Beyond the world of Tiger Beer and three-dollar dumplings, De Beers, Prada, and Daniel Boulud dine on thirty-dollar Batali pizza at the Marina Bay Sands. It is truly a different world, and while the pizza is damn good, it is a playground of extravagance that battles the Vegas Strip.
Singaporeans love a good mall and this one is a doozy. Equipped with an indoor skating rink that resembles and overgrown plastic cutting board, over three-hundred stores, live theater, a convention center, and the casino, the shopping mall ensures that no one is going home before donating a small portion of their life savings.
At the Skypark, on the top the Marina, is a 150 m infinity pool – the worlds longest elevated swimming pool. While the pool is exclusive to the hotel’s residents, one can dine at The Sky at 57 – the Top of the Hub of Singapore – or one can take a glimpse at the city skyline from the Marina observatory deck for the price of nineteen dollars (which could alternatively buy three hefty Tigers at the local hawker….OR, six serving of soup dumplings – That comes to approximately thirty bao…just saying).
While traditional dishes of laksa and chicken rice are available around the corner, Singapore’s Marina Bay offers a theme park of celebrity chefs – No Red Robin to be found at this mall, folks. Mario Batali, Guy Savoy, Daniel Boulud, Santi Santamaria, and Wolfgang Puck make Marina Bay a culinary hot-spot. It is a testament to Singapore’s growing wealth, popularity and tourism that they have attracted such a collection of big name celebrity chefs.
In suit with the rest of Singapore, for every glimpse of the past there is a larger window to the future. Colonial architecture stands next to towering skyscrapers, and building cranes indicate that more development is on the way. Only on the outskirts of the Singapore, such as the island of Pulau Ubin and the less developed western portion of the island, hint that this was once jungle, rather than the growing maze of malls it is today.