We wanted to dedicate as much time as possible to one of the main reasons I wanted to visit Singapore, Gardens by the Bay. These beautiful gardens span 270 acres within the Marina Bay District and therefore I knew it was not in my best interests to put any pressure on the time we could spend there.
We were up early and headed over to the Marina Bay District as early as we could, stopping at Toastbox for breakfast. I ordered something with Kaya, a Pandan leaf jam, and it was really nice. It’s a chain and therefore prices are slightly higher, especially considering the central location, but the food was good.
As we headed over towards the Gardens we saw the Supertrees emerging in the distance, it seemed like we were entering another world. Some of the Supertrees are around 160ft in height and are incredibly impressive structures.
Our first stop was Floral Fantasy, a display focused on pure floral artistry. We had tickets for a timed slot and were lucky to be the only ones in there, although at the time of our visit the exhibition hadn’t been opened long.
I walked around totally in awe of the beautiful floral displays, the colours were absolutely amazing and I loved seeing exotic flowers that I wouldn’t see within my own climate. As part of the ticket we also got to experience a 4D multimedia ride which simulated the dragonfly’s path through the gardens and despite maybe being a bit older than their target audience we really enjoyed it.
Our next stop was the cloud forest, known for it’s impressive 115ft waterfall. As soon as you walk in the sight greets you, as well as the hundreds of tourists gathering at the bottom for a photograph. Having had a relatively quiet morning we found the next leg of our day extremely busy. I made the mistake of wearing a maxi dress to the gardens and had people constantly standing on my dress.
In the cloud forest you follow a walkway that snakes around a plant clad mountain. This does streamline the crowds but there were no points where it was too overwhelming. Despite the hot and humid weather outside the conservatory was very cool to walk around and a welcome respite.
We then explored the largest greenhouse in the world, the Flower Dome. There were a huge amount of beautiful displays to look at, there was colour wherever you looked.
Whilst all the conservatories require a ticket for entry the supertree grove is free to enter and these vertical gardens are just incredible to see.
What’s one of the most amazing things about these supertrees are they aren’t just there to look pretty but have some pretty impressive environmental features too. They collect solar energy, so they can use their own electricity and also collect rainwater, which can be used to keep the gardens watered. They also have an air filtration system within them that vents hot air and can be used to cool down the conservatories. How very clever!
After spending all morning looking up we headed over to the Haw Par Villa, with a brief 7-11 stop on the way for something to eat. The villa is quite interesting, it’s a theme park containing thousands of statues and dioramas, depicting stories of Chinese folklore.
The park was originally opened by the developers of Tiger Balm, and was opened way back in 1937. One of the quirkiest parts of the park was the ‘Ten Courts of Hell’, which is a 60m trail that depicts the punishments for certain crimes.
Whilst we got a lot of enjoyment from wandering around unfortunately the heat got to us and we only lasted about 40 minutes before we felt we needed to return to our hotel for some cold drinks and a dip in our rooftop pool before heading back out again, once the sun had gone down.
Our reason for heading back out again was to watch the Supertree Garden Rhapsody show, which happens twice a night. We chose the 8.45pm showing and despite the fact it was very busy managed to get an unobstructed view by getting there around 8pm and finding some flooring underneath one of the trees.
The show is a coordinated light and music show, the theme of the music changes often and quite honestly I can’t quite remember what music was playing during our showing but it was absolutely spectacular. I sat there with my mouth opened the whole time. The show lasts around 15 minutes and I enjoyed every second.
Feeling hungry afterwards we headed to Satay by the Bay, a food court with a number of stalls, located within the gardens. By the time we arrived a number of the stalls had already sold out of food and therefore we were only left with a few options. We chose a stall that specialised in Satay, we thought it was appropriate, and were told it would be a 15 minute wait for our food. It actually turned into a 45 minute wait and although the food was delicious when it arrived the long wait time did take away from the experience.