Shoot Ur Tweeple #07: The Sentosa Edition!

Shoot Ur Tweeple, now in its 7th edition, is a wonderful event that happens every couple of months. Organized over Twitter, it brings together an eclectic mix of professional and hobbyist photographers who wander around some interesting part of Singapore, taking shots of photo-worthy subjects, and each other (the two categories not being mutually exclusive). I went on the last one to Tanjong Pagar and enjoyed myself so much that I decided I would go on all subsequent SUTs.

The latest installment took place in–you guessed it–Sentosa! (What gave it away, the top image?) But this was no ordinary Shoot Ur Tweeple session. With the generous support of the folks running Sentosa (Twitter account: @Sentosa_Island), we got a a whole variety of treats, from a preview of the soon-to-be-opened Sentosa Boardwalk to a visit to the Merlion, plus a ride on the luge and skyride! There was so much excitement, I think, that I almost entirely forgot about taking proper photos. But here is my recounting of what happened, anyway, with a smattering of the few photos that did manage to turn out.  After the jump!

The boardwalk, slated to officially open this Saturday, links Vivocity to Sentosa via a series of covered travellators (for the lazy-to-walk, like me), as well as walkways (for those who prefer to stop and smell the roses every now and then). For those who like it scenic, and aren’t afraid of a little sunshine, there’s a whole stretch of open-air boardwalk that fronts the sea, with proper landscaping and statuary and all that.The name boaardwalk, by the way, is entirely literal– it’s made of boards, and you walk on it. We liked it!

We also bore witness, from our perch on the boardwalk, these absolutely bizarre giant mechanized crane-birds that danced to music and had wings made out of jets of water. I suppose they were rehearsing for an upcoming attraction show!

The boardwalk was still mildly under construction, preparing for its grand opening. This guy ducked into his subterranean for about half a minute, and when he reemerged he seemed a little surprised to find half a dozen lenses pointed at him, all eagerly awaiting his reappearance (“Kind of like Groundhog Day”, one of the tweeple remarked).

Our next stop was the Merlion. WE SAW THE BATTLESTAR GALACTICA RIDE BEING TESTED WHILE WE WERE UP THERE. Cue jubilation from the attendees! Please, please, please let the ride finally open soon, so that I can finally go pretend I’m frakkin some toasters.

I’ve not been to Sentosa regularly in a while, so it was nice to get a bird’s eye view of the entire island to see how much it’s changed since. All the photos I took are simply begging for the tilt-shift treatment. Begging, I tell you!

I’m also glad that this gorgeous little water-feature garden behind the Merlion is still around. It’s been my favorite thing to photograph since I was still using a film camera. I love everything– the colors! the mosaic tiles! the playful jets of water! the tentacles going everywhere! It’s like Cthulhu and Disney’s Fantasia had an exquisite lovechild and dumped it in the middle of Sentosa. Look at it! JUST LOOK AT IT.

So pretty, I like. Our next stop was a brief canopy walk through Imbiah. Plenty of interesting interactive panels (in a purely analog way) with information nuggets for budding ecologists. By the way, there is a pushcart selling amazing Hokkaido ice cream halfway up to the Imbiah lookout from the base of the Merlion, if you take the escalators up (I DID mention being lazy-to-walk). The ice-cream is only $2 a cone and it is mana from heaven on a hot day. Heaveeeeen.

Then we were off to luge our way down to the beach! Or at least, just luge our way down. For people who don’t know what lugeing is, you’re basically put into this sled-like thing with handlebars and set down a sloping, curved concrete path. Release the handles to go faster, pull the handles back to slow down or stop. Turn left and right to navigate. It’s so simple, even kids can do it. And it’s FUN– nothing quite like being low on the ground and getting the wind in your face to inject a little color into your life. Make vroom-vroom noises or yell ‘GERONIMOOO!’ as you go!

Furthermore, we passed by the place later in the day when the sun had already set, and the luge tracks had been lit with wacky changing, neon lights. I definitely want to try it again, but this time at night– seems like it would be quite a trip! (The luge closes at 9PM, so there’s plenty of sundown time to go crazy in.)

We then took one of the friendly trams down to Palawan Beach, where we headed to the Southernmost Point Of Continental Asia to take photos of the sun setting. Another of my favorite bits of Sentosa. I’m not sure why, but the sea is a lot more turquoise than I remembered it being when I was younger. It makes for better contrast!

There were all these little CRABS on the rocks below the lookout point. Dozens and dozens of them, scuttling around and feeding on the algae. Quite an unusual sight. I must admit I got far too excited about them…

By this time, we were all very tired from having been on our feet since 2 in the afternoon, so we took the skyride back to the top of Imbiah to go have dinner at the Tastes Of Singapore restaurant. The skyride was lovely–we went up, up, up, sailed meters over the tops of trees and roads, and admired the lights of the city that we could see.

The target clientele of the Tastes of Singapore restaurant are clearly tourists who’ve never had the chance to sample local fare before (it’s pretty much there in the name). The prices for the food are fairly reasonable for restaurant fare, ranging from $10 upwards to $20. Something unique (IMHO) was the lobster laksa– laksa with mussels and lobsters in, a cut above the ordinary!

I myself had chili soft shell crab, which I found to be not bad, even if it was a bit sweet for my tastes (I like my chili on the spicy and savoury side.) One thing I’ve got to say about the service at the restaurant, they were super-efficient to the point of clearing away our plates the moment we’d put down our utensils, and bringing us the bill without having been prompted!

And so there you have it, an account of a KICKASS day out that was more adventure than photography (which is all fine by me, as I love adventure almost as much as I love photography). Thanks to the brilliant, talented guys behind Cake Images LLP & Be Trigger Happy for another great SUT outing, and of course huge thanks to our sponsors & hosts at Sentosa for the experience. ADVENTURE CREW, WE ARE GOING NIGHT LUGE-ING SOME DAY, YOU HEAR ME?

The Sentosa Boardwalk officially opens this Saturday, the 29th of January, and they’ve got a whole host of activities lined up, so if you have nothing to do this Saturday, why not pop by and check it out? Did I mention that it’s FREE?

Shoot Ur Tweeple #7: The Sentosa Edition: My photoset on Flickr
For the full set of my photos (in higher resolutions, to boot!)

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