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Teotihuacan

Just 50km Northeast of Mexico City in the Basin of Mexico is the enormous archaeological sight of Teotihuacan, with 2 huge pyramids (Pirámide del Sol and Pirámide de la Luna, or Pyramids of the Sun & the Moon). They are mostly impressive for their size and well preserved condition, and the fact that you can climb them! Part of the city layout is still recognizable, including the main street “Avenue of the Dead”, and there are many well preserved Murals also on site.

Definitely worth a visit, especially if you are only stopping in Mexico City and won’t have a chance to visit any other similar sights in Mexico.

Buses go regularly from Terminal Norte between 7am and 6pm (around MX$40, taking one hour). At Terminal Norte, head to the far left and look for the desk to ‘Los Pirámides, not the town of Teotihuacan.

Rain Oculus

Rain Oculus is a large whirlpool fountain by Ned Kahn, that sits just outside MBS shopping centre. Water in the 22m diameter acrylic bowl is turned on for about 15min every hour throughout the day, flushing water two stories below to the canal inside the mall. People have taken to the installation as a wishing fountain, attempting to roll or throw coins through the hole at the base of the bowl.

As a result of its design, sound easily carries across the bowl (when water is not flowing), meaning you can speak normally and someone standing directly opposite can hear you clearly, give it a try!

Bayfront MRT at MBS

Merlion @ Marina Bay

The 8.6m, 70 tonne, half-lion-half-fish Merlion statue is a symbol of Singapore and hugely popular. The fish tail symbolises Singapore’s origins as a fishing village called “Temasek”, meaning “sea town” in Javanese, by which Singapore was known before Prince Sang Nila Utama re-discovered and re-named it “Singapura”, meaning “lion city” in Sanskrit, hence the head of a lion.

At the edge of Marina bay, with the Fullerton Hotel and CBD on one side, and MBS Hotel on the other, the statue is a prime photo spot. The statue also spurts water into the bay and is lit up at night. There is a smaller Merlion “cub” a few meters behind the main statue, inside Merlion Park.

Raffles Place or Esplanade MRT, walkable from Clarke Quay also.

Wonder Full – Light & Water show

Marina Bay’s “Wonder Full” is Asia’s biggest Light & Water show. In front of MBS Hotel and set in the bay itself, fountains work to music and create walls of water for light projections. The video content of the projections is actually quite dull (basically propaganda), but overall the show is worth watching and takes about 15min. Its a little bit like the Bellagio fountains of Asia. Take a seat on the board walk steps, but don’t sit too close to the water or you may get a little wet from water spray.

Bayfront MRT, in front of MBS and the whirlpool fountain.

Sun – Thurs – 20:00, 21:30
Fri – Sat – 20:00, 21:30, 23:00

Helix Bridge

The Helix Bridge connects Marina Centre with Marina South and MBS and has a nice panorama view over Marina Bay, Singapore Flyer, and Gardens By The Bay. The design, as the name suggests, resembles DNA and includes subtle references like the letters c,g,a and t that represent the four bases of DNA. It looks even better at night when lit up.

Bayfront and Promenade MRT

Singapore Flyer

Singapore Flyer is the world’s largest Ferris wheel, sorry “observation wheel”, standing 165m tall. When you enter there is a multimedia display about the construction of the Flyer which is actually quite interesting, then you will go into your capsule for the “flight”. If its not too busy, you can try to ask for your own capsule or at least not a very full one, but a private cabin is a premium charge ticket so don’t hold your breath.

The ride takes about 30min and gives you a great 360° view over Singapore, in particular Gardens By the Bay, and the F1 pits. If the weather is clear (most of the time) you can see quite far.

Online tickets are S$26.40 (20% off) and S$33 on the spot. Online tickets are for a specific day only, changes must be made a week in advance. Higher price options available include drinks, food, private cabins and even event hire.

Promenade MRT is the closest station, but you can easily walk from anywhere in the Marina Bay area.

Daily 08:30 ~ 10:30

Chapultepec Castle

Located on a hill in Chapultepec Park, Chapultepec Castle (Castillo de Chapultepec), is the only Royal Castle in the Americas, previously housing royals Maximilian I and Empress Carlota and several Mexican presidents. It also served as a military academy and an observatory, and now the National Museum of History (Museo Nacional de Historia).

There is quite a nice garden on top, a view over the park and out to the city (you can spot the giant Mexican flag in the Zocalo), beautiful stain-glass windows, red-carpet staircase, etc.

Entrance MX$51
Walk from Metro Chapultepec.
Daily 09:00 ~ 17:00

Zocalo

The Zocalo is the main plaza in the Historic Center of Mexico City. The plaza itself, one of the largest city squares in the world, is mostly empty apart from the enormous Mexican Flag that is ceremoniously hoisted and lowered daily, before being returned to the National Palace. I was not able to catch the ceremony, but if you can you really should. Raising is around 8am & lowering at 6pm, check with your accommodation for up-to-date times. The flag really is awesome and a great photo spot! You can actually see the flag from numerous places around the city.

The square has historical significance as the base of events and ceremonies over the years, as well as protests, the most recent being over the fraudulent 2012 elections.

At Zocalo Metro Station.