Singapore Part 1

 I was clearing out my photo library, to get ready for a new iMac (yay) and realised that I never shared many photos from our 2015 trip to Singapore. For such a densely populated city, on such a small island, the amount of space devoted to gardens and parkland is amazing and something other cities could learn from. In fact there are so many beautiful gardens in Singapore that this post is devoted to them entirely!

The Botanic Gardens

On our first full day we spent the morning wandering around the Botanic Gardens, with most of our visit devoted to The Orchid Garden. It's no secret that I love flowers and I especially love orchids, so I'm probably a little biased... but the flowers were stunning! The Botanic Gardens had such a phenomenal range of colours, shapes and sizes of orchids.

NEED TO KNOW

The Singapore Botanic Gardens
Located: 1 Cluny Rd in the taglin district,
near orchid road
 open: 5am-12am

The orchid gardens at the Botanic Gardens
open: 8:30am-7pm (last ticket sales 6pm)
$5 entry fee

Gardens by the Bay: The Domes

We spent a full day at Singapore's iconic the Gardens by the Bay, meandering through the paths into different sections of the 101 hectare garden. For me it's a toss of a coin what was better, the Cloud Forest or the Supertree Grove.

The simplest description of the Cloud Forest is that it's a giant greenhouse. But that description doesn't do it justice, the dome is huge! The structure is made up of over 2,500 glass panels and the climate is controlled to replicate the cool, moist conditions of tropical mountain regions from South-East Asia and South America. The glass dome is so large it houses a 35m tall mountain covered in lush tropical plants with a waterfall that drops from the top of the mountain. The scale of the waterfall hits you as you walk into the dome. As you make you way up the mountain the plant life changes mimicking the plants found in regions ranging from 1,000 to 3,000 meters above sea level. Even though the dome sits between 80- 90% humidity it felt cool inside, as the temperature is set at around 24º and mist from the waterfall wafts down the mountain to the levels below. Perfect for a hot Singapore day! The dome is self-sustaining and at the end there's a section which shows you how they achieved this.

There's also a second conservatory, the Flower Dome, which houses a 1.2hectare garden with a Mediterranean climate. We were there just before Chinese New Year and the garden was themed for the year of the goat.

Gardens by the Bay: Supertree Grove

The Supertree Gove is an other-worldly garden - perhaps a glimpse of city gardens in the future? The Supertrees are towering tree-like sculptures covered in vegetation, with twelve of the eighteen Supertrees in the garden found in the Grove. Between the larger trees in the Grove is a 22m high suspended skyway walk, which gives a fantastic view of the gardens and bay behind. We were lucky enough to walk along the skywalk before it was temporarily closed for an afternoon shower. In general we were pretty lucky with our Singapore visit, we didn't get too many of their tropical afternoon downpours.

Just before dusk we walked to the very end of the gardens and onto a raised amphitheater where hundreds of locals were flying kites. We soon found out why, it was the perfect spot to watch sunset over the Supertree Grove light show with the Marina Bay Sands in the background. If you are in Singapore and keen to watch the Supertrees as they light up at dusk I would recommend to watch it from here. To get to the amphitheater you walk past Satay on the Bay, which also happens to be a great market to grab dinner, then up onto the top of the Marina Barrage.

Need to know

Gardens by the Bay
Location: 18 Marina Gardens Drive
You can walk from Marina Bay Sands
or across the helix bridge (walking towards the Art Science museum)
Open: 5am-2am

Supertree GrovE Skyway
open: 9am-9pm
$8 entry free
The skywalk is closed in windy or rainy weather

Conservatories (cloud dome & Flower dome)
open: 9am-9pm
$28 entry fee

There is also a children's garden with water play equipment
 

Post 2 to follow soon. And no, it's not more more gardens, I promise! Post 2 includes Chinatown, Arab Street, Raffles and the bright lights of Orchid Road.