If architecture is the art of how to waste space then the space around Marina Bay and Bayfront Avenue in Singapore was totally worth wasted. Marina Bay Sands is an architectural masterpiece, shaped like a ship placed on top of 3 towers.
So what does this big shiny unusual looking vessel contain? Good expensive hotel, observation deck with The View, roof top swimming pool overlooking Singapore’s skyline, huge luxury shopping mall, chic restaurants and less classy food courts, casino and a skating rink. ArtScience Museum is part of Marina Bay Sands and is situated on the waterfront in a separate building shaped like an outstretched hand.
In my mind Singapore is associated with the huge amount of non-affordable luxury so it is not a surprise that majority of The Shoppes at Marina Bay are good for window shopping only. Don’t bother to look at the price tags, because they make sense only for the high-end customers.
You might be mesmerized by the iconic rooftop Infinity swimming pool, which you could often see in the public domain images. I must disappoint you – the swimming pool on top of the world is for the guests of Marina Bay Sands Hotel, only. But you can pay $23 and take a tour to a public observation deck of Sands SkyPark for some amazing view that will stay with you for a long time. If you don’t want to pay at all you can take a walk along the lower level deck. The view from there is not that spectacular but it is free and still it is high enough.
Boat-shaped building and Infinity swimming pool are not the only recognizable things about Marina Bay Sands. There are also the canal, the bridge and gondola looking boats: The Sampan Ride.
Actually those boats are not gondolas but sampans. Sampan is a type of flat bottomed Chinese boat that was in use in Singapore in the 18th century. The sampans of Marina Bay are modelled after the original boats that cruised along Singapore River. Sampan Ride is one of the commonly affordable amusements in Marina Bay. For $10 per person you can take 2 minutes ride along the canal. The excitement of such a ride is debatable, because it is pretty boring to ride a boat inside a shopping mall but, I noticed that kids like it a lot.