From cable car to bumboat, Kate Wright samples some unique ways to take in the sights of the city
One of the most popular rides in Singapore, the tram (really more of an open-sided bus) takes vistors on a 45-minute journey covering 3.2km, where they view the habitats of over 900 nocturnal animals living in 40 hectares of secondary rainforest. You may see rhinos, elephant, giraffe, tapir, tiger and lion, along with a variety of birds. The route is bathed in shadowy halflight, so the creatures are largely oblivious to the presence of visitors. Night Safari admission and tram ride is S$32 (£10.65) per adult and S$16 (£5.30) per child. Open daily 7.30pmmidnight. 80 Mandai Lake Road, Singapore T: (00 65 6269 3411;)
Opened around 18 months ago, the Sentosa Luge is a go-karttoboggan hybrid that descends 650m from the island's Imbiah Lookout through the trees to finish at Siloso beach. Speed is controlled by pushing the handlebars back and orth, so you can whizz down the paved track in one minute flat, or take in the views of the surrounding tropical greenery in a five-minute meander. At the bottom, the fourseater Skyride chairlifts take riders back up to the top of the hill. Riders must be 110cm tall. The Luge and Skyride are located at Imbiah Lookout, Sentosa Island. Combined tickets for the Luge and Skyride cost S$9 (£3). Operating hours are 10am-9.30pm daily (00 65 6736 8672;.
The 12-minute cable car journey from Mount Faber on the mainland across Keppel harbour to Sentosa Island affords a bird's eye view of Singapore. Vertigo sufferers would do wisely to avoid the glassbottomed cabins (look out for monkeys in the trees below), otherwise this is a fantastic way to get a real perspective on the city. Returns from Mount Faber to Sentosa Island S$11.90 (£4) for adults, S$6.50 (£2.15) for children; returns in a glass-bottomed cabin S$18 (£6)/S$11 (£3.60). Admission to Sentosa Island (S$2/70p) not included. Operating hours are 8.30am-11pm daily (00 65 6270 8855;).
A tranquil way to take in the sights, while at the same time appreciating the pivotal role of the river in the city's modernisation, is by taking a cruise on a traditional Chinese bumboat along a section of the Singapore River to Marina Bay. The wooden-hulled launches once helped develop the island into one of the world's busiest ports by ferrying cargo and supplies to larger ships. The boats glide along the historic waterway, past glass skyscrapers, grand buildings of the colonial district and the colourful restored warehouses that are now home to buzzing eateries at Clarke and Robertson Quays. Look out for the marble statue of Sir Stamford Raffles and the armadillo-like Esplanade Concert Hall. Visitors can board a boat at any of the kiosks along the Singapore River. The 30-minute cruise costs S$12 (£4), 9am-10.30pm daily, at regular intervals (00 65 6336 6111;.
Drift up to the top of Singapore's skyline in the world's largest tethered helium balloon. Launched last year, the French-designed balloon holds up to 29 passengers and rises 150m (40 storeys). With Singapore's tallest building just 90m higher, this is the best way of seeing as much as possible without moving a muscle. Be sure to confirm your trip in advance as even light winds will keep the balloon grounded. The Balloon is located on Tan Quee Lan Street near Bugis MRT. Tenminute rides $23 (£7.50) for adults, S$13 (£4.30) for children three to 12, S$2 (70p) for under-threes. Operating hours are 11am-10pm daily, subject to weather conditions (00 65 6338 6877).
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