Photo By: Elin Chow
Gardens By The Bay is undeniably one of my favorite attraction to visit while I was still in Singapore. I have visited the attraction thrice in a year before I left Singapore. The last time I was there, I was with my husband' family and that was about a year and a half ago.
Gardens By The Bay
Gardens By The Bay is one of the recent addition to Singapore's tourist attraction. Built on 101 hectares of reclaimed land in central of Singapore, Gardens By The Bay was officially opened to the public in 2012. The attraction consists of three distinctive waterfront gardens - Bay South Garden, Bay East Garden and Bay Central Garden. Bay South Garden is known to be the largest among the three, spanning 54 hectares of land.
The Garden By The Bay opens daily, from 5 am to 2 am. Access to the Bay South Outdoor Garden is free. You may wish to visit its official website for more information.
How To Get There
Getting to Gardens By The Bay is easy and convenient. You can do so by taking the train, bus or car.
By Train (Via the Circle/ Downtown Line)
Alight at Bayfront MRT (CE1) station and proceed to take Exit B. Follow the underground link way and exit into Marina Bay Sands.
By Train & Bus (Via the North-South Line)
Alight at Marina Bay MRT (NS27/CE2) station and proceed to take Exit A. Hop onto bus service 400 and alight 4 stops later at the bus stop along Marina Garden Drive.
By Walking (From Marina Bay Sands)
The Gardens By The Bay is sitting right next to the Marina Bay Bay Sands integrated resort, with Bayfront MRT station located just below the hotel.
You can reach the Gardens by walking across the overhead bridge (Lions Bridge) (opens daily from 8am to 11pm) connecting the Marina Bay Sands Hotel and the Gardens By The Bay. Alternatively, you may also take the underground link via Bayfront MRT station.
For us, we chose to take the train, via the Circle Line. Unfortunately, the weather was rather gloomy and wet on that day when we visited. There was a heavy rain falling around that area before we arrived. But luckily, the rain has stopped by the time we arrived at the attraction.
The Singapore Flyer is visible from afar, which gave us a great opportunity to take some nice photographs.
From Marina Bay Sands, proceed to cross the Dragonfly Lake via the Dragonfly Bridge, leading into Gardens By The Bay.
One of the biggest attraction at the Gardens By The Bay will be the iconic tall and alien tree-looking structures sprouting out from visible distance. Named as the 'Supertrees', these 50m tall tree-like structures have large canopies that function as a temperature moderator, absorbing and dispensing heat, as well as providing shelter for visitors during the day.
There are a total of 18 Supertrees, all located within Bay South Garden at Gardens By The Bay. Among the 18, eleven of which are fitted with solar photvoltic system to generate solar energy, providing lighting for the two conservatories located within the attraction. Apart from that, its exposed funnel-shaped top also helps to collect and store rainwater for use in irrigation and waterfall display within the conservatories.
As night falls, be enchanted as the Supertrees come alive with a light and music show known as OCBC Garden Rhapsody, which takes place nightly at 7.45pm and 8.45pm.
Take a stroll along the OCBC Skyway - a 128-metre long walkway with a height of 22-metres that connects two supertrees at the Supertree Grove. During the day, a stroll along the OCBC Skyway offers you a spectacular panoramic view of the Gardens against the Marina Bay skyline, with icons like Marina Bay Sands and the Singapore Flyer visible from atop this aerial walkway.
The OCBC Skyway opens daily from 9am to 9pm. Unlike the Bay South Outdoor Garden, access to the OCBC Skyway is not free. Ticket to the OCBC Skyway can be purchased at the ticketing hub. Admission fee is SGD $5 for adult and SGD $3 for child (aged 3 - 12 years old).
Please note the OCBC Skyway will be closed on a specific day each month for maintenance. Be sure to check out its maintenance schedule before you make a trip down to the Garden.
The Heritage Garden is a collection of four themed gardens - Chinese, Malay, Indian and Colonial gardens. Take a stroll through the four themed gardens and learn abput the links between plants and Singapore's history.
We took a quick stroll through the Heritage Garden as there was nothing interesting for us to see. Thus, I was not in the mood to take any photos while we were exploring the Heritage Garden, until I saw these beautiful Terracotta horse sculptures. For some unknown reasons, these horse sculptures just seem to fascinate me very much. After taking a quick photo of it, we strolled through the Heritage Garden and Supertree Grove to the Conservatories' visitor centre.
Located along the edge of Marina Reservoir, you will also find a conservatory complex which comprises two cooled conservatories - The Flower Dome and The Cloud Forest
Designed as the world's largest climate-controlled glasshouse in the world, the conservatories are fitted with advanced energetic, allowing it to replicate the cool-dry climate of the Mediterranean, semi-arid sub tropical regions and cool-moist climate of the Tropical Montane regions.
The visitor centre at the Conservatories has an open air concept with a number of eateries and cafes lining up the entire area. During weekends or public holidays, it is not a surprise to find the entire area crowded with visitors. Be prepared to expect very long queues at the ticketing counter for entrance tickets to the two conservatories.
Before we entered the two conservatories, we went on to explore the park surrounding the glass domes.
Looking through the glass domes, we could see the beautiful garden that lies within. We decided to stop for a quick rest at one of the benches along the way and surprisingly, we just happened to chance upon that piece of glass panel that was set in place by Mr Mah Bow Tan, Minister for National Development. On that piece of glass panel, it wrote:
"On 15th February 2011, Minister for National Development, Mr Mah Bow Tan
helped to secure the last glass panel of the Flower Dome in place, which marked the completion of the conservatory".
From the park surrounding the domes, you can also get a unobstructed view of the Singapore Flyer.
Dragonfly & Kingfisher Lake
The Gardens By The Bay uses a lake system that encompasses two lakes - the Dragonfly Lake and Kingfisher Lake. Designed to be an extension of Marina Reservoir, the lake system incorporates key ecological processes and function as a living system, providing clean water by natural rainwater filtration techniques. Water run-off from within the Gardens is captured by the system and treated by filter beads of aquatic reeds before being discharged into reservoirs or used in the built-in irrigation system of the Gardens.
Apart from that, the lakes also provide an aquatic habitats for fishes and dragonflies, both of which help to control mosquito breeding. Take a stroll on the 440-meters boardwalk along Dragonfly Lake and discover more about the ecosystem.
Gardens By The Bay is a great place for families and friends to gather for picnics and spend some quality time together. Walking around the park will not cost you a cent unless you want to step inside the climate-controlled glass conservatories or walk through the elevated skyway amongst the Supertrees.
Although it was a little bit expensive, we still went on to visit the Flower Dome and Cloud Forest as well. It was a very amazing and memorable experience. For those who are interested, please stay tuned as I will be covering my visit to the two conservatories in next upcoming post very soon.