Colours of Singapore

The first afternoon we spent in Singapore, we mostly just walked around Marina Bay (and, if we’re completely honest, much of that was spent in looking for a Starbucks, which is ironic because there has to be more Starbucks stores per capita in Singapore than anywhere else in the world).

From Marina Bay, Singapore looks like an austere city. Built of glass, steel and concrete, the wall of skyscrapers that make up the financial district presents a somewhat clinical window onto the city.

Singapore skyline

The architecture of the Marina Bay Sands and ArtScience Museum buildings, as well as the Helix Bridge, is innovative, but still the city lacked colour.

Marina Bay Sands and ArtScience Museum

That was until we took a bumboat cruise along the Singapore River.

Cruise bumboat

Beyond the cold glass front visible from Marina Bay, the city contains pockets of vibrant colours.

On the edge of the financial district, the historical shop fronts of Boat Quay juxtapose the modern city with its past as a trading post on the spice route. The irregular heights of the buildings reflected the relative wealth of the owners – rich people could afford taller buildings.

Boat Quay

Further along the river, on the North Bank, the clubs and restaurants of Clarke Quay draw the eye with their… interesting… choices of paint. Aaron thought they were weird. I loved them!

Clarke Quay

Similarly, the window frames of the MICA (Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts) building are painted all the colours of the rainbow – literally. An interesting design choice for the building which formerly housed the city’s police constabulary.

MICA Building

And then, it turned out that, at night, even the Marina Bay area was full of colour and light.

Over the rest of our stay (which was only four days) we managed to find colour and vitality in lots of areas of the city. The financial district might not be the first place to go looking, but beyond there is plenty to be found.

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