Singapore and Kuala Lumpur

2011 - 2012

Day 2

Marina Bay

A buffet breakfast is included with our accommodation and closes at 10:30, so we made sure we got down there in time. As is typical with international hotels, the choices for breakfast were vast.
There is your typical western breakfasts with cereals, toast, pancakes, omelets, etc. but to cater for everyone there was also rice, fish and curry dishes, dumplings, eggs, meats, cheeses, yogurt, fruit and lots more!

After breakfast we walked over to The Sultans Mosque, this was fairly close to both our hotel and the Arab Quarter. We didn’t actually go in to the mosque because Amy would need to cover her hair, we would all have to wear pants and wash our feet before entering, but we did take some photos.

Near the Mosque was a bunch of shops and we decided to take a look in a photography place.
We were just casually looking around and the salesman decided to give us a demonstration of a “new lens” that they were apparently promoting for the Singapore F1.
It was actually a wide angle converter that screws on like a filter and is made up of 2 parts, the first is a “macro” lens, then the “wide angle” part screws on top of that.

The demo looked pretty good, he used our cameras to show us how wide they went, the color differences and how close we could get with the macro part of it and even showed how smashing a plastic calculator onto the glass doesn’t mark it at all because its made from “special crystal”.
With a bit of bargaining we got him down to $210 Singapore Dollars ($158 Aussie Dollars) for the bigger variety (for my camera) and $150 Singapore Dollars ($113 Aussie Dollars) for the smaller variety (for Amy’s camera) including UV filters (that he normally charges $80 for).

I was very skeptical and hate impulse buying, but eventually gave in because I figured its a cheap way to experiment with wide angles, even if it doesn’t turn out to be as good as it seems, and for the trip it is pretty convenient. I’m not expecting the quality to be anywhere near as good as a real wide angle lens though.

Next stop was Fort Canning which was where the British surrendered Singapore to Japan. The fort has what they call a “Battlebox” around the back which is essentially an underground shelter where the military seniors would devise their strategies for the war.
This Battlebox is now a tourist attraction and is fitted with dummy soldiers and informational videos and posters.

The area is really nice too, it was like a big mansion surrounded by greenery but the one thing that stood out was the environmentally unfriendly escalator in the middle of the nice green park.

From here we headed out towards the “Marina Bay” area. This is arguably the most architecturally picturesque part of Singapore with some very interesting and unique looking buildings such as Marina Bay Sands, The Esplanade Theatre, The Singapore Flyer, The Merlion and a few others we saw from a distance but not quite sure what they were!

In the middle of the Marina Bay Reservoir there are around 20,000 “Wishing Spheres” which are floating balls with people wishes for the new year written on them.

The Singapore Flyer is the worlds largest observation wheel at 165m from the ground. The view from the top gives tourists a great view of Marina Bay and the city. There are a few different carts to choose from including a fancy restaurant one which would be pretty expensive.
You can even book out a cart for the New Years Eve celebration which would have a perfect view of the fireworks over the bay, but again this costs alot!

At the base of The Singapore Flyer are a bunch of Hawker Stalls surrounded by some nice greenery, so we grabbed some dinner and enjoyed the fresh afternoon air.

From here we walked over to Suntec City which is just a giant shopping center with big name brands like Harvey Norman, etc. but it had some nice decorations that were photo worthy.

After browsing around for a while we made out way out another exit which leads to the “Fountain of Wealth”. The fountain is lit up and has a water display with lasers and projections shot on to it along with music.
There was a pretty big crowd around this thing and alot of kids who were having a ball and dancing to the music.

By this stage I was pretty tired, but my feet were dead!
I made the mistake of wearing thongs to walk around in because of the warm weather, but partially didn’t expect to do this much walking and thought my feet would keep up, but my left foot was throbbing!

So we made our way back to the hotel at a nice gentle pace while I limped behind and when we got there we dropped all our stuff off in the room, got changed and headed straight to the pool.
By this stage it was about 9:15 or so and the pool shut at 10:00, so we got to enjoy it for a little while, even though the water was actually a little bit cold for my liking.