Tag Archive for Marina Bay Sands

Aaron acts as a tour guide

Well what an interesting start of the year, an ex-colleague from the UK office was in town, as she was now working on a project that related to Singapore. It was great that she was able to come out and meet her team, whilst at the same time, we managed to enjoy the sights and sounds of Singapore over the weekend – Aaron became the tour guide for the weekend :)

She was in town for about a week, and it was good to see an familiar face and catch-up on the latest happenings from the UK and my old team – it sounded like a lot of change since I left over a year ago. I do kinda miss the UK and Brighton teams, but actually I don’t really miss the work.

So on Saturday, I commenced the tour from the Mandarin Oriental Hotel on the north side of Marina Bay, we then walked along the promenade towards Boat Quay and the Fullerton hotel, we headed across towards China Town, and enjoyed the sights and sounds of the Year of the Horse – as we headed into the Chinese New Year festive period. After that, we took the MRT and went across to Marina Bay Sands, taking the sights and sounds of this landmark. We had a bite to eat at the MBS food court – like any tourist does these days. I then noticed that there was this Ice exhibition on, called 2 Degree Ice Art – in an area just outside of the main MBS facilities. So we went in here, the tickets were a bit pricey at S$32 a ticket, but at least my mum (who was joining us for the tour) was able to register with a Senior ticket (at S$26). The exhibition centre then had the audacity to ask whether we wanted coat and gloves…we asked what temperature was inside, and they said -15oC. I don’t think we had much choice as we were wearing summer-ware!! Anyway, they charged us another S$5 each…making the whole session a total of S$105. Ouch! It was fun inside, and a nice way to see the various monuments of the world calved into Ice Sculptures. We then headed back into MBS, and we decided to do a bit of retail therapy. I got a nice pair of Hush Puppies shoes – very comfortable and reasonable, and a nice selection.

We then had a couple of options, head towards the original Botanic Gardens, or visit the Gardens By the Bay. I decided that we should do this, so we headed there, which is a short walk from the MBS complex. There was a nice Dragon dance within the gardens which was very entertaining (I do wonder what these guys do for the rest of the year!!). We then continued our walk around the gardens until we arrived at the 2 domes, we went to the ticket line. I had my ‘free’ pass, and I then tried to see if there was any ‘senior’ tickets, they said only for local residents, which was a shame. Anyway, I then had this brainwave, and as local / EP-visa holders was slightly cheaper, I pretended to buy one for myself (even though I already had an annual pass entitling me free access), so I got one expensive (S$28), one cheap (S20) and I had my own annual pass …haha! a bit crafty – but that’s me :) If no one tells, I won’t!!

We went into the two domes, I do feel that the flower one is better, as they change the displays to the current themes etc. The first time I went, they had a tulips display, previously it was the horse display, similar to this time. But still nice all the same. The Cloud dome was a bit boring, but was refreshing inside at least.

After this, we headed back towards the hotel across the Helix bridge, just as they were doing some sort of art projection on the ArtsScience museum monument. Very nice indeed, it was like they were throwing paint across it in time with the music. A great show! We then went to the hotel, and relaxed at the bar, and then said our farewells.

On the Sunday, it was more of an Orchard Road tour, so we met up for Brunch at the Wild Honey at Scotts Square location – very nice and tasty indeed. We did a relaxing walk down Orchard Road, being part of the hustle and bustle of the Sunday afternoon. A bit of window shopping and retail therapy throughout the sprawling malls and shops along the road, before we ended up at an interesting wine bar just off Orchard Road – the House of Robert Timms – an interesting spot, as you can watch the world go by and enjoy coffee (or wine, in our case) and chill and relax. We then made on our way, a nice way to end the Singapore tour and the busy weekend :)

National Geographic Exhibition at the ArtsScience Museum

The Amex Social Club team arranged for a session at the National Geographic Exhibition which was exhibiting their 50 greatest images in Singapore for a few months. It was located at the ArtsScience Museum in Marina Bay Sands, and I always wanted to have a look at this collection. In fact, I was very keen on the National Geographics – as I have this thing about nature and world cultures – in all its beauty, but never got around to subscribe, so this was a good way to see some of the best images in the world :)

It was a remarkable collection, and it was certainly a special selection of the best photos of our generation – and it was good spending it with some good chums from the office. The irony is that whilst it was a Singapore Blue Box event (all employees), only 4 people turned up – and they were all from the ‘GNS’ world – so became a mini GNS team-build – haha!

If the exhibition comes to your town – you MUST pay a visit to see the fabulous images!

Singapore F1GP 2013 – Fun Fun Fun

One of the other (subtle) reasons to come back to Singapore was to take part and witness the fantastic spectacle that is the Formula One Night Race on the streets of Singapore. It’s still an amazing sight, seeing the City Centre transform from a buzzling shopping and sightseeing district to an electrifying show that lasts across 3 days. In fact, the best time to walk around is when they first shut off the roads to traffic on Wednesday afternoon. It is just surreal, as you walk around the circuit as they make the final touches, and you know a couple of days later millions of dollars worth of motor car would be zooming by on the very road that you are walking along. It’s also interesting how they transform the circuit itself, removing some of the traffic lights, street lights and kerbs to make it a proper and fully-fledged F1 circuit.

This year, I decided to celebrate it across the 3 days of the race – plus a sneak preview viewing – including the Thursday evening to welcome a old work colleague from the UK who was passing on through Singapore.

Wednesday, 18th September – the traffic shut-down day
A couple of days before, the teams have all arrived to acclimatise and ‘feel’ the circuit. After work, a colleague and I went down to Turn 13 by Raffles Place (by Gate 6) to enter the circuit and walk around. We walked towards City Hall along Esplanade Drive before making it around to St Andrews Road, before come back past the Fullerton Hotel near to the Anderson Bridge. A nice and relaxing view, and we managed to bag some great photos.

Thursday, 19th September – the day before the race
A ex-colleague from the UK was travelling through Singapore for a work-trip, so after work we decided to go to Marina Bay Sands and the Ku De Ta sky-bar for some well-deserved drinks after work. It was a great buzz up there, although we failed to see any F1 drivers – who apparently usually turn up during on the few nights preceding a race. We took some wicked photos from the viewing platform, as it is amazing to see the Singapore sky-line lit-up with the F1 street lights. Amazing sight in deed!

We then decided to head down towards the pit area – and although we couldn’t go onto the pit straight itself, we stayed around Raffles Boulevard and the pit entrance to see if we can see any drivers pass by. We were told that Alonso had already walked on by, as apparently the drivers cycle, drive, or walk the circuit to get familiar with it. After about 20 minutes in the humid night skies, we decided to head on to the hotel, so we can say our goodbyes, before the rest of us went into a taxi and on our way back home.

Friday, 20th September – Practice Day
After work, I headed down to Turn 13 again, and went through the gates. I wanted to take the opportunity to try out a few good vantage spots for Qualifying and Race day. This area was good, but it was far too fast to really enjoy a good view. I then went back to Turn 11-12, and this bit was quite nice – as it a slow chicane. The sounds were electrifying and went straight through your body. I joined a couple of mates and we stayed around the City Hall Zone 4 area – to take the sights and enjoy the atmosphere. We didn’t want to stay for the concert after the racing, so for some grub at City Hall. The Mos Burger was ‘okay’ but really was needed before I headed back home to sleep on the busy MRT.

Saturday, 21st September – Qualifying Day
I took it easy in the morning, as I knew it would be a long day ahead. I headed down around 430 ish to enjoy the first few sessions of the Porsche Carrera Asia Cup and the GP2 races (practice, qualifying etc). I then headed across to Zone 1 and 2 to take advantage of this area. I got some good, and drinks, and ended up on the viewing platform at the last corner before the pits/home-straight. A great feeling here, as you can look down at the pit entrance and the pit straight area, as well as the final turning and circuit. I then agreed to meet up an ex-colleague who was with his friends at Zone 4, so headed back towards City Hall. We chilled around the Padang area, enjoyed some food, some refreshing beers, and then readied ourselves for the Killers concert – which would start after the F1 Qualifying had finished.

The concert started, and we had a great area to enjoy the show – it was fantastic, great choons, great atmosphere, great company. The Killers rock – just a shame that we only had an hour and a half set – wish it was far longer :) Just makes me more prepared to see them in concert on their next world tour :)

Sunday, 22nd September – Race Day
On Sunday, I wanted to arrive early and enjoy the view. I decided to stay around Zone 1 and 2 – and whilst watching the Porsche Race and GP2 motor cars, I think I found a great corner just before Turn 5, it’s a nice corner, but there was this great viewing platform as the cars get close to the fence, and slow for the corner. After about an hour of watching, I decided to visit the Singapore Flyer – which is complimentary for Zone 1 ticket holders. It was a great time to visit, as it was just before Race started – so saw the Parade lap and the great pit straight, as the mechanics put the finishes touches on the F1 cars. After the 30 minute trip on the Flyer, I returned to my Turn 5 viewing platform, and enjoyed the race spin by. What a wicked atmosphere – truly love it!

As the race was getting towards the end, I raced (excuse the pun) back to Zone 4 and the Panang to meet up a friend from work, to enjoy Rihanna’s concert. After getting trapped behind some fencing, it turned out to be an access to the Mosh Pit was. After about 30 minutes waiting, they let us through, and I ended up right up close to the stage, just on the right hand side. It was a great area, and you could feel the vibe throughout. The concert itself was pretty average, I didn’t really like the dance routines, although the songs were pretty good. Personally, I am glad I saw it, ‘cos really just made up my mind that I would pay to see her in concert again :)

The only thing I didn’t managed to do, this time around, was walk along the pit straight, which opens up at the end of the race. Last time I did that, it was fantastic, as you can view the winning cars in the pits, within the Parc Ferme from the pit fence.

Now the magic question, should I purchase the Early Bird Tickets for 2014’s race…haha!

All in all – an incredible week of events leading up to a great race…it was Vettal’s race, so he deserved the win.

DBS Marina Bay Regatta 2013

A two-day event scheduled for the 18th-19th May along Marina Bay.

I have heard about Dragon Boat racing, but wanted to … no not give it a go … but witness the sport in all its glory, and what better way than popping back to Marina Bay and enjoying the sights and spectacle of this amazing water sport.

Looks hard work indeed – well watching that is – but they do make it look (relatively) easy.

A pleasureable visit to the Gardens by the Bay

Well to fully utilise my annual pass, I decided to pay a visit to the Gardens by the Bay last Sunday – the newly opened (since October 2012 – still new to me!) Botanic Gardens just opposite Marina Bay Sands.

It is a pleasant location, and I must admit the timing was absolutely perfect, as the temporary Tulip display was ending on 20th May – so if I didn’t do it, it would have been a sad mistake. It’s kinda visiting a little bit of the Netherlands in Singapore – Europe in Asia – haha!

I decided to visit both the Flower Dome (where the Tulip display was) and the Cloud Dome (where there was an indoor waterfall display). Both were delightful, and definitely worth a visit.

The captivating part was definitely the Cautus and Tulip display (in the Flower Dome) – which was a very simply but delightful display, and for the Tulips, it was the glorious colours that made the display.

I wasn’t that impressed with the Cloud Dome personally, but it was more of an education display about the pressures on our global water supply and how precious water really is (remember those days from school?) – haha…

Either way, a very enjoyable early after session – a nice way to walk off my Sunday Roast – hehe!

Extreme Sailing Act 2 Singapore – Sailing Event

Whilst at work, we have all been watching the Promontory @ Marina Bay transform from a grass-area to a stage and hospitality area, but we didn’t know what was happening. So on Friday, we finally worked it out – it was an boating event on Marina Bay, as part of the Extreme Sailing Series 4-day event from Friday 11th April through to Sunday 14th April.

I decided to go on Saturday, 13th April as I already had plans for Sunday, and it was a great sight. It was very hot and humid – around 34°C but must have been at least 95% humidity. The event started at 11am, so I arrived early to enjoy the various water events (windsurfing and other small boating events), then I went for lunch at La Pau Sat and returned to my apartment to shower and refresh myself, before returning back to the event for the main event at 3pm. Between 3pm-6pm was the ultimate Extreme Sailing – with the Extreme 40 Class. Amazing scenes, but as the wind was quite light, they weren’t going as far as they normally would. These are the sailing boats which tip up as you speed around corners, and you have to balance the boat to avoid it tipping over.

I managed to take plenty of photos and it was such a fun day watching the amazing sports men and women – now I know why sailing looked so much fun, ‘cos it really is! It must be tough work regardless – both for the body and mind! I managed to take plenty of photos – I just hope they came out where (they looked great on the camera!)

Gardens By the Bay – Very Relaxing

Well I’ve heard a lot of good feedback about the new Botanic Gardens by Marina Bay (Gardens by the Bay for short), so I was keen to pay a visit.

I finally got around to visit, via Marina Bay MRT and then to Bayfront MRT – which now links the red line with the circle line on the east side. You walk underneath Marina Bay Sands to the Gardens, and you can take a leisurely stroll (for free) in the outer gardens or pay to go into the two ‘cloud’ domes, which houses the ‘Forest’ and ‘Flower’ themed gardens (visits to this costs about $28 to visit both domes, or $20 for local residents / workers). The Skyway costs $5 and the Garden Cruiser is $5.

I decided to stay out in the free gardens this time around – which was also very enjoyable and relaxing, and decided to come back to visit the domes another time.

In fact, looking at the annual ticket price, I decided to buy one of these, as it only costs $68 which allows me to enter all parts of the attractions for free unlimited – so if I visit over 3 times, I have made up for the annual ticket cost – and I become a friend of the bay – to get our discount entitlements :) Bonus!

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