Gardens and Lights along the Water

Trip Start Jan 28, 2013
Trip End Mar 09, 2013

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Flag of Singapore  ,
Friday, March 1, 2013

Started today on Orchard Road, the prime shopping center in Singapore.  However no shopping for me as I was just there to figure out where to check in for my bus to Melaka.  I found it, though carrying my suitcase up a flight of stairs won't be fun.

 Next I traveled to a wonderful new Singapore attraction - Gardens by the Bay. Located on reclaimed land off the Bay - a fresh water reservoir - you cross the Dragonfly Bridge and enter a series of Heritage Gardens which showcase the types and uses of gardens by Singapore's cultural groups.  Super trees are huge metal structures which have plants and vines covering the lower half and present a light show each evening.   This public park is huge.

Two conservatories in the gardens are paid admission:  the Flower Dome and the Cloud Forest.  The building that they are housed in is amazing...  it won the World Building of the Year at the World Architecture Festival in 2012.  I've attached a picture from The Telegraph.  It is eye-catching as you walk or drive by and, since you can see through it, the Singapore skyline is evident from inside and at night you can see the plants in the Flower Dome from outside.  The Flower Dome contains beautiful gardens depicting various ecosystems including Various forms of Mediterrean, northern California coast, Australia, South America.  Art work is scattered throughout and it is air-conditioned!  The highlight of the cloud forest is a huge waterfall and a man-made mountain with orchids, ferns, other flowering plants.  There is also a cloud walk where you can walk on a metal path around the top part of the mountain.  I skipped that part but people seemed to enjoy it.

 My next destination was Chinatown, usually my favorite place in any city.  My first stop was the Chinatown Heritage Center, a museum depicting life in Chinatown and housed in three restored shophouses.  History is told through personal stories of people and places.  One whole floor has been reconstructed as tenement housing, small cubicles where whole families might live, all lodgers on the floor sharing one kitchen and bathroom.  Pretty depressing.  The top level contains artifacts and actual Chinatown residents sharing what life was like in the 1950's.

The rest of the main streets of Chinatown were quite disappointing, lined with stalls selling all kinds of tourist wares.  The restaurants along Pagoda Street were very expensive, so I climbed some steps, crossed over a busy street, and found the "people's court" full of food vendors at a much more reasonable price.

Headed back to the hotel to pack but about 6:30 I decided that I shouldn't leave Singapore without a boat ride on the river.  Hurried to the metro to get downtown Clark's Quay before dark and forgot my camera.  So I had a marvelous ride up and down the Singapore River at twilight with all the lights sparkling... and no pictures, just good memories.  It was a great way to end my time in Singapore.
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peg Kowalski on

Singapore sounds like a place to spend a lot of time. If diversity is the name of the game, I'm sure this fits the bill.

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