Monday 1 October 2007

Fun Day On Sentosa

Marika enjoyed her birthday. After a brief morning stint at work we all met up and headed down to Sentosa for lunch and dinner. We had a nice day wandering around. Bella (and Daddy) played in a water feature and on the beach, little miss wasn’t so sure about the waves but she meandered into the oceans water with a little help. On the way home we found four stray kittens near the monorail station, I’m guessing they were about seven weeks old as their eyes had mostly changed colour, playful little fur balls, they wanted to climb onto Isabella’s stroller and go for a ride. I think Marika wanted to adopt them, they were cute but a little too furry for my liking, mmmm all that cat hair would send my senses into full blown hay fever mode. It’s great to see that Isabella likes animals even though we don’t have any pets at home. We do have some local stray cats we see and feed most days so I guess that is almost like having pets at home.

For those who don’t know Sentosa is a small island just at the bottom of Singapore, which also happens to be a rather small island. Sentosa is mostly a tourism and leisure zone. There has been some residential development in recent years but mostly its resorts, marinas, golfing, amusements and beaches. The island is connected by bridge and cable car; this past year also saw the opening of a monorail which was our chosen mode of transport to the island.

Marika & Isabella On and Beside the Monorail

The monorail operates from Harbourfront and Singapore’s newest shopping centre Vivocity across the island to the beaches, with stops at Imbiah lookout and the former ferry terminal. It’s sad to see the classic old ferry terminal gone; it was a grand old building and looked to be in good shape (before the wrecking ball played with it).

Old Ferry Terminal and Gardens now Gone to makeway for IR

It had to go to make way for one of the new IR’s, that Singaporean for Integrated Resort, or in plan English a Casino and hotel. The government has tendered and approved the development of two IR’s, I think both are due to be completed by 2009 and they are very close together, I guess only a few kilometres apart and both are waterfront properties. Despite the fact they are casinos, they are going to be very interesting sites, fascinating building designs and a variety of tourism and leisure activities (other the gambling). I guess the IR’s are a way of combating the lowing appeal of shopping, yes it’s a sad story but Singapore is losing it’s shopping haven title as many cities in the region are offering bargain / cheaper shopping destinations. People here nip up to KL or Bangkok like someone in Sydney would duck off to Newcastle or Melbourne. Not that I’m implying Newcastle is a shopping mecca, it is great town, my hometown as such so I’m kind of biased. Caveat emptor, the nightlife / bars and clubs usually have a certain Neanderthal element, but then again bars and clubs all over the world seem to attract the Neanderthal element!

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