Went to Marina Bay Sands on Vesak Day which was a public holiday in Singapore. I took a train to the Promenade station and thereafter started walking to my destination. I did not realized that the journey took about 20 minutes – first walking to the Helix Bridge and then moving on along the pavement beside the main road. It was a hot day, and the sun was unforgiving. But I was rather disappointed while walking on the Helix Bridge, there was no relief from the hot weather. So the Helix Bridge is beautiful to look at but a disappointment in functionality – offering no relief against the sun and rain.
When I arrived at the Marina Bay Sands, the first thing that I saw was that there were lots of taxis queuing up for customers. So the surcharge imposed apparently was a success. There was very few people taking taxis from here and I noticed that many people choose either to walk or take a bus from/to Marina Bay Sands. My first impression of Marina Bay Sands Mall was that it was very spacious and I liked the high ceiling. As I continued to browse at the mall, I saw that there were many vacant shops. Apparently this mall was still very new and many tenants have yet to move in. In fact there are many ongoing renovation works going on at this new mall. The main attraction of this mall was the entrance to the casino. There were so many people queuing up at the entrance, consisting of tourists, foreign workers mainly from China and India and some local Singaporeans. I guess the casinos in Marina Bay Sands and Sentosa are currently the favorite hot spots for these foreign workers.
I spend about an hour in the Marina Bay Sands Mall before moving off. There was nothing much to see as the renovation works have yet to be completed. Perhaps I will come back to Marina Bay Sands again at the end of December this year. Food and drinks sold in this mall were rather expensive too. A normal plate of chicken rice costs S$5/-; whereas in most malls you can get the same plate of chicken rice for S$3.50. Is it a case of high rental rates or simply profiteering – I am not sure. But if you want to have an economical meal, you could simply head back to Suntec City or Marina Square where there are plenty of food outlets and fast food restaurants.
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I wanted to go visit the Marina Bay Sands at about noon on Vesak Day and took a train ride to the Promenade MRT station. When I got out of the MRT station, I noticed that I was in fact right beside the Millenia Walk mall. From there, I simply walked towards the traffic light junction and crossed a main road; and thereafter continued walking upwards heading towards the Helix Bridge. The weather was extremely hot at that time; with intense sunlight that makes me sweat profusely. I have this feeling that Singapore seems to be getting hotter as compared a couple of years ago.
The Helix bridge was indeed beautiful and my first impression was that a lot of effort and money must have been pumped in into building this bridge. The Helix bridge has been described in the press as a architectural marvel and an engineering feat. Its structure consists of many layers of steel, glass and special lights. If the sole purpose of the Helix bridge is to create a beautiful impression, then it has succeeded. However, I always feel that the purpose of the bridge besides its design is to fulfill its basic function in serving the people using it. On that day, I saw so many women and some children holding on to their umbrellas when crossing the bridge – why? It was because the Helix bridge has failed in its functionality test of providing shade for pedestrians. And I am very sure that when it rains, I will be soaking wet as well when I am walking on this bridge. In short, there will be no relief at all from the intense sunlight and rain for pedestrians using the Helix bridge.
It makes me just wonder how the planners and relevant authorities can approve the building of this bridge which cost millions of dollars, without the mean test of functionality and going to the basics of determining its practical use. A pedestrian bridge no matter how beautiful it is, must served its basic purpose of providing easy access and shade; and protection from heat and rain for its customers ( pedestrians). This reminds me of the numerous upgraded bus stops in Singapore that look good in design but provide little relief when there is a heavy rain.
If you intend to visit the beautiful Helix bridge during the day, do remember to bring along an umbrella or sun shade; and of course don’t forget to bring along a cold bottle of mineral water. Or otherwise visit the Helix bridge during the evening, so it will be much cooler. Anyway, the Helix bridge is just a short bridge as it has not been fully completed yet. To walk to Marina Bay Sands, you still need to continue to walk along the pavements next to a main road. And this will take you approximately 10 minutes without any shade before reaching the Marina Bay Sands Mall. By that time I arrived at Marina Bay Sands, I was soaking wet with sweat on my shirt.
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