Gardens by the Bay
18 Marina Gardens Drive Singapore 018953
Gardens by the Bay is Singapore's latest attraction which opened to the public on June 29th 2012. This billion dollar super park is a sprawling mass of vegetation 250 acres in size - think 125 soccer fields thats how big it is!! It was developed by the Singaporean government in hope of becoming its premier urban outdoor recreational space, enhancing the flora in the city and becoming a national icon.
And if you ask me, they have succeeded gloriously. At the same time, the gardens was designed with the environment in mind and supposedly many of the structures have built in eco-filters and systems. The park has three main areas.
1. The Gardens
Built all around the main park area is the Central, East and South Bay Gardens. Admission to these areas are free and I like the gardens in the city vibe it gives. I saw many awesome picnic spots and I can imagine groups of students coming over the weekend having fun in the park.
There is some differentiation for example the "World of Plans" & "Heritage Gardens" depending on which park district you are in but I didn't care much about that and neither should you. The park is huge enough as it is so I wouldn't spending too much time in the gardens which is kinda like a poor appetizer for the feast that awaits... The conservatories!
2. The Conservatories
In the centre of the park you have the two air-corned conservatories - The Cloud Forest and Flower Dome. Highlights of Cloud Forest include a 35-metre tall mountain complete with an indoor waterfall covered in lush vegetation. This conservatory is more jungle/mountain themed complete with moist mists.
The Flower Dome is more Mediterranean themed and features the most rare and cool looking plants from all over the world. I have never seen anything like the plants I've seen in my life. The best part of Gardens by the Bay are no doubt the two conservatorys and prices start at $12 per entry to one conservatory for local residents and a whopping $28 for tourists.
3. The Super Trees
Near to that you have the "Super trees" which are basically man-made architectures in the shape of trees. The OCBC sky bridge connects some of them and for $5 you can take a lift up to go up the walkway.
They are supposedly fitted with environmental technologies that mimic the ecological function of trees, but I wasn't too convinced by that or the diagram they drew. It just looked like cool architecture to me.
- The easiest way is to just take Taxi and its a hot tourist spot that all Taxi Drivers will know. If you're already in the area, its a 5 minutes walk from Marina Bay Sands and there is a bridge connecting the park on Level 4.
- For people taking public transport you have to stop at Bayfront MRT station on the Circle Line which takes you directly to the entrance of the Gardens. You can also stop at Marina Bay MRT and walk a bit further or take the Bus Service 400 from Marina Bay MRT.
- Picnics in the gardens and touching of plants in the conservatory are allowed. Also feel free to take as many personal photographs you wish.
- BBQs are forbidden as are food and drink and smoking in the conservatories. Needless to say, do not pluck and take home any plant souvenirs. Cycling, swimming and fishing aren't allowed throughout the gardens.
- The park is gigantic, if you're not one for walking give it a miss. It takes a good 15 mins just to walk from Bayfront MRT to the conservatories in the middle of the park. Bring lots of water and be prepared to queue a good 20 minutes to get tickets to the conservatory.
- Give the Sky Bridge a miss. Its a fair bit from the conservatories and the view isn't fantastic. Enjoy the view at the Marina Bay SkyPark instead.
- I never thought I would say this, but if you can now give the once upon a time super awesome Botanical Gardens a miss. .
- If you're into flora and love soaking up information make sure to rent the guided tour headset. You can basically press a station number and the audio guide will tell you everything you need to know.
Gardens by the Bay is beautiful, awe-inspiring super park and a must visit for any tourist to Singapore. There is nothing on earth quite like it and entering the conservatories is like stepping into another planet.
The onyl downside is its quite expensive. Regardless, its an experience not to be missed!
4 / 5 Stars!