Gardens By The Bay in Singapore
A nature park set in a square kilometre of reclaimed land close to Marina Reservoir in downtown Singapore, Gardens by the Bay is one of the city's main attractions. This multi-award-winning complex of greenhouse domes, walkways and garden landscapes overlooks Marina Bay. Built by the Singapore government as part of an initiative to increase the city's green spaces, Gardens in the Bay sets out to entertain and educate you in equal measure.
This outdoor recreation space currently boasts two waterfront gardens, with a third on its way. Head to Bay East to enjoy the 2km promenade bordering the reservoir, and investigate a series of large, tropical leaf-shaped gardens, each with a distinct theme and design. Or explore Bay South, the largest zone in the complex, which showcases the best in world garden design, in an area shaped like an orchid; the national flower of Singapore.
Two domes, two climates
Bay South is also the zone where you'll find the two conservatory domes, each offering a cooled climate for specific flower and plant species to thrive. Using sustainable technology, they make any weather the right weather to relax and enjoy the gardens.
The Flower Dome is the world's largest column-less greenhouse and is kept between 23 and 25℃ to create a mild, dry climate for a range of flowering plants. Inside you'll find seven garden environments, an olive grove, and a handy bistro.
The Cloud Forest, on the other hand, simulates the moist conditions of tropical mountain regions in excess of 1,000 metres. The highlight of this dome is undoubtedly Cloud Mountain, a man-made fixture boasting a 35m high waterfall, easily accessed by elevator. But be sure to take the circular path back down, where you can see all the plants, flowers, sights and sounds along the way.
The incredible man-made structures at Supertree Grove are thought by many to be the highlight of the Gardens by the Bay complex, and it's true they take some beating. You'll find 12 of these tree-like structures at the Grove, with a further six dotted around the park. More vertical gardens than trees, they measure 25-50m and are adorned with over 160,000 plants, with everything from tropical flowers to ferns and climbers.
View them best 22m up from the elevated OCBC Skyway, 128 metres of walkway with panoramic views of the gardens and bay. But it's at sundown that the Supertrees really come alive. The nightly OCBC Garden Rhapsody event is when live music plays and a light show flashes from the artificial boughs and branches, giving spectators below a treat for the senses. Just grab a patch of grass, lie back and enjoy the free show.
Free to access
Yes, entry to the Gardens by the Bay is free for the outside lawns, beds and Supertree Grove, plus the light show. Even the Children's Garden, with its splash and play zone, trampolines, rope bridges and balance beams is free to enter. You'll only ever be charged to enter the domes, with everything else free to explore.
With ten places to eat in the Gardens, why not save your money for a quick snack on the lawn, or a leisurely feast at the top of a Supertree? From grab-and-go fast food to locally-caught seafood delicacies, it's all waiting to be discovered at Gardens by the Bay.
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