If you missed last week's post, I started sharing about our visit to the famous Gardens by the Bay back in 2020! This was when covid was restricting travel so we took the opportunity to visit places we've never been right here in the homeland!
15 March 2020. Sunday.
If you're unfamiliar with Gardens, it's one of Singapore's biggest tourist attractions and is a huge nature park with three waterfront gardens and two conservatories, of which the Flower Dome is the largest glass greenhouse in the world.
Source: Gardens by the bay
I'd actually never been inside the conservatories before since you had to pay to go in. But since the government gave us vouchers during covid times to increase local tourism, we figured we'd check it out. So last week, we explored the Cloud Forest dome, and it was really lovely indeed!
The whole conservatory is air-conditioned, which is nice considering the heat outside. And they had so many different species of plants and flowers! If you're a fan of botany this is definitely the place for you.
After we fully explored the dome, we reached a darkened room called the Cloud Forest Gallery.
Here they talked about the human impact on the environment and different species, and how some of them went through mass extinction.
I guess this was where the social responsibility part came in to make us feel guilty even though most of these are caused by large corporations. But we can always do our part to save the environment like disposing our trash properly and using less plastics.
We continued down the path to a holographic theater which looked really cool! And it highlighted how Gardens by the Bay is eco-friendly by reusing its own water and how the water cycle actually cools the dome down so it doesn't use as much air conditioning as you would think.
There was actually quite a bit more to the Cloud Forest because we were then led to the Secret Garden!
It was definitely quite swampy in here with a waterfall in a cave, but all the better for these mosses to grow!
I'm no expert so some of these looked like regular plants to me, and I wasn't sure which were the exotic ones.
There was also a showcase of miniature orchids which were so tiny they needed magnifying glasses for us to be able to see them! That's so crazy I wonder how the person who discovered it even came across these species!
This garden was actually pretty huge and they had so many different plants here! They looked quite contained though so I hoped the plants had enough space to grow and not have to compete for resources.
From here we could still see the bridges overhead that were in the central part of the dome. But it felt like we were much lower than where we were.
There were fake stalagmites hanging from the ceiling but at times it did feel like we were walking through some jungle cave. It actually felt a little warmer here compared to the main part of the Cloud Forest.
There weren't that many information plaques here though, so there wasn't information on what kind of plants these were. But we did recognise some of the ferns since our schools used to have them too.
And of course just like any tourist attraction, our journey through the Cloud Forest ended in the gift shop.
There were quite a lot of orchid-themed souvenirs of course, since the orchid (specifically the Vanda Miss Joaquim) is Singapore's national flower. But of course we didn't buy anything since we don't need souvenirs from our own country. Even though there was this very cute cat hat for kids that was way too small for my head. xD
But that's it for the Cloud Forest! Sorry I couldn't tag these photos on to the last post since it was really long already.
By now there were less people around and I think we made the right choice going to Cloud Forest first since we figured everyone would be going to the Flower Dome since its the bigger of the two, and there was a special Sakura Matsuri event going on!
Gardens by the Bay has these seasonal floral events from time to time to attract more visitors and they had a Sakura Matsuri before but we couldn't go since it was pretty pricey at the time and there were so many people. So on the upside of covid, at least this would limit the amount of contact we would have with restrictions in place.
I think we had the duo tickets so we could go visit both the Cloud Forest and the Flower Dome, but first a snack!
There weren't that many dining options in Gardens itself since Marina Bay Sands (the mall for the rich people) wasn't too far away. But we still had the Flower Dome to visit so we couldn't leave the Gardens yet, so McDonalds it is! I was craving the McSpicy anyway.
There was social distancing in McD as well of course but at the time it was my first time outside since quarantine and I thought this was actually pretty inspiring.
Unfortunately I don't have a pic of the McSpicy since I've written about it before probably but it was just the same as always - delicious! You can't go wrong with a spicy chicken patty with lettuce and mayo and sesame buns! We've never tried the KitKat McFlurry before though so that was new. And it pretty much tastes just like you'd expect. It was a little too sweet for me compared to the regular Oreo one though.
Anyway with our bellies satisfied (for now), we made our way to the Flower Dome!
It was 6pm at the time already so there weren't as much people around. For a Sunday though it was definitely barren, but then again it was in the midst of covid.
I didn't know what to expect from the Sakura Matsuri other than cherry blossoms but there were Japanese structures scattered throughout the dome!
There were also the regular flora here like plenty of trees and other plants of course.
But this view overlooking the cherry blossoms below was definitely one of my favourites! I didn't know this at the time, but this was probably the closest we would come to Japan in 3 years! Hindsight is a powerful and interesting thing.
This felt like a throwback to our time in Fushimi-Inari, but without the crowds there!
There were a bunch of different animal sculptures we could see from that vantage point that looked really cool! I think you could only see them from here too since the horses would be behind all the trees.
Apparently it was part of the South African Garden, where they had different plants from that region! The wooden statues definitely gave me some Lion King vibes.
I guess this dome covered plants from different regions rather than by species like the Cloud Forest because there was also a South American Garden.
There were multiple levels in this dome just like the Cloiud Forest and I guess Sakura Matsuri was mostly on the first level.
But there were still quite a few people there so we took the time to fully explore the upper levels first.
There were these pretty daisies that reminded me of smaller white flowers we took photos with while in Paris!
This was still in the South African Garden, and there were these kinda creepy statues of a family traveling.
I think this was the plaque for the statue, which I guess explains what the artist was going for, but they still kinda creepy to me.
The sun was slowly setting and this dome gave us a much clearer view of Marina Bay Sands and even a couple of the supertrees!
There were some very exotic plants here too, from all the way across the world!
These looked like blackberries that you'd pick and eat but I'm pretty sure we're not allowed to do that. It did look tempting though. xD
These multinational gardens were actually quite substantial, consisting of so many different species of flowers and plants! The Flower Dome was really living up to its name.
This flower arch leading into the Mediterranean Garden was really pretty!
And end the end were these huuuge palm trees! They looked like the kind you would find at the beach but much bigger!
They even had mountain goat statues posing with the trees just to demonstrate how tall they were! They definitely did look like the more exotic version of our local palm trees.
But I think that's going to be it for today! Sorry for the cliffhanger but there is so much more to the Flower Dome and I want to leave the Sakura Matsuri to its own post.
Hope you enjoyed this one and stay tuned for more pretty flowers next week!
Thanks so much for reading!
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