If there was a spot that reminded one of Venice in Singapore, it would be the Sampan boat ride at Marina Bay Sands. The Sampan boat is steered by the boatmen or boat ladies and circles the Rain Occulus at The Shoppes, Marina Bay Sands.
The Sampan boat and the Canal
The Canal at The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands is filled with filtered rainwater and the main feature of the 10-minute boat ride is to see the Rain Occulus. This sleek installation is a 22m wide bowl that collects rainwater. At selected timings – 1 pm, 3 pm and 5 pm, the water will cascade down like a fountain.
The red Sampan boats are a real treat for the children who can watch the “show” up close, as well as the boatmen/women moving the oars as the boat is powered manually. If you are in the Sampan as the Rain Occulus starts its showers of blessings, do be mindful that you might get slightly wet by the mist. Keep your belongings especially mobile devices close to you.
Keep an eye out for coins at the bottom of the Canal, drop on of your own and make a wish as the boat circles the Rain Occulus. The coins are collected and then donated to charity. Our guide at the Sustainability and Art tour shared with us it was a pretty hefty sum that gets donated annually.
What We Think
It is quite a short boat ride, and the remainder of your SRV can be used for the ride with $10 discounts for the younger ones. If it’s a wet day, it could be an attraction aside from the neighbouring Artscience museum or Sky Park.
The boat ride is a comfortable one particularly for children who are more sensitive to natural elements as the whole ride is in an air-conditioned environment.
The boatmen and women will also gladly take all your photos, so sit back and enjoy the ride to see the mall in a different light.
Important Things to Note for the Sampan boat ride
Children must be 85cm and above to take the ride. Children have to be accompanied by an adult if they are under 9 years old.
Sampan rides will only take four guests per boat if all are fully vaccinated. Otherwise, only two guests are allowed, and they will not share the boat ride with other parties.
Ticket prices start at $10 for children.
For more information, check this site.