Sunday, September 6, 2015

Gardens By The Bay - Singapore

Singapore is a very interesting country.  There is one city in the entire country and it is called Singapore.  (Go figure!)  In 2015 they celebrate 50 years of being an independent nation having been under British control since the 1800's with a brief stint under Japan during World War II.  

There is a mix of people there with large majorities coming from Malaysia, China, and India.  Business and schools are conducted in English.  Anyone who grows up and goes to school there can speak English, Asian accented English, but English.  It takes a little getting use to if you haven't heard it before.  

It makes for an interesting place that does its best to meld all the different people together into one country.  Most of the signs, especially the important ones are in four languages: English, Chinese, Tamil, and Malay.

English Chinese Tamil and Malay Sign Singapore

There is also a mix of religions from the different sets of people, but I will talk about those in a different post.  This post is going to be about the Gardens by the Bay.  

Singapore is a beautiful country that is 1 degree north of the equator.  Do you know what that means?  It means that it is hot and humid there year round.  Hot and humid every single day of the year.  Every single day.  Hot. Humid.  Ugh.

Do you know what that means?  That tropical plants can grow there and are expected to grow there and do grow there.   Gardens by the Bay is a stunning example of tropical flora and fauna.  It is a large area that houses several different gardens (duh), the Supertree Groves, the Flower Dome, the Cloud Forest, water features, and several restaurants.  

After getting off the MRT (Singaporean subway), we had a bit of a trek to get to the Cloud Forest and Flower Dome.  It is a beautiful walk but really it was so hot and humid that it was hard to enjoy.  (I am sorry, but I will probably whine about the weather quite a bit.  We are use to hot, but throw in humid and that just about does us in!)

Before crossing the bridge to get to the actual Garden by the Bay area we encountered the Dragonfly Lake with its fountain and dragonfly sculptures.

Supertree Grove Gardens by the Bay Singapore

Dragonfly Gardens by the Bay Singapore

Crossing over the bridge we got a good look at the Singapore Flyer (which we didn't go on), a few Supertrees and the Flower Dome.

Singapore Flyer Supertrees Flower Dome Singapore

The flowers in the Gardens by the Bay are stunning.  I love the way the petals of this white plumeria twist.  I am sure there is some math that can be found in it, especially with that spiraling. 

White Plumeria Singapore

It was in the Gardens by the Bay that I saw my first coconut tree! 

Coconut tree at Gardens by the Bay Singapore

One thing you need to know is that the layout of the gardens is completely man made.  This particular part of Singapore was build by bringing in sand from Indonesia.  They believe that they will have to build more land this way because of the growth of Singapore.  Shoot, if it wasn't so hot we wouldn't mind living there ourselves!  I kept thinking, "Man, I would love to come back here when it is cooler,"  Then I would realize that it doesn't get cooler.  EVER.  That thought would depress me.  Those poor people! 

I would just have enjoy it while we were there.  So back to the gardens.  There are sections dedicated to the heritage of the people of Singapore.  We were able to walk through the Chinese garden.

Chinese Buddha Gardens by the Bay Singapore

We walked through the Indian garden as well.  We didn't see the Malay or Colonial gardens though.

Elephant in Gardens by the Bay Singapore

Once through the different gardens we made it to the Supertree Grove.  They are amazing and even light up at night!

Here is the night one first.

Supertree Grove at Night Singapore

Now, back to the day photos.

Supertrees in Gardens by the Bay Singapore

There is a walkway that you can pay about $5 to go up to see the views.

Supertrees with Walkway and Singapore Flyer in Gardens by the Bay Singapore

But we opted for paying to go up an elevator to go to a restaurant for something to drink and see the views from there.  Either way, the views are AMAZING.  Let me share!

This is the Marian Bay Sands hotel.  At around $300 a night we can't afford to stay there, but it is free to look at!  Plus it is cool to look at!

Panoramic of Marina Bay from Supertrees in Gardens by the Bay Singapore

Especially at night!

Marina Bay Sands Hotel at Night Singapore

Gaze a little to the right and you can see the Flower Dome and Cloud Forest, which I will tell you all about next.

Panoramic of Singapore Flyer and Flower and Cloud Dome from Supertrees in Gardens by the Bay Singapore

Since we are not Singapore citizens we had to buy tickets to go to both the Flower Dome and the Cloud Forest.  Singaporeans get the choice of just going to one or other or both.

We chose to check out the Flower Dome first.  Both have full A/C.  It was heavenly!!  Frankie told me to take all the time I wanted in there.  He actually encouraged my picture taking!  

The Flower Dome is called that for a reason.  It is full of beautiful colorful magnificent flowers!  I have never seen such beauty all in one place!  Since there were so many flowers, I will share just a few of my favorites.   Unfortunately, I don't know the name of any of them so if you do, please let me know.

Pink Purple Flower in Flower Dome at Gardens by the Bay Singapore

Orange Flower on thick stalks in Flower Dome at Gardens by the Bay Singapore

Yellow Red Flower in Flower Dome at Gardens by the Bay Singapore

Pink and Purple Flowers in Flower Dome at Gardens by the Bay Singapore

Pink Flowers that look like Butterflies in Flower Dome at Gardens by the Bay Singapore

Doesn't that last one look like butterflies?  That is what drew me to it.

Mixed in with the flowers there were interesting statues too.  Let me share a few of those.

This first one was by far my favorite. It is called La Famille De Voyageurs by Bruno Catalano.  I first saw a statue by Bruno Catalano on Pintrest and fell in love and have wanted to see one ever since.  So when I saw this, before even seeing who it was by, I just knew it was one of Catalano's pieces.  Happy dance!
La Famille De Voyageurs by Bruno Catalano Close in Flower Dome at Gardens by the Bay Singapore

I love the colors of the next two.  Seriously, Frankie and I need to make a trip to India.  I am intrigued by so much of the culture!

Elephant in Flower Dome at Gardens by the Bay Singapore

Colorful India Umbrellas in Flower Dome at Gardens by the Bay Singapore

One of my other favorite sculptures were these two jack rabbits fighting.  We saw two jack rabbits fighting the other day on the golf course and it was the funniest thing I have ever seen.  I mean seriously, they barely made any noise beyond this strange squeaky noise.  I know they have claws and teeth and all that, but them fighting was cuter than anything!  

Wooden Jackrabbits in Flower Dome at Gardens by the Bay Singapore

Jack rabbits are near and dear to my heart.  The Texas small mammal is an armadillo and ok, yeah, sure, I get that, but maybe we can have a dual small mammal of Texas.  The armadillo AND the jack rabbit?  I think I will email the governor on this one.

Moving on. 

In the Flower Dome there was also a cactus garden.  Now, I have seen my share of Texas cactus, but there were cacti here from all over and they very interesting!

Cacti in Flower Dome at Gardens by the Bay Singapore

Pink Flowers on Cactus in Flower Dome at Gardens by the Bay Singapore

I found this one from South America called a golden rat tail the most interesting, but it creeped me out for some reason too.

Golden Rat Tail Cactus in Flower Dome at Gardens by the Bay Singapore

This was my favorite cactus picture. Nestled in the tiny cacti was a tiny jade tortoise.  Now, how could I NOT take a picture of that? 

Adorable!

Jade Tortise and Tiny Cacti in Flower Dome at Gardens by the Bay Singapore

That ends our trip through the Flower Dome.  Frankie didn't want to leave, but with a promise of the coolness of the Cloud Forest next I was able to get him out the door.

The Cloud Forest's main attraction is the 115 foot waterfall that is the tallest indoor waterfall in the world. 

The Falls in Cloud Dome at Gardens by the Bay Singapore

The view from under the falls.

Underneath the Falls in Cloud Dome at Gardens by the Bay Singapore

There are more flowers and plants in the Cloud Forest with a walkway to see them all from many different view points.

Walkway and Jungle Column in Cloud Dome at Gardens by the Bay Singapore

It was so pretty in there but after having just come from the Flower Dome it was starting to all blend together.  There were a few things that stood out though.

Take for instance these huge flowers made completely of Lego's!

Large Flowers made of Legos in Cloud Dome at Gardens by the Bay Singapore

Closeup of Large Flowers made of Legos in Cloud Dome at Gardens by the Bay Singapore

There was a pond where one wasn't expected. Then again, I don't walk around anywhere expecting a pond.  So they are nice when they pop up.  Especially pretty ones like this one.

Pond in Cloud Dome at Gardens by the Bay Singapore

One final picture to sum up the whole experience of the Gardens by the Bay is this shot taken from inside the Cloud Forest of the Supertree Grove.

Supertree Grove from Cloud Dome at Gardens by the Bay Singapore

How cool is that?

In my next post I will share our walk around the Marina Bay and the interesting things we saw there.  I hope you will return to read all about it.

Until then!


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