exploringsingapore is exclusive ExplorerSG mini series where we reveal some of the lesser-known places, facts and history of Singapore.
Conceptualized in 2003, the building of the Singapore Flyer did not start until 2005 when funds for the project were secured. Completed in 2008, the 165-metre tall observation wheel was once the world’s tallest Ferris wheel before being trumped by the 167.6-metre tall High Roller wheel in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The observation wheel carries 28 air-conditioned capsules, each capable of holding 28 passengers. At a speed of 0.24 metres per second, it takes the wheel approximately 28 minutes to complete one rotation.
The reason for having the number “28” everywhere? It is an auspicious number in feng shui, and that “28” is pronounced as “yi fa” in the Cantonese dialect, which sounds like “easy to prosper” in Mandarin.
For the first six months of operations, the wheel rotated in a clock-clockwise direction. On 4 August 2008, under the advice of a Feng Shui master, the wheel reversed to rotate in a clockwise direction. It now ascends from the east (where Changi Airport is) and descends towards the financial centre, signifying the bringing of wealth from overseas towards the centre of Singapore.
(Image credits: VisitSingapore)