Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Downtown Singapore Marina Centre

Today I am going to concentrate more on another shopping district in the city of Singapore. You may have heard of Orchard Road. This is another alternative. Marina Centre is an area in Singapore built on reclaimed land with a cluster of shopping malls, hotels, a convention centre and one of the world's largest fountain. Sure it may not be as glamourous as Orchard Road but still, it's a great place to go for your shopping and dining.

First up, there is Raffles City Shopping Mall. Okay, Raffles City isn't actually located in Marina Centre but it's nearby. This shopping mall is located in City Hall and it has several luxury shops and a large selection of restaurants can be found here. There is also an interesting looking fountain that's found at the basement of the mall which shoots water out about 1 storey high. Interestingly, the fountain has been there since I was young.

Raffles City also has two popular hotels located above the mall itself. One's called Swissotel The Stamford, the other is Fairmont Singapore. The architecture's beautiful and there's also a large food hall at the basement with different cuisines for different tastes buds. Raffles City has two MRT Stations, City Hall MRT Station on level one and Esplanade MRT Station on basement two.

Next destination is Marina Square. Marina Square is another shopping mall within the Marina Centre area. What I like about this mall is that it has NO level one. So from the MRT underpass, patrons of the mall will get from the basement straight to level two or three. Sorry about the shots. I know you can't really see the shops. Anyway, the Christmas decorations are beautiful and it looks like it's raining lights. The mall is relatively quiet even on the weekends. Shops selection here are more or less the same as other malls within the Marina Centre area. A popular music retailer, HMV, recently moved here from it's old location, CityLink Mall. Surprisingly, there's no supermarket found here.

The Marina Square also has a basement with a new selection of shops which just opened in late 2010. The basement links directly with Esplanade MRT Station and other malls like CityLink Mall and Suntec City Mall. Hotels can also be found above Marina Square such as the Ritz Carlton Millenia, Pan Pacific Hotel and Marina Mandarin.

Another shopping mall/office tower/convention centre that is found right beside Marina Square is Suntec City. The convention centre is strangely named International Convention Centre. The convention centre holds some of the most popular conventions and trade shows. Some examples include the IT Show, NATAS Travel Fair and the Popular Bookfest. It can get packed when conventions are happening here. Suntec City has a few towers and the Fountain of Wealth. Shop selection here are plenty. There's plenty of restaurants, cafes and there's even a place dedicated to IT gadgets and electronics. A food hall is present at Tower 4.

And here it is, the Fountain of Wealth. This fountain is dubbed the world's largest fountain at one point but if I'm not wrong, another fountain in another part of the world has replaced Fountain of Wealth as the world's largest fountain. Doesn't matter which is bigger, the Fountain of Wealth is still a great place to get some luck. Patrons are allowed to walk in the middle of the fountain, walk around, touch the water and make a wish. It's available at certain times of the day. Other times, the fountain will have laser light shows daily at night and you can also make song requests.

Here are two pictures taken at the Fountain of Wealth. The one above corresponds to the Chinese Zodiac. So you can see which animals represent which year. Let's say you were born during the year of the Pig (like me), the board will show the different years which are known as the years of the Pig. The picture after that shows patrons walking around the water and making a wish. Try it and see if your wish comes true.

What I particularly find unique are the koi pond and the aquarium found at the basement of Suntec City Mall not too far away from the Fountain of Wealth. It's great to find nature (other than plants) in a shopping mall.

Here are some bonus photos. Check out the Christmas light up. Isn't it beautiful? Also, the Marina Centre area is accessible with a range of bus services from the city and from the neighbourhoods of Singapore. You can never get lost here at Marina Centre.

The Marina Centre area of Singapore contains a cluster of shopping malls, hotels, a convention centre and one of the world's largest fountain. It's also accessible with two MRT stations on the Circle Line which are Promenade and Esplanade. Another MRT station is City Hall MRT Station on the North South and East West Lines. Other places I didn't mention which is also available in Marina Centre include Millenia Walk Shopping Mall, Parco Marina Bay Shopping Mall, Centennial Tower and Esplanade, Singapore's most exclusive drama and arts centre. Bring your friends and family along and shop till your drop here at Marina Centre, a great alternative to Orchard Road.

Getting Here 

Bus services available: 36. 70M, 97, 97e, 106, 111, 133, 133M, 162M, 502, 502A, 518, 518A, 531, 700A, 857, 868 (Bus stop outside Suntec Convention Centre)

Nearest MRT Stations: NS25/EW13 City Hall MRT Station (North South Line/East West Line), CC3 Esplanade MRT Station (Circle Line), CC4 Promenade MRT Station (Circle Line)

Websites: http://www.sunteccitymall.com/, http://www.marinasquare.com.sg/, http://www.rafflescity.com.sg/

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