Staring at the bay with views of the Merlion Statue, Helix Bridge, Marina Bay Sands, ArtScience Museum, and Singapore Flyer is a bearable thing to do all day. It was a gloomy afternoon and the humidity went better. Being on the view deck of The Fullerton Pavilion, free for the public, I surveyed the surroundings and looked for Gardens by the Bay and the Supertree Grove. As per Google and advised by a friend, it is located at the back of the known Marina Bay Sands Hotel.
My current location, at that moment, was across the hotel and I needed to traverse via the Marina Boulevard or Raffles Avenue to get to Bayfront area. From a long day of walking from Orchard Road, I already could feel my legs pleading to stop and just enjoy the current view. But I really wanted to see the futuristic supertree grove on my first day in Singapore.
Gardens by the Bay is a reclaimed land in Central Singapore that covers a total of 101 hectares. The way they conceptualized the park was really wonderful considering that soaring skyscrapers dominate the area. The garden-park has a lot to offer and most of these attractions are free. Few hours are not enough to explore the destination and I regretted that I had limited time allotted to it.
For the record, I visited Gardens by the Bay twice; on the first and last days of my stay in Singapore. I spent my first visit mostly on the Supertree Grove area where the futuristic trees tower from 25 to 50 meters tall. The base of the trees, shaded by the canopy of the artificial tree, serves as a lounge for tourists during daytime. There is a dozen of supertrees in the grove area and they come alive around 7 PM for a spectacle rhapsody of light and sound.
If by chance you’ll get curious by a long queue of people towards an elevator on one of the trees, the line is for the OCBC Skyway. It’s a 128-meter aerial walkway which is also 22-meter high from the ground that gives a different perspective of Gardens by the Bay. Unfortunately, it’s not for free but you can avail discounted Gardens by the Bay tickets from Klook to enjoy the view from the skyway.
Surrounding the Supertree Grove are the Heritage Gardens like Indian, Malay, Chinese, and Colonial. These gardens share the diverse culture of Singapore as influenced by these ethnic groups by means of plants.
The wanderings in Gardens by the Bay continued after the trail leading to The Meadow. This will let you drop by a large sculpture called Planet. It’s a seven-ton bronze sculpture that is 9m long and 3m tall. The installation seems floating in mid-air as the infant’s hand supports the entire masterpiece. This is only one of the more than 40 sculptures everyone can marvel around the gardens.
From a turn, few meters from Planet is the start of the World of Plants. The first part that really amazed me was the area where eight super-sized animal topiary using a plant I certainly don’t know. The installation will definitely excite kids when you pass by that part of the gardens. In the Fruits and Flowers section, it was my first time to see a cannonball tree with very large and spherical cannonball-like fruits. The fruit is similar to a longan but way much larger.
A dome, having drawings of crawlers like ants, centipede, snails, mites, and others, covers many mushrooms underneath it. It’s one of the things in Understorey Garden and you can even sit on top of the mushrooms while you look up at the ceiling of the dome.
I finally traversed the World of Palms before I started my search for Satay by the Bay. Darkness began to shroud Singapore when I was still busy figuring out the way to Satay by the Bay. There is still a lot to see along the way and these forced me to stop and take some clicks. One of them is a pond where water buffalo sculptures seem getting out of the water. And last is the wooden bridge surrounded by water lilies. Unfortunately, it was already dark to take photographs of the floating lilies.
Food offerings at the Satay by the Bay are not that cheap like an SGD7 for 10 sticks of assorted skewers. With that, a starving traveler opted to catch a dinner back in Maxwell’s Food Center in Chinatown. From Satay by the Bay, I walked around the other side, via the Marina Bay with the view of the Singapore Flyer. I also passed by the Cloud Forest and Flower Dome, both I wasn’t able to enter.
A day is definitely perfect to enjoy every attraction of Gardens by the Bay because there are really lots to see and experience. Spending some dollars to pay for some entrance fee on paid attractions and services will make the visit even better. If budget is an issue, free attractions are already enough to satisfy your stay and be amazed by how they built a garden in a large space just across Singapore’s busiest districts hovered by towering skyscrapers. This is for sure; I’ll be back for the Cloud Forest and Flower Dome.
GARDENS BY THE BAY ATTRACTIONS
ATTRACTIONS ADMISSION OPEN Flower Dome / Cloud Forest SGD28 (Adults) 9AM – 9PM SGD15 (Children) OCBC Skyway SGD8 (Adults) 9AM – 9PM SGD5 (Children) Supertree Grove Free 5AM – 2AM Far East Organization Free 9AM – 9PM (Weekends/Holidays) Children’s Garden 10AM – 7PM (Tue – Fri) Bay East Garden Free 24 Hours Daily Dragonfly and Kingfisher Lake Free 5AM – 2AM Heritage Gardens Free 5AM – 2AM World of Plants Free 5AM – 2AM Sun Pavilion Free 9AM – 9PM
Planning to visit Singapore anytime soon? Check out my Singapore travel guide, click on the photo below.