Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay is an expansive project in the Marina Bay area of Singapore. It is an eco-tourist destination showcasing sustainable practices and plants from across the globe and is a must-see attraction in Singapore.
The Gardens by the Bay covers 103 acres and has themed garden areas honoring the diversity of people found in Singapore – Chinese, Malay, and Indian – and Singapore’s history. It represents a significant step towards transforming Singapore into a “city within a garden.” They are well on their way. This garden and the focus on flora throughout the city is something that will always standout in my memories of Singapore.
Street art is something I have been slow to appreciate. Lately though, I find myself taking more and more time to enjoy them. Some, like the creations below, are quite impressive and add to the surrounding area. The artistic works below were created in Singapore and located in or around Singapore’s Chinatown district.
Marina Bay is a must-see location during any first-time visit to Singapore. It is absolutely loaded with many of Singapore’s most well-known landmarks. Originally, this area served as the Port of Singapore during its English colonial period. Today its purpose is geared more towards leisure and aesthetics.
Let’s take a walk around Marina Bay. I’ll point out a few highlights and make a couple suggestions for detours along the way.
My first destination in Singapore was to get to the Marina Bay Sands Hotel – the hotel with what appears to be a ship on top of it. This hotel is a towering sight and visible on the skyline from so many locations throughout the city. Containing 2,300 rooms, a casino, retail stores, rooftop infinity pool, and one of the best views in Singapore, the Marina Bay Sands is certainly worth considering as a place to stay.
The skyline around Marina Bay in the above photo highlights Singapore’s ultra-modern architecture but this is only a small fraction of the skyscrapers in Singapore. The photo below (taken through a restaurant window) shows endless towers on the horizon.
Back at Marina Bay, there is a pedestrian bridge which I take to get closer to the Sands Hotel.
At this point, you have several options: go inside the hotel, work your way to the left of the hotel towards Gardens by the Bay, or continue along the shoreline by heading to the right. I headed to the left to visit the gardens.
The Singapore Flyer is a giant ferris/observation wheel located in the Marina Bay area of Singapore. It has 28 air-conditioned capsules with each able to contain 28 passengers. Opened in 2008, it was the world’s tallest ferris wheel until surpassed by the High Roller on the Las Vegas Strip opened in 2014. I imagine the Flyer views are amazing if you have time to check it out.
I continued into the Gardens by the Bay, and you can find that full gallery here which features the “super trees” shown below.
After exploring the garden, use the Sands hotel as your exit landmark. I walked through the hotel and returned to Marina Bay waterfront by walking through the Shoppes at Marina Bay. The Shoppes is a multi-level mall with a canal running through it and top retail stores.
The historic Fullerton Hotel (below) in its neoclassical glory stands in stark contrast to modern structures surrounding it. The hotel was built in 1928 and has served many purposes in Singapore’s rich history – Post Office, Exchange Room, Reference Library, and home of the prestigious Singapore Club. Today, The Fullerton Hotel Singapore serves as a 400-room heritage hotel in Singapore and is also registered as a national monument.
Singapore is an independent city-state. It is a city and the city is the nation. Modern Singapore was launched in 1819 when Sir Stamford Raffles established it as a British trading post. It was occupied by Japan in World War II and then became part of Malaysia. Singapore is now a fully independent economic juggernaut and has the second busiest port in the world. With a population of over 5 million, its health indicators, education levels, and per-capita GDP are among the highest in the world. English, Mandarin Chinese, Malay, and Tamil are spoken in Singapore with English being spoken by most (at least as a second language). Singapore is also one of the most densely populated and most expensive cities in the world to live. And, it is clean…unusually clean.
There is certainly nothing wrong with traveling to Singapore and actually staying in Singapore. You may be thinking, “Of course! Where else would stay?” Well, you might want to take a look at Sentosa Island.
Sentosa is small island on the edge of Singapore. Despite being only a few miles from downtown Singapore, it feels like a world away. Don’t get me wrong, Singapore is a fantastic city. It is clean with beautiful architecture, majestic gardens, bustling waterways, and friendly people. Even though it is reported to be one of the most densely populated cities in the world, it didn’t feel that way at all. However, while planning for this trip, it was the thought of crowds that drove me to the more spacious and relaxing pace promised on Sentosa. It didn’t disappoint.
I ended up spending most of my free time in Singapore but there was quite a bit that I missed on Sentosa Island. Universal Studios has a park on the island. There is a highly lauded zip line, several sandy beaches (requires an entry fee), Adventure Cove Waterpark, and S.E.A. Aquarium. Looking back, Sentosa Island is like going to Disney World if you live in this part of the world. You can spend several action packed days here with a wide range of activities for kids and adults. I would have definitely enjoyed these activities but, with my limited time, I opted for the more historical and architectural pursuits available in Singapore. That said, I never regretted returning to Sentosa for a nice dose of tranquility to end or begin each day.