Gardens By the Bay: The Green Green Grass of Home (erm, maybe, maybe not!)

So, as we have promised ourselves, we must must must make it to the Gardens By the Bay on its opening day, which is right after work. Shagged by the audit internship, but fresh for the weekend. Dinner was quick. As I asked the girlfriend what she wanted to eat, she just said, ‘Just eat at Maxwell luh, so that we can ‘hurry up get to the Gardens’ ‘ Word for word quote, purrfect.

And yes, we drove down to the Gardens and along the way, we sight throngs of cars being literally piled by the road-side as the entire road was chocked full of cars delivering people with the same ideals (to visit the Gardens on the first day) So yep, we had to park far far away. But hey, no pain no gain. Is this worth the time and effort? The answer is….. It DEPENDS. Let’s sink right into the pictures first!

Bay South Entrance!!! WE ARE HERE!!!

Hey this must surely be the symbol of the Gardens.

Speaking of it being a symbol, there must definitely be times when you’ve noticed it whilst driving down the ECP. Funnily though, I think it resembles the Dolby Digital THX Amazing Life clip which all of us (surely) must have seen before during a movie. This is the clip  in case I’ve not been coherent enough.

OK let me give you my 2 cents worth. This structure is definitely awe-inspiring. I felt that it represented life branching out from a single source. And a complex, intricate but robust network that is formed reflects the need to network, not just for benefits sake, but forming bonds with not only among our own species, but also with the environment. A perfect piece of art I’d say, really enjoyed looking at it. On the flipside though, it is but a man-made structure; it might be a tad too synthetic for those who might prefer something natural. (Well, it is rather impossible unless we live on the movie set of Avatar. But I will touch on Avatar the movie laterrr on!)

Gift/Souvenir shop

XL makes her first appearance of the night with some  procession ( I dunno whut ) seems to be going on! Is it Mardi Gras?

For the Hungry ( We are not sure if it’s nice, cos we ate at Maxwell, remember?)

Aaah! Marvelous Backdrop!

Somewhere near the ticketing booth, picture opportunity for the girlfriend.

Cloud Forest, one of the paid Conservatories

Speaking of which, there are two Conservatories which are air-conditioned and contain certain species of plants that are supposedly rarer. The going rates are $20 for two conservatory for an adult Singapore RESIDENT (yes, you need not be a citizen, being a resident would suffice) and $12 per conservatory. For Non-resident adults, a standard rate of $28 for two conservatories apply. For more details, please head on to :  http://www.gardensbythebay.com.sg/en/plan-your-visit/visitor-information.html  

Personal we find the rates rather steep, even for the fact that the Cloud Forest contains the tallest waterfall in sg. Besides, we noticed that even children were charged admission fees. This is not an encouraging fact if the place is intended for educational purposes. We propose that citizens be charged a token rate since the attraction was built with support from the money from the public. This would not exclude certain groups of Singaporeans who cannot afford the exorbitant rates. A wonderful garden like this should be accessible to all.

Flower Dome, another paid Conservatory.

Sneak peek at waterfall inside the Cloud Forest

Somehow it gives me the same feel as when I watched Avatar. Here’s some scenes which resemble the feel below

Spot the difference

More Avatar-esque pictures!

I call this picture, The Synergy. Light produced by man, and light produced by nature. Intertwining of man and nature. Absolutely Zen.

And Yes! Something that everyone must try is the SkyWay, which is actually narrow stretches of roads up above the Avatar-like ‘Super trees’

Look closely at the bridge

Tadah! there are ppl above. This really really really reminds me of Avatar and their Home Tree!

The SkyWay bridge costs $5 per pax and it is rather worth the money going up and feeling like a real Na’vi. However the ticketing booth were already closed when we went there so we did not have any opportunity to go up 😦 But we will be back really really soon!

After which, we milled around the park, and found the gateway to Marina Bay Sands!

HUAT AHHHH!!! (more likely to lose $$$ though, we have already warned you!)

More scenic sights ahead!

Blue Art Science Museum, where we went to see the Harry Potter and Andy Warhol exhibitions!

Dragonfly Pond

Jason Mraz’s concert venue!

After a long trek, civilization spotted!!!!

If you are not the walking type, there is also buggy rides for hire at $5/pax!

Shy Flyer goes into hiding!

To be truthfully brutally honest, after walking round the park and immersing in the atmosphere, there isn’t really much to shout about besides being awed by the psuedo-Avatar atmosphere. While it is really a dream come true for me (an avid Avatar fanboy), folks who prefer nature and the wild outdoors will be uber-ly, epic-ly disappointed by this. Species of plants were not carefully explained, and if one does not look too closely, one might presume that most of the plants belong only to a few species. Educational value, there is none. However, this is only the start of the Gardens and there might be more additions. Proof as shown below

Although expensive, we strongly believe that the Conservatories are where the good stuff are kept, so we will definitely be snooping around there the time time we come. Although the public area is more synthetic compared to the naturalistic feel of the Botanic Gardens, the govt might be heading in the direction of grandeur rather than natural when drawing up the blueprint for this Gardens. This might be done to fit into the ‘Atas’ feel of the neighbouring CBD as well as the Marina Bay Sands IR. Nothing to do this weekend, head on down to Gardens by the Bay. The public area is free, and definitely worth the visit, especially the spectacular night scene. BEAU—TIFUL!

The Good:

  • Great news for Avatar fans! Come at night and watch the place turn into Pandora.
  • Breezy and nice to chill out and admire the picturesque view of the city at no charge at all

The Bad:

  • Conservatories are expensively priced, and  might not be as value-for-$$$ as say, places like the Zoo.
  • Rather inaccessible compared to the Botanic Gardens. Only Bus that ply this route is Bus 400 ><

so long!

elson

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