The Singapore skyline is world renowned. A country built on great wealth and stylish architecture, it makes sense that one of the top things to do when visiting is catching a glimpse of the metropolis from up high.
When Cameron and I travelled to Singapore in 2016, catching views of the skyline was high on our priority list. On our first day, we headed straight to one of Singapore’s many immaculate shopping centres, the ION, to take in the scenery from the ION SKY lookout point on the 55th floor; a cheaper alternative to the rather pricey pool viewpoint at the esteemed Marina Bay Sands Hotel (plus the ION SKY viewpoint is free!).
The People’s Park Complex
Although we were fully content with our cityscape views from the ION, the views from the rooftops of an unsuspecting Chinese shopping centre in downtown Chinatown provided a more compelling view of Singapore’s glamorous skyline.
The People’s Park Complex, built in 1973, looms over Chinatown’s booming commercial landscape. Designed in a harsh brutalist architectural style, and painted in garish greens and yellows, the complex offers a unique insight into Singapore’s recent history. We stumbled across the shopping centre whilst exploring Chinatown, drawn in by the bustling atmosphere and vivid decorations.
When exploring the shopping complex, we found that you could reach the rooftop of the building if you were a little bit sneaky. After taking all the escalators up to the top floor, there is a set of stairs that takes you to a rather grey looking door. Going through the door leads to a rather gloomy looking concrete car park, seemingly forgotten in the midst of Singapore’s growth. In what would be an unremarkable sight in any other city, the rooftop of the People’s Park Complex is an impressive contrast to the sparkling high-rise buildings of Singapore’s financial district. Shrouded under a shamelessly brazen green residential building, the rooftop proudly displays its own version of Singapore’s skyline.
Compared to Marina Bay Sands or the ION, the views from the People’s Park Complex Rooftop hold something much more rewarding. For one, the rooftop of the People’s Park Complex is off the beaten tourist track. It needs to be discovered, and in a city as busy and as visited as Singapore, this is a rarity. And because of this, the rooftop isn’t prone to footfall. There were no more than four other people on the rooftop whilst we were there, and I doubt there would have been many more for the rest of the day.The views are so much more special knowing that so little people have witnessed Singapore from this perspective. It is your own secret skyline.
The People’s Park Complex can be found along Eu Tong Sen St within the Chinatown district of Singapore. The closest station to the Complex is the Chinatown MRT station which is just a 1 minute walk away and is also a short walk away from numerous bus stops including the Bus Stop Chinatown Point.