Contrasting The Old and New of Singapore


Over the next week, WT73Jr and I had some father / son time in Singapore and Malaysia. We had a nice long walk back near the Central Business District as I did some reconnaissance work related to the planning of our day trip to Legoland Malaysia.

This post is one chapter on our trip to Bali and Singapore. This trip was redeemed through Lifemiles, AAdvantage and through Starwood Preferred Guest (Marriott Bonvoy) loyalty programs. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.

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City Visit: Contrasting the Old and New of Singapore

“As one of Singapore’s most popular modern attractions, the Gardens by the Bay iconic super trees are not to be missed from your social media feeds “

Our first order of business was to locate the ticket office for the Legoland Malaysia in Singapore. I had some problems booking online for the week ahead, requiring me to attend in person in order to purchase tickets. The ticket office for the Legoland Malaysia bus service was at the Singapore Flyer ferris wheel. At the time of our visit, the Singapore Flyer was unfortunately in receivership.

The Elevated Freeway Flyovers of the East Coast Parkway
The Singapore Flyer

With the ticket purchase completed, from the Singapore Flyer, we walked back up toward the Clark Quay area again. It was a beautiful day, which contrasted from our past day at the domes where the weather was overcast and cloudy. The always photographable Gardens by the Bay displayed nicely from the Marina Bay Sands.

Walking Towards the Marina Bay Sands
The Domes of Gardens by the Bay
The Gardens by the Bay
The Super Trees of Gardens by the Bay

Our walk downtown feature the contrast of new and old of Singapore. As many may be familiar, new Singapore (the Marina Bay Sands, Garden By the Bay and the waterfront) were built on entirely reclaimed artificial land. It joins the old Singapore by the Fullerton Hotel, which used to be the Singapore Post Office.

Marina Bay Waterfront Promenade
Views of the Marina Bay Sands and the Art Science Museum
Views of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel and Casino Complex

We eventually made it around the harbour over to Merlion Park, where we took in the sight of Singapore’s national symbol. The Merlion is a mythical half lion half sea horse symbol, which represents Singapore.

The Merlion at Merlion Park
WT73Jr taking in the views at Merlion Park

Our walk took onward to the Boat Quay area. Singapore was in the middle of setting up for the SG 50 celebrations (50th anniversary of independence) and the Singapore Grand Prix. We passed by the Anderson Bridge, which is a vehicle and pedestrian bridge that dates back to the year 1910.

The Anderson Bridge

We eventually passed by the Fullerton Hotel. The Fullerton Hotel used to be the Singapore National Post Office. It’s a beautiful colonial building and is a striking contrast from all the glass towers in the area.

The Fullerton Hotel emblazoned with Singapore Flags
The View of the Fullerton overlooking the Singapore River

We headed up through Boat Quay. WT73Jr was fascinated at the fresh fish offerings at the restaurants in Boat Quay. It was something that he didn’t get the opportunity to see much of at home.

Walking the Promenade of Boat Quay
WT73Jr showing some interest in exotic fish

Kite Flying at Marina Barrage:

The next day, my aunt happened to discover in the Straits Times newspaper that there was a kite flying contest at the Marina Barrage. Singapore seems to have lots of family oriented events, which makes things more interesting for those that live together closely on the island.

WT73Jr and I took the MRT and bus over to Marina Barrage. In all things Singaporean, the Marina Barrage is a combined dam for water control, a flood control mechanism for the downtown area, and a sustainable outdoor space. It has a circular design, with the top converted into an outdoor recreation space. It surprisingly also controls the water levels inside the large inlet adjacent to the Marina Bay Sands. It was the perfect environment for a kite flying event. Evan was able to design his own Minecraft themed kite, with materials supplied free of charge.

Marina Barrage Placard
WT73Jr constructing a kite

After the kite was built, we headed up to the top of the Marina Barrage where the event was taking place. The top was decorated with lots of professional kites, in addition to the small ones that we had made.

Marina Barrage Kite Flying Area
Marina Barrage Kite Flying
Airborne Colorful Tropical Fish Kites
Kite Flying on a Gorgeous Sunny Day

With home made kite launch success, we were flying a kite in the shadow of the Marina Bay Sands! This was let a lone in a country with many towers, a high density and park space that was more like a jungle than wide open spaces. I couldn’t help but think what an unusual memory to be flying a kite in this location, with a world class view like this? Of course, WT73Jr probably won’t be impressed with it until he’s in his thirties, but that’s okay. =)

A colorful array of kites filled with wind thanks to the open location

In all things exciting for kids, there was also a kite candy drop. It was entertaining to see kid mayhem as they scramble for candy falling from the sky.

Candy Kite Drop
Candy Kite Drop Mayhem

Summary of Our Time Exploring the Marina Bay Area:

The Marina Bay Area is one of Singapore’s newest and most contemporary areas of this island nation. During our visit, we were able to take in some of the contrasting attractions that blended new and old Singapore. We were also fortunate to take in some healthy fresh air on this island nation through some kite flying at the Marina Barrage.

Did you find the contrast of old and new in Singapore to be a striking difference?

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