Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Marina Barrage

The Marina Barrage was opened just a week ago. It marked another milestone for Singapore in water management. Water catchment the size of 1/6 area of the island is drained into the bay. In time to come it is to become a fresh water reservoir! How long?

Singapore has come a long way to this day! Decades back, the Singapore River was so polluted its color was black like coffee. Cleaning up the river took more than a decade before fishes returns. Making it into a reservoir is truly visionary with long term planning as much of Marina Bay is entirely man-made encircled by reclaimed lands.

This evening I took opportunity to hop by and check it out. It is just like a dam across the Marina Bay with steel floodgates.

The view by night.

Looking out from an office tower.

The Visitor Center is elegantly designed and functions as an eco-park as well!

Looking back at the city skyline from the Visitor Center.

It's pumps are reported to be the biggest in the world specially built in the Netherlands, capable of draining an Olympic size swimming pool in a minute..

I think Singapore can be proud of it to be a role model for many countries!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Deepavali - festival of lights

It's Deepavali in Singapore tonight. I can imagine the Little India will be lighted up with festive lights. How could I not get out there with my camera and snap a couple of shots and soak in the atmosphere!

Streets came alive with colors and crowds at every corners.

Decorative light hang over the street for at least 500m I reckon.

Larger than life size Indian dancer decorated the street scene too.

Flowers garlands are very much a part of Indian customs.

This Welcome sign was stitched out of flowers too!

Couldn't resist to step in close to check it out - Indian desserts!

Shops lighted up by night has its charms.

Expect 7-elevans are to be around here too, don't we?

Just like Chinatowns everywhere, gold shops are doing brisks biz too.

But not beat the crowds of this mobile phone shop.

Pick up bargains of jeans off the floor.

An overhead fan cools the passageway in the heat of the day; a little quiet this time perhaps.

Fruits & vegetables stalls are always colorful - foreign tourists are here too.

Besides many gold shops are Chinese operated, this vegetables shop too.

Komala Vilas - a well know vegetarian restaurant of Little India.

I would have gone in for a meal, but looking at the crowd.. may be next time!

Virtual vs Reality

I normally scan newspaper headlines when I passed through Singapore. Something caught my attention this trip and is thought provoking.

Touted by the MDA (Media Development Authority) as "Google meets Second Life", it is a government initiative to model Singapore in 3D space. Singapore would claim another "first in the world" again!

It envisage that one can visit Singapore 'virtually' in 3D space on internet in their avatar without physically being here. That may be the way of the future for one to travel and meet people it speculates.

It invites some sobering thoughts. The boundary between real and virtual worlds are going to be blurred once again! It sound silly to me traveling this way.. but what can I say if this is the way it evolves? I would love to read this blog again in 10-15 years time and compare how far it has gone.

Model of netizens visiting 'Lau Pa Sat'?

I always enjoys the contrasting sights of old and new of Singapore co-existing side by side. These shots were taken as I came out of Tanjong Pagar MRT station, standing at a spot doing a 360 degrees turn. 'Lau Pa Sat' is only 10 min walk away.

The preserved shop houses of the pre-war years along Peck Seah Street with fresh face lift.

Tanjong Pagar Complex - old style HDB flats with construction of new buildings behind.

Capital Tower that houses the GIC (Government Investment Corporation) and Lee & Lee Law firm of LKY's wife. Other older DBS Bank HQ & CPF buildings to the right.

The Icon - modern apartment blocks in the midst of city.

Will my avatar do it for me without being here? Will I enjoy the same experience and pleasure of visit in virtual 3D space? At this time, I don't think so. Who knows when I am wheel chair bound I may change my mind! That's the closest to reality!

Another report of a gentleman who spent S$500,000 building a model town served by railway network & vintage trains covering his entire living room of 75m square. Will he derive the same pleasure in virtual space?

It may not cost him that much and less the trouble in moving house as his lease is due to expires soon!

I am spending more time on the internet no doubt, trading on-line, blogging, emails etc. It compliments the living experience with the real world. But I may have to adapt with the new virtual space in future!