- Alight at Bayfront MRT Station (CE1/DT16)
- Take Exit B and follow the underground linkway
- Exit and cross the Dragonfly Bridge or Meadow Bridge into Gardens by the Bay
The Gardens by the Bay is a nature park spanning 101 hectares. The park consists of three waterfront gardens. The largest of the gardens is the Bay South Garden. Its Flower Dome is the largest glass greenhouse in the world.
Late in the afternoon, we caught a bus out to Singapore Bay. On our last multi-day stay in Singapore, I had been suffering from broken ribs so we were limited in what we could do, so one of the things we didn’t end up doing was visiting the Gardens by the Bay.
We walked through the Supertree Grove, a set of unique vertical gardens resembling towering trees that rise to 50m, with large canopies & colourful lights at night. We were getting hungry so before doing anything more we popped into Shake Shack for something to eat and drink.
THE CLOUD FOREST
We’d bought tickets to visit the two domes of the Gardens: The Cloud Forest and Flower domes. Our visit started with the Cloud Forest Dome, which had a special exhibit on Avatar, as the second film in the series had just been released. The Cloud Forest houses more than thousands of plants of 135 different species from all around the world. The Cloud Forest is the home to the World’s second-largest indoor waterfall and a 138ft cloud mountain surrounded by lush green plants of unique species. Singapore itself is hot and sticky, but the inside climate is cooler and humid, replicating what you might expect to find in more mountainous areas.
We walked around the base of the cloud mountain, stopping ever so often to snap the Avatar characters set among the lush plants. They had also set up some booths where you could see yourself transformed into the blue form of a Na’vi from the movie!
We took the elevator to the top of the cloud mountain and took the journey down from the top, walking along the walkways that bring you out above the cloud forest below. For people who suffer badly from vertigo, this would not be a great experience. But it was stunning. The plants and waterfalls were incredibly beautiful, and the addition of the Avatar characters seemed natural, in a surreal way. Following the trail, we made our way down from the top of the cloud forest mountain back to the base. We loved it.
THE FLOWER DOME
Adjacent to the Cloud Forest is the Flower Dome. This is not as spectacular as the Cloud Forest, but interesting, nonetheless. It is set out in gardens from different regions of the world, Australia, South Africa, California, etc. As it was nearing Chinese New Year, they were setting up a display, which obviously included a lot of rabbits.
THE SUPER TREE GROVE
Our dome tours were complete, and it was approaching late afternoon. We planned to stop for the Supertree Grove light show which started at 7:15 pm, so we had some time to kill. At the same time, we wanted to get a prime place to watch the show. So, we found our spot and got comfortable. We ended up sitting next to a lady from Brazil who got chatting with Karen, she had a very bubbly personality. It turns out she has a young son, in his late teens who was in school in England. Looking at her it was hard to believe she had a son that age, but she was 38 years old and put her youthful looks down to regular Botox injections!
We laid on our backs to get the best view of the light show. When the show started it was fabulous with five of the Supertrees lighting up in synchrony with a lively soundtrack of Asian music played through an amazing sound system. During the should we video-called our daughter Emily so she could enjoy the show – and she found it moving even thousands of kilometres away on a mobile phone.
The show only lasts 15 minutes, so when it was done, we followed the crowds back across the river and into the Marina Bay Sands hotel and then across to the shopping mall – which is very upscale and not our sort of place at all, so we passed through quickly and out to the waterfront, where you get the most amazing view of the Singapore skyline at night.
It was getting a little late now and our batteries were running low, so we decided to catch the bus back to the hotel and find somewhere to eat close by. We ended up about a block away at a local restaurant that served basic foods buffet style, so we were able to pick out the vegetable dishes and added a couple of bowls of rice. By now we were absolutely exhausted, so it was back to our hotel and into bed.
Planning your visit to the Gardens by the Bay
Via The Circle Line Or Downtown Line
Via The East-West Line
- Alight at Tanjong Pagar MRT Station (EW15)
- Take Exit C and head towards bus stop no. 03223 located at International Plaza, Anson Road
- Hop onto bus 400 and alight at bus stop no. 03371 along Marina Gardens Drive
Via Thomson East-Coast Line (NEW!)
- Alight at Gardens by the Bay MRT Station (TE22)
- Take Exit 1 into Gardens by the Bay (beside Satay by the Bay)
|Location:||18 Marina Gardens Dr, Singapore 018953|
|Hours:||5 am to 12 midnight daily|
|Admission Fees:||Attractions||Local Adult (SGD)||Tourist Adult (SGD)|
|Flower Dome + Supertree Observatory||$28||$30|
Getting around Singapore
The best way to get around Singapore is via its Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) subway system. This underground network has lines that stretch across the entire city. However, once you’re in the desired neighbourhood, walking is your best option. MRT also operates bus routes that can get you just about anywhere on the island.
The best time to visit Singapore
Although Singapore is a year-round destination, the best time to visit Singapore is from December to June. The months of February to April fall within Singapore’s dry season and is typically when the country has the least amount of rain, the lowest humidity, and the most sunshine. Singapore has fairly consistent weather and welcoming enough for travellers all year round for sightseeing. However, if you wish to avoid any crowds flocking the places, the best time to visit Singapore is from July to November.
Monsoons prevail from December to March in Singapore, with December recording the highest rainfall. The weather is generally windy, cloudy with low sunshine and humid. There are chances of thunderstorms during these months.
Where to stay?
1. LLOYDS INN
During our last stay in Singapore, we stayed at the Llyods Inn. Our stay was quite short but we found to staff welcoming and the facilities were great. The decor was clutter-free and the design contemporary, with industrial-chic concrete walls and muted pallets and plenty of white – which Karen loved – yet it was also very comfortable. There is a roof terrace, modern garden deck and dipping pool surrounded by greenery.
Located off Killiney Road in a quiet residential area, Lloyd’s Inn is a short walk to the heart of Orchard Road. Somerset MRT Station, 313@Somerset, Orchard Gateway and Orchard Central shopping malls are within a 10-minute walk away.
2. WANDERLUST HOTEL
A couple of years back we stayed in the Wanderlust Hotel, which is housed in a historic 1920s Art Deco building (very cool!) At that time each of the rooms was individually decorated in quirk ways. Since then the hotel has been sold and bought and been remodelled so we can’t really comment on what the rooms look like now but the pictures look good!
What we can say is the hotel is located in a fabulous position to access the MRT. It is also in heart of Little India and all that it has to offer (did I mention we love Indian food). For these two reasons alone we would recommend the Wanderlust Hotel.
3. THE SCARLET SINGAPORE
We have not stayed in The Scarlet Singapore yet but it is on our shortlist for a future trip!
This luxury boutique hotel can be found in the heart of Singapore’s Chinatown (we also like Chinese food!). The hotel is one of the oldest conservation buildings in Singapore and comprises a row of 13 1868 shops and a 1924 Art Deco building (see why we are interested in this). The exteriors are historic the interiors are bang up to date. If you want to use Chinatown as your base in Singapore this is a great place to stay. Scarlet Hotel is less than a 10-minute walk from Chinatown and Tanjong Pagar MRT Stations.