Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A Day At The Marina Barrage

Have you ever wanted to check out the sea without going to the beach where you'll have sand stuck in your sandals? This place is for you. The Marina Barrage is a lifestyle attraction and a reservoir which provides water supply to Singapore and also, to keep the water level in Singapore stable with the flood gates. It's located along the waterfront and has great panoramic views of the sea and the SIngapore city skyline. Upon entering, you'll find fountains and a tall blue structure with writings on it. I don't really know what is that actually.

Once you enter the building, you'll find that there is a gentle slope going up towards the 2nd level of the Marina Barrage. The slope itself is interesting as there is a line of green grass patch in the middle of it. Although, I do recommend you to use the lift or the staircase to the 2nd level. At the second level itself, you'll find a big open field and a solar park. The open field is what keeps the building cool as the heat gets trapped into the grass. This is the place where you can carry out activities like kite flying, picnics and maybe a game of frisbee or badminton. If you're thinking of kite flying, the Marina Barrage is a favourite among local kite fans. Plus, there's plenty of wind no matter what time of the day it is.

If you are new to kite flying, I recommend you to get a big and affordable kite outside because the kites they sell here at the gift shop are freaking pricey. See the kite there? That's mine. It's small, tears easily, wire gets tangled up easily, all for a whopping S$13. And that's the cheapest they offered. Also, learn how to fly one before actually flying one here at the Marina Barrage. Me and my friends had a hard time flying the kite when we first bought it. And I also recommend you to get a cap as the sun is sooooo hot.

There is also a free public gallery at the Marina Barrage known as the Sustainable Singapore Gallery. You can go there as there's air-con. Over here at the gallery. You'll be presented with exhibits and Singapore's sustainability efforts. Actually to be honest, I went to the gallery to enjoy the air-con and also to play with the exhibits. I didn't really bother to read the words and paragraphs. According to the website, at the first gallery, you'll be presented with a green goo thingy which represents an organic tree that talks about environmental challenges of the present. Above, is a picture of a display of empty NEWater bottles.

What is NEWater? Newater is a technology developed in Singapore used to treat waste water so that it becomes fresh water that can be consumed by the public. So in typical layman speak, it's clean and edible toilet water. Nothing to worry about though, I drank it before and it tastes just like regular bottled water that you can find in the supermarket.

At the second part of the gallery, it talks about the history of the Kallang River and the Singapore River. Back then, the Singapore River was full of litter and it was dirty and smelly. It was not until the Singapore River clean up which made the Singapore River cleaner and less smelly. 

There was one particular exhibit which can be considered my favourite among all the exhibits at the Sustainable Singapore Gallery. That is the replica of the Marina Barrage flood gates. And this is no ordinary replica. It's a working replica of the flood gates. Every 10 mins, there is this showcase whereby rain will fall down from the ceiling and adds on to the water level in the replica. The flood gates which are underneath will open one by one and let the water out slowly to prevent flooding. It's kinda boring in paper but in real life, the working model is cool.

Other exhibits include a model of Marina Bay, a short movie about the Marina Barrage made by the Public Utilities Board and a dark alleyway which provides a camera so you can take photos of yourself with different backgrounds of the Marina Barrage.

Here are some pictures of the Marina Bridge. This is the real thing. The one in the gallery is the replica of this. Underneath this bridge is the floodgates. Along the bridge, there are lots of shelters with seats which is great for soaking in the beautiful panoramic views of the upcoming Gardens By The Bay, Marina Bay Sands and the sea. Totally beautiful sight. You can even sit in the shelters and play a game of UNO. Like what I did with my friends when we visited the place.

These three panoramic photos was made possible by the Viewing Pod. Although the Marina Bridge has better views of the sea and the Marina Reservoir. Reaching here is easy with public transport. There is bus service 400 which starts from Shenton Way Bus Terminal to Marina Bay MRT Station and loops right in front of the Marina Barrage. And yes, there is a bus stop in front of the Marina Barrage.

If you want to save money, you can even board the free shuttle bus to Marina Barrage at the bus stop outside Marina Bay MRT Station along Marina Station Road. Frequency is quite slow compared to public bus service 400. Before taking the bus, you need to take the MRT to Marina Bay MRT Station on the North South Line (Red Line) or Circle Line (Orange Line). Then, you transfer to the free shuttle bus or bus service 400.

Getting Here

Bus services available: 400

Nearest MRT Station: NS27/CE2 Marina Bay MRT Station (North South Line/Circle Line)

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