Singapore is a city-state located just south of Malaysia in the South East Asia region. It is a developed state with alot of city planning mimicking United Kingdoms. The addressing system is fairly similar to Western countries. Stepping into Singapore is like stepping into a little England, minus the cold breeze. Being a small city-state with limited land spaces, you will be welcomed with skyscrapers and a modern, efficient and organized transportation infrastructure. There’s the SBS transit bus network, SMRT train system and one of the busiest airport, Changi Airport to bring you into and around Singapore. I must admit that the bus and MRT network is very efficient and comes on time.
The last time i visited Singapore was some 10 years ago where Singapore was an attraction for its shopping district and its well-planned and structured civil operations for those living in the South East Asia region. We always admire the efficient and clean country down south. However, my impression coming into Singapore 10 years has changed compared to before. Singapore as of now is flooded with China migrants, be it permanent resident or coming into the country to work. You can find them at every spot of the country right now. From the bus drivers to the restaurant waiters and chefs, the promoters in shopping malls and hawker centres, there’s never a time you will not spot them. They are just everywhere. I finally understand the grouse and frustration of the Singaporeans against their government’s policy which lead to PAP’s worst election result in history.
I have broken up my Singapore trip into two post, with this post focusing on Universal Studios and the 2 casinos available in Singapore. If you’re looking for Singapore’s city centre life, nightlife and others besides Universal Studios and Marina Sands bay, do click here.
This time around, my main purpose for coming to Singapore is to visit the 2 new main attraction in the country, the Universal Studios at Resort World Sentosa and Marina Sands bay. Universal Studios is a theme park situated in Resort World Sentosa. While the park rides were nice, I find that the theme park as a whole is relatively small in size as compared to Disneyland in Paris. The prices were similar for both, yet the number of rides choices in Universal Studios is limited in comparison, hence I find that the price is abit steep. But I got in with complimentary tickets, so I couldn’t complain anymore.
Welcome to Universal Studios Singapore
A must try ride is the Sci-fi City and Ancient Egypt ride which while not very challenging, is considered a thrilling experience for me as that is the most you can get out of the whole theme park. Next on list would be The Lost World with some splashing adventure. Last but not least, the Far Far Away castle is a must visit area and do look out for characters hidden all over the castle’s surroundings and compound or help Shrek rescue the princess. One thing I dislike about the theme park is the lack of a auto-queuing system. During peak periods, most of the rides have a wait time of up to 90 minutes. Most of our time will be spent waiting on rides rather than enjoying them, not to mention waiting under the hot sun. They should have a system like Disney in which people can get a queue number and return in half an hour later while they try on other rides first.
Overview of park rides
Save the princess with Shrek in the castle!
After having fun in Universal Studios, I headed into Resort World Casino just underneath Universal Studios to check out the much said casino. The casino is operated by Genting group. One thing about casino in Singapore is that foreign citizens can enter casinos free of charge while Singapore citizens will have to pay SGD 100 per entry per 24 hours or SGD 2000 for entry passes for a year, and that is also limited to 1 of the 2 casinos in the country only. In short, the government is trying to deter their citizens from indulging in gambling while also reaping profits from foreigners by encouraging oversea players to join the game.
There are no pictures of the casino aside from the main entrance as photographing is restricted in the casino. Nevertheless, I did notice that there’s a special room in Genting’s casino named ‘Orchid Club’ which is specially for Singaporeans only to gamble in it. Now this is certainly unheard of as i do not remember seeing such a club in the Marina Sands Bay casino. Is there a reason for treating gamblers in such a manner by giving special treatment for a particular group? Shouldn’t all gamblers be treated the same even on normal games? I could understand high rollers and Maxim club members, but a room specially for Singaporean gamblers, that’s like telling other gamblers are inferior.
The next day, I went to the Marina Sands Bay casino to have a look at the casino by American based Sands Corporation. By comparison, the Marina Sands Bay casino boasts much more players filling up the 1,600 slots machine and 500 tables as compared to Resort World Casino. Incidentally, I realized that Marina Sands Bay attracts much more foreign players from Phillippines, Indonesia and Westerners. In contrast, more Singaporeans and China people go to Resort World Casino. The interior of Marina Sands Bay casino is broad and roomy and the brighter lighting makes the environment much lively. The employees here are mostly from Asian countries and they provide excellent support and are very friendly when you approach them.
The Universal Studios, Resort World Casino and Marina Sands Bay has proved to be able to revitalized the tourism industry of Singapore and has go on to break the old saying, ‘Singapore 10 years before and after, never changes.’ I will highly recommend people to visit this 2 attractions, even if you do not gamble, just to have a look at the state of art modern entertainment theme park and integrated resorts. That’s much fun in them.
If you’re one who likes to look around the city and enjoy the culture of Singapore, do check out my post on Singapore’s city center and nightlife in here.