On a recent trip to Singapore, I grabbed my camera and headed for a quick tour of Gardens by the Bay. This came as part of a longer experience in this modern, sleek and very clean city.
The Gardens are one of the iconic images of Singapore alongside the Merlion statues and the Marina Bay Sands Hotel.
What Is Gardens by the Bay?
Opened in June 2012, Gardens by the Bay presents visitors with a vibrant display of lights, lasers, LED’s and of course, a large garden landscape. Within the complex, visitors will find the Cloud Forest, an impressive waterfall and mountain veiled in lush vegetation. It features the Flower Dome filled with thousands of splendid flowers and plants from Mediterranean and semi-arid subtropical regions.
SuperTree Forest and Garden Rhapsody
Perhaps the most iconic features of the gardens would be the Supertrees, man-made forest tree structures which tower over the Gardens’ landscape. These Supertrees range in height between 82 feet to 160 feet. In addition to being large planters, they are also solar collectors to help power the gardens.
One of the features of the Supertrees forest is the treetop walk, a skyway which is suspended more than 70 feet above the gardens below. The view allows for awe-inspiring views of the gardens, the nearby Marina Bay Sands Hotel, and the Singapore skyline. Each evening, at 7:45pm and 8:45pm, the Supertrees forest comes alive with a spectacular light and choreographed sound presentation which draws in thousands to the location.
The show is known as the Garden Rhapsody with music changing frequently. Visitors on the suspended walkway during the Rhapsody are rewarded with a spectacular vantage point to see the show illuminating the entire forest.
People quickly stake out areas from which to observe the Rhapsody. While most people will eventually sit down prior to the start of the music, it is best to find a spot early as walking around becomes nearly an impossible feat once the show begins.
Dining Within the Gardens
Make a plan for food before the show starts. If you arrive early enough, you may want to dine somewhere within the Gardens, but there’s also a few food trucks located in the SuperTrees forest. However, those lines at the food trucks will be long.
Here is the current listing of dining options within the Gardens:
- Cafe Crema
- Children’s Garden Cafe
- Majestic Bay Seafood Restaurant
- Satay by the Bay
There is even a restaurant, Supertree by Indochine, located at the top of the tallest Supertree. However, that restaurant closed on January 2, 2019 for renovations.
Once it reopens, keep in mind that for dinner, there’s required spend of at least $80 per person, including food and drinks. Guests visiting the rooftop bar must also pay a $20 entrance fee, which is a credit against any drink purchases.
Children’s Play Area
Children’s Garden (Image: Gardens by the Bay)Gardens by the Bay also features a Children’s Garden, suitable for those visitors who are 12 and under. It features water play in separate areas for toddlers and the 6-12 year olds. Rainforest Tree Houses are also provided as another area for children. This garden is usually closed on Mondays and most public holidays.
Our Quick Combination Tour
Our tour consisted of a brief overview of the Gardens by the Bay, the Garden Rhapsody, and a quick trip up and across the Marina Bay Sands hotel observation deck.
At 56 floors above Singapore, the views are spectacular. The south side faces Gardens by the Bay while the north side exposed visitors to the colorful nighttime Singapore skyline.
After the observation deck viewing, we moved along to a boat waiting to take us along a cruise of what once was the Singapore River (now a fresh water reservoir.)
We got to see the Singapore skyline from above and also from sea level. We even passed the Merlion fountain along the water’s edge. The Merlion depicts a mythical creature with a lion’s head and the body of a fish (or mermaid). It is derived from the early name of Singapore as the lion city. It also signifies the importance of fishing and the once great Singapore River.
How I Got To Singapore On Points
Every major airline alliance serves Singapore’s Changi Airport. A great way to leverage the costs of tickets to Singapore would be to use accrued credit card points. I used my Chase Ultimate Rewards points via the travel portal to book my flights. The best part of using the portal is that I still earned qualifying miles for my airline frequent flyer program: a win-win.
Our friends at Juicy Miles can also help you get there on points and miles.
No trip to Singapore would be complete without taking in the sights and sounds at Gardens by the Bay. Perhaps you can also fit in a trip to the observation deck of the Marina Bay Sands for an unbelievable vantage point of viewing this magnificent gem, a bucket list worthy destination of Southeast Asia.
Is Gardens by The Bay a must-see for you while visiting the Lion City?