My first visit to Singapore was back in 2004, when me and a bunch of college students, set out to explore the parliamentary systems of Singapore and Malaysia. (That was not a joke. Ask me about it over a beer, and I will tell you a funny tale)
One thing I remember doing then, was to come and see the famed merlion, and stare out into the Singapore river, and the open sea ahead. It seemed to fit the image of Singapore, as a small Asian lion with an important maritime position.
8 years later, I came back again in 2012, and when I tried to do the same, there was no vast open sea in front of me. Instead, stood the Marina bay sands, which was built on reclaimed land. And somewhere close by, was the gardens by the bay.
Since then, I have been hearing so much about it, that I had to check it out sometime. And no, I was not interested in the super-trees, which every other person seemed to have already clicked and blogged about. I was more interested in the 2 large domes in the middle of the garden, both of which had me curious for days. The flower dome, and the Cloud forest.
Opens: 9:00 to 21:00, everyday
Standard Ticket cost: SGD28 for both the domes. SGD20 if you are a local resident.
I am not a huge fan of botanical areas, which explains why I never took any pictures here, but the flower dome was interesting from a scientific point of view. I mean, they had plants in the dome from all geographies, like Mexico, Africa, South America, Asia and Australia. How could all these plants survive, given that their natural habitats are totally different?
The answer is that, their natural habitats have been replicated in this small dome. The temperature is between 23 to 25 degrees, and the environment replicates a mild, dry climate. And all the plants are from regions which have the same climate model.
The succulent garden (one of the sections) has plants chosen from the the warm temperature zones in USA, Africa and Mexico. Same thing about the plants chosen for the Australian, South African, South American, Mediterranean and Californian gardens. This ensures that all the plants had an inclusive climate, which they could all survive in.
The cloud forest dome features a 42 metre cloud mountain, and 5 levels to get on top of it. Each level showcases a different geographical terrain, imitating the cool, moist and tropical conditions. And along the way, you can find other sections like cloud-walks, caverns, crystal mountains, treetop walks, and finally, the lost world. A note of warning here is that the air tends to get a little thinner as you reach the top, and coupled with the cool and moist conditions, can create a nauseating sensation. I had to go down after a watching lost world for a while, as I was feeling increasingly nauseous.
Need more things to do in Singapore? Click here to check out Singapore’s Chinese gardens!