On our last day, we decided to go for it. With passports in hand, we headed towards the biggest thing in Singapore. It makes the rest of the country look like Lilliput.
|You can't miss it-- from anywhere in Singapore, actually.|
Being a certified nerd, two weeks before our trip, I watched the Discovery Channel's feature on how they built it, so I was chock-full of trivia and useless information about the place. The taxi dropped us off at Tower 1, the hotel's reception area and check-in counter.
|Fantastic engineering and lots and lots of manual labor.|
The SkyPark entrance is at Tower 3, so we got to walk through the atrium. Or is it atria? The three towers are connected by this long and massive hallway that is completely weather-tight. I love the fact that there's tons of natural light, and super-cool AC at the same time. Can't survive in Singapore without AC... I wonder if they've ever thought about scenting? (I'm a big fan of scenting commercial spaces now.)
|Happy anniversary, you guys!|
In general, I like Singaporean architecture--- both old and new. Marina Bay Sands is a lovely graceful structure that's undeniably magnificent, but the interiors were kinda blah. What they need is a (very) gay Filipino artist to go over and zhuzh up the place.
|Giant lanterns. Seriously?|
Excuse the blurry picture. It's an outdoor sitting area that's accessible from one of the cafés that line the atrium. We all wanted that barrel thingy for our backyards.
|The cheapy industrial table ruins the effect. Grrr!|
I bought a refrigerator magnet from the hotel gift shop.
|Nice addition to my collection.|
Bloggers wrote that the queues were very long and that waiting time would average an hour. But since we went in the morning, around 1030am, there was no queue! Actually, I'd noticed that in Singapore, the pace doesn't seem to pick up until after lunch, and that means not many tourists in the mornings, like when we visited the Singapore Flyer and the Singapore Art Museum in February.
|No need for passport.|
Funny story: When we got to the ticket counter, we saw this scale model of the Marina Bay Sands. Of course, we all wanted pictures of it. We took turns posing, exchanged cameras, smiled and chatted a bit. After everyone in the room had posed with it, some guys came in from the sidelines, picked it up and took it away. Turns out it was meant to be displayed elsewhere, and we were lucky to be in the right place at the right time for some kodakan.
|Yez, it really does make the trees on the ground look like tiny green lollipops.|
So up the elevator we went, and the first thing we saw when we stepped out was the city's skyline.
|The little white dot in the middle is the merlion, hehe!|
There's the giant lotus that's supposed to be a museum, the Helix Bridge, Formula 1 grandstand, the floating football field and Esplanade.
|The lines make it all look like one gigantic alien organism. The lotus is the eye. Ayeeeee!|
The "bow" of the SkyPark (as it's shaped like a ship) points towards the Singapore Flyer and on its starboard side is the pier and open sea.
|It's those sexy ladies again!|
We meandered up the stairs, to the upper deck where the "lifestyle venue" Ku De Ta is located, as well as the famous infinity pool.
|Higher and higher.|
More views from the upper deck:
|The colonial buildings still manage to stand out amidst the skyscrapers.|
|The white clamshell-like pavilions are the casino. Passports required.|
Dizizit! Now tell me, don't you have to be a bit of an exhibitionist to be swimming here? When you're in the pool, you're part of the tourist attraction.
|Looks like bungy swimming, if you know what I mean.|
I can't get over how LONG that swimming pool is. Here's a panoramic shot of it, using an iPhone 4. What would take me at least half an hour to set up, a tripod assuming I had a place to put it, and some Photostitching-- It took just a few seconds with the iPhone 4.
|Click to enlarge.|
There are six outdoor Jacuzzis opposite the pool. Looks like fun, but the view on that side leaves a lot to be desired.
|Commercial shipping toes the line in Singapore. Ten-hut! Straight lines!|
Marina Bay Sands is a must-visit in Singapore, although I feel that they still need a few more months for it to become a really happening place, when all its restaurants and facilities are finally open. Mario Batali, we're coming for you.
The most interesting part of the building, I believe, is the building itself, but you can't see it when you're in it. I look forward to seeing how Singapore grows around this new and exciting landmark. Definitely, Marina Bay Sands is changing the face of Singapore.