Heads In The Sky
Some say it’s difficult to experience stuff in Singapore. It’s not true – we have TONS of stuff for you to do – just mouse over that attractive white tab on the top labeled ‘Things To Do’. Now, you can add taking a FREE a hot air balloon from now till 16 June to that list. The TSL team took a trip up the hot air balloon at the Sports Hub.
Soaking In The Carnival Atmosphere
It’s a happening place, no doubt. If you’ve been to the Sports Hub for the SEA Games, you’ll be all too familiar with the carnival atmosphere in and around the Sports Hub during these few weeks. There are loads of games and activities for the little ones, including a water soccer mini-game, miniature golf courses and free Milo. We couldn’t turn down the last one.
Up, Up, but not quite Away
There was a light drizzle, so the queue wasn’t very long. After a short wait, the friendly ground crew held down the balloon basket and ushered us in. To ensure the balloon didn’t inadvertently liftoff, we had to climb into the basket before the previous passengers could alight. Yes, you have to climb in – there’s no magical door that swings open as it wouldn’t be safe when the balloon’s in mid air.The pilot lit the flame, and we began floating. I don’t handle heat very well – I actually found the heat on my face more intimidating than the height. The ride itself was underwhelming, going up to a maximum height of 10 metres. We got a decent view of the bay area and the carnival activities, although it wasn’t as high as we would have liked.We had a brief chat with the friendly pilot – he was from France and flew these balloons high over mountains in his homeland. Government regulations prevented him from going higher here – he said that he would have loved to fly over the huge stadium, but wasn’t allowed to.After about 5 minutes airborne, we were back to Earth. A lot of Singaporeans are going to be disappointed with the ride, but really, it’s free and all you’re giving up is a bit of your spare time to queue. You also get to boast to your friends about riding on a hot air balloon at the SEA Games – we haven’t had this kind of stuff in Singapore since the DHL helium balloon closed down in 2008.
Itching For More?
If you’re looking for a no-strings-attached hot air balloon experience, you may want to visit Loire Valley, France, in future – other destinations we heard good things about include Albuquerque in New Mexico and the Outback way Down Under in Australia. Can’t you hear, can’t you hear the thunder?
Note: Passengers have to be at least 18 years old and 1.4 metres tall. The balloon will be open until the 16th from 8-10am and 5-8pm and will be closed during the closing ceremony.