Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Marina Bay Sands and the Esplanade

The Marina Bay Sands
The Marina Bay Sands is a hotel, shopping mall, theatre, casino, restaurant oasis, and art museum all rolled into one. It's main structure consists of three towers with a boat on top! It has a definite Las Vegas feel to it, and on the inside it reminds me of the Venetian hotel in particular. There are even canals inside. As a matter of fact, I've literally just discovered that the Marina Bay Sands is owned by the Las Vegas Sands corporation, owners of the Venetian hotel. I guess the similarity wasn't a coincidence after all!

The picture below depicts my favorite fountain, which is actually in the ceiling. If you look right at it you get the impression of being underwater as you can see the sunlight coming through the water. You can rent a boat for S$10 dollars, however I don't think it's worth it as the ride is pretty short. You can also go up to the top (another S$10) and take in the view while enjoying drinks or a meal at the Ku Dé Ta restaurant on the 57th floor, but be sure to make reservations first as it can fill up quickly.

Saturday, February 11th

After a lovely meeting with a friend for high tea at the TWG Tea Company, we went to visit the Titanic and Cartier exhibitions at the ArtScience Museum. The ArtScience Museum looks like a hand with the palm facing upward, and is referred to as the "The Welcoming Hand of Singapore" (see the picture of the Marina Bay Sands at the top of this post). Both of the exhibitions were extraordinary, but the Titanic one was a bit better, had more artifacts and things to look at, including a real "iceberg" you could touch, and was thus more expensive. We bought a combined ticket for S$28 (residents S$24). Interestingly, the museum is also part of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel. That explains why they had a Cartier exhibition, which although it was nice to look at the watches, was really just getting people to pay to see advertising for Cartier.

At 8pm there was a water laser show, which was also reminiscent of Vegas. Some aspects of it were quite similar to the Bellagio water show, but it was still nice to watch (and free). I suppose if you've never seen the Bellagio show, you would have been completely and utterly amazed by this one. It seemed to have more of a "Singapore is great" message to it though.

The Esplanade
We decided we'd had enough of Marina Bay Sands and ventured across a very nice pedestrian bridge to discover a free concert at the Esplanade (nicknamed the Durians because of it's shape) by a band called the Odd.inary Band. They played covers of popular songs like "Someone Like You" by Adele and "Forget You" by Cee Lo Green.

The Esplanade is a performing arts centre that also has a free concert series outdoors called "On the Waterfront" every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evening, and the evening before and on a public holiday. It was nice to know there was something fun you could enjoy in downtown Singapore without having to break the bank at Marina Bay Sands.

The Odd.inary Band on the waterfront at the Esplanade

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