Marina Bay is a bay located on the southern side of the island of Singapore. The area surrounding the bay itself, also called Marina Bay, is 360-hectares of prime waterfront built on land reclaimed from the sea. Those of you who are F1 fans will recognize Marina Bay as the site of the street course for the Singapore Grand Prix.
I was in Singapore in 2017 to attend a multi-day workshop conducted by the bicycle company Specialized. One lunchtime a Specialized employee loaned me a Di2-equipped S-Works Tarmac and we went on a 16km / 10 mi anti-clockwise spin around Marina Bay.
Marina Bay is the centrepiece of Singapore’s urban transformation efforts. Land reclamation works were completed in 1992. Since then Marina Bay has grown into a leading financial centre, a civic space, and a community playground.
To give you an idea of the extent of the land reclamation, Beach Road, which is parallel to Nicoll Highway (see the centre of the map), used to run along the beach.
The first building on our route is the Singapore Chinee Cultural Centre, completed in 2016. The podium is envisioned as a solid rock, and the glass box tower is envisioned as the crystal palace above the mountain peak.
Then you come upon the Marina Bay Sands. This integrated resort’s most prominent feature is the three hotel towers topped by the SkyPark, a three-acre park on top of the building with swimming pools, gardens, and jogging paths. The complex also houses a casino, a convention centre, a museum, a shopping mall, a large theatre, restaurants etc.
The building in the foreground said to be reminiscent of a lotus flower, is the ArtScience Museum.
The Gardens by the Bay is a nature park spanning 101 hectares / 250 acres. In the background are the two conservatories. In the foreground are three Supertrees. There are eighteen of these tree-like structures that dominate the Gardens’ landscape with heights that range between 25 metres / 82 ft and 50 metres / 160 ft.
Next is the Marina Barrage. This dam provides water storage, flood control and recreation. This is the Marina Barrage Bridge that spans the mouth of Marina Bay.
This is the view across the bay from the Marina Barrage Bridge. As well as the Marina Bay Sands and the Gardens by the Bay You can see the Singapore Flyer. The Flyer is a Ferris wheel that is 165 metres / 541 ft high.
The next bridge we crossed was the Tanjung Rhu Suspension Bridge. This bridge crosses the Geylang River.
These spiky buildings make up the Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay. The spikes are a cladding of aluminium sunshades.
The other side of the Singapore River from the theatres is the Merlion Statue. The Merlion is the official mascot of Singapore, depicted as a mythical creature with a lion’s head and the body of a fish.
3km / 2mi later we were back at Bukit Pasoh Road. The road is mainly lined with conserved shophouses. A shophouse is a building that is a shop on the ground floor and the owner’s residence on the upper floors.
The Specialised Asia Pacific Pte Ltd offices are in one of these conserved shophouses. Look closely and you can spot which one.
Here are a couple of bonus photographs. My wife and I treated ourselves to a weekend stay at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel in 2018. Marina Bay is spectacular at night.
This is the view looking down on the Gardens by the Bay from the Skypark atop the hotel.