There is something weirdly ungrammatical about the name of this botanical garden and greenhouse complex near Marina Bay Sands. That’s probably just me, though. Gardens by the Bay comprises a large outdoor area, separated into three zones, with two air conditioned greenhouses and the Supertrees providing the architectural beauty.
I visited the outside area a few years back when it was still quite new, and I don’t really remember it other than it was very hot, had a kids’ water play area, and at one end was a very expensive and not very good food court. Will have to return and give it a fair go; it’s free to enter this bit.
However, I recently went to the greenhouses for the first time. The first is the Flower Dome. This is meant to replicate a semi-arid area, and the temperature is cool at 25′.
We were lucky enough to be there during Tulipmania, a festival of bulb based flowers feat. many tulips, an area modelled on Dutch shops, and a few odd models of heads and people (which blinked slowly and disconcertingly).
The second greenhouse is the Cloud Forest. This one contains a tall fake mountain in order to show off montane flora. It’s slightly cooler, too.
You can take lifts to the top of the ‘mountain’ and then descend via gently sloping paths, and escalators. It has a large waterfall, which you can get beside and next to. Please note the top level of the walk isn’t great for people who don’t like heights. I coped, just about!
Highlights for me in here were the pitcher plants and the Lego pitcher plants!
The weather wasn’t good enough to do the Skyway, which is a walkway 22m high, and more than 100m long, between the Supertrees. These are vertical tropical gardens with thousands of plants each, and I was a little disappointed not to be able to be terrified beside them!
It’s not a cheap day out with admission at S$28 for adults (20 for locals) and 15 for kids (12 locals), plus extra for the skyway, but it is very pleasant. Central Singapore isn’t very green, so it’s good to be able to get away from the grey and glass. And if you don’t mind cooking a little, the outside area is free!
Address: 18 Marina Gardens Drive, Singapore 018953