Catching up on Singapore

Things I learned today while researching a travel guide to Singapore:
  • Mimolette is now just Mimo.
  • Majestic Bar next to New Majestic Hotel might have closed --- can anyone verify this? Another one of my favourite places, argh! (Klee has closed and Handlebar at Gillman Village is on the chopping block.)
  • The ATM Hall at Resorts World Sentosa doesn't let ATM users make deposits? (Unverified till I see the machines for myself.)
  • Select Books has been around since 1976 --- woo!
  • At the Long Bar at the Raffles, the Singapore Sling comes out of a drink dispenser --- just like bandung!
In other news it's hard to imagine (and therefore scribble a few lines about) what the inside of the Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa casinos are like, now that both are up and running. Photography isn't permitted inside and travel writing assignments do not usually cover the additional cost of S$100 per casino visit, just so I can stick my head in to have a look.

(For those of you not familiar with Singapore's fine casino establishments, Singaporeans and Permanent Residents have to pay a S$100 "casino levy" each time they want to step inside the casino. Even if I just want to have a look-see and don't carry any money with me.)

Guess I'll have to get to know some casino staff when I get home, or have a friend with a non-Singapore passport pop in and report back to me.



At 1/27/2011 1:02 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Noooo! not Handlebar!!!

At 1/27/2011 4:47 pm , Blogger Tym said...

A real shame, isn't it? I think I will drink in kopitiams when I go back. Got more longevity (although no aircon).

At 1/27/2011 7:16 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can pop by. (OK, I've already been to MBS twice.) What do you want to know?

At 1/28/2011 5:21 am , Blogger Tym said...

@Anonymous - Thanks for the offer! Would you mind getting in touch over email? You can reach me at: yumei [at] toomanythoughts [dot] org

At 1/28/2011 8:28 am , Anonymous Enid Coleslaw said...

Hey yes, Majestic Bar closed. I'm quite sure in the second half last year, as I was there in the first. I was pretty disappointed to walk past it one day and see it all dark and abandoned.

Pity about that...I liked the open-air seats on the roof and downstairs.

At 1/29/2011 10:53 pm , Blogger Unknown said...

Hey how've you been? Singapore has certainly changed in complexity and texture quite a bit since the two IRs have opened. I did a walk about of the skypark at MBS recently - magnificant and splendid views galore!

Like you, I haven't had the chance to visit both the casinos because I don't gamble and shirk at the thought of paying $100 for a viewing experience.

At 1/30/2011 5:45 am , Blogger Tym said...

@Enid - I liked that each level and the outside space had a different feel because of the respective artworks. And I LOVE Donna Ong's art (the clockwork installation on the walls of the ground floor bar area). A friend updated me that Restaurant Andre has taken over the space --- hope it kept the art!

@Cool Insider - Yes, it's very strange to be excluded from the casino's territorial space strictly based on one's citizenship and ability and/or willingness to pay. It's like the government has turned the casino space into "foreign" territory which it administers --- must show passport and, if you're from a certain country, pay a "visa" fee to enter.

At 1/30/2011 7:52 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you just want a bird's eye view of the MBS casino without paying $100 levy, just take the lift to the 5 level where the restaurants are located and get a 360 degree view.

At 1/31/2011 4:01 am , Blogger Tym said...

@Anonymous #2 - I've seen the casino from that level. What I would like to do is go and rub shoulders with what's going on inside, spend a little time observing how people interact with the games, the machines, the staff, each other, etc.

Of course I could just make it all up. But with proper travel writing pieces, I always try to write about things I've experienced firsthand. Peering down from the restaurant level wouldn't be the same thing. :(


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