Singapore Day 3

Singapore is in the process of creating a miracle. Making itself bigger by reclaiming land.

We decided to go down to the Marina Bay area and check out what was being built on land that wasn't there a decade ago. In 2008 the Marina Barrage was built to create Marina Bay, a freshwater reservoir. This was to help with the drinking water of Singapore and to help prevent floods in the Chinatown region. Singapore had always been hostage to neighbouring countries for their water supply so trying to become self-sufficient in water has always been really important.

Around the bay has sprung up an incredible collection of hotels, office buildings and recreation facilities. On the water front is the lotus shaped Art and Science museum.


We had lunch at Sky on 57, a restaurant on the top of tower three of the Sands Casino.

The view is extraordinary and gives a great idea of the importance of Singapore as a seaport as there are container vessels as far as the eye can see. And there are stunning views down into the port area where the ships are being unloaded.



Although a lot of the area is still a building site some hotels and office buildings have been completed on the sea front of the Marina Bay area.


The Gardens at Marina Bay will be a huge attraction when they are completed. The Gardens were designed by architect Wilkinson Eyre and landscape architects Grant Associates.

The Gardens are made up of large conservatories and a forest of super-tall solar trees.


The trees range in height from 25 to 50 meters and are designed to collect enough rainwater and solar energy to run the conservatories. The tallest tree will house a bistro and
two of the trees are joined by an elevated walkway to give you an over-view of the gardens.

The trees will be planted with ferns and vines. They will supply shade in the heat of the day and help modify the temperature of the surrounding gardens. The Gardens are expected to be open in June 2012



In 2002 the Esplanade-Theatres on the Bay was opened. The shape of the buildings with their aluminium sunshades have lead to the nick-name, "The Durian", after the scaly tropical fruit


The architectural jewel of the Marina Bay area is the Sands Casino. It was designed by Moshe Safdie and Associates and cost $8 billion, including the land. Joining the three towers is the world's largest cantilevered platform. On the platform are two restaurants, a swimming pool and an observation platform. The swimming pool is only open to hotel guests. The viewing platform will cost you $S20 or you can just go to one of the restaurants and have a drink while taking in the incredible view.



The tree towers are joined with a huge atrium area that has numerous eating places and shops.

I found it all a little cold and over-whelming in scale. It's lost that human feeling.



Attached to the hotel is the casino and shopping precinct. The shopping mall is enormous and contains all the usual international brands. Most of the shops seemed empty.





That night we went to the Singapore Night Zoo. This was my third visit and it is one of my favourite zoos. The concept of walking around in partial darkness to watch nocturnal animals was always going to be a winner. Like everything else in Singapore the entrance, which used to be quite simple, has been over-touristed with shops, cafes and fire-eaters.





But the animals more than made up for it.














Back to the hotel to look at what to visit tomorrow.


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