Gardens by the Bay (Singapore)
The Gardens by the Bay is located on one of the southernmost points of Singapore’s mainland. This part of the country is actually the most-developed. However, the 250 acres of land in which this facility is located has been reclaimed by the Singaporean government. And the expressed goal of this reclamation was to create a project that would make the Lion City greener, as in stave off a development trend which would have likely lead to over-urbanization and its potentially negative effects.
And being that this is indeed one of the prime locations in Singapore, being situated in the fashionable Marina Bay, the builders spared no expense in making this eco-center one of the best in the world. Moreover, some would contend that the Gardens by the Bay is actually the premiere tourist attraction in the nation, which depending on your tastes may actually be so. So that being said, let’s take a brief look at some of the special attractions the Gardens have to offer.
What To Expect
The best way to describe the Gardens by the Bay is as the perfect blend of some of the most-beautiful flora that has ever evolved on our world, mixed with spectacular expressions of the technological advancements of man. So yes, you’re probably well aware of the fact that upon entering, you’re going to be greeted with exotic plant species from around the globe. But then there’s also the bevy of man-made attractions incorporated therein. Some of these amazing attractions include the following:
- The Garden’s conservatories (the Flower Dome and Cloud Forest)
- Supertree Grove
- Children’s Garden
- OCBC Skyway
- Floral Fantasy
And let’s not also neglect the fact that the location of the Gardens in and of itself is a place where you can get a lovely view of Singapore’s Marina Bay skyline.
Of course the main attraction of any garden is theoretically its plant life. And in that regard, the Gardens by the Bay is not lacking, as it is home to over 800 different species of flora. Moreover it should be noted, although we’re jumping the gun a little bit here, that general admission into the Gardens is free.
There are separate gardens located on the compound (i.e. Bay Central, Bay East and Bay South). And each of these gardens comes with its own spectacular architectural designs.
The Children’s Garden
Then there’s also the Children’s Garden. We had to give it a special shoutout because, as its name suggests, it is built especially for children. The Gardens by the Bay, in its entirety, is a facility that visitors of all ages can enjoy. But we all know that youngsters sometimes need special attention (i.e. play and fun) in order to be content. And being outfitted with tree houses, playgrounds, trampolines, etc., the Children’s Garden definitely fits the bill. Moreover its sprinklers and water play area is particularly recommended to pacify youth who may be irritable on hot days.
The Supertree Grove is one of the main draws of the Gardens by the Bay. The Supertrees themselves are artificial structures that have been covered with hundreds of thousands of plants.
As of 2019, there are 18 Supertrees located in the Gardens in total. They range in height from 25 to 50 meters (82 to 164 feet). And a cluster of 12 of them bunched together located near the center of the facility is known as the Supertree Grove.
And as majestic as the Supertree Grove is in and of itself, the magnificence of the area truly comes to life at night during what has been dubbed the Garden Rhapsody show. In fact the Supertrees are also imbued with thousands of multi-colored lights which during the evenings are particularly outstanding, even when the show is not going on.
And as for the Garden Rhapsody itself, it is not a monotonous routine but rather one that is changed regularly. Also the shows are based on specific themes, which at times include excerpts from popular international films. Therefore even if you have already enjoyed the show once, you can go back again for an entirely different experience.
Additionally, as a further testament to the ecological ideology of the Gardens by the Bay, the Supertrees are designed to mimic their natural counterparts. So for instance they are outfitted with cells that collect solar energy, which is then converted into the electricity used for the aforementioned lighting. Moreover they actually harness rainwater. The rainwater harvested is utilized for various functions throughout the site, such as to power the fountain displays.
The OCBC (Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation) Skyway is an elevated walkway which is suspended 22 m (72 feet) in the air and runs between two of the Supertrees in the Grove. And whereas admission to the Supertree Grove and even Garden Rhapsody are free, accessing the Skyway will cost a modest fee which we will get into later. And needless to say, being on the OCBC Skyway is yet another angle to enjoy Singapore’s downtown skyline from.
Another testament to the Gardens by the Bay’s modernity is its conservatories, the Flower Dome and Cloud Forest. Like the Supertrees, these structures are designed to be both technologically-impressive as well as eco-friendly. So for instance, they have been brilliantly configured to harvest rainwater, though in this case for the purpose of powering the building’s cooling systems.
The Flower Dome
The Flower Dome is a giant greenhouse. In fact it is considered to be the largest of its kind in the world. And as you already know, the purpose of such structures is to grow plants. So accordingly, the Flower Dome boasts a variety of colorful plant species from at least 5 different continents, including olive trees that are over 1,000-years old. Moreover the Dome is beautifully decorated with symbols of its diverse heritage.
The Cloud Forest
The Flower Dome is perhaps surpassed in its impressiveness by its sister, the Cloud Forest conservatory. The reason we have the “Cloud” in its name is because this particular structure is designed to replicate tropical conditions tantamount to being 3,000 meters (9,800 feet) above sea level in Asia and the Americas. In other words, the inside of the building is ‘cool and moist’. Indeed its name was derived from regions of the world that are actually referred to as cloud forests, which are basically forests that are regularly engulfed by a cloud.
Visitors to this observatory are able to stroll throughout the facility at different elevations. This enables them to be able to view the observatory’s amazing diverse flora from equally diverse angles. However, there are even other attractions located within the Cloud Forest. One is its impressive in-door waterfall, which is touted as a world-record holder itself at 35 m (115 feet) in height. The waterfall is actually attached to the artificial Cloud Mountain, which stands even taller at 45 meters (138 feet). Patrons are able to ascend to the apex of the Mountain via an elevator and then descend it on foot down a circular pathway, which actually runs behind the waterfall. How cool is that!
The Floral Fantasy is actually the most-recently developed part of the Gardens by the Bay (as of 2019). It is located at Bayfront Plaza, which is the main entrance point into the facility. So let’s say that the Floral Fantasy is the way that the Gardens by the Bay greets its visitors.
And of course like other parts of the park, it is pimped out. So for example, Floral Fantasy is one of the few places in the world where you can enjoy a 4D-motion theatrical experience via its Fantasy Theatre. That means the films about plants and other wildlife within actually have physical effects, including seats that actually move in conjunction with the show. As such, the Floral Fantasy is also one of the parts of the Gardens which has an admission fee. We will get into the fees later in the article.
Very Useful Information
- At times the OCBC Skyway may be closed for maintenance. Thus if you are intent on enjoying this attraction in particular, it may be advisable to contact the Gardens by the Bay beforehand at telephone number (65) 6420 6848 or email address firstname.lastname@example.org.
- In fact once you have a better idea of when exactly you will be visiting, it is a good idea to check their website for Announcements & Closure Dates in general.
- Adult supervision is required for kids who visit the Children’s Garden.
- Certain venues with the Gardens by the Bay can be booked in advance to host special events, even as large as festivals and concerts.
- The Gardens by the Bay is equipped to entertain disabled visitors, including those using wheelchairs.
- At times it can get hot and humid inside of the Gardens by the Bay. And under such circumstances in particular, it can be beneficial to take advantage of their Shuttle Bus service to get around the facility.
Is there an entrance fee in Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay?
As aforementioned, general admission into the Gardens by the Bay is free. However, certain attractions require an entrance fee. And here are the prices for applicable areas mentioned in this article:
Prices as of 2019
Accessing the OCBC Skyway costs $8 for adults and $5 for children (those between 3 and 12-years old).
Foreigners are required to buy a ticket for both conservatories simultaneously. In other words, one ticket will give you access to both the Flower Dome and Cloud Forest. That ticket costs $28 for adults and $15 for children.
Singaporean residents can also buy a dual-conservatory ticket at $20 for adults, $15 for seniors and $12 for children. They are also afforded the opportunity to purchase a ticket for just one conservatory, at a rate of $12 for adults and $8 for seniors and children.
Floral Fantasy costs $20 for nonresident adults and $12 for their children. And residents of Singapore can enjoy it at a rate of $12 for adults and $8 for children.
Attraction Bundle tickets are also available. This bundle gives visitors access to the both conservatories and Floral Fantasy at a 15% discount.
Moreover the Attraction Bundle will grant visitors unlimited rides on the Shuttle Bus. FYI, under normal circumstances these rides would cost you somewhere in the area of an additional $3.00. So is obvious it’s a good idea getting tickets for the Attraction Bundle.
How to Get to Gardens By The Bay
The Gardens by the Bay is adjacent to the trendy Marina Bay Sands hotel. And that is the only residential area which is really considered to be within walking distance of the facility. However, being situated in one of the most-popular parts of Singapore, the site is easily-accessible via automobile or Mass Rapid Transit (MRT).
If you are using an automobile and don’t actually know your way around Singapore, hiring a taxi service may be preferable. And it should also be noted that the nearby Meadow Gate Car Park has a maximum capacity of 285 vehicles.
If however you are using MRT, you can take its Circle Line or Downtown Line to the Bayfront station. Or if you’re riding their East-West Line, you would alight at the Tanjong Pagar station instead. And if necessary, it is recommended you consult the Gardens by the Bay website or contact them directly for further directions.
Even if you aren’t necessarily a botanical person, the Gardens by the Bay is a place that you will still undoubtedly enjoy. The facility incorporates high tech in such a way that will awe even the most hardcore urban dweller. Yet at the same time, it is such an impressive testament to ecological conservation that we wouldn’t be surprised if it serves as a trendsetter for the future of tourist attractions.
But enough of the salivating – for it is now time for you to make your own way down to the Gardens by the Bay. And once you have, please don’t forget to share your wonderful Singaporean experiences with us! Happy travels!