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July 4, 2013

Gardens By The Bay in Singapore

       For a cosmopolitan city-state like Singapore, a garden in bloom or a misty rain forest can be like an oasis in a desert. Luckily, Singapore has both. One afternoon, our hosts from NIHA NUS Business School brought us to Singapore's greatest landmark: the Gardens by the Bay. Located at Marina Drive, this breathtaking facility can be considered as Singapore's greatest contribution to ecological preservation. The Gardens by the Bay has two domes: the Flower Dome and the Cloud Forest Dome. Even before entering the domes, one cannot fail to see the SuperTrees outside. These 50-meter tall structures provide nightly entertainment for visitors.


     After dividing ourselves into two groups, we wore our headsets and went first to the Flower Dome. As the name itself described it, the Flower dome contains plenty of various plants from various parts of the world, particularly in Southeast Asia, Africa and South America, even as far as Australia. As described by our tour guide, the Flower Dome simulates the cool-dry climate of the Mediterranean. The flower dome is actually the world's largest column-less greenhouse. The air is cooled by chilled water pipes in ground slabs, while the warm air is vented out. 

Air is cooled down through those chilled water pipes. There is no air conditioning units in this facility. 

  After going through the Flower Dome, we stepped inside the Cloud Forest Dome. Upon entering the Dome, an imposing 35-meter mountain greets the visitor. A waterfall highlights the mountain's facade. One is then toured around the place covered in mist to simulate an early morning walk through the mountains. We then climbed up the mountain and encountered various types of trees and wild flowers (orchids). We even went "inside" the mountain to learn more about how individuals can help preserve nature and prevent the dangerous effects of climate change. 

A carnivorous pitcher plant

Mini-lake on top of the mountain

View from the top of the artificial waterfalls

    Tourists who would like to visit the Gardens by the Bay would need to purchase their tickets either on site or online. The ticketing hub opens from 9am to 8pm. A regular ticket would cost an adult around 28 Singapore $. A walk through the Gardens can be therapeutic and relaxing. It can also be romantic. I would imagine many guys thinking of proposing to their girlfriends while inside one of those domes. The ambiance is just conducive for romance and relaxation. When you are visiting Singapore, it is a must that you drop by the Gardens by the Bay. 

View from the Cloud Forest dome

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