Singapore Cable Car Ride
Resting amongst the lush foliage at the top of Mount Faber, The Jewel Box stands as Singapore’s iconic hilltop destination. At 106m above sea-level, Mount Faber is Singapore's third highest hill and a popular tourist destination. The hill, originally named Telok Blangah Hill, was renamed Mount Faber in July 1845, in honour of Captain Charles Edward Faber of the Madras Engineers. Captain Faber built a narrow winding road to the summit of Mount Faber for the installation of a signal station and flagstaff to complement military operations on Sentosa island. In 1974, Singapore’s first cableway system and the first in the world to span a harbour was launched. This cableway linked Mount Faber and the Sentosa island.
In 2005, this humble cable car station underwent its biggest refurbishment and rebranding and was transformed into a unique and captivating tourist destination, THE JEWEL BOX. The transformation into Singapore’s iconic hilltop destination was conceptualized by Mount Faber Leisure Group’s former CEO, Ms Susan Teh. The name was inspired by the building’s architecture - a musical jewel box whose luminous lustre could be witnessed from afar. The twinkling star-lights, changing colour washes on the exterior façade, and the glittering cable cars that traverse in and out of the unique façade at night, attract millions of tourists and locals to uncover and delight in the many gems that can be found within its confines. The Jewel Box houses a retail shop, cable car attraction rides and 4 F&B establishments – Black Opal, Empress Jade, Moonstone, Sapphire - each offering a distinct dining experience. Faber Bistro, a hilltop alfresco dining destination, is just located a stone's throw away from The Jewel Box. Designated as a premium gateway, The Jewel Box offers a premium and differentiated experience for guests to Sentosa island’s attractions including Resorts World@ Sentosa and Universal Studios
Other than the Singapore flyer, the cable car is one great way for you to enjoy the scenery around the Southern coast of Singapore. You can even spot a few small islands just across Singapore and Pulau Bukom is one of which.
Come at night and you get one of the best view on board the cable car. Towards the World Trade center station, you get to enjoy the scenes from the Universal Studio Singapore (USS). The castles at USS with its majestic lights, transforms Sentosa into an enchanted magical city.
If you are on a tight budget, i don't think this is for you. One ride can cost an average $20 per person for a ride that will last for not more than 15 mins.
But just recently, I have forgotten this lesson; once again I board the cable car. The result is still the same, may be even worse, because it is at noon, the entire cable car are like stoves, coupled with poor ventilation, which makes me uncomfortable.
My first ride when I was still a child was pretty amzaing as it was my first time being up in the air! I remembered clearly sitting next to my younger brother and looking out at all what seemed smaller objects on the ground in amazement. However after approximately 10 minutes, we got bored.
My second ride was a few years back with my relatives from overseas. The cable car was a little squeezy for all of us and it became more and more stuffy as we approach Sentosa. The ventilation was very poor and for adventurous people like me and my brother, we were literally bored to death. Simply enjoying the view was good. But taking photos of the view outside were greatly obstructed by the window glass pannel as the focus are all disrupted. Furthermore, stains can be seen on the window from the outer side which makes photography out of question.
So, to just sit in the cable car with stuffy air was really bad. For those who love being in action like me, the monorail from Vivocity to Sentosa is a better, cheaper and faster route to sentosa to start your fun-pack actions as quickly as possible.
However when you are in the cable car, it feels quite hot as the ventilation wasnt very good and there is no air-conditioner installed in the cable car. It felt like you are trapped in that small box for 20-30mins and cant wait to reach the destination as soon as possible to breathe the fresh air! And when you are in the cable car, there's actually nothing much to see, the view wasnt as good as you have imagined.
It probably is not for those who have a crippling fear of heights – obviously it is very high up, and the cable car wall is transparent, so it might probably leave some feeling nauseous and beside themselves with fear.
There really is nothing to see in Singapore – man-made trees, man-made architecture and tourists attractions; there is a limit as to how much ‘scenery’ there is. Now that the Resorts World Sentosa is built, it might be slightly more exciting; but still, your view just consists of lots of trees and buildings, not very scenic. To me, that defeats the whole purpose of paying for the ride – to have transport to Sentosa, and of course, to look at some beautiful scenery!
I would rather take the Sentosa Express. It is definitely cheaper and faster. If you ever do take the Cable Car Ride, take it during the new year. Jewel Box has new year countdowns, and I believe taking a cable car to Jewel Box would just make the entire experience even more fun than it already is.
I didn't expect to be leaving the cable car feeling slightly cheated, though.
First up, the ride itself is slightly overpriced at $22. but still, for nostalgia's sake I didn't mind paying for it. When we were waiting to board our car, we requested for a car of our own since there were only 6 people in the queue in front of us. In all honesty, I thought this request was a minor one. The boarding assistant gave us a hassled look that conveyed exactly what she thought. Ignoring that, we got a car on our own and away we went!
First of all, the scenery is vastly damaged due to the ongoing works to USS Singapore. Secondly, the cable car now travels at a significantly quicker speed than it used to. This caused our ride to be over in a mere 6 mins. Disappointing...
The pass can be purchased at MRT stations like Orchard or from legitimate tourist agencies, and the cheapest pass (an evening PLAY pass) retails for around 30 dollars. With any of the Sentosa PLAY passes, you can choose from a buffet of attractions available in Sentosa island, including a round-trip cable car ride to and from Sentosa! With the pass, your cable ride becomes more worth it and the view is definitely picturesque.
Getting to the start of the cable car ride is a little troublesome though. It is located at the Jewel Box on Mount Faber and we had to take a taxi from Vivocity to the place as we had no idea how to get there by means other than a car. However, the fare is not too expensive (around 8 dollars), especially when divided between a few people.
The wait for the cable car was fast, perhaps because it was also a week day when we decided to head to Sentosa. My 3 friends and I managed to acquire an entire cable car cabin for ourselves and enjoy the stunning view of Singapore and take marvelous pictures along the way.
However, if you are afraid of heights, I recommend you not to look down, especially when the cable car is crossing the river to Sentosa island as my vivid imagination definitely let my mind astray and thoughts wander to possibilities of imminent demise.
Overall, dramatic imaginations aside, enjoy the ride and let the cable car take you to your destination of fun, happiness and excitement!
Many cable cars were empty and my friend and I managed to get on one without much waiting. My favorite part would be when the cable car leaves the 'safety zone' and gets out to the open area. The cable car can get quite stuffy although there are mini openings at the top for ventilation. This is something not to be worried about as like what I've said, the duration of the ride (two-way) is short. The cable car basically makes a U-turn if you're taking a two-way ride so you would be seeing the same things that you have seen when making the first trip. Hence, I would recommend going for the first-trip unless you are planning to go back to Mt Faber.
My friend and I had the whole cabin to ourselves but I have heard from my friends that during crowded periods, if you have less than 4 in your group, you might have to share a cable car with someone else. I think that could get a little comfortable considering the size of the cable car. Of course, not to worry if you are a social butterfly as the size of the cable car makes it really easy to strike a conversation with someone and who knows, you might just make a new friend on board!