It’s hard not to be awed by the audacity of Marina Bay, the project that has transformed downtown Singapore’s seafront over two generations. An exorbitantly ambitious piece of civil engineering, it entailed the creation of three massive expanses of reclaimed land and a barrage to seal off the basins of the Singapore and Kallang rivers from the sea. The result is a seaside freshwater reservoir with a crucial role in reducing Singapore’s dependence on Malaysian water supplies. The Marina Bay Sands casino resort dominates the area, with its museum and rooftop restaurants, and it is inevitably the focus of any visit to the bay, along with the extravagant new Gardens by the Bay next door. Close to the Padang, the Theatres on the Bay arts complex is worth a detour for its skyline views, with more of the same available from the oversized Ferris wheel that is the Singapore Flyer.

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