James Bond – Singapore

Singapore’s Changi Airport makes a better shopping mall than an airport. And Changi is a really great airport.

While shopping for souvenirs on the way out of town, you’ll find plenty of high-end flashy items there. Everything you’d want really. Your loved ones are gonna love it.

But if you are looking for just a postcard – the simplest of souvenirs, and most effective when used – you’ll find plenty. Raffles Hotel, the Merlion, Singapore street food, even the Singapore city skyline.

Or most of the skyline, anyway.

A close look at the Singapore skyscraper postcards will show just about every perspective, except the one that shows off the Singapore Marina Bay Sands Casino Resort. The Sands is the probably the most recognizable part of the skyline outside of a big Ferris wheel, but not depicted in postcard lore.

Why?

Well, essentially, the locals don’t like it.  The displeasure with the decision to allow casinos in Singapore has manifested in a few places, including postcard selection. Many Singaporeans remain against the casinos despite their popularity.  Many boycott the casinos, in no small part due to the  extra S$100 ($80 US) Singaporeans must pay to get in the casinos.

Foreigners get in the Sands Casino for free.   As long as they are dressed like James Bond, that is.

Since opening in 2011, the Sands has maintained a dress code which nudges visitors to wear business attire or evening wear. Picture James Bond in Monte Carlo.

And, to prove your citizenship, you must have your passport on you at all times.  This completes the James Bond outfit.

The dress code has recently been loosened a bit, and a jacket is no longer required. Still, the casino prohibits short pants and sandals. James Bond does not wear flip-flops. But James Bond is going to want to stay inside the casino in his long pants, because it’s always hot and steamy in Singapore.

Mr. Bond would be proud of the hotel and surrounding structure. There’s a huge rooftop pool 55 stories in the air, and the hotel towers themselves look like folding playing cards. The whole place over looks the water – the bay on one side, and the Singapore Strait on the other.

By several accounts, it is the most expensive building in the world, costing many billions. This includes the Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, which has shopping just as good as the Changi airport.

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