Gardens by the Bay is kinda amazing.
It’s a billion-dollar attraction that only true metropolitan cities build. It meshes the thought-provoking idea of a ‘garden city’. Nature breathes through architecture, harmoniously blending human development and the natural eco-world. It’s still relatively new, but I’d argue that it’s already iconic enough to warrant a placement on 7 Wonders of Singapore.
Still, Gardens by the Bay frustrates me… sometimes.
Gardens by the Bay is a complete mixed bag. Some parts are awesome, like, jaw-dropping awesome; some others are time-killing fillers.
Packing only the good stuff into one visit may seem like a brilliant idea, until you realize that the Gardens is a little too huge for that. In fact, I had three half-day visits before I can say with confidence that I’ve truly explored the Gardens!
My First Visit: The Outdoor Gardens
The journey began in the aquatic ecosystem of Dragonfly & Kingfisher Lakes, before crossing over the main bridge towards the main outdoor garden. The outdoor garden is separated into 10(!) different sections.
The first four are parts of the Heritage Garden. The Indian Garden, Chinese Garden, Malay Garden and Colonial Garden hosts a range of seeds, fruits, leaves, roots, etc. that are unique to each culture.
The other six are grouped under World of Plants, consisting of sections called Secret Life of Trees (green tropical giants), World of Palms, Understorey (highlighting on decomposing organisms), Fruits and Flowers, Web of Life (includes 8 life-sized topiary animals) and Discovery (representing the evolutionary timeline).
That sounds pretty awesome and comprehensive. But was it a rewarding long walk that brought me closer to the environment? Did I come out feeling a little more knowledgeable about plants? Did I have tonnes of beautiful plant pictures on my Instagram by the end of the day?
Here’s the thing: If you’re expecting to see weird plants you never know existed, or a beautiful field of red, blue, indigo, yellow and pink flowers; you’re in for a disappointment. If you’re a botanist or a gardening enthusiast, no doubt you’ll have a field day here. But for an average white collar who enjoys a little walk in the garden once in a while, I wish there was more to see.
As I rummage through my digital camera, iPhone and Instagram gallery, I realized that I never took a single picture of the outdoor gardens… which says a lot, bearing in mind that I’m a complete photography whore!
But I took gazillion pictures of the Supertree Grove…
Indeed, the Supertree Grove is the highlight of the whole experience. It’s breathtaking. The complex details put into it show true craftsmanship. I sat there in awe as the sun sets… and it got better as the light show begins!
That made my day. Though the outdoor gardens were more tiring than rewarding, the Supertree Grove was a good finale to the end of my trip.
There’s no way you can visit Singapore without dropping by at the Gardens by the Bay. The Supertree Grove is iconic and don’t miss the light shows at 7:45 and 8:45 PM.
If you have a little extra time for a leisure stroll, the outdoor gardens ain’t bad. But if you ain’t got time to kill, head straight to the Flower Dome and Cloud Forest area. Or if you’d like to venture somewhere a little off-the-beaten for excellent view of Singapore city skyline, head to Bay East Garden.
I’ll cover those three attractions in my subsequent blog posts.
How to Get to Gardens by the Bay by MRT
Alight at Bayfront MRT, take Exit B and then cross the Dragonfly Bridge.
Gardens by the Bay Entrance Fee
It’s free! But admission to the two conservatory domes, which are the truly fruitful part of the attractions, can be quite costly.
Standard rate is SGD 28 for two conservatories, or SGD 15 for children. Singapore residents, however, can enjoy a price ranging from SGD 8-20 depending on the package. Visit the Gardens’ ticketing page for more information.
What is your favorite part of the Gardens by the Bay Singapore?