This blog is about sharing our experience of living in Singapore from February 2007 thru to February 2012 and all the wonderful things we saw, what we did and the places we have been. In other words, our everyday experiences! This blog will continue to survive as I add more information when appropriate.
The Singapore Grand Prix returns for its fourth edition on Sept 25. But the 'race weekend' officially starts from Friday, Sept 23.
Singaporeans though, will be gearing up for this annual event, and there will surely be two camps.
One group will be lapping it up, and all the news associated with it, from the sports-related updates, to the latest news concerning events around the race and organisation itself, to lifestyle-oriented news, and even the economic-related debates surrounding this world event.
The other group will naturally, be staying far away from the city centre due to the hive of activity and usual traffic diversions, and we will have announcements related to such developments like bus route diversions, MRT services, here.
This Big Story section on the 2011 SingTel Singapore Grand Prix will cater to news for both groups, so do come here daily for all the stories related to the noisiest but arguably, most exciting event of the year.
Here then, are some tips from the race promoter - Singapore GP - for ticket holders.
1. Non-stop entertainment from 3pm-12.30am.
The Circuit Park gates open from 3pm to 12.30am daily. If you're looking for an adrenaline rush, two support races - the JK Racing Asia Series and the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia - will take place on the Marina Bay Street Circuit before the Formula One action.
Besides these, there is plenty of entertainment off the track as well. Check out the seven stages across the circuit park where all-day entertainment will be provided. And if that isn't enough, look out for the captivating roving acts like the Brazilian Samba girls, Transe Express or the Jaipur Maharaja Brass Band.
2. Get live broadcast visual feeds at trackside
Instant replays? Watch interviews, team and driver data, statistical analysis and much more in the palm of your hands anywhere in the circuit by renting a FanVision set. To find out more, visit the Fanvision booth at Esplanade Park (Zone 4) or F1 Village (Zone 1).
3. Dress appropriately.
Enough said, given our weather. Prayers that the haze will not strike during race weekend, are optional.
4. Bring the right tickets for the right day.
That's because tickets are colour-coded for each day.
5. Public transport is the best way to go.
Give your car a break for the weekend. Despite the road closures, the Marina Bay Street Circuit is easily accessible by public transport. Train services are extended until 1am from Friday (Sept 23) to Sept 25.
If you have a Zone 1 ticket, take the free shuttle bus service connecting Lavender MRT station to Gate 1 of the circuit park. The shuttle bus service operates from 2.30pm to 1am, or two hours after the last race of the day, whichever is later.
The nearest gate(s) to your grandstand is indicated on your ticket. Do plan your route to get to the indicated gate as not all 10 gates allow entry for all ticket holders. Some gates only grant access to selected zone's patrons.
6. Travel light and don't bring prohibited items.
Keep your bag as light as possible. Carrying a small bag with only the necessary items will help you pass through the security clearance at the gates faster. Do note that there is a list of prohibited items, which can be found on Singapore GP's official website (see our link at top left of page).
7. Pick up a Survival Kit.
The event goes on, rain or shine, so be prepared with a survival kit which contains a poncho and a pair of earplugs for just $2. Proceeds go to two charities - the Singapore Red Cross Society and St. John Ambulance Singapore. Survival kits can be purchased at all entry gates.
8. Map out your day.
The Circuit Park is divided into four zones, with each having its own entertainment as well as food and beverage offerings, so do get a map at the entry gate or from the ushers and familiarise yourself with what each zone has to offer.
Shane Gavin, who was a Premier Walkabout ticket holder in 2010, suggests that the area near the finish line (between Turn 23 and the Pit Grandstand) is 'the best place to cheer your favourite driver home, and it is also the best place to be if you want to get onto the track and over to the champagne celebration at the end of the race'. He added that another ideal spot to be at the start of the race and when seeking shelter from the rain, is just under the Benjamin Sheares bridge.
Over at Zone 4, walkabout ticketholders looking for a breezy area should head to the Esplanade Bridge. 'Standing closer to The Fullerton Hotel will give you the chance to see the cars make the turn and feel the power of the F1 cars speeding up', said student Candy Lee.
9. World-class entertainment at Padang Main Stage.
The Padang Main Stage can actually fit 41 Formula One cars. It will host sensational Korean trio, GD & Top and Seungri from Bigbang and Glee-starlet Charice on Friday (Sept 23), global mega star Shakira on Saturday (Sept 24) and multi-award winning rock band Linkin Park on Sunday (Sept 25), and 2,000 Fan Zone wristbands will be given out from 3pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday on a first-come-first-served basis at the side of the stage along Connaught Drive. The collected wristbands will only be valid for the day.
10. Theatre performances.
If it's humour you're after, catch Forbidden Broadway at Village Stage (Zone 1) on Friday (Sept 23) and Esplanade Outdoor Theatre (Zone 4) on the Sunday as they re-enact spoofs of Broadway classics. If you would like to enjoy some song and dance, 'Jaiho' along with the cast of Bollywood Express at Esplanade Outdoor Theatre (Zone 4) on Friday and at the Village Stage (Zone 1) on Saturday.
I don't know about you, but given my retro tastes, I might just wander along to catch 80s pop icon Rick Astley sing that he's 'never gonna give Singapore up' at the Esplanade Outdoor Theatre (Zone 4) on Saturday and Village Stage (Zone 1) on Sunday.