With the inauguration of the beautiful Gardens by the Bay, the dreams of Singapore’s founding fathers to build a city in a garden came to fruition. This fabulous 250-acre park complex was built on a reclaimed area right beside the Singapore Strait. The park’s abundant flora, plants, and trees plus two massive greenhouses featuring the finest modern architecture attract upwards of five million visitors a year.
The development that is today’s horticultural masterpiece broke ground at the end of 2007 and opened to the general public four years later. The complex is divided up into three gardens—Bay East, Bay Central, and Bay South. Designated zones are the Supertree Grove; the Dragonfly and Kingfisher Lakes; the World of Plants; and the Heritage Gardens.
The flagships of the attractions at the Gardens by the Bay are the OCBC Skyway, the Flower Dome; and Cloud Forest. The 128-metre-long walkway is 22 metres high which gives panoramic views of the gardens and Singapore’s fantastic skyline. An evening walk comes highly recommended.
The Flower Dome is the planet’s biggest greenhouse and contains flora from locations such as Eastern Africa and the Mediterranean. A 30-ton African baobab tree is the dome’s largest resident. The Cloud Forest is the gardens’ other greenhouse. It is a huge structure featuring a 35-metre-high mountain and waterfall as its centrepiece. Taking the lift to the summit and the sight of Venus fly-catchers are key draws here.
The Far East Organization Children’s Garden boasts a nice assortment of playground amenities and a water feature set amidst lush trees and bushes. A collection of 40 inimitable sculptures garnered from all corners of the world is dotted around the gardens.
The Sun Pavilion is themed on deserts which are home to 100 cacti and other arid-climate species. The OCBC Skyway traverses Supertree Grove. This zone’s steel lattice trees are at least 25 metres high and some stand 50 metres above ground. They are festooned with plants such as tropical orchids and bromeliads.
Onsite sales outlets stock books of flower prints, logoed T-shirts, and a good choice of souvenirs. McDonald's, Satay by the Bay, the Indochine, and the Pollen Mediterranean restaurants give the chance of dining on gourmet gems from around the world.
Gardens by the Bay is a couple of kilometres from Clarke Quay and downtown Singapore. Tanjong Pagar and Bayfront are the two nearest MRT stations to the gardens. Opening times vary for the different attractions at Gardens by the Bay. The OCBC Skyway and the two greenhouses open from 09:00 to 21:00. Zones such as the Sun Pavilion are open from 05:00 to 02:00 the next morning, while the exterior gardens are open 24/7.