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STEPHEN SCOURFIELD experiences the high-octane (and quieter) sights and sounds of Singapore in full Grand Prix mode

In a bizarre moment... with the scream of Formula 1 car engines in the warm night, and under the loom of 16,000 floodlights designed to not give glare, an otter swims alongside the boat taking me across Marina Bay to a Singapore Grand Prix grandstand.

It may be aware of the commotion, but swims languidly, unmoved by the show that has come to town.

Over the three days, 286,000 people came to the Grand Prix Season Singapore, culminating in last Sunday’s race … but life goes on for the otters of Marina Bay, a showpiece of the city and one of its most important freshwater reservoirs.

Let’s clear one thing up straight away — Grand Prix Season Singapore isn’t just about noisy cars racing round a track, though during practice, qualifying and race sessions, their busy-bee buzz can be heard over much of the city.

There are kampong street parties in Orchard Road, Clarke Quay and Kampong Glam, the line-up of music and food reflecting the character of each district. In jam-packed Arab Street in Kampong Glam, there’s a busker showdown.

And right across the city, Singapore bars and clubs, restaurants and cafes are in festival mode. During the F1 weekend, there’s no shortage of big screens and impromptu parties along Boat Quay and Clarke Quay, with a good deal of Rugby World Cup excitement mixed in too.

Read the full story, and more, at thewest.com.au

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