An Night of Adventure in Singapore

May 21, 2009 / Culture, Daily Life / 4 Comments

It’s been a while since I wrote an entry on my daily life, probably because most of my days are just not worth writing about anymore – unfortunately. But I did do something worth writing about last weekend – and I have pictures too!

Singapore Art Festival – Hélios 2

So a few friends and I went to the Singapore Arts Festival opening act, Hélios II by French “dream architects” called La Compagnie Malabar. It was held at the newly constructed Marina Barrage.

Hélios is some sort of a post-modern, surrealist performance of the descent of a god. I’m not a Thespian or a great appreciator of the urban arts, so I honestly didn’t quite “get” it. I just read from the event site that there would be insects and “pyrotechnic displays” so I was anxiously waiting for the fireworks like a child waiting for Santa on Christmas Eve.

The Hélios insect-grasshopper-thingy with a dude on its forehead.

The performers with the insect-grasshopper-thingy.

The pyrotechnic display.

Another shot of pyrotechnic display.

Marina Barrage

After the performance, we walked around Marina Barrage, which is a dam constructed to be a freshwater reservoir and a public picnic spot. (Pretty neat idea!)

Marina Barrage at Night
Here’s the bridge that apparently controls the water flow.

Marina Barrage
This is the pump house.

Marina Barrage at Night
I don’t know what it is. It’s umm a romantic spot that lacks benches.

Marina Barrage Fountain at Night
This the fountain to wash your legs for kids and big kids to play in.

View of Singapore City

The Marina Barrage being tucked away at the Southern tip of the island has an excellent view of the city, but you need to take a tactical flashlight if you want to go there at night. Note: I don’t own a DSLR or a tripod – and my camera was running out of battery from all the incessant zooming, so here’s a few crappy shots of the view.

Marina Bay Sands at Night
This is the construction site of Marina Bay Sands, which will be Singapore’s first legal casino with some interesting points about Casinoland. It’ll be completed next year, I think.

Singapore City at Night
And this is Downtown Singapore with the Singapore Flyer and the Suntec City Convention Center in sight.

Ayaschool at the Blujaz Cafe

After our evening stroll at the dam, we went to Bugis in search ofArab Street and Kampong Glam. That’s where there are rows and rows of shisha joints and a South East Asian delicacy (with Indian roots) called Roti Prata. We finally got there after getting lost and walking for about 30 minutes.

We originally wanted to try out the shisha, but I was distracted by the faint sound of jazz playing from an alley somewhere. Turned out there’s a jazz bar (with 2nd and 3rd floor playing club music) right around the corner called Blujaz Cafe.

Ayaschool at Blujaz
There was a live band or rather a group friends, playing called Ayaschool led by Aya Sekine, an accomplished jazz pianist who happened to be an alumna from my high school, the Singapore American School. (Now I wished I talked to her!).

The laid back, funky ambiance.

The psychedelic art pieces.

Lime Daiquiri at Blujaz
My lime daiquiri at Blujaz Cafe.

…And the Adventure Continued

(Sorry, no pics my camera was flat by then!)
By the time we left the cafe, it was around 2am. We found a clothing store still open and decided to do some crazy late night shopping. And in our tipsy state we began to look for a late night snack. We walked for almost an hour, getting lost (again!) in the process only to end up exactly where we started – at the store. By then, most of the eateries in that area were closed and we decided to walk to Bencoolen Street to haunt the 24 hour Roti Prata joint.

By then, it was almost 4am. We feasted over the prata and the milkshakes, as if they were the rewards of a very long, arduous walk around town. And by 5am, lethargy and exhaustion finally set in, and we promptly retired for the night.

It was a lot of walking – probably about 10 kilometers – but a ton of fun! A really interesting getaway from the shopping and cafe chats that I have become all too accustomed in the weekends.

P.S. More pictures of my adventure on Flickr!