From Lost To Luxe At The Marina Bay4:34 PM
It started as the most convenient train ride I've been. Singapore's MRT is the same as Hong Kong's when it comes to organization, size, comfort and speed but less crowded. However, as we approach the end of our trip following the MRT's yellow-labeled Circle Line, the luxury turned to confusion.
We are on our way to Marina Bay Sands from Novena station which is just two blocks away from our hotel. After two train transfers, we boarded the red-labeled North South Line to the Circle Line. When I'm in Asian big cities, I always look forward to riding the train. I love deciding routes on where to alight, how many stations to travel and which direction is better to save time. It's like your own larger-than-life, reality show-inspired maze game which you can't experience, unfortunately, in Manila. But that time, I kind of wished we rode a taxi instead.
Lost, walked, found and worth it. This is the stunning view of the Marina Bay from the roof deck of the Marina Bay Sands.
In 2012, the Thompson Line is not completed yet. It would have been a quick 6-station travel from Orchard to Marina Bay. During our Singapore trip two years ago, we need to use the Circle Line and the Circle Line Extension which boasts a subway connecting station that is so huge you cannot afford to commit a mistake. Walking from one end to another will absolutely eat up time and energy. We got off the HarbourFront station and we were hoping we could walk our way easily to the platform for that final train to the Marina Bay station. But easy wasn't the case.
Being it the final platform of one train line, it appears there are two exits from the HarbourFront station to the Marina Bay station. These exits depend on which side you alighted. I was busy looking at the MRT map on the train that I forgot to check on other details. When we got off from HarbourFront, we decided to follow everyone who were dressed fancy. Marina Bay Sands is a world-class resort and we assumed people were on their way to elegant events. I realized that in Singapore, you can ride the train even if you're in a designer, sequined gown complete with jewelries, expensive shoes and you're all dolled up in make-up. No one will look at you with judgment in their eyes.
I saw an arrow which is labeled Marina Bay. It was the second concrete sign which assured us that we're on the right track. A first exit appeared where almost half of the people went. We didn't follow as the yellow Marina Bay arrow directed us to walk further. Then we saw the same arrow on the second exit and then again on the third. After almost 10 minutes of walking, there were just around less than 20 of us left. The fourth exit was the parking lot.
Taken the morning before we got lost, this is me taking a souvenir shot from the other side of the Marina Bay. If you're familiar, yes this is at the viewing deck of the popular Singapore Merlion.
We were told by the guards that the "Marina Bay" the yellow arrow was directing us referred to the bus terminal where Marina Bay Sands members can enjoy a free ride. The way to the correct platform is labeled "Marina Bay Station". Why did it not cross over me, I asked myself. Instead of taking one more train from HarbourFront to the special Marina Bay station, members use the bus instead as it takes them to the main entrance without the hassle of long walks. Bad for us, we were not a member yet. We were left with no choice but to leave the station and get a cab.
With how comfortable Singapore's MRT system is, that little unfortunate experience is forgivable. We used the subway a lot everytime we are in Singapore. The train scheme might be overwhelming at first but you would love it if you are to use it on a daily basis.
Apologies if I don't have photos to share for our little "maze-management", so I call it. We were really losing time. However, what is a sad story with success in the end. I will show you some of the photos I took when we finally reached Manila Bay Sands. Despite the tiring walk, I still consider our short delay a blessing in disguise for it gave us the perfect time to observe the Singapore skyline from the roof deck of the Marina Bay Sands on a dazzling sunset. Still, thank you Singapore MRT! (LOL).
For SGD$20, you can get to the Marina Bay Sands roof deck to experience this.
The Garden by the Bay was completed two months after our 2012 trip. However, there are parts of the park that were already lighted which reminded me of those structures at modern cities in sci-fi films.
You could not miss the Singapore Flyer.
The Marina Bay Sands is a fusion of hotel, recreation, dining and shopping spaces. Now this is your A-class shopping area with brands like Gucci, Givenchy, Hermes, Christian Louboutin and the likes.
With 3 shows at 30-minute interval every evening, the Wonder Full Lights and Water Show from the Marina Bay Sands Promenade is absolutely for free!
Everyone had their seats as the show is about to start.
Attached to the Marina Bay Sands only with its own pathway is the fancy Louis Vuitton shop. Maybe we can call it the first and only island shop in the world.
We avoided the risk of being lost at the train station again and so we took a bus from the south exit of the Marina Bay Sands. You can't go to the bus terminal without passing through another Marina Bay landmark, the Helix Bridge. Trivia: 650 tonnes of Duplex Stainless Steels and 1000 tonnes of Carbon Steel are used for this 280-meter bridge.