Singapore was our last stop on an exciting three month sabatical and a great way to break up a twenty four hour long flight back from Sydney Australia to London Heathrow
We stayed at the comfortable Shangri la hotel set in lush gardens with a choice of eateries and a huge pool – perfect for me to swim some lengths early morning before seeing the sights.
Hotel to Marina Bay – Ordinarily we like to walk, we were forced to compromise due to the extremes of humidity in this bustling city. Sweating man was a constant his muse normally a little more cool and collected was no more. The compromise was a hot twenty minute walk above ground to the metro and a much cooler journey underground to our final destination.
Marina bay – the promenade around the bay was busy. Tourists, workers, shoppers and surprisingly joggers – how in the relentless heat and humidity do they do this? Huge skyscrapers soared skywards impressive and foreboding in equal measure.
Water lilies covered the surface area of a vast raised pond.
We strolled around the shops part of the bay, detouring into the cool of the air-conditioned malls for respite from the energy sapping heat and humidity as we made our way along the promenade to Gardens by the Bay.
Poignantly in front of the science museum rose ‘The skyscraper’ of a different kind. The large solitary sculpture depicting a breaching whale made from plastic collected from the ocean, served as a reminder that an estimated 150 million tons of plastic is left in any moment swimming around the ocean, polluting the waters and endangering all manner of sea life. This is only a temporary installation unlike the plastic it’s made from!
Gardens by the Bay – opened in 2012 and is spread over 101 hectares of horticultural wonder. Spectacular floral displays assault the senses here in this award winning tourist must see.
We started our tour undercover – due to the persistent rain – in The Cloud Forest one of three biomes, our offer ticket gave us access to two.
On entrancing the biome a magnificent waterfall draws the eye upwards following the flow as it rains down in a sea of mist. Visible behind the torrent ferns, moss and lichen clothed the surface disguising the man structure from the naked eye adding to the illusion of entering another world.
The man behind the lens had captured natures many impressive natural waterfalls in NZ but we both could appreciate the clever engineering to replicate the natural world under glass.
Following a spiralling path we were taken upwards through lush planting, rich vibrant colours, orchid rooms, sculptures, succulents, the surreal world of pitcher plants and reflections.
The higher we climbed the better the views out above the Marina Bay Gardens and across Marina bay, including from behind the falls.
From the top looking down to the lush planting, entrance and base of the waterfall.
Next up the Flower Dome – Here I continued to be on Horticultural overload from arid landscapes to more temperate regions this was a floral bonanza. A minor disappointment, an area normally displaying abundant wild flower meadows – a particular passion of mine – had been replaced for the seasonal xmas extravaganza, post xmas not so exciting!
Winnie the Pooh and Piglet too!
Out into the open the rain had cleared. The huge sculptural Supertree Grove although open to stroll around on ground level, the 22 metre high skyway was unfortunately still shut as rain storms still threatened. We would return and try again. Walking amongst these incredible structures between 25 and 50 metres tall we could only gaze up in awe at the huge canopies flaring out like the undersides of huge blown out umbrellas.
The dense planting – over 160,000 plants including ferns, orchids, climbers and air plants were gradually creeping higher to eventually cover their inorganic hosts in organic entirety.
We walked back over Dragonfly bridge stopping in the middle where the imposing Marina Bay Sands Hotel and observation deck towered high above us.
From the middle of the bridge one side overlooked a river of floating eggs a strange surreal experience as they quietly bobbed in the water appearing to reduce in size as far as the eye could see.
The opposite side looked out to the bay and Singapore Flyer – a nod to the London Eye. On our to do list while in Singapore.
Marina Bay and the gardens must be experienced at night as well as day. The nightly light show transforms Marina Bay and Marina Bay Gardens have their own light show too. We watched the show the following evening from across the bay after Crossing the bridge hoping to experience the Singapore Flyer observation wheel which unfortunately was closed due to technical issues. Instead we visited the Greek open air theatre before enjoying a stunning pre light show sunset.
Followed by a spectacular light and laser show bursting with every colour of the rainbow…
A thirty minute walk took us back to Dragonfly bridge to view Marina bay gardens light show. The gardens we had observed earlier in the day were transformed into a dark enchanted forest below the statuesque Supertrees as they radiated colour and sound from within.
Again looking from the middle of the bridge as we did earlier the mesmerising river of eggs was now a changing mexican wave of colour – a particular favourite of mine I could not resist an egg hug! A stunning end to a busy couple of days.