Travel Tales: Singapore City Tour – Marina Bay Sands, Double Helix Bridge, Esplanade and Merlion Park

After our visit to Gardens by the Bay, we head on to our next place of interest which is Marina Bay Sands. Marina Bay Sands is one of the iconic tourist attraction Singapore and can be seen on so many pictures on social media as representation of Singapore: rich, glamorous and an architecture excellence. It’s hotel rooms is also one of the most expensive accommodation in Singapore. For those who are first time visitor in Singapore, this is one of must see because it is within the city center and near with other iconic tourist attractions – the Merlion, Esplanade and Double Helix Bridge. The Harbour Front station gets you exactly inside the Marina Bay so you really won’t be able to miss it. In addition these attractions are linked together and you can reach them by walking.  You won’t miss these attractions because they are just close to one another. What you need is a strong set of legs to keep you going with all the walking and strolling around the area. I used to remember during my first visit how easy it was for me to keep walking into city center. I love sitting and enjoying the scenic views at Marina Bay Sands facing the tall buildings in Singapore bathing in their wonderful glow of city lights. Having a kid in tow, makes my second time in Marina Bay Sands Singapore a new and surreal experience.

The Marina Bay Sand is an iconic and ultra-modern three high rise buildings which houses an upscale hotel, casino and mall. Its lower grounds has trendy boutiques which carries almost all branded goods you can identify. It also has world-class restaurants, Art and Science museum and  also houses the huge Louis Vuitton store. It opened in 2010, and when I visited it last 2011, some of the stores are not yet completed. The Marina Bay Sands also offers observatory and sky deck which you need to pay for a fee to see the bird’s eye view of Singapore. Marina Bay Sands also offers a free lights and sounds show which is called Wonder Full. The show runs every 8:00 PM, 9:30 PM and 11:00 PM for free. So if you plan to visit Marina Bay Sands, time your visit to these hours to see the free lights show.

We strolled inside the mall and checked out some of the stores inside. Restaurants inside the Marina Bay offers world class cuisines and some of the restaurants are from the famous chefs from like Gordon Ramsey, Mario Battali and Jamie Oliver – if you have few hundreds of Singapore dollars to spare try their sumptuous cuisine.

After an hour of strolling around Marina Bay we headed to Esplanade, prior to crossing Esplanade, we walked using the Double Helix Bridge or simply called as the Helix Bridge. This pedestrian bridge is stunning at night because of its hundreds of lights flickering across. Since we went there early in the afternoon, we weren’t able to see the Helix Bridge with its purple lights. Just like Marina Bay Sands it was built last 2010 and it connects Marina Bay Sands to Esplanade and Singapore Flyer in the west side.

After crossing the Helix Bridge we headed to Esplanade – Theatres by the Bay. Esplanade is also a well-known Singapore landmark because of its durian shape dome. It is a performing arts centre and situated at Singapore River. The Esplanade also conduct free performance every night on its open air stage and there are good restaurants and kiosks lining up for those who want to take a break from walking. Just beside Esplanade is the famous hawker center which is Makansutra (which I will include in one of my another entry). After a quick break on Esplanade, is the last stop which is the Merlion Park.

Last time I went to Singapore, I wasn’t able to take a picture of Merlion because it was undergoing renovation. Since it was my second time to visit Singapore, I did not pass up the opportunity to visit it and take a picture of the iconic sight. The Merlion is Singapore’s national icon which is a mythical head of a lion and a body of a fish. It is a must see and must have to get your picture taken in the iconic Merlion as a proof that you have visited one of the greatest cities in the world. The park has expansive area to rest and admire the Marina Bay Sands from a different view and it is really beautiful at night. I always admire the beauty of city center especially at night because of the burst of colors and the beautiful views. Plus it is also great to have someone shared this romantic moment while walking at Merlion Park. My husband and son also enjoyed their visit and admire the beauty of foreign place.

Tips:

  • Best to bring your comfortable shoes or foot wear. Most of the time, there will be LOTS of walking activities to be done in the city center. Despite the fact that MRT stations are situated near the places of interests and tourist attractions, there will be LOTS of walking to be done.
  • Bring a tumbler or water bottle with you since you will get thirsty most of the time from walking
  • Enjoy the scenic views and take your time. It is no fun to do an “Amazing Race” type of activities in Singapore (especially when you have a kid). Try to relish each and every tourist attraction as much as you can. They say the eyes is the best lens to capture the great moments in our life, so do not get overload with the tremendous pictures you plan to upload in your Instagram or Facebook.
  •  Time your visit at these tourist attractions. It is best to see it early evening and during the Wonder Full lights show. It is also best to visit Esplanade and Merlion Park on an early morning trip because there are few “photobombers” around. 🙂
  • If you have kids with you, try to explain and discuss what you see in the tourist attractions. Treat the vacation as some sort of your mini-fieldtrip. It is fun to see kids who appreciate what they see in their very own set of eyes
  • Some special tourist attractions have special fees. Maximize places of interests that offers free viewing or shows.
  • If you have plenty of time, try to Singapore River Cruise to see the beauty of these tourist attractions at different perspective.

Additional Information – Guide Websites

Marina Bay Sands

Your Singapore – Merlion Park

Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay

The Helix Bridge

And our very own images of Singapore!

Till the next Singapore Story…

 

 

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