November 24, 2012

Gardens by The Bay - Into the New Botanical Gardens of Singapore

During the Pocari Sweat run earlier in the year, when we heard that we were going to be running at the newly opened Gardens by the Bay, we were pretty excited! Little do we know that we were actually running PAST Gardens by the Bay, rather than into the Garden itself.

So one fine day, we met at our usual spot at Millennium Walk. The rest of the guys are going for the usual route, either around the Marina Waterfront or to the Marina Barrage and back. I decided to do a detour and take a small little exploitative trip into Gardens by the Bay.


The View from the Southern Part of the Gardens

It's all Green! Don't see much flowers...

Gardens by the Bay is essentially divided by themes. One the west side, we have the gardens that depict the plants, flowers and ideas that are important to the races of Singapore . We have the Chinese Garden, which resembles the famous Gardens of Suzhou and the Indian Garden, which showcase some of the flora that our Indian community use in their rites, food and everyday lives. We also have the Malay and Colonial Gardens. I wouldn't want to spoil the fun on what are in those Gardens. You will have to find out yourself!
The Chinese Gardens, themed after the famed
Gardens in Suzhou



Indian Garden and their Culture
Further to the South East, is the visitor center and where you can buy your tickets in order to scale the SuperTree. Apparently, I was too early for any tourists to be visiting the garden, and so the place is deserted. In case you are lazy, there is a shuttle service that will ferry you around the place... Come on, the place is not that BIG in the first place! I have to literally run around the Garden in order to clock my mileage! Perhaps, for some fat tourists, walking 1km in a tropical country may put them in the risk of getting a heat stroke. Better provide them with wheels than to risk the reputation of Singapore!
The deserted Ticketing counter.
A bunch of bronze lion?!?

For the Lazy people...


The Main Entrance to Garden by the Bay at the SE side
The Eastern loop of the Garden features some pretty basic education guide on the plants in the tropical country. It seems that area of the Garden still seems to be "Work in Progress" because it resembles some of the scenes that I encounter, while I was serving in the army, running around in the training areas with a rifle in my hand. If you want to enjoy the real wilderness of what our soldiers go through, take a short walk on the eastern side of the Gardens.
Looks like the training shed

Wild and unorganized. The trail doesn't look like it is catered
for tourists!
Lastly, we have the jewels of the Garden by the Bay. The SuperTree Grove. Honestly speaking, I am not impressed now,  given it is just made up of ironworks with the plants that are suppose to climb slowly upwards still at infant stage. I guess we will have to wait a couple of years more for its full potential to be realized. Right smack in the middle, is a pub, managed by IndoChine, a well known night scene operator in Singapore. What's more classy than drinking beer and cocktail on the top of a building? Well, seems like the Singapore Tourism Board has pub just tops that. Drinking Beer on top of the world's tallest artificial tree seems to be something unique other than the usual SkyBar stuff which you can find in almost every other major cities.
The Majestic Supertree... Potential unrealized

One of the coolest pub in the world?
All in all, I wouldn't recommend you taking a run into the Garden by the Bay itself. This place has quite a lot of interesting sights which requires you to stop every now and than to read the numerous explanation tabs which the organization has generously scattered around the Garden. There are also quite a number of steps, which may piss off some runners who are looking for a level ground. The paths intersect each other and you will frequently find that you will be running into the same area again and again, which is totally not fun at all. You are better off cutting through the garden as part of your run and enjoy some of the sights of the place. The garden might be an interesting place to run at night as the lights around the supertrees will light up, giving the place a different field. Heck, you might even run across couples, smooching at each other, as they make out at the newest garden, that Singapore has to offer.



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