Archive for Gardens

Aaron acts as a tour guide

Well what an interesting start of the year, an ex-colleague from the UK office was in town, as she was now working on a project that related to Singapore. It was great that she was able to come out and meet her team, whilst at the same time, we managed to enjoy the sights and sounds of Singapore over the weekend – Aaron became the tour guide for the weekend 🙂

She was in town for about a week, and it was good to see an familiar face and catch-up on the latest happenings from the UK and my old team – it sounded like a lot of change since I left over a year ago. I do kinda miss the UK and Brighton teams, but actually I don’t really miss the work.

So on Saturday, I commenced the tour from the Mandarin Oriental Hotel on the north side of Marina Bay, we then walked along the promenade towards Boat Quay and the Fullerton hotel, we headed across towards China Town, and enjoyed the sights and sounds of the Year of the Horse – as we headed into the Chinese New Year festive period. After that, we took the MRT and went across to Marina Bay Sands, taking the sights and sounds of this landmark. We had a bite to eat at the MBS food court – like any tourist does these days. I then noticed that there was this Ice exhibition on, called 2 Degree Ice Art – in an area just outside of the main MBS facilities. So we went in here, the tickets were a bit pricey at S$32 a ticket, but at least my mum (who was joining us for the tour) was able to register with a Senior ticket (at S$26). The exhibition centre then had the audacity to ask whether we wanted coat and gloves…we asked what temperature was inside, and they said -15oC. I don’t think we had much choice as we were wearing summer-ware!! Anyway, they charged us another S$5 each…making the whole session a total of S$105. Ouch! It was fun inside, and a nice way to see the various monuments of the world calved into Ice Sculptures. We then headed back into MBS, and we decided to do a bit of retail therapy. I got a nice pair of Hush Puppies shoes – very comfortable and reasonable, and a nice selection.

We then had a couple of options, head towards the original Botanic Gardens, or visit the Gardens By the Bay. I decided that we should do this, so we headed there, which is a short walk from the MBS complex. There was a nice Dragon dance within the gardens which was very entertaining (I do wonder what these guys do for the rest of the year!!). We then continued our walk around the gardens until we arrived at the 2 domes, we went to the ticket line. I had my ‘free’ pass, and I then tried to see if there was any ‘senior’ tickets, they said only for local residents, which was a shame. Anyway, I then had this brainwave, and as local / EP-visa holders was slightly cheaper, I pretended to buy one for myself (even though I already had an annual pass entitling me free access), so I got one expensive (S$28), one cheap (S20) and I had my own annual pass …haha! a bit crafty – but that’s me 🙂 If no one tells, I won’t!!

We went into the two domes, I do feel that the flower one is better, as they change the displays to the current themes etc. The first time I went, they had a tulips display, previously it was the horse display, similar to this time. But still nice all the same. The Cloud dome was a bit boring, but was refreshing inside at least.

After this, we headed back towards the hotel across the Helix bridge, just as they were doing some sort of art projection on the ArtsScience museum monument. Very nice indeed, it was like they were throwing paint across it in time with the music. A great show! We then went to the hotel, and relaxed at the bar, and then said our farewells.

On the Sunday, it was more of an Orchard Road tour, so we met up for Brunch at the Wild Honey at Scotts Square location – very nice and tasty indeed. We did a relaxing walk down Orchard Road, being part of the hustle and bustle of the Sunday afternoon. A bit of window shopping and retail therapy throughout the sprawling malls and shops along the road, before we ended up at an interesting wine bar just off Orchard Road – the House of Robert Timms – an interesting spot, as you can watch the world go by and enjoy coffee (or wine, in our case) and chill and relax. We then made on our way, a nice way to end the Singapore tour and the busy weekend 🙂

A pleasureable visit to the Gardens by the Bay

Well to fully utilise my annual pass, I decided to pay a visit to the Gardens by the Bay last Sunday – the newly opened (since October 2012 – still new to me!) Botanic Gardens just opposite Marina Bay Sands.

It is a pleasant location, and I must admit the timing was absolutely perfect, as the temporary Tulip display was ending on 20th May – so if I didn’t do it, it would have been a sad mistake. It’s kinda visiting a little bit of the Netherlands in Singapore – Europe in Asia – haha!

I decided to visit both the Flower Dome (where the Tulip display was) and the Cloud Dome (where there was an indoor waterfall display). Both were delightful, and definitely worth a visit.

The captivating part was definitely the Cautus and Tulip display (in the Flower Dome) – which was a very simply but delightful display, and for the Tulips, it was the glorious colours that made the display.

I wasn’t that impressed with the Cloud Dome personally, but it was more of an education display about the pressures on our global water supply and how precious water really is (remember those days from school?) – haha…

Either way, a very enjoyable early after session – a nice way to walk off my Sunday Roast – hehe!

Gardens By the Bay – Very Relaxing

Well I’ve heard a lot of good feedback about the new Botanic Gardens by Marina Bay (Gardens by the Bay for short), so I was keen to pay a visit.

I finally got around to visit, via Marina Bay MRT and then to Bayfront MRT – which now links the red line with the circle line on the east side. You walk underneath Marina Bay Sands to the Gardens, and you can take a leisurely stroll (for free) in the outer gardens or pay to go into the two ‘cloud’ domes, which houses the ‘Forest’ and ‘Flower’ themed gardens (visits to this costs about $28 to visit both domes, or $20 for local residents / workers). The Skyway costs $5 and the Garden Cruiser is $5.

I decided to stay out in the free gardens this time around – which was also very enjoyable and relaxing, and decided to come back to visit the domes another time.

In fact, looking at the annual ticket price, I decided to buy one of these, as it only costs $68 which allows me to enter all parts of the attractions for free unlimited – so if I visit over 3 times, I have made up for the annual ticket cost – and I become a friend of the bay – to get our discount entitlements 🙂 Bonus!

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