07.10.2013 - 07.10.2013 35 °C
7th OCtober 2013
We woke up at about 930am, we needed the sleep. The breakfast at the hotel was $30 so we thought we could find better value in the mall. Brunetti did breakfast so we went there. They make the most magnificent muesli - it has cashews and mixed peel in it (two of my favourite things), we coupled that with some fresh fruit juice and it was fabulous.
We had chatted last night about what we might do today, and we agreed on Gardens ByThe Bay first up. We went to the bus stop and bought a Hop On Hop Off ticket that would allow us to take four different routes around Singapore and interchange all of them. We got on and sat up the top for this first trip. It was very hot already and soon we were sitting under the canopy - still up top.
The Gardens By The Bay are near the Marina Sands area of Singapore and what a sight to see. It is like something from the future. From a distance we saw two giant domes made of glass with some space age looking metal trees towering into the sky. Amazing. As we got off the bus we needed to take a lift to the sixth floor of a 100 floor building. A quick walk through this grand hotel, and we were outside on a tree lined terrace. At the end of the terrace were signs to the Gardens.
A short walk and we were staring very closely at the two domes we had seen so far away. It was exciting and all I wanted to do was see what was inside. We bought the tickets to both domes, sold separately,and entered the first one - Flower Dome which was breathtaking from the first step. The scent of flowers enveloped you and a sight of beautifully landscaped plants in every direction. The temperature dropped by about 10 degrees as well, making it a pleasant experience to explore.
First on the left was the Australian one so we thought we should check that out! It was perfect - all in order and of course we recognised all of the shrubs and bushes. Following through the rest of this dome were California, Malay, South America, A cactus garden and a bromeliad garden. The fabulous centrepiece was a bed of beautiful flowers in every colour, adorned by some sculptured dragonflies.
From here it was onto the second dome - Cloud Walk. As soon as we opened the doors a huge indoor waterfall fell before us. Spray hit our faces and our eyes could not take in all of the gorgeous flowers and plants tumbling from the walls 6 stories up. After a quick stop in front of the falls to cool down, we started up a series of ramps that took us all over the dome, as if waking through the air surrounding the waterfall. The ramps were made of metal but the edges were see through grates. This did not go well for me in the beginning and I felt like I had to hang on for the first couple! After a while though the nerves evaporated and the experience took over. At some points along the walk you were looking out from behind the waterfall, another part was a crystal cave and then once you descend there is the hidden garden which is a lovely surprise to end on.
This experience was one of the best for our entire holiday. It was time to visit the myriad of outdoor gardens, needless to say the domes were cooled, and going outside the heat hit us full on. We stopped for a drink and something to snack on and then headed to the sky walk. This is a walk between huge constructed metal trees - see photos to understand. The boys did this but I thought I would give it a miss as it cost extra. I sat at the bottom and watched them go through it.
We were extremely hot by this time and just needed to get on the bus again and get to our next destination. We were off to Chinatown, and sat below in the bus the entire trip to keep cool in the air conditioning. We walked through most of china town looking through their street markets for a while and then a temple. The atmosphere was just like I thought. Colourful lanterns swaying, stalls selling dragons, dresses, silks and cats. The Asian food vendors were selling their wares, and all of them trying to get your business.
We realised that we had missed the last bus and had to walk for a couple of kilometres quite quickly to get the final bus on the Yellow route to take us back to the hotel. We made it , we were a pool of sweat by the time we returned to the hotel and all went a for a swim and it felt great. It was very late when we had dinner, 9pm and we decided to go to eat in the hotel buffet. They said it would be $50 adults and Ethan $29 we thought that was ok. After one plate of dinner and two of desserts, which were all amazing, our bill came and was $197. After we closed our jaws with the shock, we looked at the fine print at the bottom and over $35 of that was a service fee and then they added GST. The price they quoted did not include any of those things. Ahhh, we did it and learned a lesson.
This was the first hotel with a laundry so we had put a load on before dinner. It is a lot easier than washing in the hand basins everywhere. So we folded our washing and tried to squeeze it all into our cases. Now it was off to bed. Tomorrow we plan on doing even more, so we need a good night sleep.