The Marina Bay Sands And The Merlion

I’d already walked halfway across downtown Singapore so I figured why not press on down to see the Marina Bay Sands hotel and The Merlion.  My ankle wasn’t in that much pain, so I thought I’d walk to them.

It turned out to be a pretty long walk and I was worn out by the time I got there.  Plus, I’m pretty sure I heard a pop in my ankle somewhere along the route which couldn’t be good.  But it didn’t come with any pain so I just shrugged it off and soldiered on.

It’s late in the afternoon when I arrive and make my way past what I think are stands setup to watch Formula 1 racing.  I didn’t check it out, but it seemed plausible as they host the Singapore Grand Prix. There was also a floating platform in front where guys were busily laying down turf.  I have no idea what that is for.

Next was the ArtScience museum which is built in the shape of a lotus bloom.  It apparently channels rain water along these “leaves” to an indoor reflecting pool, which is then recycled and used in the restrooms.  I decided to skip it and head straight for the hotel instead.

You cross over the bay by a very long foot bridge that takes you from sea level to the fourth floor of the shopping mall.  As I would soon learn, the Marina Bay Sands is a luxury hotel, casino, shopping mall, museum, and a lot more.

The first site I’m greeted by is an interesting hanging fixture that culminates at a giant circular mirror 5 floors below.  Kids seemed to love dancing around on the reflective surface as the lights changed an moved around the disc.

To my right was a giant shopping mall.  So large in fact, I couldn’t see all the way to the other side where it ended.  I started to wander around, window shopping and exploring.  There were many high-end luxury stores, many which I’d never heard of before and well out of my price range.

I got hungry and started to follow the signs for the food court.  Once down stairs I wandered across an indoor river where you can take a gondola ride.  I ended up finally finding the food court, Rasapura Masters, which was almost back where I started.

It is setup to focus on local and regional cuisine and is probably one of the nicest mall food courts I’ve ever seen.  I decided to have the traditional Singapore chicken rice.  It’s famous on the foodie scene, though most of the hip people try it at a hawker stall somewhere and not the Sands.  I liked it nonetheless, it’s a very plain yet delicious entrée.

After eating I follow the signs to the observation deck.  It’s supposed to have amazing views of the city at sunset.  The signs lead me through the mall, down a tunnel, back up through the hotel lobby, outside, back down stairs, where I am finally at the ticket counter.  It’s only then I realize I have to pay a fee of around $25 USD to go up there.  I’m not cheap, but I didn’t think it was worth it and decided to skip it and follow the maze back out.

Out in the front (or is it the back?) of the hotel is the Louis Vuitton store.  It’s a futuristic building on the edge of the bay and once again out of my budget so I have a nice stare from the outside.

Golden hour is fast approaching and I begin the trek back to the other side of the bay so I can get some food and drink while I wait for sundown and the light show to start.

Photo of Marina Bay Sands Hotel in Singapore during golden hour.
Photo of an Asahi beer on a table across from the Marina Bay Sands hotel in Singapore.

After the sun sets, the buildings around the bay start to shine.  I had a quick look around at the Merlion and the Fullerton Hotel which puts on a good light show on the side of their building.

Fullerton Hotel light display in Singapore.
The Singapore Merlion look across at the Marina Bay Sands hotel at night.

I head back to the bay front and wait for the Marina Bay Sands to begin it’s light show.  I didn’t have to wait long and soon the music was playing and beams of light started to shoot out above the observation deck of the hotel.

Light show at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel in Singapore.
Photo of the light display at Singapore's Marina Bay Sands Hotel and Casino.

It was impressive, but not that exciting. I stuck around for a few photos and finally decided to call it a night.  I’d be off to Vietnam in the morning.

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