Singapore in a Day

Trip Start Jun 04, 2011
Trip End Ongoing

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What I did
Marina Bay Sands Casino Singapore
Read my review - 3/5 stars

Flag of Singapore  ,
Monday, June 6, 2011

First item on my agenda for the day was a trip to the Chinese embassy to see whether I could get a visa to China in a day. 

It turns out that even if it were possible it couldn't be done today as the embassy's closed.  That's probably freed up a few hours so it's not all bad news.

I'd read something about the Marina Bay Sands before I left Australia so I looked that up on my map and as luck would have it it was just around the corner from the embassy!  It's certainly a pretty impressive building.  But it's also the casino so I'm no longer that impressed.  After all it is just a casino.  It doesn't alter the fact that it's full of people ruining their holidays by losing money.

Much more impressive were these solar powered fans with motion detectors so that as you walked under them they would start up and the amount of wind they created was quite remarkable.  What a great way to encourage people to walk around by the foreshore.  A brilliant idea and a brilliant design.

At least they come up with some unusual designs for their skyscrapers.  This one even had a huge window-box half way up.

Typically Singapore...

Once we were over by the casino we had to have a look from the top.  Of course there's a lift that you have to pay for... unless you're staying in the hotel.  There is a pensioner discount for the lift... I know that because the women at the counter asked me whether I qualified.  I told her that it's lucky she asked me in Cantonese otherwise everyone would be laughing about it. 

The view from the top is pretty standard.  But it has a good design in that one doesn't have to look through glass at the view.  And over at the roof-top swimming pool it looks as though the water flows straight over the side.  That certainly looks pretty impressive. 

But the hotel must cost a fortune to stay in and I just couldn't get enthused about travelling somewhere such as Singapore and spending most of my time in the hotel which is what you'd want to do once you spent the money.

Looks like the Sands wasn't the first to come up with the idea of a building that looks like a ship...

And no... it's certainly not all sky-scrapers.

Next stop was a shopping centre that specialised in sports shoes.  I managed to find the only shop that had any table-tennis shoes. 

Tim left the foraging for lunch up to me and I ended up ordering some saté.  He was pretty impressed.  Probably his first time with saté and it certainly is a great taste sensation.  Peanut sauce and those cucumbers and onions at the bottom of the plate.

Highlight of the afternoon was a trip to the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School.  This is where Yuwen works. 

We were pretty happy to be given the chance to tour her lab... perhaps not so happy when we found out that they're working on a vaccine or something similar for dengue fever... especially when we passed one work station with a note pinned up saying: 'Contaminated - Dangerous'.

The first floor of the building is a medical school, the rest seems to be research.  Tim tells us that at the CSIRO in Hobart there's no way you'd be allowed to take visitors through so he was pretty impressed with the tour and waiting to be tackled by security at any moment.

I'm still trying to work out why they have a picture of John Newcombe on their infectious diseases poster!?

We had time for some beers at a roof-top bar that I'd spotted nearby and in typical Esperanto night fashion... we also ordered some chips.

Next stop... table-tennis.  Yuwen's having lessons and mentioned that they have a social hit on Monday nights so I just had to give that a go.  I played 5 opponents and beat 3 of them so I was pretty happy with my performance.  Perhaps it was my new table tennis shoes?  My red shirt was glistening in the end as it became completely soaked.

Here was said good-night to Yuwen who certainly gave us a glimpse of Singapore that we would otherwise not have had.

We finished off the night with some bull-frog at a late night stall.  By far the best meal we've had on the trip.

Not bad for one day... in fact I doubt whether I'll do more in one day for the entire rest of the trip.

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spesbona on

I heard`that Singaporeans have to pay SGD100 a day to enter the casino, foreign devils pay nothing. Despite this (I presume the govt swipes the $100) the casino is said to be the most profitable casino in the world.

spesbona on

The building which "looks like a ship" is the Fullerton Hotel but was originally the GPO. Just thought someone would want to know that.

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