a) Too much Money
b) Dubai Envy
c) Not enough parks
d) All of the above
It’s probably d)
The Marina Bay Sands building above is a private enterprise – and while a really cool picture at night or as a skyline, a lot less impressive in the day, from the near looks almost like a communist era residential tower. Inside is a casino, luxury shops and a luxury hotel – so nothing of interest to me, and while it does have a viewing platform on the top, it’s tiny, limited to one side, and costs more than 25 euros – not for me. I’d rather come back once I can afford to stay at the hotel, and use the infinity pool on top.
What I did visit is this part – the “gardens by the bay”, a huge new park developed at the same time as the marina bay sands. The things above are so-called “supertrees” – i.e. concrete and steel tree-shaped things whose only purpose is to look cool.
You can also take an elevator up to a narrow, swaying walkway suspended between some of the tallest ones, which is neat.
A view from the top of the walkway – remarkable for the incredible density of ships coming to or leaving Singapore’s harbor – from the plane on the flight here, it looked like the whole ocean was a parking lot for ships.
The gardens are really nice and well-designed, with different thematic areas etc. Although I really tried to enjoy them, due to the heat and humidity I gave up pretty quickly and made a beeline to the (air-conditioned! yay!) indoor conservatories.
Huge floating baby on the way – it’s art, I guess?
The first of the two huge, cooled greenhouses is a relatively normal garden exhibition about all kinds of plants found in meditarranean climates.
Not that spectacular, but very nicely done.
The second one, the “cloud forest”, IS pretty spectacular, though. This waterfall you come across after the entrance is the size of a pretty tall building.
You take an elevator up inside, and then make your way down along lots of orchids and jungle plants, on a rather spectacular walkway sloping around, inside and outside of the “mountain”.
Lots of pretty orchids everywhere.
And some views of downtown Singapore.
On the way back, saw this fully automated, driverless shuttle to the metro station. Was rather underwhelming, though – while it IS driverless, there’s an attendant inside who has to push a button for it to continue every time it encounters something in its way, and even when it’s moving, it creeps along slowly, and seems to stop for every leaf blowing across its way.
More random pics from the way back: luxury with a colonial vibe is definitely in in Singapore.
The so-called “civilian war memorial” – not as in “civil war”, but as in “civilian victims of the Japanese occupation”.
Aaaand the “Merlion” – yup, it’s a lion with a fishtail. That is huge, bright, somewhat tacky and spews water, and has become something like the symbol of Singapore.
And to close it off, the Marina bay sands again, but this time looking much cooler at night, and showing its nightly laser show. Because everything is better with lasers, right?