Tuesday and Wednesday Xander and I were in Singapore for business meetings. I had not been to Singpore in almost 2 years (except for stopovers on the airport) and it was good to be back for a few days.
Next to the busy meeting schedule we also managed to see a bit of the city, especially because our meetings were scattered all over the place. During most of my recent trips I stayed in the city center, so I noticed that the city changed quite a bit since I last spent more time here (which was probably back in 2003 when Grace did a semester at INSEAD here, almost 9 years ago already).
My parents were also in town, so I had drinks with them at Boat Quay and of course my favorite Pepper Crab at Jumbo on the East Coast. The East Coast never changed, simple chairs and tables on a concrete floor next to the beach and excellent food (and cold Tiger beer!).
The area around INSEAD had totally changed. We had a meeting at Fusionopolis, and when we arrived there I realized it was right next door to the INSEAD campus. I think that in the old days there were just some fields around the INSEAD buildings, now there was a nicely looking building towering over the INSEAD grounds (see picture above).
On Wednesday after our meetings were over we had a late afternoon drink on Sentosa island with my parents. I used to like Sentosa a lot, but the place has become a kind of amusement park. It’s a pity, but I guess that’s what people want. The (man-made) white sand beaches were still there, but all of them now had bars with music and on the other side of the road there were all kinds of attractions to keep people busy, including among others the biggest indoor skydiving place in the world… It doesn’t fit to the island, but people seem to like it.
Also the Singapore skyline changed dramatically because of the addition of the Marina Bay Sands hotel and resort area. When driving into town from the airport it looks okay, but from other places in town it is just plain ugly. I decided not to take a picture of it but to only put the old skyline in the picture below!