Day One in Singapore: Marina Bay

Our first day in Singapore was spent exploring the Marina Bay area of the city.

We used the Metro to get to Esplanade. The Metro was very straight forward and we bought an EZ card to cover our seven-day visit. You pay $12 for the card, which has $7 credit on it and a non-refundable charge of $5 for the card. You can then top it up at the machine (minimum top up $10) and use it when you enter and exit stations. You can also use it on the bus and the journey is simply deducted from your balance. We found the Metro a very efficient and inexpensive way to explore Singapore.

Our first destination was the Raffles Hotel, famous for its signature drink, the Singapore Sling. I wanted to sneak into the Writers’ Bar just to see where some of the literary greats had supped, but unfortunately it was closed for refurbishment and covered in scaffolding which was very disappointing!

The nearest we got to the Raffles Hotel

Next up was the Fountain of Wealth. It is two storeys high but half of it is below ground level and surrounded by a food court which doesn’t make for the best background for your photographs.

Fountain of wealth

From the Fountain of Wealth, we walked down to the Marina Bay area where we passed the Esplanade Theatres by the Bay, dubbed locally as ‘the Durian building’ because its shape is reminiscent of the big spiky fruit.

Esplanade Theatres by the Bay – the ‘Durian’ building

This area of the city was very cool with exciting architecture. My husband was particularly taken by the Marina Bay Sands hotel which comprises three towers topped by the shape of a boat. We also went to see the Merlion statue.

Marina Bay Sands Hotel
Merlion statue

We ate at the Makansutra Gluttons Bay hawker centre which is quite trendy and has 12 different stalls selling Malaysian, Thai, Indonesian and Philippino cuisine. We saw people eating huge platefuls of Singapore chilli crab but unfortunately this was out of our price range, and probably not a great option for those of us with a delicate stomach!

Gluttons Bay hawker centre, Singapore

We walked over the Helix Bridge which looks like something out of a sci-fi film with its metal spirals. While we were there, the Sundown Marathon 2018 was taking place. This is Asia’s largest night marathon and there were lots of runners wearing t-shirts that read ‘Sleep Can Wait’. We paused to admire the ArtScience museum which is shaped like a lotus and looks particularly impressive at night.

Helix Bridge

We then headed to the Gardens by the Bay area, and in particular the Supertree Grove, which my husband was keen to visit having seen it on Pinterest. These are huge installations, towering over the park, which were cool in the daytime but really came into their own as the sun set and night fell and the trees lit up.

Supertree Grove

Every night at 8pm there is a free light and sound show at the Gardens by the Bay. People were sitting on the ground and in the park to watch the show, which was spectacular. Popular classical music was played very loudly as the lights lit up in time to the music. It was quite an immersive experience and very enjoyable. It lasted about 15 minutes and we went back to see it for a second time. It was one of the highlights of our entire trip, not just Singapore!

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