Asia 2012:
Day 13 - Singapore


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Asia 2012: [Day 1 - Hong Kong] [Day 2 - Hong Kong] [Day 3 - Hong Kong] [Day 4 - Hong Kong] [Day 5 - Thailand] [Day 6 - Thailand] [Day 7 - Thailand] [Day 8 - Thailand] [Day 9 - Cambodia] [Day 10 - Cambodia] [Day 11 - Singapore] [Day 12 - Singapore] [Day 13 - Singapore] [Day 14 - Indonesia] [Day 15 - Japan]

Friday, April 6, 2012: The top secret door leading to the mall is barely visible in this photo. Look for the two stairwells leading down from the dark gray catwalk. The one higher up leads to a small black door that opens into a magical mall.

The mall was deserted, but we knew that at least one place was open, ...
... McDonald's! We had normal breakfasts with very large Coca Cola Lights, and once again, our order taker laughed when we ordered them. Interesting fact: The McDonald's restaurants in Singapore have chilli sauce dispensers right next to the ketchup dispensers.
They also have Seaweed Shaker Fries, a delicacy that we never got a chance to try.
Back at our hotel, we had decided against walking to the Raffles Hotel for lunch and to just head over to the Marina Bay Sands early. Shortly after making the decision to stay under cover, dark clouds started to roll in.
This did not deter the crowd at Merlion Park.
Here's the view from our balcony looking down and to the left, ...
... and to the right.
It was raining in earnest when we checked out of the hotel, but Tom had found a way to get to the MTS station by going through an adjacent mall, so not one drop fell on our heads.
We took the MTS to the Marina Bay Sands. The lobby is huge and runs from the first tower to the third.
Here's the view looking straight up one of the towers. We were lucky enough to check into our hotel room early, and by noon, we were in Tower Two on the 37th floor.
This is a Club Room with City View, a large comfortable room ...
... with a fantastic view of the bay and downtown.
Let's look around some more.
The bathroom was enormous, ...
... with a huge, separate shower room, ...
... and separate toilet room.
We headed out to the Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands. It has an indoor canal with sampan rides, similar to the gondola rides at the Venetian in Las Vegas.
This is one of many tea cafes we saw. Here, the waiter is sliding a wall of tea containers to reach the wall behind it.
At the end of the canal, there was a water collection dome in the ceiling, so it turned out to be perfect that it was raining outside.
The Grand Theater in the Marina Bay Sands complex was currently showing "Wicked," so there were several Wicked displays in the mall.
At the far end of the mall, there's an ice rink.
We were here to eat at the Rasapura Masters food court that circles around the ice rink. There are numerous food stalls offering foods from all over Asia.
We decided to fill up on dim sum while we still could. We also tried an egg tart for the first time, after seeing them everywhere on our trip, including shops devoted just to them in Hong Kong, and on the menu at KFC on Sentosa. We dipped it all into the small bowl of chilli sauce, of which we were growing very fond.
The place was packed and no wonder -- the food was great and the prices were low. Every chair at our table for eight was taken.
We passed this food stall selling Ice Kachang. The parfait glasses were prefilled with beans and green and pink gummy stuff, with all of the various toppings on ice below.
After seeing children all over Asia with Angry Birds merchandise (clothes, hats, backpacks), we finally got a photo of this little guy in a fully coordinated ensemble.
This Wicked display was especially cool because it contained two elaborate costumes from the show.
This display case included a dress, boots, fabric swatches, and a bio of the costume designer, Susan Hilferty.
This one's dress was even more elaborate.
It had stopped raining, so we stepped outside for a few minutes to admire the water garden at the base of the adjacent ArtScience Museum. There are three different waterlily colors in this shot. It was beautiful.
We didn't do a lot of shopping, but we did buy a Merlion statue and kaya (a spread made from coconut) from a small grocery store, plus a tube of mascara from Sephora.
We passed yet another toast cafe, the Toast Box, and finally got the courage to photograph the menu as we passed, despite the line of people waiting outside. It's nearly all toast, separated into Traditional Toasts, Thick Toasts, and Soft Buns. We vowed to eat at a toast cafe before we left Asia.
Next, we headed up to the SkyPark. Access to the infinity pool is available only to guests.
Since we were checked into a club room, we had access to the Club at Marina Bay Sands, located right behind the pool. We went there to have some afternoon tea, substituting a couple of Coca Cola Lights for tea. We checked in and were seated at an outdoor table ...
... overlooking the amazing Gardens by the Bay, a new park being developed in three phases, the first of which was scheduled to be opened a few months later.
Here are some closeups of some of the features. These are the most intriguing things of all -- giant metal trees of unknown purpose.
This was a waterfall fountain running down some steps.
Here's some sort of building near the giant metal trees.
This is one of several different garden areas. Well, played, Singapore. Looks like we'll have to come back again someday.
After our afternoon snack, we spent more time exploring the SkyPark.
There is a park-like area behind the pool which is also restricted to hotel guests only.
This was one of two small ponds in this area.
There were also two half-moon-shaped hot tubs that were larger and taller than this, with the same glass barrier behind it, but with people in them, we had to be extra-discreet when snapping photos.
Here is a long view of the infinity pool, taken from the children's pool area.
This has to be the most awesome children's pool ever. The little ones sure seemed to love it.
The infinity pool is absolutely amazing. The effect of being on the very edge of the hotel is very cool. We spent time in it the next morning, so brace yourself for more photos later.
One end of the SkyPark contains a bar that is open to hotel guests or the public as long as they are paying customers. This end of the SkyPark contains a restaurant plus large open areas to glimpse the pool and enjoy the stunning view of Singapore. This photo was taken from the public area looking back over the pool.
Here's the public area, with restaurant awnings to the right and the main platform straight ahead.
From here, people can enjoy the bay or walk around to the right to enjoy the ocean and Gardens by the Bay.
Here's the view looking down to the left, ...
... and to the right.
This was one of several bridal couples we saw who were getting their photos taken in the bay area with various backdrops.
We spent some more time relaxing in our room before heading back up to the Club at 5:00 PM sharp.
The outdoor tables in the Club facing the pool were hot properties, so we wanted to make sure we got one and we did.
The reception staff welcomed us back and our waiter brought a menu of alcoholic beverages we could order; all free, of course.
Why yes, we will have a couple of large Tiger beers. Cheers!
The buffet was impressive and we did not pass up the opportunity to have a bowl of chilli sauce with everything. There were pastries, rolls, salads, sushi, smoked salmon, fruit, assorted fish and meat hors d'oeuvres, and the most amazing potato-wrapped shrimp (the two golden rolls at the bottom of this photo). Once again, we also cooled off before our meal with chilled washcloths. It was all so decadent.
After a second round of beers, we headed back to our room to enjoy the sunset and night falling over the bay.
Shhh! Just watch, ...
... and enjoy ...
... the beauty.
At 8:00 PM, we watched the Wonder Full water show again, but for the first time from the viewpoint of the hotel. While we couldn't see the laser light show going on above and around us, we could see the show happening on the waterfront below, and that part isn't visible from across the bay. A fountain and video system projects images that tell a story set to the music.
The effects were pretty cool, ranging from lasers shooting through the mist, ...
... to fire flares, ...
... to triple video projections, ...
... to dancing waters, ...
... and triple projections again.

With a final water flourish, it was over. We watched it again at 9:30 PM, but were asleep by the 11:00 PM show.

Day 14 >


Asia 2012: [Day 1 - Hong Kong] [Day 2 - Hong Kong] [Day 3 - Hong Kong] [Day 4 - Hong Kong] [Day 5 - Thailand] [Day 6 - Thailand] [Day 7 - Thailand] [Day 8 - Thailand] [Day 9 - Cambodia] [Day 10 - Cambodia] [Day 11 - Singapore] [Day 12 - Singapore] [Day 13 - Singapore] [Day 14 - Indonesia] [Day 15 - Japan]

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