Singapore Diaries 2: Gardens By The Bay

 

 

For the second part of my Singapore Diaries, I am featuring only one place, a spectacular one that needs its own post — Gardens by the Bay. It is a 101 hectare park of reclaimed land facing the reservoir. It has gardens, water parks, conservatories. The entire concept is a triumph for sustainable architecture, landscape architecture, conservation efforts and a new type of amusement for visitors of all ages.

I could have spent all day here. I would be so inspired to sketch and take photos all day. We were just there for over two hours. But our experience was so well-planned that we saw all the main attractions. There are suggested trails on the website link I posted above. I suggest you plan your trip in advance. We saw the two domed structures – the Cloud Forest and the Flower Dome. The Supertree Grove, the iconic landmark of the gardens, is visible from all angles. It is spectacular at night, I hear. This is a reason for us to go back.

 

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At the visitor’s centre near the entrance to the two conservatories, you see three sculptural Supetrees. This gives you a preview of what it’s like at the Supertree Grove, which includes a Skywalk and a restaurant on top of one of the biggest Supertree. You can also opt to tour the outdoor gardens using this audio-guided tram. Because of time constraints we skipped the Supertree Grove. I hope to visit again — at night next time. Photo by Andrew Chua STB.

 

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Smile! Singapore sunshine! I packed the kids’ sunglasses. But they forgot to bring them from the hotel. Yikes.

 

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We started at the Flower Dome with its incredible design and architecture. The entire space is air-conditioned, cooled by chilled water pipes in underground slabs, while warm air goes out in vents on top. The entire space replicates the cool-dry climate of Mediterranean regions like South Africa, California and parts of Spain and Italy. Photo by Andrew Chua STB.

 

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The entire dome has no columns. It is the world’s largest columnless greenhouse. The Conservatories’ glass sits on a steel grid that acts like an eggshell.

 

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They change the flower displays in this Flower Field to reflect seasons, occasions and themes. This was taken on December 1st, hence Christmas.

 

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Amazing.

 

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My favorite tree – the baobab. It doesn’t have a good meaning in The Little Prince but in reality these are Africa’s trees of life. That one nearest my face is shaped like a heart. I am so fascinated by them. This is what they look like in Madagascar.

 

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A little Lily #OOTD. She takes pride in “styling” herself. She wore a Gingersnaps neon-sleeved T-shirt with the cutest giraffe graphic and matched it with light purple lace shorts also from Gingersnaps. Athletic shoes and that crazy headband from Cotton-On. Oh Lily!

 

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The gardens are completely accessible to anyone. There are elevators but we opted to use the stairs.

 

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Just a little Stella update. She, being my youngest, is sooo attached to me. Now more than ever. We are going through some separation anxiety even if its a short trip to the grocery or when I pick up the two sisters from school. I am relishing these days that she seems to be hanging on to her toddler phase which has actually passed last year. A real “bunso” (youngest child aka “baby”). Oh her cute little Tshirt was a gift from @mimssac of Instagram. You can order personalized Tshirts and other items from her. A few people have asked about my sneakers. I got them at Cath Kidston online.

 

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The Cloud Forest is spectacular. It has a 35-metre tall mountain covered with a wall of lush vegetation. It has the  world’s tallest indoor waterfall with plant life from tropical highlands up to 2,000-metres above sea level.

 

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A rare photo of the two of us at the Cloud Forest, not because we are elusive but because we don’t have anyone to take decent photos of us. I’m always the one shooting. This time, with STB’s professional photographer Andrew Chua documenting our visit, we have a lot of photos of the family – complete and just us as a couple. Yay!

 

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My nature-loving daughter Sophia was in heaven. Photo by Andrew Chua STB

 

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My little Fifi. I wish for her to always feel this free and adventurous. She can’t wait to see the rest of the world.

 

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They loved identifying plants. I couldn’t believe Soph knew a lot of them already. This is the “pitcher plant”. Sophia tells me it’s eats insects, and it really does. OMG. There was a little pond up top of the mountain with a pod full of carnivorous plants including the Venus Fly Trap. How fascinating. Photo by Andrew Chua STB.

 

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It was incredible seeing a really tall lush vertical garden. There was an amazing mixture of orchids, ferns, colourful bromeliads, begonias and carnivorous pitcher plants, all the way up.

 

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We made our way up the top of the Lost World Trail. The highest point replicates the cloud forest vegetation at around 2,000m above sea level.

 

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Here we are on that trail. It’s very safe. We even brought Stella’s rental stroller. Photo by Andrew Chua STB.

 

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It was very high. My knees were shaking. It weaved in and out of the mountain. I’m so proud that Lily got over her fear of heights.

 

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To give you an idea of how high it was, here’s a 360 view.

 

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So the Paezis made it to the top of The Lost World. Haha. It wasn’t anything like real trekking, so none of us suffered. We didn’t even break a sweat. The entire place is air-conditioned and very well-maintained. There are elevators and escalators too. Photo by Andrew Chua STB.

 

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I have to say, Gardens By The Bay was one of … if not, THE highlight of our trip. It was a very unique experience seeing modern architecture with the world’s most exotic plants and trees. We learned a lot about the environment and the danger we face with the changing habitats that put plants and animals in danger.

 

For a complete list of our four-day itinerary in Singapore, click here. And to plan your trip to Singapore, check out www.yoursingapore.com

More of our Singapore travel diary coming up in a few days.

 

 

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