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Saturday, 01 February 2014

Singapore: The Year of the Horse

Written by Barry Epstein
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Fine art photographer and author Barry Epstein reveals some exciting things to do in Singapore that may persuade you visit. 

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It seemed that my Singaporean wife and I were walking for miles in one of the many shopping malls in Singapore that clearly defined a new level of upscale.  We were in the exotic Marina Bay Sands complex with its shopping, casino, convention center, science museum and more that has reshaped Singapore’s skyline since it opened in 2010. We had just come down from the 56th floor viewing platform that overlooks the central business district and the harbor.


But you don’t need to spend the S$25 for the Sky Park viewing platform as you can see across to the beautiful Singapore business skyline from the ground floor in the shopping mall.  You can walk through Louis Vutton store to get the best view and its free (although you will be at the water level and not have a birds eye view).  Go at night and catch the laser show which was spectacular.

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Our mission was to find some of the great Singaporean food and we did.  The food court that we found had an array of local and international cuisine.  As the saying goes, so much food, so little time.  If you can take the spice, go for it, but if not you can always get something to suit your needs.  Singaporean food is a mixture of Chinese, Malaysian and Indian that is unique and extremely tasty.  Some local signature dishes include Char Kway Teow, Hainanese Chicken Rice, Ice Kachang, Laksa, Nasi Lemak, Nasi Padang, Rendang, Rojak and of course Satay.


Just behind Marina Bay Sands is another magic and novel facility called The Garden By the Bay.  The Supertree Grove has many supertrees, some 16 stories high.  You can take a walk around the trees or use the Skyway that interweaves amongst the branches of the trees high up in the air.  In addition to the supertrees, the Garden By the Bay has two main and impressive showcases that includes two domes.  The Flower Dome houses plants from several climates and has thousands of flowers on display.  The multi-story Cloud Forest Dome has a 30 meter waterfall and a variety of plants from Asia, America and Africa.  The domes and supertrees cost the Singapore Government over S$1 billion to construct and they are well worth the visit. Every night there are two light shows (7:45 & 8:45 pm) that transforms the supertrees and is quite mesmerizing.  The restaurant located at this location has excellent local cuisine.

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I have visited Singapore several times over 27 years and I have personally seen its massive transformation that has made it a thriving, vibrant city.  Each time I visit, there are major infrastructure advances that are fueled by both the Government and private industry.  There is a unique iconic five-star hotel (The Fullerton) that has a long history and stands amongst the modern building in the central business district.The close proximity to China is probably one factor driving economic growth.  My earlier photos of the skyline (circa 1982) compared to recent photos depicts this strong growth.


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Last modified on Friday, 28 February 2014

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