Singapore 2011 – F1 week, a teaser

From September 19th to 26th, I visited Singapore for a second time. Here are a few photos:

Stamford Raffles mall interiors Singapore
First order of business, collect my Singapore GP ticket from the Swissôtel The Stamford
Merlion Park fountain statue Singapore
I then walked all the way to the Merlion Park for the obligatory ‘Yes, I’m in Singapore’ shot
Gears of War 3 Singapore release Funan IT hall
Second order of business – head to Funan IT mall to buy a camera backpack. There was a Gear of War 3 launch event going on as Singapore was going to get the game a few hours before the rest of the world did. A few hours early is a big deal to gamers when you go online dammit! 🙂

Day 1 went according to plan. Got my Kata Owl DL-272 from John 3:16 for SGD185, nearly Rs. 2000 cheaper.

Jurong bird park lory loft parrots
Day 2, I decided to go to Jurong Bird Park, which I couldn’t do last year
Jurong bird park heavy dark rain Singapore
Unfortunately, it began raining heavily (dark clouds and all). This was taken on my phone.
Jurong bird park hornbill Singapore
But eventually the heavy rain subsided and I continued shooting. It wasn’t easy though. Holding my Canon 7D with the heavy 70-200mm lens in one hand and an umbrella in the other hand. I tried my best.

I was nearly done with the park when disaster struck. Because of the wet grounds, I slipped on a downward slope and fell on the ground. I tried to break my fall as I didn’t want to damage my camera… but …

Mithun Divakaran injured hand Singapore
Long story short, this is what my hand looked like at the end of the day. It hurt. But what hurt more was that the filter on my 70-200mm lens dented in so badly that nobody could remove it by hand. Eventually Canon service had to carefully drill two holes on the side without touching the main lens and remove it. Cost SGD130 though. 

Day 2, obviously not according to plan then.

Singapore bus ride
Day 3 was supposed to be Sentosa & Universal Studios but with my 70-200mm lens still at the service center, so I couldn’t go there without it. So instead, I hopped on a bus and see where it would take me.
Global Indian International school Singapore
I basically wanted to see the inner parts of Singapore and the more residential areas. Not just the usual commercial areas every tourist sees.
Singapore dark clouds bus ride
The weather looked gloomy today as well
Singapore botanic gardens Orchard road gate
In the afternoon, ended up going to the Botanic gardens because I told myself I can’t justify this trip unless I take a lot of photos!
Singapore botanic gardens swan lake pigeons
Even though such places aren’t really my thing, I ended up liking the gardens a lot
Singapore orchid park flowers
Then ended up clicking quite a lot of photos once inside the Orchid Park. Really worth the SG$5 fee!
Aimee angel ring Singapore Lucky plaza
Left the gardens and met my friend Aimee on Orchard Road. She’s no angel, that’s just Photoshop.

Day 4, I got my lens back and decided to go to the Marina Bay Sands Hotel & Casino. Played $65 at the casino — and lost it all 😛 Photography isn’t allowed inside the casino, so I have no photos, but take my word for it — it was impressive!

Marina Bay Sands Singapore Infinity swimming pool
After the casino, went up to the skybridge
Marina Bay skybridge view panorama
The views from up here… worth the $20 fee! The Marina Bay Sands Skypark  is even higher than the Singapore Flyer.
Singapore Flyer view from Marina Bay skybridge
Didn’t feel like going to the Singapore Flyer after this
Marina Bay The Gardens barge ships panorama
From up here, you can see why Singapore Port is one of the busiest in the world. Oh, they’re also constructing more attractions at Marina Bay.
Marina bay sands hotel Infinity pool Singapore
The famous pool at the hotel. Hopefully one day I can afford to stay in this hotel, just so I can use the swimming pool 🙂

Day 5, met up with Aimee again as she showed me around Chinatown.

Buddha temple Chinatown Singapore
Last year, myself & Loiyumba only strolled through Chinatown at night, so I didn’t even know about this Buddhist temple
Boat Quay bread ice-cream Singapore
Finally had bread ice cream by the Quay. Durian flavoured ice cream that too!
Charice Singapore F1 Friday concert
Oprah loved her, David Foster promoted her and ‘Glee’ made her even more famous. It was Pinoy fever as Charice kicked off the concerts on Friday night. What a voice she has!
Seungri Singapore F1 Friday concert
Then I got my K-pop fix with Seungri first taking the stage
GD&Top Singapore F1 Friday concert
And later, fellow BIG BANG members GD&TOP ended the night with a stellar (albeit short) performance

Day 6, had lunch at Boat Quay and had my first taste of Singapore Chili Crab.

Singapore chili crab boat quay
Before
Singapore chili crab after
After (Disclaimer/just saying: There were three of us at the table)
Man sleeping Marina Bay Singapore afternoon
I was in no rush to enter the gates when it opened at 3pm just to get fanzone passes to be closer to the stage today. But I still ended up getting them at 3:30pm.
Rick Astley singing Singapore concert Marina Stage
Waited for this man to perform at the Marina Bay stage. Yes, Rick Astley. He still sounds great!
Rick Astley beer bottle Singapore concert
He was also quite funny. Drenched in sweat (like the rest of us) he asked for some chilled beer for him and his band. The organizers handed him one bottle of beer, to which he pointed out that it looked like something else 🙂
Rick Astley Eddie Jordan drumming Singapore F1 concert
Rick Astley was later joined by racing supremo Eddie Jordan on drums
Mithun Divakaran with Rick Astley Singapore F1
Mithun Divakaran, officially ‘Rick-Rolled’
Shakira Singapore F1 Saturday concert
Next up, the incredibly sexy, talented Shakira. But all her writhing about and moaning got a bit annoying for me after a while.
Shakira hip dancing on stage Singaporean girls F1 concert
Four lucky Singaporean girls got a chance to shake their hips with Shakira as well
Brazilian samba dancers Singapore F1 performance
They also flew in a Brazilian samba dance troupe. Never seen hips being shaken so violently before! I don’t know how they do it, but I hope to see the Rio Carnival in person one day.
2011 Singapore grand prix concert stage
Finally, closing out Saturday’s entertainment…wait for it…
Shaggy Singapore F1 Saturday concert
“Singapore! Remember me?…. No? Aw, come on!…”
Shaggy concert Singapore F1 2011
I didn’t bother staying too long for Shaggy’s set. As with all rap/reggae/urban artists, half the time it was instructions: “throw your hands in the air!” “say woahhh” “do this, do that!” -_-
Shaggy back-up singers bored Singapore Saturday concert
“Oh just give it up Shaggy”

Day 7 was the big race on Sunday.

Forbidden Broadway Singapore show lion king spoof
Sunday’s entertainment for me began with the off-broadway show Forbidden Broadway. A musical spoofing pretty much every popular hit broadway show from The Lion King to Wicked and more. Pretty funny, if you got the jokes that is!
New York off-broadway Lion King spoof
They mostly made fun of Disney’s infiltration of broadway with their properties and how Disney fool people into thinking everything from The Little Mermaid to Mary Poppins (both of which they also spoofed) are any good on live theatre.
Red Bull Racing Singapore grand prix F1 race day
Watched a bit of the race from the corners where I could manage to take a few decent snaps
Linkin Park Singapore F1 concert
But I headed back to the concert stage so I could get close enough to see the main reason why I booked my tickets in May itself: Linkin Park!
Chester Bennington Linkin Park Singapore F1 concert
Chester actually had a cast on his arm but performed on stage without it. Needless to say, he was his screaming best. What an incredible vocalist!
Mike Shinoda guitar Singapore Linkin Park concert
This is why I can’t do without my 70-200mm lens. Hardly did any adjustments to make this photo look any better.

After feeling great about getting my SGD138 worth of entertainment, I took the last train to Marina Bay to go see The Chemical Brothers perform at the Avalon Club.

Avalon Club Singapore F1 after race party
After dancing for more than hour to hits like “Star Guitar” “Don’t Think” and “Do it Again,” I kept wondering why the smoke machine was on until Boy George began his set. Made me question if The Chemical Brothers were even there! I felt cheated in some ways.

Day 8, I went to IKEA for some shopping before heading to the airport at 5:30pm.

IKEA lunch food pizza meatball fries Appleberry
Finally had lunch from an IKEA and tasted their famed Swedish meatballs

Anyway, there’s a lot more to say and hundreds more photographs to put up. I will begin this Singapore series once I complete my Philippines series.

Update – Read this series here:

Singapore 2011: Day 1 – Landing a second time; walking around CBD

Singapore 2011: Day 2 – Jurong Bird Park and… *ouch!*

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