Local Heart, Global Soul

January 21, 2012

Cruising in the Sky with the Marina Bay Sands…

Filed under: Landmarks,PHOTOGRAPHY,SINGAPORE,Travel — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The Marina Bay Sands casino and hotel resort is a new addition to the Singapore skyline and one that is instantly noticeable and makes a big impression.

The building, owned by the Las Vagas Sands Group, opened in 2010, was inspired by decks of cards and is reputed to be the world’s most expensive casino.

In addition to the casino and hotel there are also shopping mall areas, theatres, a plastic surface ice skating rink, restaurants, and convention /exhibition centre.

Wiki tells me that there are 500 tables and 1600 slot machines in the casino but the real jaw-dropping item that sets this building apart from your usual skyscraper is the SkyPark located on the top of the building.

The SkyPark is 340m long (1.115 feet) and joins the top of the three seperate towers that make up the Marina Bay Sands. To most people the SkyPark looks like a ship, it has definate “stern” area and a “bow” that defies gravity as part of it pertrudes 67 meters unsupported from the north tower, making it the world’s largest public cantilevered platform. (55 stories from the ground) .

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Our Duck tour guide tells us that some people see less of the boat theme and find it more of a surf board, or in the case of one adament little girl, an ironing board.

The SkyPark boasts the world’s longest elevated swimming pool, a 146 meter (478 feet) infinity pool that is 191 meters above the ground.

In the park there are also several restaurants, gardens and hundreds of trees, as well as a public observatory deck on the cantilever section, said to give exceptional views of Singapore’s skyline.

I might have been persuaded to go up and have a look at the SkyPark but several factors stopped me… first: nothing would ever entice me to step out onto the unsupported “bow” section of the building, I don’t suffer from vertigo but I still don’t do heights very well, and somehow my subconscious is just screaming that however safe it might look, that standing on a piece of unsupported building 55 stories up is about 54.95 stories too many. For me, it’s just wrong.

Secondly, the pools are only for the use of hotel guests, the visiting public can look at the scenery but not indulge in any of the treats. … and looking is not free either, it costs roughly $20 per person to go up and partake of the views on offer at the SkyPark (unless you are guest at the hotel itself) which for me sorry, … I’m way too Dutch to spend eighty bucks on what would probably be just a quick look aound with Himself and impatient kids.

Instead, we have travelled past the Marina Bay Sands on various roads close by, as well as on the water with the “Duck”. I’ll content myself with the different views on offer from down below, as the building is indeed stunning, beguiling and beautiful. But it’s one “ship” I won’t be boarding just yet…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

January 19, 2012

Ducking Past Formula One….

Filed under: PHOTOGRAPHY,Places and Sights,SINGAPORE,Travel — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The Singapore Formula One Grand Prix motor race has been held in the Marina Bay area annually since 2008.

The Duck Tour guide tells us that Singapore has an ingenious way of supplying an area suitable for the cars (pit stops, team areas etc) as well as catering for numberous V.I.P. Guests and thousands of spectators.

This building on the waterfront was especially designed so that the lower level can be opened up to become the cars pits and team crew areas, and the upper level houses private and corporate box areas … these rooms are hired out for an eye wateringly huge fees but enable the mega rich to have have the best seats available to watch the race.

The Singapore race is Formula One’s first night race, which has multiple advantages.

Since the event takes place on Marina Bay public roads,  there is less traffic disturbance to cordoning these off at night as well as the time advantage meaning  that the race can be broadcast “live” at a convienent time for European TV aduiences.

I’m no Grand Prix fan …for me a car is a car, four wheels, motor and steering wheel are about as technical as I get, and I don’t “feel the need for speed”  but it’s interesting to see how Singapore manages to make space to stage such a massive event when space is such a premium and the race itself is run on public roads.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

.. and the view from around the other side of the building…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

… and on that note we go wroom wroom towards the next item on the itinary…

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