“It’s for charity and it’ll be fun”, I told myself as I forced my eyes open at 630am on Sunday morning. Considering that I generally wake up past 1030am on the weekends, waking up this early was a huge struggle. But I did it and even did something meaningful over the weekend. Read on to find out more about my experience walking the Marina Bay Singapore Countdown (MBSC) Charity Trail.

It all started because almost everyone in my family is on the National Steps Challenge and wants to clock their daily 10,000 steps. When I found out that the MBSC trail meant that we had to walk about 7,000 steps, I gathered them all and we decided on a suitable date to walk the trail together. And that’s how I found myself sitting in front of a plate of prata at the North Bridge Road Market at 730am on Sunday morning.

After breakfast, we decided to drive to Marina Bay Financial Centre (MBFC) Tower 1 as it had the most reasonable parking rates (think $3.21 for the first 4 hours!) for a carpark in the Central Business District. This was also hotspot 10 in the trail so it was perfect for us. It was about 8.30am when we found a park and exited the lift lobby.

Let the trail begin! –

First Stop: Marina Bay Financial Centre

This was our first stop since we already parked there. We decided to go in a clockwise motion so that our last stop would be at the Prudential Tower, near to the MBFC. The MBFC is supporting SG Enable. This charity organization serves people with disabilities and works toward a society where such people are an integral part of society. At this station, there is a photo and AR challenge.

The photo challenge was to take a creative picture of the MBFC in its diamond-like luminosity and then share it on social media. The AR challenge was to look for the sculpture of water buffalos and scan it to locate your mystery gift.



We completed the challenges promptly since the sculpture was the first thing we saw when we exited the lift lobby. The buffaloes are a symbol of strength, industriousness and endurance. They pay tribute to Singapore’s forefathers who toiled and persevered to create better lives for generations to follow.

At this station, our mystery box contained 3 vouchers, one of which was for Subway – this got my mum very excited, she loves Subway.

We did face some technical issues here as my Uncle’s phone refused to scan anything. We probably spent about 20 minutes here trying to figure things out. But better to have a problem at the start than in the middle right? 

After scanning the sculpture, a 3D image of the sculpture will pop up. All you have to do is click the “Continue” button. The sculpture will be collected and saved into your collection!

It’s time for the next station – 

Second Stop: Prudential Marina Bay Carnival

Our second stop, or also the first stop that shows up on the trail. But it really doesn’t matter what order you start and finish the trail. The Prudential Marina Bay Carnival is supporting the Make-A-Wish Foundation Singapore. This charity organization grants wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions. At this station, there is a game and AR challenge.

The game challenge is to Smash the Croc just like those Whack-A-Mole games at the arcade. The AR challenge was to look for the sculpture of “some long spindly branch-looking things” and scan it to locate your mystery gift.



We couldn’t find this sculpture at first as this is located a short walk away from the actual site of the carnival. By short walk, I really mean like a 2-minute walk away. And because it does look like trees, the surrounding trees help camouflage it as well.

These “long spindly branch-looking things” are otherwise known as the Breathe sculpture. It is a conceptual representation of trees and reflects the Olympic ideal of peace and environmental consciousness. This is actually a kinetic sculpture and captures wind in the day. This collected energy is transformed into tiny lights in the night – definitely breathtaking.

Our mystery gift contained 3 vouchers. In the span of about 30 minutes, we had already collected 6 vouchers! My mom and aunt were very excited.

Simply scan the sculpture to reveal a 3D image of the sculpture. Click the “Continue” button and the sculpture will be saved into your collection!

Third Stop: The Thinker, OUE Bayfront

This is a terrible photo of the OUE Bayfront office building, but it was the very best my iPhone 6s could do. This was slightly further compared to the distance between the first and second stop. Unfit me was seriously considering what I was doing with my life at this point. The OUE Bayfront isn’t supporting any charity.


All you’re required to do is take an AR scan of a sculpture and you’re good to go! Along the entire trail, there were 3 other such AR challenges where no charity is being supported.



This iconic sculpture is hidden in between the OUE Bayfront building and its neighbouring building. Just walk right past the OUE building and you’ll see it.


Did you know that this sculpture was originally named “The Poet”? It is one of several original bronze casts by the French sculptor – Auguste Rodin. It was part of a large commission in 1880 called The Gates of Hell.


There was also a mystery gift containing 3 vouchers to be collected here!


Fourth Spot: The Fullerton Hotel Singapore

It’s almost impossible to miss this hotel even if you are driving past. It’s just so huge and majestic-looking. The Fullerton Hotel Singapore is supporting REACH Community Services. REACH is a charity organization that helps disadvantaged individuals at all stages of their lives. This means helping children, youths-at-risk, elderly and more. At this station, there is a game and AR challenge. There is also an additional “Make A Wish” portion. Find out more about the “Make A Wish” here!


The game challenge is to sort your sorting skills – see how fast you can sort junk mail from normal mail within a time limit. The AR challenge was to look for the “Kucinta” sculpture and scan it to claim your gift!


Alright, not going to lie, this sculpture was so difficult to find. This was when we decided to take a quick break at Starbucks (mainly because there was air-conditioning inside). But then we realised that we were on the wrong side of the road. In our excitement to move onto the Merlion Cub, we had forgotten to cross the road.


The Singapura is one of the rarest and smallest breed of cats. It has also been the Singapore Tourism Board’s mascot since the 1990s. This particular breed is named Kucinta because of the mash-up of 2 Malay words, Kucing meaning cat and a cinta meaning love. This also means “the one I love”. How sweet is that!


There were also 3 vouchers to be collected here and I distinctly remember 2 vouchers for ala-carte menu items at 2 restaurants located along the Bay! These will definitely come in handy especially if you’re planning for family meals at this time of year.

Fifth Spot: Merlion Cub (Merlion Park)

Alright, so maybe coming on a Sunday wasn’t such a good idea. The Merlion Park was absolutely jam-packed with tourists. It was so difficult to grab a shot of the Merlion or the Merlion Cub, so this one with a tourist in it will have to do.

The Merlion Cub isn’t supporting any charity.  

All you’re required to do is take an AR scan of a sculpture and you’re good to go! Along the entire trail, there are 3 other such AR challenges where no charity is being supported.

Everybody knows the Merlion – the 8.6m tall, water-spouting sculpture. But not everyone knows about the little 2m baby Merlion just a few meters behind it.

Originally constructed in 1971, there are actual Chinese porcelain plates and bowls being used as part of the intricate design. The body of the Merlion symbolises Singapore’s humble beginnings when it was once a fishing village named Temasek. Its head represents Singapore’s original name, Singapura or “lion city” in Malay.

 Sixth Spot: Esplanade

Ah, the Esplanade. Otherwise known affectionately by all Singaporeans as the Durian. The Esplanade is supporting Esplanade – Theatres by the Bay. This charity organization serves the community. Its main aim is to share the joy of the arts with those are might not have the opportunity. At this station, there is a Game and AR challenge.


Take part in the game challenge to see how many durians you can collect within the time frame! Of course, the more the better. There really isn’t such a thing as too much durians (unless you hate durians like me). The AR challenge requires you to find the Makan Angin sculpture and scan it for your reward.



This was the most difficult to find of them all. When we got to the Esplanade, we were so confident in our finding abilities that we headed off in the completely wrong direction. We ended up having to cut through the entire Esplanade instead of going around it.


Makan Angin literally translates to Eating Wind in Malay. This sculpture shows a family enjoying their day out. It serves to show that such a simple act of “eating wind” can be so enjoyable. Sometimes, it’s the simple things in life that are the greatest.


There was a free durian pin voucher here! My aunt was so excited that she wanted to collect it right away. Then we realised that collection only begins at 12pm. She was pretty disappointed but that’s ok, we’ll go tomorrow.

There is also an electric-scooter renting booth here that my cousin wanted to rent. For $19, it isn’t too bad, but there are only 2 locations that you can return it so we decided against it. But if you’re interested, give it a go! It’ll also save you some time walking!

Seventh Spot: Ribbon Bench (Youth Olympic Park)

It was a pretty long-ish walk to the next location and my cousin was pretty tired. So when he chanced upon some Ofo bicycles lying around, he decided to rent one. Here’s my dad and him riding around. He was pretty happy after that.


The Ribbon Bench is not supporting any charity.


All you’re required to do is take an AR scan of a sculpture and you’re good to go! Along the entire trail, there are 3 other such AR challenges where no charity is being supported.


This weird-looking contraption is actually a bench! It is made out of wood and metal by Lui Honfay. Located in a pretty secluded area of the Bay, this makes for a nice spot to have a little break. It has been structured to resemble intertwined ribbons. It looks pretty cool and its functional too! I did sit down for a little break here and I must say, it is pretty comfortable.


There are also 3 vouchers to be collected here, so don’t forget to catch them all!


Eighth Spot: ArtScience Museum (Marina Bay Sands)

This is probably one of my favorite parts about Marina Bay Sands. It is an orange or a pomelo? I say orange. The ArtScience Museum (Marina Bay Sands) is supporting the association for persons with special needs. This is a charity organization that provides special education for persons with mild intellectual disabilities. This charity has also been Marina Bay Sands’ designated charity since 2014.


At this station, there is a photo and AR challenge. Take a jump-shot of you and your friends at the helix bridge and upload it onto social media. The AR challenge requires you to scan the Sky Mirror and collect your prize.

I didn’t take a jump-shot, but I did take a picture of the skyline at the Helix Bridge! So here’s a picture of squinty-faced me trying to be all cool and nonchalant. It was really hot and sunny though it was only about 940am at this point. Do remember to bring sunglasses and put some sunscreen on!


This stainless steel sculpture weighs 1,800kg and appears to bring the sky down to earth! It makes it seem like the sky and its surrounding area are all within reach. You should catch the Sky Mirror at night though. It truly is a sight to watch as the lights from the surrounding buildings reflect off its surface. Unfortunately, one of the three vouchers at this spot has already been fully redeemed, so be quick and don’t miss out on anymore!


Ninth Spot: Olympic Walk

This was such a long walk. I was so exhausted and the sun was burning hot. But come with a bunch of friends and/or family and you’ll be alright. It was quite interesting to walk on the outside of Marina Bay Sands! There were also quite a number of people doing yoga. 

The Olympic Walk isn’t supporting any charity.

All you’re required to do is take an AR scan of a sculpture and you’re good to go! Along the entire trail, there are 3 other such AR challenges where no charity is being supported.

The Olympic Walk commemorates the first edition of the Youth Olympic Games held in Singapore in 2010. The Float @ Marina Bay hosted both the opening and closing ceremonies. There are also 3 vouchers to be collected here, so don’t forget!

Tenth Spot: DBS (MBFC Tower 3)

Here’s the absolutely stunning view you get when you face away from the DBS building.


DBS is supporting Students Care Services. This charity organization serves underprivileged children and youths with learning and socio-emotional difficulties. There is a dance, game and AR challenge at this station.


Put your dancing skills to the test and upload a dance video of yourself on social media! You’ll also get to test out dragon-boating! For the AR challenge, look out for the “A World United” sculpture to scan and win.


This sculpture illustrates the underlying spirit of peace and sport through a stylised and dynamic depiction. It depicts sportsmen engaging in the 26 sports played at the Youth Olympic Games. It also symbolises mutual respect of cultures shared through sport. The circular shape? It is a reflection of the esprit de corps and friendship.


There are also 3 vouchers to be claimed at the very last sculpture spot!


Eleventh (and Final!) Spot: Prudential (Marina One)

Prudential is supporting the Lion Befrienders. This is a charity organization that has been working with the community to provide friendship and care for the seniors for more than 20 years.


At this station, there is only a game challenge. The game challenge requires you to spot the difference within the time limit!


At this point, my phone ran out of battery. There was one portable charger being shared between the 8 of us. So I didn’t manage to capture any photos of the Prudential building – a Googled image shall have to do.




Also not forgetting that this is a charity walk, don’t forget to donate some money or volunteer your time to a charity of your choice! It’s really easy to do so and I donated some money to my favorite charity as well.


After having done the walk, I would highly recommend that everyone does it too! It really doesn’t take all that long and it was really fun. Going on the trail is also a good way for people from different generations to hang out together and have some family time. The older generations are always complaining about how we’re on our phone too much, so why not show them how using your phone can be educational and fun too? And with all the free vouchers that you’ve received, you can go for a meal together after the trail!


Although I wouldn’t recommend going on a weekend (as it was pretty crowded around the Merlion and the Esplanade), everything else was awesome. Within the 2 hours that it took us to complete the entire trail, we took a break at Starbucks, taught my younger cousin how to cycle (he’s almost a pro now) and even spent time to fiddle around on the app. It was 2 hours well-spent for sure.


The MBSC Charity Trail will be on until the 31st of December 2017. This trail is app-based, meaning that you are able to do it any time of day (2am even, if you really want to!). The app is also free and available on both Apple and Android phones. Remember to receive freely and give freely this Christmas!