By: Cher Tan
The name “Marina Bay” may be an anomaly of sorts – while it technically describes the body of water around the mouth of the Singapore River and blocked off from the sea by the Marina Barrage, it also encompasses the surrounding “Marina” areas, spanning bits of City Hall and the east of Shenton Way. Being Singapore’s newest district, Marina Bay is built on reclaimed land with the intention to combine business and pleasure, with swanky bayfront residences dotting the vicinity.
Marina Bay: How to Get There
Transportation to Marina Bay remains a little disjointed. The northern half is best accessed via the new Circle Line MRT where one can choose to alight at the Esplanade, Promenade, or Bayfront stations. The Marina Bay station on the North-South Line is not particularly convenient just yet as it is still pending development, but the Downtown Line is scheduled to open its Marina Bay stations in 2013.
Marina Bay Highlights off & on the Beaten Path:
Marina Bay Sands: One of the two integrated resorts to open in Singapore since the beginning of the decade, it is billed as the world’s most expensive standalone casino property. Boasting a 2,561-room hotel, a 1,300,000ft² convention-exhibition centre, the 800,000ft² mall, a museum, two large theatres, seven “celebrity chef” restaurants, two floating Crystal Pavilions, an ice skating rink, and the world’s largest atrium casino with 500 tables and 1,600 slot machines, it is also topped by a 340m-long SkyPark with a capacity of 3,900 people and a 150m infinity swimming pool set on top of the world’s largest public cantilevered platform. Visitors can enter for free, but locals and residents have to pay $100 to get in. These statistics not enough to convince? See it for yourself. 10 Bayfront Ave, open daily, 24 hours.
Singapore Flyer: Singapore’s newest tourist landmark, this 150-meter-tall observation wheel modelled on the London Eye is no less than the world’s tallest. One rotation takes about 30 minutes, and for an extra $22 you can sip on a cocktail while admiring the views, but expect to share your capsule with as many as 28 people unless you cough up a cool $1,000 for a private ride. 30 Raffles Ave, operates daily, 8.30AM-10.30PM, $29.50/$20.65 adult/child.
ArtScience Museum: Part of the Marina Bay Sands integrated resort, it mainly hosts travelling international exhibitions – past exhibitions include Dali and Van Gogh. It is also the world’s first ArtScience museum and the largest private museum in Singapore. 10 Bayfront Ave, 10am-10pm daily, $30/$27/$17 adult/senior citizen/child.
Gluttons Bay: Run by famous foodies Makansutra, this outdoor eatery puts together 12 of Singapore’s most famous hawkers. Breezy location by the river, great views of the city and pretty good grub make this a winner. The food here is a tourist-friendly reproduction of some of Singapore’s best, though one can usually find better (and usually cheaper) versions in the heartlands. Perfect for if one is in the city late and peckish. Esplanade Mall #01-15, 6PM-3AM daily.