Today’s big ticket item: Gardens by the Bay. A wondrous park installation on reclaimed land by the ocean. Backyard for the iconic Marina Bay Sands Hotel, which looks like a luxury cruise liner parking on top of 3 high rise buildings.
Once we had figured out how to cross from the bus station to the path to the Gardens (duh’ underground of course) we got the first great views.
There is plenty of the garden to explore that is free, but with the mid day heat approaching, we went straight for the 2 giant greenhouses. Interestingly, only local residents can select which of the 2 to visit, tourists only have the combo card option, which in the end was ok.
Upon entering the cloud forrest, we enjoyed the cool, misty air and where baffled by the huge waterfall that greets you right away.
Inside the first greenhouse is this 8 story tall hollow mountain, which is planted all over, one long walkway brings you ‘flying’ over the tree tops back down (you take the elevator up) and in the basement they show a rather depressing short film about how in the next 85 years the average temperature will rise by 5˚C and what consequences this will have.
Then out through the gift shop and on to the next greenhouse, which is smaller and dedicated to flowers, though at times it felt is was more occupied by cacti.
It was time for lunch and we headed to Satay by the Bay, an outdoor food court close by. A tad on the tourist pricy side and some reviews claim that the tastes are less authentic, but I was very happy with a 5$ bowl of Laksa and Julius had 10 pieces of chicken satay skewers for 7$. I also scored some mixed curried veggies at an Indian stall for a mere 1.5$ and then I splurged and got 2 extra shrimp skewers for 2$ each. Overall a very nice meal and still fairly cheap, much better that the food options inside the greenhouse, where a bowl of pasta was 26$ or the steak that Julius was looking at for 42$.
Happily filled with food, we walked off the calories by returning to the train station (25 min walk in the heat) and again made good use of our transit passes and took train and bus to get back home. Julius feels pretty much at home with public transport and very soon he can handle that all by himself I bet.
After some rest at the hotel, plotting further adventures, we went out again, this time going to the Singapore Flyer, something we had on our list for a while, and today was the first day it looked less hazy and I was aiming at sunset time for our giant ferris wheel ride.
Once there I was a bit surprised that it was fairly empty, we raced through the waiting corridor and might have missed some interesting show and tell, but we boarded our cabin with a German couple and 3 Asian school girls and off we went.
Very slow, smooth ride, the first half offers view over the see, but once you reach the top and get down, you get a fantastic view of the skyline!
We had to fight a barrage of oncoming jogger traffic, but we reached the Supertree Grove right on time (7:45) for the special light show. Which is free. There is a 5$ option to get up to the 22m elevated SkyWalk, but there was a very long queue, and looking back, I think the show is better viewed from down below.
Fascinating illumination set to music heavy on John Williams and Disney tunes. After 15 minutes it was all over and everyone headed back to the MRT and clogged up the only elevator.
Full fun day, but our feet were tired and we headed home.