Lights, nature and super trees at Gardens by the Bay
Following my evening walk around Marina Bay was another evening walk on the following night to a nearby attraction: Gardens by the Bay.
Gardens by the Bay is famous for its Supertrees but there are also many other attractions to enjoy in the garden. I thought the garden is just "one" but the guide map made me realize it is not. Below the name "Gardens by the Bay" is a sub-title "Bay South." So there are Bay North and the other sides of the compass? I figured the sub-title refers to one of the garden's three water fronts: Bay South Garden, Bay East Garden and Bay Central Garden. Then I was in the south area.
I was greeted by the Supertrees towering over me when I got off the cab. While I was trying to figure out how to capture all the trees, a solo traveler asked me to take his photo with the trees on the background. After I did, he thanked me and left in a hurry. What's your hurry super man? Sometimes it is saddening to think that people just drop by to take photos without really enjoying the sight. And I can fully relate because it happened to me a few times.
I thought the Supertrees are about three-storey building in height. I later found out that these stand from 25 to 50 meters high. I can't figure out why the topmost part is designed as it is. I wished it was designed with a more realistic tree shape. However, I was amused to know more about the structures.
The Supertrees are home to enclaves of unique and exotic ferns, vines, orchids and also a vast collection of bromeliads such as Tillandsia, amongst other plants. They are fitted with environmental technologies that mimic the ecological function of trees: photovoltaic cells that harness solar energy which can be used for some of the functions of the Supertrees (such as lighting), similar to how trees photosynthesize, and collection of rainwater for use in irrigation and fountain displays, similar to how trees absorb rainwater for growth. The Supertrees also serve air intake and exhaust functions as part of the conservatories' cooling systems.
I did not know the directional relationship of tourist attractions in Singapore. It was my boss who mentioned that Gardens by the Bay is behind Marina Bay. He meant the Marina Bay casino. I thought it is indeed the back side of the casino because from a distance, there are no commercial buildings in between my location and the casino.
After the Supertrees is this spiral dragon tail tunnel which seem to be the entrance to more exciting sights inside. It was pass nine o'clock at night but there were other visitors who were taking photos in front. I don't know how long but I started to get bored for waiting just to get a clear view without photobombers.
When I entered the tunnel, I noticed parts of the decoration just lying on the sides. The set up was not yet completed but it was not obvious from the front. It actually looked grand.
After the tunnel is a hallway with different stalls that were already closed. At eleven o'clock from where I was standing was this poster of the garden. I suppose it was taken from the other side of the bay because in front of it is the bay itself. The poster may have been photoshopped but the reflection on the water has very good effects.
To the right of where I was standing is the Cloud Forest, to the left is the Flower Dome which were both closed already. Out of curiousity, I turned right and found locker set in the corner. This is great if visitors have something to ease themselves from and enjoy the tour around the garden. There are small and large lockers which make things more convenient. One can store a whole luggage, go wandering and run to the airport afterwards with the luggage from the locker.
The lockers are of self-service function so there is no need for anyone to assist visitors.
I turned around and took the escalator to go down. I found myself in the middle of the Flower Dome and Cloud Forest. In front of me is the bay. I turned left to this side pathway of the Flower Dome to I don't know where. Everything looks closed so I turned around.
I followed the pathway around the side of Cloud Forest with the bay to my left. The view from the other side of the bay is the Singapore Flyer. It is the giant ferris wheel towering over the bay. When we first visited Singapore in 2010, our host was saying that the only thing exciting in riding the giant wheel is the view from the top. She was saying that the ride is not exciting because rotation is very slow. Well, that's the purpose to enjoy the view. It looks cool and peaceful with the lovely reflections on the water. I bet the top view is more inviting at night.
Along the pathway are colorful flowers and this frangipani dominated for my attention. I had several attempts to take good shots in the dark with different boquets.
After few more walks, I turned around and went back upstairs. I took a different path to the left which led me to a small garden of I don't know how many plant species there were. I stared for a while and held my breath when I came across this Victoria Lily pond. I thought the swan was alive!
Moving on, I came upon a cacti garden with lots and lots of cacti species. It has the biggest cactus that I have even seen. I thought they can be up to 15 meters high and I wonder if these grow naturally as tall as they are or if chemical has something to do with the growth.
Based on the label at its foot, this particular specie has botanical name of Pachycereus pecten-aboriginum and common name of Cardon Hecho. It is claimed to have originated from Mexico.
I was busy in my own world taking photos when there were suddenly movements and noise all around me! Ghosts!? I stood still and paid attention. I was alone and lost as I don't know which side of the garden I was. For a while I was frozen. Then I laughed at myself! Sprinklers were activated thus the commotion. I looked at my watch and it was exactly ten o'clock. There, watering the plants happen at that time so if you happen to visit the garden at night, don't get scared if things suddenly move and make noise.
I found a sprinkler to my right and wondered why my feet are not getting wet. I stared at it and was amused that its rotation was programmed to be towards the plant beds only, not towards the pathway.
Another amusing items in the garden are the wooden seats with different shapes which I wonder if those were natural or manually aided. What caught my attention the most is this seat with all the tangled roots as back rest. If those are true, what kind of tree can have roots as huge as these?
I looked up and around to find myself near the ground where the Supertrees are. It looks like I made a complete round after all. I got passed by the Supertrees and the area where the cab driver dropped me off earlier. I was thinking if I should go back to my hotel or make few more rounds when I noticed a stairway on the right side. I got up a few steps and saw a lighted pathway leading to another side of the garden. Ah, I should see this part!
This part of the garden is where I found more Supertrees. Lights of the trees on this side have blue motiff. It is also the side where I found a notice about the Skyway wherein visitors can walk up to have aerial view of the garden. I desperately wanted to go up there but guess what? The Skyway was closed. Better luck next time to me.
Unlike the ones near the entrance, there are more trees on this area and are more spread out. While it is a bit of a challenge to get a landscape shot without panoramic feature, the sight was livelier. I guess that is because of more lights here and there.
For the first time, I felt lost in this part of the garden. I had to look for a guide map before I was able to find my way back to the taxi drop off area.
I went back to the entrance and made few more shots of the trees. I caught them on more pinkish glow this time.
I bet the Supertrees look so plain at day time so I had a very good timing to see them at night. However, I would also want to see the Flower Dome and Cloud Forest. I must come back at day time. That's a promise...
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