Helix Bridge, Marina Bay, Singapore
June 9, 2014
Inspired by Mario Kart
How I got there:
This picture was captured in June 2014 while I was backpacking around the world after college. I had been in Australia & New Zealand since February and made the decisions to switch hemispheres and go to Europe for my first summer since 2012. I have friends in Den Haag (The Hague) and the World Cup was about to start, so I could travel to countries while their team played. Naturally, instead of flying direct from Sydney to the Netherlands, I spent a week bouncing around and saved money with a combo of cheaper flights and trains. This involved flying first to Perth to say goodbye to my friends there, then to Singapore for a day before taking the overnight train (not recommended if you like sleep) to Malacca for a couple days and then flying out of Kuala Lumpur to Vietnam, where I found my dirt cheap $200 ticket from Ho Chi Min City to Frankfurt (almost 6000 miles), then took the train to Cologne, where I got a carpool to The Hague. And I did that for substantially less money than the cost of flying direct from Sydney, especially with booking only a week out. When I was in Singapore, I was luckily able to stay with the same couchsurfing host I had the last time I was there, Yong Shu Hoong, a very kind, generous, and award winning poet. My first stay, he gave me a walking tour of the whole city, and this time he took in both me and another couchsurfer and gave us another walking tour.
After visiting the Botanical Gardens and Orchard Road, we made our way downtown to the Marina, famous for the Merlion and the Marina Bay Sands, the flagship hotel with the rooftop infinity pool floating on top of the the three towers. Behind the hotel are the Gardens by the Bay with the Supertrees. We watched the sunset on the green roof of the Marina Bay Barrage, a dam that turned the bay into a freshwater marina, protecting the city from floods and tides while also providing a freshwater supply. There were many families flying kites and enjoying the view of the city skyline. The other courchsurfer wanted a picture of him doing a handstand in front of the skyline, so I took a few pictures of his attempts. We stayed there until dark to see the lights of the city turn on. People also attached lights to their kites which I was able to capture through a few long exposure pictures.
On our walk back, I snapped February's picture of the the inner harbor. There was a light show going on and I was able to capture some of the projected lights. From left to right, the picture shows the Helix Pedestrian Bridge, the Marina Bay Sands, the Shops at the Marina Bay Sands (Glass Building), the ArtScience Museum (Lotus Building), and the edge of the Financial District (skyscrapers). I was inspired to take this picture because of my success in capturing Sydney at night earlier that week. I wasn't carrying my tripod at the time, so I stabilized the shot using (what has become) my signature "Urban Tripod" technique of using my surroundings - this time using a cement wall with a flat top, angled with my camera strap and lens cap. I was inspired to pick this picture for the calendar because Singapore is a race track featured on Mario Kart, which I've been playing with my friends recently, and the game includes a fair rendition of many of the city's iconic structures including the Helix Bridge, Marina Bay Sands, Merlion, and the Supertrees.