Singapore’s new techno-eco Gardens by the Bay built for $1 billion sprawls over 101 hectares under the looming shadow of the best views in town at the top of Marina Bay Sands.
Its incredible design was the result of a global competition that attracted 70 entries and was eventually awarded to Grant Associates and Gustafson Porter. It’s become such a popular events venue that they are limited to just 3 per week.
To walk around them is free, but if you want to see how the rest of world grows, pay to go into the Cloud Forest and Flower Dome. And if you come before sunset you can wander the gardens then stay for the free 15-minute laser light and sound show on their soaring trees (two shows run at 7.45pm and 8.45pm)
The Cloud Forest
This dome is nearly 1 hectare with a 35m waterfall at its entrance embedded with orchids, ferns, bromeliads, begonias and carnivorous plants that grow in rain forests. They all live on top of other plants in nature and are perfectly adapted for growing on vertical walls. (Note for budding interior designers!)
The Flower Dome
This 1.2 hectare air conditioned dome features gardens from the cool-dry climate of Mediterranean regions like South Africa, California and parts of Spain and Italy and Australia. You’ll find a 1000-year old olive tree that was shipped in and is covered in new leaves.
As 2014 is the Chinese Year of the Horse the flower garden has horses stationed throughout, but these ones carved from trees and tree roots are awesome.
This is really impressive. These “trees” are up to 16 stories high, embedded with plants and 11 with solar panels at the top to harness energy. One is 50m high and has a restaurant at the top and for $5 you can go up in the elevator and walk the 120m walkway at a height of 22 metres.
My tip: Come to the Gardens by the Bay later in the afternoon (we came at 6pm) to stay for the light show which runs for 15 mins at 7.45 and 8.45pm. Then head to Boon Tat Street for the best satay you’ll have in your life! (Read my review here >>>)
I flew here courtesy of Singapore Airlines newly retrofitted 777-200ER out of Christchurch – on the lie-flat Business Class seats. Thanks SQ!