For many months, as I drove by the site in construction daily, on an elevated highway overlooking the marina, I have always been wondering: What on earth are these things? From afar, these work-in-progress chimney-like tall structures looked like factories. Or perhaps helipads. I had no idea. Until one day, I read about this new city gardens in CNN. These are Supertrees!
Note: To see more photographs of Gardens by the Bay, don’t miss this link to an album of 48 pictures.
I was born in Hong Kong. As a city boy, I love city gardens. There is a certain charm visiting a garden with the city center as the backdrop. Paris has plenty of gardens in the city. Many famous cities too. While I was thrill that Singapore has put aside 101 hectares of prime land to build a garden (in comparison, Singapore Botanic Gardens has an area of 74 hectares), I was not too sure what to expect.
Gardens by the Bay appears to have built with tourism in mind. Contrast that to other city gardens I have visited in other parts of the world, I saw way more tourists in Gardens by the Bay than locals. Maybe time will tell, if this new garden will win the residents’ hearts. My wife Cynthia seems to prefer Singapore Botanic Gardens. As for me, I think my heart still belongs to Sentosa as a family hangout location, if I have a whole day to spend that is. Otherwise, I concur with Cynthia.
These Supertrees are majestic. They ranges from 25 to 50 meters and besides being amazing to look at, they are functional too. The ‘trunks’ of these Supertrees are home to unique and exotic plants, though I must say, I can’t tell one plant to another. I don’t know where the photovoltaic cells are located. They could be on the top where I could not see. These Supertrees are capable to collect solar energy during the day and light themselves up during the night. They can also collect rainwater and serve as a air cooling system to the two conservatories nearby (don’t ask me how).
To get to the 1 minute treetop walk, you have to pay S$5. As for the two conservatories, it is S$28 for the foreigners and S$20 for the locals. Not a good enough discount I must say. If you are feeling rich and have some money to spend, you could also dine in a treetop restaurant. I bet you could even book the entire restaurant for you and your loved one, for a romantic evening dinner, especially if you are looking for a place to ‘pop’ the question. Yes? Another option – equally expensive I bet – is to book the entire capsule at the Singapore Flyer.
Besides the Supertrees and the conservatories, within this new city garden, there are four mini gardens – to denote the four cultures in Singapore. There are also six areas, each comes with a unique theme: Secret Life of Trees, World of Palms, Understorey, Fruits and Flowers, Web of Life, and Discovery. These areas still look to me like work-in-progress. Or they are made more for kids to enjoy (like small man-made mushrooms and pictures built using painted pixels). There is also a lake in Gardens by the Bay too. It is called Dragonfly Lake that overlooks Singapore Flyer as well as one of our two Integrated Resorts Marina Bay Sands (see picture below).
Parking at Gardens by the Bay is as expensive as parking in Sentosa. It does have more food choices than Botanic Gardens though. I can’t wait to bring my niece Bethany to this city garden and see what she thinks.