I didn’t go to Singapore just to eat (although, who am I kidding, that was a big part of it) but there was one place on my list of “See & Do” for our stopover whilst there- the Gardens by the Bay. I wanted to see the giant tree sculptures- the ones that wouldn’t look out of place in a sci fi movie. Coupled with two enormous domed conservatories, it seemed too good of an opportunity to miss out. Singapore knows exactly what it’s doing with the whole city slash nature balance. This park was amazing. Our starting point was the Sky Deck at Marina Bay Sands to get a view from above before making our way across the road to the park- a tip I definitely recommend!
We took the MTR down towards Bayfront, and then from there followed the signs towards the Marina Bay Sands Hotel. The Sky Park Observation Deck is pretty easy to spot (signage! everywhere!) and costs $22 per person. We got our tickets from the Box Office on the day and there wasn’t even a queue! Or you could book ahead here.
The lift takes you up, up, up and out onto a decked roof terrace with superb views out towards the sea and also over the city.
It’s also on the same level as the famous infinity pool that the Marina Bay Sands is famous for, but I felt like the deck was better for two reasons
1) You have a better vantage point, with views stretching out to the ocean as well as the cityscape
2) Much less crowded. Sure, you aren’t in a swimming pool, but honestly I’d take the space option anytime.
We spent about 20 minutes walking along the terrace, taking photos before heading back down to terra firma and into the park.
The entry fee to the park is $28 each- which is steep, but as we spent literally the whole day here it was worth it.
It was an extra $12 for tickets to enter both of the conservatory domes; they were excellent! Beautiful, air conditioned (with wifi!) and they were far more than just giant green conservatories, they felt like an entirely new futuristic landscape.
The first dome was full of succulents, cacti and bloomed with thousands of different coloured flowers. There’s a pretty cafe inside called Pollen, where the air conditioned chill makes you glad for a cup of tea.
As impressive as this conservatory was, the second one was breath taking. Prepare to get a little wet though as inside houses all the tropical fauna- starting off with a massive leafy wall of little waterfalls.
The main attraction inside here though- aside from gorgeous waterfalls- is the walk around platform. It’s like The Jetsons meets Jurassic Park; and maybe not one to do if you have a fear of heights!
The tropical dome was by far my favourite; it was so lush and tropical, it was just the best.
The platform that snakes around the mountain (I can’t describe it any other way) is well worth the ticket price alone. It’s just so beautifully done, getting up close to the plants but not losing sight of the city around you.
Hidden inside, on the way down (with escalators, because Singapore) was a floor dedicated to crystals. Crystals. I hoped they imparted their good juju vibes to me.
We must have been inside for at least an hour and by the time we came out, we were starving. My stomach was demanding it’s second lunch and early dinner so it was a leisurely walk to a hawker centre- Satay by the Bay- where I filled up on crispy dosai and noodles.
As the sun began to set, we set off for the giant trees again.
For another $8 you can go up to another viewing platform that also snakes around the trees…however, once I was up there my head was just ‘NOPE NOT THIS AGAIN’ and I quickly stomped my way across without stopping (and I’m not even that afraid of heights)
In the evening, the trees erupt into a neon light show. People were picking spots, lying on the grass or below the trees but we skipped this and went up for a better vantage point (you’ll see the stairs)
The sun went down, and the lights began powering up.
I felt like we were waiting for our close encounter with aliens.
15 minutes later, the music ended and the setting sun had been swapped for glittering city lights.
As this is super efficient Singapore, there was a taxi rank just outside and we were soon speeding along towards our next dinner date.
I was more than happy to have spent a big chunk of our day here- to be within the city but apart from it and to get a taste of the lush green tropics.
It was a short and sweet hello and goodbye to Singapore and a promise to return for longer the next time. Our flight departed for Lombok, Bali early the next morning taking us from the city to the beach.