Drinks with a view: 5 best rooftop bars in Asia
A THRIVING NIGHTLIFE keeps things interesting in cities.
And as the cocktail bar scene continues to grow in Asia, more and more bars are mushrooming in the region.
From hunting down speakeasy-styled bars or hitting up neighborhood watering holes to enjoying a romantic interlude at snazzier and classier joints, going for a drink or two in a foreign city tops some travelers’ to-do lists.
There’s nothing quite like enjoying a refreshing glass of Long Island Tea at one of these rooftop bars in Asia, overlooking the vibrant city lights, wind in the hair and all that jazz.
Located at One Raffles Place tower in the heart of Singapore, 1-Altitude features several dining and drinking venues stretching from the 61st to 63rd floors. Sporting a 360-degree view, the bar (said to be the world’s highest al fresco bar) boasts the highest views and arguably some of the best. But here’s the catch: there’s nothing but a thin, shoulder-height glass panel to impede the vista below. While you’re on top of the world, you’ll not only be able to spot Marina Bay Sands and the Singapore Flyer but also all the other surrounding neighborhoods. By evening, it’s a top stop for sunsets but as the sun goes down, the music level and the energy goes up with live music and DJs taking over the bar.
Be sure to make reservations in advance as getting a table can be quite a challenge.
Thailand: Vertigo and Moon Bar
Reach for the clouds at Bangkok’s rooftop bars Vertigo and Moon Bar, located on the 61st floor of the Banyan Tree hotel. Arguably the best ones in the city, it’s so popular that post-work city slickers flock to the bars to destress and enjoy a drink or two. Both bars are distinctively different though – Moon Bar provides a glamorous alfresco lounge with soft blue lighting, panoramic views, live jazz and fresh cocktails while Vertigo offers a romantic “wine and dine” experience for those who love their Sauvignon Blanc or Cabernet Sauvignon.
Vertigo’s surf ‘n’ turf comes highly recommended to do chow down on some seafood or steak while you’re there.
Indonesia: Rock Bar Bali
Perched atop rock formations along Jimbaran’s sunset coast, Rock Bar Bali at Ayana is breathtaking – and perhaps not for the weak-hearted. The bar is located on the edge of a cliff along Jimbaran Bay in Bali, offering a gravity-defying experience. Much more so if you’ve had a couple of drinks. To get to the bar, travelers will need to make their way over by cable car, with dramatic cliffs on either side. Once you’re there, enjoy the sound of the rolling waves of the Indian Ocean and soak in what’s remaining of the day as the sun sets, before fist-pumping to international DJs who perform from a booth that’s been carved directly into the cliff face.
They don’t call it the premier sunset venue for nothing.
South Korea: Bar 81
The new 555m-tall Lotte World Tower opened in Seoul in April 2017 to much fanfare. Current the fifth tallest building in the world, the tower comprises of offices, galleries, residences, more offices, a skywalk, an observation tower, and the super luxurious Signiel Seoul hotel. On the 81st floor of Signiel Seoul is Bar 81, a bar so high up that it probably needs a postal code in the clouds. Guests can enjoy the contemporary Parisian menus of chef Yannick Alléno and even have a glass of champagne to go with it. The bar has the largest menu of champagne labels in South Korea, but also a wide range of other liquors.
Don’t forget to look up and admire the glitzy glass art installation overhead.
China: Cloud 9
Shanghai is China’s bustling central business district (CBD) and thus, it should come as no surprise that the city is dotted with sophisticated drinking spots. One that’s definitely worth more than just one mention is Grand Hyatt Shanghai’s posh Cloud 9. Taking over the Jin Mao tower on the 87th floor of the hotel, the dark mahogany and chrome bar features a maze of terraced levels and diving columns, and a hide-away mezzanine bar. Cloud 9 overlooks the iconic Bund and also offers a spectacular 360-degree view of Shanghai, allowing you to admire neon-lit skyline while you sip on one of the bar’s classic cocktails.
Best to get a table facing west for views of the Bund, Pearl Tower, and the lights of Puxi, and southeast for views of the Shanghai World Financial Center.
Source: Travels travelwireasia.com