Jet lag finally got us. We were wide awake from about 2am to 6:30am. Thankfully we could watch some Netflix on the iPad and so we caught up on one of our series.
We set an alarm for 8:30am, but of course didn’t want to get up then…having only had 2hrs sleep. Eventually we got up at 9:30ish and set out for breakfast and a full day of sightseeing.
As mentioned in the post from Thursday we really wanted to come back to the Gardens to have a look during the day. We planned to take our time and really enjoy it.
It’s very easy to get around in Singapore with walking and using the train. We’ve had no trouble at all. We found the closest MRT station to the Gardens and then followed the signs directing us to ‘Gardens by the Bay’. Once there we opted for an $8 guided tour on a trolley bus to get our bearings. So glad we did. The area of the park is 101 hectares/apt 250 acres/1km sq of reclaimed land. To walk the perimeter might be ok, but when you want to follow the paths, walk along the canal it would be all day to see it all on foot.
There are various sculptures and feature areas throughout the grounds. There are sections that reflect the main three ethic groups that combine to create the unique culture of Singapore. Chinese, Indian and Malay. There are also other areas that show case the lush tropical vegetation that can be found through out the Asian region.
It is really something to be experienced.
The tour took us through the areas of Supertrees again and then back to the two special exhibition areas – The Cloud Dome and The Flower Dome. The Supertrees are vertical gardens that have solar panels that provide the power for the fantastic light and sound show referred to earlier and they are designed to capture rain which is then used to water not only each structure but other garden areas also. They are a show case of technology for harnessing the natural resources and renewable energy and putting it to use. In a city like Singapore where most of the population live in high rise and small apartments, the open green spaces are very important. The atmosphere is improved by the oxygenation from the plants let alone the importance of connecting with nature.
We finished our driving tour and went to see inside the Flower Dome followed by the Cloud Forest. It cost $28 each for a ticket that covers both. There is no charge to visit the gardens and walk around and enjoy the parks and sculptures.
The Domes are a feat of engineering and environmental management. The flower dome is the largest greenhouse in the world. In both domes there are no central supporting pillars. The external framework holds and supports the 1000’s of glass panels.
The flower dome recreates the climates of various areas around the world all within the one big space. From arid desert to the Aust bush and then also rainforest areas of the world. A seasonal display of Christmas trees and Disney themed decorations was also in set up within the dome. It was very colourful and very photogenic!
The Cloud Forest features a 35m indoor mountain covered in lush vegetation that is representative of the mountain forests from around the world. The plant life also includes rare and protected species being preserved and maintained in a perfect environment to thrive. There is what is claimed to be the worlds tallest indoor waterfall cascading from the top of the mountain and the various walkways and gantries provide up close viewing of the full scenery. Within the mountain are a couple of permanent exhibitions and at the base of the mountain there is an exhibition that deals with climate change and environmental management. It’s bringing a message to a part of the world that is still perhaps a bit behind with regard to use of plastics and pollution levels, however it is a step in the right direction.
We left the gardens and made our way to the hotel for a swim in the pool and to have a nap after lack of sleep.
We wanted to be out later to see the light and laser show at Marina Sands and had also planned to go back out for dinner at the ‘best satay’ hawker centre for dinner.
The light show was amazing. Timed fountains, light images, lasers and all to dramatic themed music. It was definitely worth making time to see it. There are 3 shows a night on the weekend and 2 per night during the week. No matter when you come to Singapore you really cannot miss it.
After the show and Satay it was home to get organised before our last day in Singapore…Yes, that means one more post to go for this trip to close out Singapore and our journey home.