks – your balcony will overlook the Marina reservoir (bird’s eye view for flypast too!)
Cons: You’ll be relatively far from the Parade itself to be able to soak in the NDP atmosphere, and won’t feel the impact that much.

 

3. LeVeL 33

I did a post about LeVeL 33 a while back, and I must say it’s one of the best place to hang out and chill for a reasonable price. Check out my previous post here.

 

I’ve not heard of any NDP packages for LeVeL 33 but please do call to make reservations and enquire about the terms and conditions if you would like to hang out there.

 

You can find their official website here, and of course, here’s a picture I took from the outdoor gallery of LeVeL 33.

 

Bird's eye view from the outdoor gallery of LeVeL 33!

 

Summary
Pricing: call and enquire for reservations – there might be a minimum amount of spending required to guarantee your seat!
Pros: Nice view of the fireworks, plus it’s probably the cheapest place among all those that I’m going to recommend!
Cons: You’re watching over the backside of NDP – you can only watch fireworks, and the F15SGs will come from above you.

 

4. Ku De Ta

Of course, how can we forget the new icon of Singapore’s CBD, the Marina Bay Sands Skypark. I’m not too sure if the Skypark access will be restricted to only hotel guests on that day, but you can consider hanging out at Ku De Ta up on Level 57!

 

Ku De Ta has their own NDP package found here! Here’s their official website, and a picture to accompany this post:

 

View from the Skypark - around the same as what you'll get from Ku De Ta. This was taken last year when I visited the Skypark after MBS opened.

 

Summary
Pricing: from S$50.00++
Pros: Nice angle for fireworks, and great view for the flypast. This is literally called bird’s eye view!
Cons: Rather expensive for a drink I feel, and you’ll be way above most of the action, other then the F15s.

 

 

 

And after all those places that you must pay to watch fireworks, here are the free ones that you can just camp out at, enjoy the warmth and soak in the sweat together with fellow people squeezing to catch a glimpse of the fireworks :P

Warning: These places are not recommended for people who are terribly afraid of crowds.

 

FREE PLACES TO WATCH FIREWORKS!!!

1. Esplanade waterfront

This is perhaps the most popular place with Singaporeans to catch a front row seat of the fireworks every NDP (and including last year’s YOG). The best spot would be slightly to the right of the Esplanade outdoor amphitheatre, so that you can catch the fireworks together with MBS in the background.

 

An example of what your view will look like at Esplanade waterfront. This was taken during the Youth Olympic Games last year.

 

2. Merlion Park / One Fullerton

Here, you’ll get a side view of the action, with the firing barge directly in front of you, together with MBS in the background. It’s a nice place for fireworks too, although you might not be able to catch the rainbow series shells as they’re fired side-by-side facing the Float.

 

At this vantage point, do note that the Flag will fly past from behind you (ok, slightly to your left), while the F15s will whizz past you from the right all the way across MBS and exit to your left over Ritz Carlton.

 

Fireworks shot from One Fullerton during NDP 2009.

 

 

3. The Promontory

For those of you who don’t know, this is the patch of triangular-shaped land just beside Customs House and One Marina Boulevard. Here’s an illustration on how the place looks like:

 

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The view of the fireworks will be somewhat between the view you get from LeVeL 33 and One Fullerton / Merlion Park. (see above location posts). Not a bad place to be, though it’s expected to be extremely packed. Oh yes, if I did not remember wrongly, NUS will be holding some RAG activity there. LOL.

 

4. Outside the Shoppes @ Marina Bay Sands

 

This needs no further explanation. Walk into MBS, walk straight towards the reservoir, and exit. This should be the view when you turn around to face MBS:

 

The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands

 

5. Near Fullerton Hotel / Asian Civilization Museum

If you don’t wish to be too near the action (in case another pyrotechnic shell lands near you, similar to the incident that happened a week or two ago), you can consider standing behind Fullerton Hotel, where you will still be able to catch a glimpse of the fireworks.

 

Do note that this area mentioned is the place near Cavenagh Bridge, and not the main entrance of the hotel opposite HSBC building. The main area opposite HSBC building will probably be cordoned off by CISCO, so don’t try your luck in case you get turned away.

 

Photo courtesy of William Cho on Flickr.

 

 

That concludes the list of places around Marina Bay / CBD that you can possibly camp to watch the fireworks come Tuesday (National Day). However, just a few tips if I may, especially for those that are heading to the free places to watch:

 

1. Bring as little stuff as possible. Don’t pack too much or you’ll end up having to watch over your belongings rather than the fireworks.

2. If you’re bringing a DSLR, bring a tripod. Don’t act smart and hold it with your hands.

(Side tracking, here’s an average setting for fireworks shooting on DSLR: Manual mode, 3-4 seconds exposure, F12-F16, at ISO 100).

3. Be prepared to head there VERY EARLY, and I mean VERY EARLY as in 1 p.m. or even earlier. Best to go with someone, in case one of you needs the toilet. The Singapore River is not a toilet by the way.

4. Go prepared for a very very packed crowd and possibly, rain. I mean, touch wood, but you can never predict the weather.

5. Umbrellas are great to have to ward off the sun/rain, but please be considerate and keep them when there’re activities going on. If not, you have yourself to blame if you’re cursed at.

 

 

SO, that’s all for my list of recommended places for this NDP. It’s been a long and windy post, I apologize to those whom I’ve bored. But nevertheless, happy camping, and enjoy Tuesday.

 

As for me, I’ve enough of pyrotechnics. I’ll probably be lazing at home facing my LCD TV watching fireworks through there :P

 

Or maybe I might just head down to jostle a bit and soak in the NDP atmosphere.

 

 

Majulah! The Singapore Spirit!

 

 

*PS: If you have any other nice places to share with us, please leave a comment below! :)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Top places to watch FIREWORKS!!!

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