Marina Bay Sands' Skypark, Singapore
The Marina Bay Hotel in Singapore
I love viewing city skylines, especially at night, and I love capturing them with photographs. I don’t have an especially good camera and I certainly don’t claim to have any specific photography skills. I just like what I see and when I like what I see I take a picture of it. One of my favourite skylines is in Singapore. The best vantage point is the Skypark at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel, which also offers some of the best accommodation in Singapore, especially if you're lucky enough to get a room over-looking marina.
Visiting Marina Bay Sands
When I visited Singapore in 2013 I knew that no trip would be complete without a) a visit to Raffles and b) a visit to the Skypark at Marina Bay Sands.
Tickets for Marina Bay Sands Skypark
At first I baulked at the entrance price ($20US), but then I quickly settled myself and remembered that even though I was still in Asia, this was Singapore and Singapore has its own very different economy. So I bought my ticket and headed up top in the lift.
When I got out of the lift and looked around me I was surprised to find that the Skypark, or the section that was open to the paying members of the public, was actually quite small. Nonetheless I sought out a space along the edge where I get squeeze and get a good look at the view.
Singapore at Night
Singapore F1 Grand Prix
I was in town the weekend before the Singapore F1 Grand Prix was to take place. I think it would have been a lot busier had I been there the weekend after. I recall reading an article at the time that said that some hotel rooms with views of the circuit (however partial) would go for thousands of dollars. The amount of money in Singapore is staggering! Anyway, even though the race wasn’t until the following weekend the circuit had been laid out and illuminated and so I was able to get some decent shots from the Skypark.
Singapore Grand Prix Circuit
My Sony A6000 Camera
My camera of choice in the Sony A6000. This is a truly outstanding camera. I travel frequently and sometimes when I look back on my old travel photos, from the days when I had inferior cameras, I'm disappointed with the the quality of the images. So a few years ago I made a decision to learn some proper photography skills and techniques.
After my visit to Singapore in 2012 I bought a Nikon D3200 DSLR camera. This was my first DSLR and, after mastering the basics of SLR photography, I was able to take much better photo's and use better editing software such as Adobe Lightroom.
The Nikon D3200 is a basic entry level DSLR so once I'd learned the ropes I upgraded to a better camera. First off I got the Fuji X70 but when this was stolen in a burglary I was unable to replace it as Fuji had discontinued the model. So I did my research and came across the Sony A6000. I can honestly say that this is the best camera I have ever had. I can't wait to go back to Marina Bay and take some more skyline shots using this camera.
The architecture in Singapore is rather mixed. It is a dense, urban conurbation and much of the architecture away from the centre is very homogeneous and uninspired. However, as you get in to the more affluent centre you quickly realise how the architecture of Singapore reflects not only the wealth of the nation but also a sense of cleanliness, order and elegance. The tall towers that line the marina are full of class and elegance. It's not all glass and steel though: The Fullerton Hotel for example, built in 1928 , is absolutely stunning.
Gary Neville's Singapore Connection
Singapore is now starting to make headlines where I live in Manchester, UK. Gary Neville, who formerly played football for Manchester United and England, and now a TV Sports pundit, is heading up a number of property investments in the UK using Singapore investment. This Singapore Investment is coming from Peter Lim, one of the 50 richest people in Singapore. He has bought a 50% stake in Salford City Football Club from Gary Neville and has invested in Gary's Manchester Stock Exchange scheme and the Jackson's Row/ Bootle Street development which has been renamed as St Michael's.
Lim also owns Valencia Football Club in Spain and in December 2015 hired Gary Neville as head coach of Valencia until the end of the La Liga season. A very interesting choice at the time and one that ultimately did not work out too well. You would expect Gary Neville and Peter Lim to be seen in the Marina Bay Sands Hotel in Singapore on several occasions in the future.