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Rain Oculus

Rain Oculus is a large whirlpool fountain by Ned Kahn, that sits just outside MBS shopping centre. Water in the 22m diameter acrylic bowl is turned on for about 15min every hour throughout the day, flushing water two stories below to the canal inside the mall. People have taken to the installation as a wishing fountain, attempting to roll or throw coins through the hole at the base of the bowl.

As a result of its design, sound easily carries across the bowl (when water is not flowing), meaning you can speak normally and someone standing directly opposite can hear you clearly, give it a try!

Bayfront MRT at MBS

Esplanade Theatres on the Bay

Esplanade is a huge performing arts centre at Marina Bay. Housed in two large domes with a spikey exterior that resemble durian, they have become known as “the durians”. There is a Concert Hall and Theatre for Performing arts with a capacity of about 1,600 & 2,000 people respectively. There are often free performances in the foyer, and in the amphitheatre outside during festivals. Throughout the year, the Esplanade presents over 14 festivals and 20 on-going series.

You can take a 45min walking tour of the Concert Hall (S$10) to find out about the buildings, how all the acoustics work and can be adjusted for each show, how the design of the outer structure blocks out glare and limits outside noise etc.

Tue – Fri @ 09:00, 12:30, 14:00
Sat – Sun @ 09:00

See their events page for what’s on currently and purchasing tickets.

Esplanade or City Hall MRT

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Gardens By the Bay

This enormous high-tech garden started with an international design competition in 2006, and opened to the public in 20011. At just over 100ha, the gardens feature the two World’s Largest climate-controlled Greenhouses, a group of “Supertrees”, and 3 waterfront gardens.

Of the two domes, I preferred the Cloud Forest. You get a cool mist from the waterfall as soon you enter, perfect after walking around on a hot day. Inside you go up the levels that simulate different altitudes and habitats around the world, with information on the plants and wildlife that live there. The Flower Dome is a little dull unless you are really in to plants and flowers, but still is laid out well and features species from around the globe.

The Supertrees are quite a sight and you can take the Skywalk (a bridge running between a few of the Supertrees) for a view over the park. There’s also a light show at night.

The entire park was designed to be eco-friendly, despite the amount of power required to run the two dome’s climates and the light show. For example, the shape of the domes maximize light, catch rain water, collect excess heat and disperse it via the Supertrees that also generate electricity through solar power. Water is filtered via plants within the park, and there’s even an on-site biomass boiler!

There is a branch of Indochine up the main Supertree with a good view and a decent range of vegan options, but is a little pricey. There are other restaurants in the park but not as vegan friendly, so its a good idea to bring your own food and have a picnic!

Light Shows on the Super Trees are at 19:45 and 20:45 and last about 10min.
General entry to the park is free, Skywalk is S$5.
For the conservatories, tourist visitors can only buy tickets to both domes at S$28, while residents (including EP holders) can buy one dome at S$12 or both for $20.

Bayfront MRT station has an exit right into the park, or walk from Marina Bay through MBS.

Open Daily
Outdoor Areas 05:00 ~ 02:00
Skywalk 09:00 ~ 21:00
Conservatories 09:00 ~ 21:00

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ArtScience Museum

The ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay hosts major touring exhibitions (like Harry Potter, Art of Brick, Secrets of the Tomb) in a new designer building modelled after a lotus flower. There is a small permanent exhibition but its not really worth seeing, just keep an eye out for current exhibitions. Usually there are two on at one time, and you can pay to see either or both at a discounted price.

Tickets are usually S$12-20 depending but varies on the exhibition(s). Discounts for locals and EP holders.

Bayfront or Promenade MRT station

Daily 10:00 ~ 22:00 (check website for closures)

Ku De Ta

This bar is famous in Singapore for one reason, its on top of MBS.

While there is a restaurant (with bad reports on the food) most people come here for the outside bar and view. This area however is fairly small, and the bar itself takes up half of that, so it can be quite crammed and hard to get a table. Also, because it looks down on to the Skypark, you can’t actually get to the edge for a really nice view.

The staff here aren’t exactly friendly either. They get very uptight in controlling who is going to the bar, the Skypark and the restaurant. One rolled eyes at me simply for ordering a non-alcoholic drink (even though we ordered 3 other drinks that were). This put me right off the place. Save your money on the drinks and spend it on the Skypark for a better view, more space, and no pressure for time.

Bayfront MRT

Club Lounge 11am till late, cover charge applies from 9pm on Fridays, Saturdays and eve of Public Holidays
Dress code: Stylish chic from 6pm onwards in the restaurant, skybar and club lounge (no shorts, slippers, singlets and tank tops)

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MBS SkyPark Observation Deck

The MBS Observation Deck is arguably the best view in Singapore. It is expensive at $20, and all you really get is the view (This does NOT let you swim in the famous infinity pool. If you join the free guided tour then you can gain access to view the pool only), but what a view it is. Its not quite 360°, but you can see all of Marina Bay, the city area, Gardens by The Bay, Singapore Flyer and beyond.

The deck has high glass walls, but no roof, so there is no shelter from rain or sun. There is no time limit here either, just one visit only. So if you like you can go in the afternoon, stay for sunset, and then see the lights.

Alternatively, you can visit Ku De Ta, a bar just above, but you will spend $20 on a drink, the view isn’t as nice as you can’t get to the edge, its cramped, and the staff are quite rude. If you’re after a rooftop bar, 1-Altitude is on the 61st-63rd floor with a full 360° view.

S$20 for adults, S$14 for children. You can buy online, through the hotline, or at the SkyPark Box Office (B1, Tower 3)

Bayfront MRT

Mon – Thurs – 09:30 ~ 22:00
Fri – Sun – 09:30 ~ 23:00
Tours Daily @ 10:00, 14:00, 21:00

Marina Bay from Skypark @ Marina Sands

Merlion @ Marina Bay

The 8.6m, 70 tonne, half-lion-half-fish Merlion statue is a symbol of Singapore and hugely popular. The fish tail symbolises Singapore’s origins as a fishing village called “Temasek”, meaning “sea town” in Javanese, by which Singapore was known before Prince Sang Nila Utama re-discovered and re-named it “Singapura”, meaning “lion city” in Sanskrit, hence the head of a lion.

At the edge of Marina bay, with the Fullerton Hotel and CBD on one side, and MBS Hotel on the other, the statue is a prime photo spot. The statue also spurts water into the bay and is lit up at night. There is a smaller Merlion “cub” a few meters behind the main statue, inside Merlion Park.

Raffles Place or Esplanade MRT, walkable from Clarke Quay also.

Wonder Full – Light & Water show

Marina Bay’s “Wonder Full” is Asia’s biggest Light & Water show. In front of MBS Hotel and set in the bay itself, fountains work to music and create walls of water for light projections. The video content of the projections is actually quite dull (basically propaganda), but overall the show is worth watching and takes about 15min. Its a little bit like the Bellagio fountains of Asia. Take a seat on the board walk steps, but don’t sit too close to the water or you may get a little wet from water spray.

Bayfront MRT, in front of MBS and the whirlpool fountain.

Sun – Thurs – 20:00, 21:30
Fri – Sat – 20:00, 21:30, 23:00