Gardens by the Bay is one of Singapore’s unmissable attractions. Very space-age and extremely beautiful, this 21st-century botanic garden sprawls over 250 acres of reclaimed land. It is an award-winning conservatory housing multifarious species of flora from across the world and cost approximately S$1 billion to for completion. Located next to Marina Reservoir, the gardens never fail to impress and this guide will help you explore this state of the art attraction better.
Overview of the Gardens by the Bay
This magnificent fantasy land consists of sci-fi worthy bio-domes, high-tech Supertrees, and quirky sculptures. The Flower Dome houses the dry Mediterranean climes, while the lush Cloud Forest is tropically montane. The OCBC Skyway connects two of the Supertrees and this trail offers jaw-dropping views of Singapore. The fantastic Garden Rhapsody show is held twice each day, at 7.45pm and 8.45pm and the OCBC Skyway tickets are available at the Ticketing Hub or at the Supertree Grove. The Heritage Gardens, dedicated to the three main cultures of Singapore (Chinese, Malay, and Singapore) lie west of the Supertree Grove and the extraordinary larger than life sculpture, the 7-tonne infant, is in the south. Made by Marc Quinn, this sculpture is known as Planet and the infant seems to float above the garden. There are around 40 other artworks scattered all over the gardens.
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Gardens by the Bay layout
Gardens by the Bay has two distinct waterfront gardens: Bay South and Bay East. The largest of the gardens are in Bay South and this houses the iconic Supertrees. The Bay East Garden is less inspiring, and it offers a large green space to take a breather. It is a great place to walk, enjoy a picnic, and provides stunning views of the Singapore skyline. The Dragonfly and Kingfisher Lakes are part of the Bay East Garden lake system and they extend to the Marina Reservoir.
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Gardens by the Bay attractions in a nut-shell
You can visit the following attractions at the Gardens by the Bay: The Cloud Forest, Flower Dome, OCBC Skyway, Supertree Grove, Heritage Gardens, Sun Pavillion, Children’s garden and Bay East Garden.
The Cloud Forest
The Cloud Forest, which is the biggest glass greenhouse in the world has the tallest man-made waterfall in the world. It is possible to rush through the Cloud Forest in 30 minutes, but you will need at least an hour to enjoy the exhibits in its various levels.
The Flower Dome
Flower Dome is one of the most popular spots in Gardens by the Bay. It showcases beautiful flowers and plants from different continents and gets decked up according to the seasonal festivals. You can easily spend an hour here enjoying the various beautiful flowers.
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Supertree Grove with the OCBC Skyway
This is one of the most awe-inspiring experiences at the Gardens by the Bay in Singapore. Each vertical tree-like garden stands between 25 and 50 meters tall, averaging about the height of a 16-story building and there are 18 Supertrees in total. These are made up of more than 162,900 plants consisting of more than 200 species and varieties of bromeliads, orchids, ferns, and tropical flowering climbers. The OCBC Skyway offers amazing views and is not recommended for those with height phobia. The 128 meters long aerial walkway lies at 22 meters above the ground and costs an extra ticket of 8 Singapore Dollars per person.
The light show at the Gardens by the Bay
The 15 minutes light show at the Gardens by the Bay is quite an awesome experience and it is a free attraction. The first light show starts at 7:45 PM and the second one at 8:45 PM. Arrive 10-15 minutes earlier at least to get a good spot.
Rare plants to spot at the Gardens by the Bay
From the beautiful to oddly fascinating, here are 10 rare plants to spot in the Gardens by the Bay. Grandidier’s Baobab, Monkey Puzzle Pine, Canary Island’s El Drago tree, Golden Barrel Cactus, Lithops, Silver Tree, and the Golden Rat Tail can be spotted at the Flower Dome. The Wavy Odontoglossum, Truncated Pitcher Plant, and Diana’s Dracula can be seen at the Cloud Forest.
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Tips to explore Gardens by the Bay with kids
Head to the Children’s Garden, if you are visiting the Gardens by the Bay with kids in tow. It features a wet play area, complete with shower and changing rooms, along with a tree house and adventure zone. Strollers (S$2), lockers (S$2 to S$4 depending on size) and audio guides (S$4) are available on rent at the Visitor’s Center and there is an outdoor gardens tour shuttle bus for a quick trip around the garden with a running commentary. The ticket of the shuttle costs SGD 8 for adults and SGD 3 for kids.
How to reach the Gardens by the Bay
Located at 18 Marina Gardens Drive, there are several ways to reach the Gardens by the Bay.
Follow the footpath leading under the East Coast Parkway from the Helix Bridge towards the Art Science Museum. This will bring you to the Bay South Garden along the waterfront. From Marina Bay Sands, walk across the overhead Lions Bridge or take the underground linkway via Bayfront MRT Station at Exit B. The Lions Bridge is open daily from 8 AM to 11 PM.
By bus/train via the Circle Line or Downtown Line
If you ake public transit via the Circle Line or Downtown Line, then get off at the Bayfront MRT Station. Choose Exit B, follow the underground linkway to exit and cross the Dragonfly Bridge or Meadow Bridge into Gardens by the Bay.
Via the East-West Line
Get off at Tanjong Pagar MRT Station, take Exit C and go towards the Bus Stop No. 03223. It is located at International Plaza, Anson Road. Board the Bus No. 400, alight at Bus Stop No. 03371 at Marina Gardens Drive.
Best time to visit the Gardens by the Bay
Keep the Gardens by the Bay for the second half of the day, since the Supertree Grove at night is beautifully lit up. If you’re short on time, make the Supertree Grove and OCBC Skyway your priorities. For more information, check out the official website.
A handy tip for all international travelers
Foreign travel, even to a neighbouring, easy to explore country like Singapore can be daunting. It is especially so if you are a first-time international traveler. To make things easier, stay connected, and have all the necessary information at your fingertips, opt for an international sim card. I choose TSIM and it is the best way to stay connected at pocket friendly prices.
Where to eat
Try the Satay by the Bay in the back corner of the park. This is one of the best hawker centers in Singapore and is very popular among the locals.
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