I last visited Singapore in 2008 when I was only fifteen years old and Marina Bay Sands was nothing but a building site. Since then, Singapore and I have undergone a lot of changes!
Gardens by the Bay opened in 2012 and has been on my bucket list ever since. Watching David Attenborough’s Planet Earth II documentary last year sealed the deal for me – the gardens are featured in the ‘Cities’ episode and looked so magical I knew I had to visit as soon as I could.
The gardens are a lot bigger than I imagined – 250 acres to be exact! It was around 11am by the time we arrived and Singapore’s notorious heat was beginning to make us swelter. I’d read that the two domes on-site were air-conditioned so these were our first port-of-call and a fifteen minute walk from the MRT station.
Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay
Gardens by the Bay’s Flower Dome is the largest glass greenhouse in the world! There are several themed gardens within the dome, such as the California Garden and South Africa garden, which feature native plants from all over the world. Sculptures and art pieces are also placed around the dome.
The central flower display changes monthly; when we visited last week, ‘Autumn Harvest’ was in place. Autumn is my favourite time of year and because I’m away from home for it this year, I became a bit obsessed with the massive pumpkin patch arrangement and ended up taking around 50 photos of it! I won’t bore you with them all don’t worry!
Cloud Forest, Gardens by the Bay
My favourite area of the Gardens is the Cloud Forest. A huge tropical green mountain takes up the centre of the dome and visitors walk inside and up the dome using various walkways and levels.
By taking an elevator inside the Cloud Forest you emerge onto the top level, ‘Lost World.’ From here you take the Cloud Walk – an aerial walkway around the structure.
Descend two levels and you can take the second, lower, walkway called ‘Treetop Walk’. Each level is a different temperature and the right climate for the plants’ natural habitat.
I preferred the lower Treetop walkway; the highest walkway had a grated floor and it was quite a long way down! It costs $28 SGD each to enter both of the domes. Everything in Singapore is quite expensive (compared to the rest of Southeast Asia) and I can’t imagine coming to the Gardens and missing out these two attractions, so it just has to be done!
Supertree Grove, Gardens by the Bay
A ten minute walk from the conservatories is the famous Supertree Grove. Sometimes this area is referred to as ‘Avatar City’ due to its resemblance to Avatar‘s mythical world of Pandora.
You can get a good look at the trees from the ground, but the best views are reserved by the aerial walkway. The OCBC Aerial Skywalk is $8 each but worth every penny for the views. If you want to try and access the walkway during the nightly light shows, be prepared to wait about an hour and a half.
I spotted the Singapore Flyer from the walkway, an attraction I visited back in 2008. If you only have time to visit the Flyer or the Gardens, I wholeheartedly have to recommend the Gardens. In 2008 the Flyer was a major tourist attraction, but it can’t compete with the modern and spectacular views this part of the city has to offer now.
The walkway was the highlight of our day and showed the Gardens by the Bay, and the whole city, from a great angle.
Light Show at Gardens by the Bay
Every evening the Supertree Grove puts on a free fifteen minute show at 19:45 and 20:45. The light sequences are set to music and the trees come to life with light and colour. We saw the show twice from different angles – for photos it’s better to stand back, away from the trees so you can fit them all in. To enjoy the show it’s a good idea to lie down in the middle of it all and enjoy the 360 views.
At the weekend, other areas of the Gardens are also lit up throughout the evening. We visited on a Saturday and a Monday evening – although the area was prettier on the Saturday it was also absolutely heaving with crowds. I’d recommend visiting on a weekday.
Experience our walk through the Gardens by the Bay below:
This was my favourite day of our trip so far! We spend four amazing days in Singapore and I’ll fill you in on the rest of our time there soon. Thanks for reading!
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