My first stop in Singapore was definitely the one I was most excited about- Gardens By The Bay. Having read recent posts by Silvia and Tom, I was absolutely obsessed with visiting this awesome looking place!
On the map, it looks slightly confusing to get to Bayfront station. The metro line loops around in a strange non-circle, and I was worried that changing trains might be slightly confusing. Yet I needn’t have worried. One of my favourite things about Singapore was how helpful and friendly everyone was, and this meant that navigating the metro was no issue at all. The second I stepped off the train and glanced around, a friendly Singaporean was smiling and pointing me in the right direction, even though it was totally unnecessary as there were signs everywhere.
The biggest attraction at Gardens By The Bay is definitely Supertree Grove. These trees are amazing! They stand at between 20 and 50 feet tall, and add an interesting aspect to Singapore’s otherwise rather staid city architecture. I must have spent a good hour or two just wandering under these trees, marvelling at them. They’re really impressive during the day, but really come alive at night.
The walkway between the central trees is definitely worth doing- I walked along it twice. It costs $5 a time, and it’s amazing to see the trees up close. Over 160,000 different plant types cover the trees themselves, drawing nutrients from the complex watering system inside. The trees themselves are eco-friendly, generating electricity from solar power.
Although I’d say they were the most impressive, the supertrees aren’t the only attraction at Gardens By the Bay. The complex covers over a hundred hectares of reclaimed land, mostly full of relaxing and well maintained parks. The other attractions are the two Domes- the Flower Dome and the Cloud Forest Dome.
The Cloud forest dome is a multi-storey metal structure embedded with plant life from all kinds of countries. You can walk along the walk ways from the top to the bottom, inspecting the flowers and leaves all the way. There’s lots of information about the properties and environmental damage being done to Cloud Forest locations. There’s also a terrifying video projection of a short documentary detailing what will happen to the planet if it warms 5 degrees in the next century (spoiler alert: it’s not a happy ending).
The Cloud Forest Dome has an awesome waterfall just as you walk in. Somehow I managed not to notice the girls squealing and the soaked tarmac on the floor, and walked right up to the fountain. Forget humidity making me sweaty, the waterfall drenched me. For some reason, it seems like thousands of gallons of water pouring hundreds of feet from the sky causes a little splashing.
The amount of selfie sticks I saw here was off the scale. Although I’ve laughed at them in the past, I kind of want one myself now! I’m not sure which is more embarrassing- selfie stick photos or hanging around looking pitiful until a stranger offers to take a photo? Oh, the perils of the solo traveller!
The Flower Dome is the other component of Gardens By The Bay. While it was nice to be out of the humidity and see some pretty flowers, I wasn’t that taken with it. Everything is very well organised and labeled, I think it’s just me who doesn’t “get” plants. There were lots of trees and bushes. perhaps they were more interesting to the locals, as they were mostly non-native to Singapore and Asia. They had some arrangements making peacocks and tigers which were pretty cool.
The temperatures in the domes were so much more pleasant than outside, with a cool breeze and tiny bit of moisture in the air to keep you cool. Maybe it was worth $28 alone just to escape Singapore’s brutal heat and humidity!
Yes, you read that right: $28 for the domes. It’s a very steep price, and I’m not sure they were worth it. The Cloud Forest Dome was amazing, but the Flower Dome not so much. For some reason, locals can either buy tickets for one dome or for both, whereas foreigners have to buy entry to both. It’s a shame, as I’d revisit the Cloud Forest Dome for a lower fee (say $15, it is awesome), but don’t really feel the need to go back to the Flower Dome.
After wandering around the Domes, I headed back to Supertree Grove. As soon as the sun began to set, the trees lit up. They started off a dusky pinkish purple in the twilight, before becoming neon purple banners against the dark sky. I went up on the skywalk again, and it was even better than before!
The nightly lightshow absolutely blew me away. For fifteen minutes, the trees flashed and rotated through a range of different colours, in time to a musical soundtrack. There’s something seriously magical about this show. One of my favourite memories of Singapore is sitting on the grass, enjoying the evening breeze and looking up at the ever changing cycle of colours and effects. I usually edit my photos slightly, since I never feel the camera quite captures colour as well as the eye. However, I didn’t edit any of the pictures in this post- the supertrees are actually just that stunning.