Singapore Gardens by the Bay
|The Supertree night show with Marina Sands in the background|
We really enjoyed Singapore. Have never been to somewhere so green and lush with plant life, especially in the city.
Nothing prepares you for the humidity. Every day was pool day though. We stayed at great hotel, Furama Riverfront Hotel with a lagoon pool (a lot of pools in Singapore seem to be lap ones in comparison) and was open until 11pm which gave us some flexibility. It was very warm even at night!
One piece of advice must stress is wherever you go in Singapore, see ‘must see’ outdoor activities first. The rain and lightning can last for hours and places shut down until it passes. Plan to see the Supertree night show early on in your trip so you don’t miss this ‘must see’ due to the weather misbehaving.
We toured the grounds of the Supertrees mid afternoon, then escaped into the Superdomes (Cloud Forest and Flower dome) for some air conditioning relief towards late afternoon. The Supertrees are amazing and huge.
We did not do the OCBC Skyway Supertree walk. The Walkway is 22 metres tall, but I felt, as some of the surrounding walk around the Supertee grove is elevated anyway at lookout points, you didn’t need to do the extra Skyway walk (and pay extra). Indeed, within the Cloud Forest biodome, you have a view of the Supertrees even higher than the skywalk! Needless to say A.J was very disappointed about this decision. I think we were just hot with the weather too which influenced our decision to head ‘indoors’ and get into some air conditioning again. The biodomes are amazing, with the Cloud Forest probably being more amazing then the Garden Dome. The Garden dome display changes seasonally. As we were there in Spring, it was Tulips galore. Apparently the Tulips were grown in the Netherlands and shipped to Singapore especially for this display. The Cloud Forest dome is a 35-metre tall mountain covered in lush vegetation with the world’s tallest indoor waterfall. It is very cool and misty in there, with some interesting lego displays, plant life and views.
|The Garden Dome display changes seasonally. As we went to Singapore during Spring, the theme was Tulips and Van Gogh|
|This area had Lego mixed with the plants|
|Cloud Forest largest world indoor waterfall|
|The view from the top of cloud forest|
About 6:30pm we went to Satay by the Bay, a nearby Hawker centre for tea. Satay chicken sticks were fairly cheap there Singaporean $7 for 10 sticks. I think the barbeque smell still lingers on in my memory. My daughter A.J got a Milo Dinosaur drink. It’s a Milo drink that is popular with the Singaporeans. There is also another version called the Milo Godzilla which has icecream included. Apparently the Singaporeans love their Milo. After tea, we headed off to the Supertree show. There are 2 shows per night (in good weather) and this is simply not to be missed. The light show goes for 10-15 minutes, and is set to music. Some of the music was from Star Wars (but planet theme music not the main tune) and sounded so eerie and alien (Think War of the Worlds/Close Encounters of the Third kind eerie). I think the theme music changes periodically though as I could not find our ‘show’ on Utube. The whole experience felt completely alien. Who dreamt this up? They are wonderful and totally unique in the world. The Taxi line at the Bay of Gardens was huge but at end of night show every taxi in Singapore converged there. Hundreds of people were in line, but I think we waited 15 minutes for a taxi tops!
Cheap tickets - We bought most of our tickets in Singapore from Klook and I never printed any tickets out, just left them electronically on my phone. Most places had Wifi at the entrance, particularly the zoo and Sentosa island in general. Bay of Gardens had no free wifi (nearest was McDonalds). We had no problem whatsoever however using Klook and would recommend. We often bypassed the queues at ticketing booths and went straight in to the theme park (this did not work for Gardens by the Bay domes though, we had to line up for a ticket with our ‘electronic ticket’). Really good savings by Klook. We did get a 2 park hopper ticket for the Zoo and Jurong Bird Park which was cheaper again, and you did not have to lock in days. We got the tram included, which I would recommend. However, I noticed, whilst they checked tram tickets at the beginning of the day, they didn’t towards the end of the day, so you could possibly get on for free when tired at the end. I don’t see how they could have remembered us! With Klook you have to lock in days which is a disadvantage.
We found Singapore quite cheap (coming from Australia). Our buffet breakfast seemed to fill us up all day and was part of the hotel deal, and we ate at Hawker centres a lot. We used the MTR which was easy, but often caught taxis as very cheap and convenient in the humidity.
Souvenirs- Chinatown best place. Compare prices though. One place bought something for $10 and in another shop it was selling for $28!
Adventure cove waterpark- note all water rides close down in a thunderstorm. This was a disappointing day for us. There was nothing to do and we left. We got to do the snorkelling though which was an experience. Everyone must wear lifejackets regardless of swimming ability. It was interesting being under the water with all those tropical fish. It is a large aquarium (deep water). A.J loved it and took to it really well. There was heaps more to do in this park, but unfortunately, the thunderstorms closed the park. They offered us compensation (food vouchers), but we could have also been compensated with the SEA Aquarium pass too (which we already did, so we took the food voucher option). As you prebook with Klook (set day), you cannot cancel so be warned!
Travelling to Sentosa -We travelled on Sentosa express monorail and it cost $4 each, extremely crowded and no seats. In comparison, Sentosa boardwalk was free, a pleasant 500m walk, covered if needed, uncrowded and had travellators. Quite romantic at night with sparkly lights. Recommend.
Singapore Weather - We checked the government weather reports regularly during the day and the weather in Singapore is completely unpredictable and prone to change. Making forward plans was difficult so plan day by day. The forecast would even change overnight! The site to go to is: http://www.weather.gov.sg/weather-forecast-2hrnowcast-2/ (it is apparently the most accurate)
Mosquitoes- A.J got bitten 3 times in Singapore zoo despite full DEET protection. Speaking with staff, no Dengue in zoo. And A.J is fine. But if visiting zoo, make sure wear repellent. It is recommended to wear 10% Deet kids, 30% Deet Adults. My D.H didn’t wear any the entire trip and did not get bitten at all. https://www.moh.gov.sg/content/moh_web/home/statistics/infectiousDiseasesStatistics/weekly_infectiousdiseasesbulletin.html and http://www.nea.gov.sg/public-health/dengue/dengue-clusters (this has a map of where Dengue is found, which is in residential areas, not tourist sites, luckily. Also, if you look at the former site, Dengue is drastically lower than last year, which is all good news for everybody.
Overall we had a lovely time and I'm sure we will be back at some point. We did miss out on a few things as ran out of time. Hope you have found helpful. To read more about other theme parks in Singapore please click on the following links.
Singapore SEA Aquarium
Singapore Universal Studios
Singapore SEA Aquarium
Singapore Universal Studios