A few photos of the Gardens by the Bay (for Pascal)

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After picking up our employment passes we walked all the way along the water to the marina, stopped for a quick Frappuccino at a Starbucks, saw some impressive try-outs for tonight’s Kite Festival demonstrations, accompanied by classical music, and eventually hit the Marina Bay Sands. And behind this polarizing structure, Singapore is creating a flower wonderland which aims to make Singapore the botanical capital of the world: The Gardens by the Bay.

Opened just a few months ago, the whole place is still under construction. You can tell it will be lovely once the plants have fully taken over, but right now you see all the cement and steel and wiring that holds this new tourist attraction together. You could say that you see the puppet’s strings or know exactly where the bunny in the magician’s hat is really coming from.

That’s okay, it’s just not fully ready, yet. Like most things in Singapore, this will be a polished, artificial place to draw the crowds. The Supertree Grove is exemplary   for this impression. You see it and you know it will be great… in a year or so.

By then I would guess that most parts of the super trees are overgrown with plants and flowers which should be a stunning sight. You can see the skywalk bridge which connects two of the trees and leads around the grove. The biggest tree, half visible on the right hand side of the photo, has a separate entrance and I believe it will have a restaurant or at least a panorama platform. We did not walk on the skywalk, saving this for another time – it cost 5 S$.

(Hey Pascal – I hope you like that photo. :) )

We continued our walk towards the greenhouses, the Flower Dome and the Cloud Forest. While entering the park is free, access to the greenhouses costs 28 S$ each for non-local adults and 12 S$ for locals (to which we are belonging since this morning). There are discouns for kids and seniors.

As a local, you can also get the annual pass which gives free access to the greenhouses and the skywalk for 68 S$. Sounds like a good deal and we did not hesitate much:

Funny photo. If you imagine my body would continue as a long tube with the same pattern of the shirt, I’d look like a big worm that is just about to gobble up something.

With our new card power we directly checked out the Flower Dome. Again: everything is still in the process of being built, so it’s not as mind blowing as one would hope it will be in the future.

The temperature is very pleasant, by the way, and a welcome cool-down from the outside. I will need to come back here with the Macro lens. After the Flower Dome we continued to the adjacent Cloud Forest greenhouse which greets you with a pretty stunning waterfall as you enter.

This greenhouse basically consists of one huge structure from which the waterfall flows and through which you walk from top to bottom. Quite nice.

In general, I am pretty sure the Gardens by the Bay are really beautiful at night and when you have a sunny, blue sky as backdrop. We were not as lucky today: the sky was a bit greyish and hazy for most of the day, which we read might be due to some of the regular forest fires in Indonesia (right now there’s one on Jakarta).

Overall an enjoyable visit nevertheless, and I am sure this will be a great place to come back to several times a year.

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