SINGAPORE’S INCREDIBLE GARDENS BY THE BAY
Super trees, Cloud Forest, Flower Dome – What to see in Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay
What is the first thing that comes into your mind when you think about Singapore? I am pretty sure it is the giant roof of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel; the Singapore Flyer, Asia’s largest observation wheel; and the tall Super Trees at Gardens by the Bay.
In today’s post it’s all about the fascinating gardens at Singapore’s Marina Bay. I could write several posts about the Gardens by the Bay, an area that will occupy around 100 hectares when it’s finally finished, because there are so many things to do and see, and highlights that absolutely fascinated us.
Welcome to the incredible Gardens by the Bay!
You definitely do not need to be a gardening enthusiast to be amazed by the Gardens by the Bay. Trust me, even if you are not interested at all in plants and nature, you will at least love the nightly light and sound show at the Super Trees.
We absolutely enjoyed walking through the well-mantained gardens
By the way, the entrance to Gardens by the Bay is free! You can explore different theme gardens and lakes without an admission ticket. Even one of the highlights is totally for free: the just mentioned light and sound show at the Super Trees! As you can see, there is no reason not to put the Gardens on your Singapore bucket list!
Now let me take you on a tour to the best places of Gardens by the Bay!
The giant mountain with thousands of plants
Already from the distance, when we took a ride with the Singapore Flyer, the two glass roofs of the Gardens by the Bay looked enormous. One of the two Cooled Conservatories contains the Cloud Forest whose construction of steel and glass is 58 meters high. And why is it so high? Under the roof you find a 35-metre-tall man-made mountain with a giant waterfall; and that needs a lot of space.
As soon as you enter the Cloud Forest you feel how the temperature drops to 23°C to 25°C. You even might get goose bumps during the first minutes as the difference between the outdoor and indoor temperature feels bigger than it sounds. Believe me, it is a pleasant relief from Singapore’s hot temperatures.
A man-made waterfall welcomes you at the Cloud Forest
It gets loud when you enter the conservatory because the Cloud Forest’s waterfall welcomes its visitors right at the entrance. The waterfall is really high but personally I was more surprised about the fact that water pours down in such a controlled way from those heights without flooding the whole glasshouse.
In the cloud forest the adventure begins at the top. A lift brings you to the upper level of the mountain from where you explore the different levels of this giant artificial, vertical forest that is covered with more than 130,000 plants.
Beautiful plants everywhere
Non-experts like us cannot really tell which plants belong to which region but to imagine that those plants, which usually grow in altitudes of 1,000 to 3,500 meters, grow so splendidly here, at sea level in Singapore’s heat, is absolutely amazing.
Every now and then we recognized blossoms and leaves that we had seen in Europe, South America and other places in the world and were impressed that they all grow here.
The moist creates an almost mystical atmosphere
Different skywalks surround the lush green mountain and offer great views of the diverse vegetation zones.
And as the name Cloud Forest promises, it gets cloudy and misty in the glasshouse when numerous nozzles start working to keep the humidity at 80% to 90%.
Artificial moist keeps the humidity in the Cloud Forest high
Also little BoB loved taking pictures of the vertical forest. Have a look at his great shot of Lars…
One of our favourite shots taken by golf ball BoB
A beautiful carpet of flowers in the Flower Dome
The Flower Dome is the second conservatory of the Gardens by the Bay and located directly next to the Cloud Forest. Within a few steps you can get from one highlight to the next one. By the way, the Flower Dome is as big as 2.2 football fields and therefore slightly bigger than the Cloud Forest.
The Flower Dome’s giant bottle trees
As the name Flower Dome promises it is all about flowers in this conservatory. We started our walk in the succulent garden with its desert plants such as Cacti and Aloes; some of them have really sharp spines. In this area we also found one of our favorite plants of the Flower Dome: the African Boababs. It is impossible to miss these bottle trees as they are the largest trees in the dome. They weigh more than 32 tons and are only in flower at night.
Me and hundreds of colorful tulips
As you walk through the Flower Dome you pass the Australian Garden, the South African Garden, the South American Garden and the Mediterranean Garden. In the middle of all these different gardens you find the flower field, the most photographed spot in the dome. Depending on the season it showcases changing floral displays. “Tulipmania”, which was shown during our visit, was the second of six chapters in Gardens by the Bay’s storytelling journey in 2015.
They are such beauties, aren’t they?
What can I say? We were surrounded by types of tulips that we had never seen before. Red, yellow, pink, white, purple… there were tulips in almost all colors you can imagine. It was such a pleasure to take hundreds of pictures of these beauties.
Singapore’s giant Super Trees with heights up to 50 meters
They are the “stars” of Gardens by the Bay because nowhere else one can see vertical gardens of 25 to 50 meters. Visiting the famous Super Trees was definitely one the highlights during our time in Singapore.
It is unbelievable that these tree-like shaped constructions are covered with over 162,900 plants comprising more than 200 species and varieties of bromeliads, orchids, ferns and tropical flowering climbers.
The view of the garden and the Super Trees from the OCBC Skyway
A 128-meter long walkway connects two of the tallest trees. It is the so called OCBC Skyway that is 22 meters high and offers views of the Super Trees from a new perspective. Visitors are charged S$5 for the Skyway and although it was a nice experience we would not necessarily recommend it as it was not that spectacular in our opinion.
Some of the 12 super trees contain photovoltaic cells which bring in solar energy so the trees can light up at night. And this is something that you MUST SEE! Every night at 7.45pm and 8.45 pm starts the Garden Rhapsody when the trees are lit in various colors. During the 12-minute music and light show the trees change from vibrant reds, browns and oranges to a cooler silver and pink scheme.
During the magnificent light show the Super Trees are lit in various colors
We liked the show so much that we watched it on two nights, each time from another spot. One good place is the Skyway that connects the Gardens by the Bay with the Marina Bay Sands Hotel. From up there you see the Super Trees from a higher perspective and can still hear the music.
But the best place is under the Super Trees! Right next to the trees you find a meadow that is full of people every night. There is always enough space to find a spot and to lie down. When the trees are above you and the music is all around you the whole show feels a lot more intense. Try this spot and I am sure you will feel like in a fairy tale.
We absolutely loved this colorful show that is totally for free!
Have a look at these pictures! Isn’t the show amazing?
More highlights of Gardens by the Bay
Peaceful atmosphere at the Kingfisher Lake
Gardens by the Bay offers so much more than the Cloud Forest, Flower Dome or Super Trees. We also enjoyed walking along the Kingfisher Lake and Dragonfly Lake and exploring the many plants at the different themed gardens.
In the Heritage Gardens you can visit e.g. the Chinese Garden and Indian Garden; and in the World of Plants you find the World of Palm, the Discovery Garden and many more.
Also, there is a fantastic water world for children, the Childrens Garden, which looks like a lot of fun. (If we could turn back time we would have loved to jump around under these funny showers.)
You see, there is so much to do and see at Gardens by the Bay. And this is not all. Of course, there are also different restaurants where you can satisfy your hunger after strolling through the Gardens. You can easily spend 4 to 5 hours while exploring the Gardens different corners. To get an overview of Gardens By the Bay have a look at the map here.
Have you been to Gardens by the Bay? What did you like most; the Cloud Forest, the Flower Dome, the Super Trees with the Skyway, or something totally different? Share your thoughts with me in the comments below.