I had high expectations for the much lauded Gardens by the Bay, as it’s under the National Park Boards and they do such a wonderful job with the Botanic Gardens. It’s also currently the hottest place after Singapore’s first Dean & Deluca outlet. I also had high expectations as this garden has been touted as Singapore’s Central Park.
Sadly it’s nothing like Central Park and I found the place too touristy and the prices are out of reach for ordinary Singaporeans. Wasn’t this place built with us, the little people, in mind? I didn’t have to pay a cent to explore Central Park in New York City. I would have thought 5 bucks for each dome would be more reasonable not 12 bucks. And it’s S$20 for 2 domes plus another S$5 for the OCBC skyway (suspended bridge). I can’t help but feel that this whole place has been built to lure in the tourist dollar mainly. It’s also the reason why I hardly visit our wonderful Zoo.
I will go into detail about each dome in different posts. It’s just a bit too overwhelming to cover them all in one. I wouldn’t recommend the food here either, although I only tried out one joint so far. Again. Tourist prices. Although I must say the ambience would be pretty nice on weekdays when the area is not buzzing with people and noise.
What I did like was looking at the flowers up close. I expected more roses though – my favourite. Also, the main flower display looked garish to me. Who designed that I wonder – so obiang. And the colours of some of the flowers did not look natural somehow – injected with dye? I really have no clue. Didn’t look very attractive to me. The one word which encapsulates how I feel about the new attraction – artificial. It might start looking better once the vines and other trees grow and be as lush as the botanic gardens? I for now am not feeling the supertrees. Ugh the purple shade they are in reminds me of the colour theme of our buses. At the moment they seem like an eyesore. Although I must admit the domes are futuristically impressive looking.
But I don’t want to be a complaining grouch. The separate queue for residents made me happy as the other queue was so long. The air-conditioned (I think they used a cooled down water system that’s cheaper?) domes were sweet. I guess the high fees are due to all the cost that will go into powering this place? Also this place is sold as eco-friendly but I still trying to wrap my mind around that. Anyway I am a hypocrite as I can’t live without air-conditioning and often wish the whole of Singapore could be this temperature. B mentioned that California is like this – wonderfully sunny yet cool. And if you have the time, you can read all the little boards and learn more about the plants from more temperate regions. But it did feel odd the way everything was organized and structure. Well just the way everything is ordered and structured in Singapore, so not a surprise? I guess I prefer my nature a little wild and messy. A bit like the forested area outside Samy’s curry at Dempsey Hill. It’s truly a little tropical wonderland and more of those natural green spaces would make me feel at peace in this country. Not more artificial tourist attractions.
Ok, gonna do a couple of little posts about this place, just to share my experience with you so you can decide if you wanna go. I guess, go at least once? In the future I wouldn’t mind paying for the Flower Dome entry if I want to have a stroll in cool surroundings and perhaps a drink at the Pollen cafe within that space. Although just one cocktail will set you back S$20. And I would only go during the weekday.
So that’s my take for today. Hope it was useful. Also if you have a fear of heights, this place will be a nightmare for you. Loads of shaky seeming wire suspended bridges are a main feature within the domes. It’s a bit of a waste if you don’t go on them. I don’t have this height phobia, but I must say I felt a bit nervous as you feel it shaking. Also I overheard someone saying they dropped their camera. And when I was there someone dropped something from above and there was a scream. But I guess it was something tiny.
Check out these future posts that I will write about and link up soon:
Gardens by the Bay: Parking & Getting Oriented
The OCBC Skyway
Gardens by the Bay: Cosy Nooks with Nice Views
Gardens by the Bay: The Flower Dome (Part 1)
Gardens by the Bay: The Flower Dome (Part 2)
Gardens by the Bay: The Cloud Dome
Meanwhile here are some close-ups mostly taken by my partner, of pretty flowers from the Flower Dome (out of the 2 Domes, I prefer this shorter one). Somehow I appreciate them more, being able to see them even more clearly on my computer. That’s a bit warped I must admit.