Thursday, 19 January 2017

Singapore: Gardens by the Bay

The Super Trees

Gardens by the Bay is number 1 out of 786 things to do in Singapore according to Tripadvisor and so it seemed the perfect thing to do on our last full day. The Gardens were built on reclaimed land next  to the Marina Reservoir and opened in 2012. According to Singapore's Infopedia, "the Gardens were conceptualised in 2003 as a key component of the government’s City in a Garden vision, which evolved from Singapore’s reputation as a Garden City". Singapore is quite green, there are trees and bushes everywhere, but it is also heavily urbanised (it is the third most densely populated country after Macao and Monaco), so this is a truly inspiring concept.

We walked from the Bayfront MRT station and emerged onto the Dragonfly Bridge over the Dragonfly Lake. To the left there was a fine view towards the Singapore Flyer, three of the Supertrees (of which more shortly) and the Flower Dome.

We made our way to the main Supertree grove and this was our first view, including the inviting walkway.

At the grove your attention is drawn upwards to these astonishing structures. "The tallest steel-framed concrete structure [i.e. Supertree] standing at 50 m and the shortest at 25 m. Each Supertree is covered with nearly 163,000 plants of more than 200 species and varieties, including bromeliads, orchids and tropical flowering climbers. The Supertrees, inspired by the giant trees of the rainforest, also function as exhaust vents for the conservatories and as dining spaces, and 11 of them have environmentally-friendly features such as solar panels and water harvesters" (from

This is the view from the start of the elevated walkway.

And these are some of the thousands of plants growing up the structure.

Here is the Marina Bands Sands hotel, an extraordinary structure, which appears to be three towers with a ship on top. Apparently there is an infinity pool up there.

There were some great views downwards as well. It's rare to be able to look down into a palm!

After the excitement of the astonishing Supertrees we headed towards the south end of the Gardens where I had read there was a butterfly garden, passing ion the way Marc Quinn's sculpture Planet, which depicts his 7 month old son.

We reached the end of the Dragonfly Lake ...

... and located the Butterfly Garden, where I quickly spotted a Blue Glassy Tiger (Ideopsis vulgaris).

Soon there was also a male Blue Pansy (Junonia orithya) ...

... and a female. Female dimorphism is quite common, but it seems rare for the alternate form to be equally beautiful.

Another first was a Tawny Coster (Acraea terpsicore

 But perhaps the most striking of all was this Peacock Pansy (Junonia almana) seen near the entrance on the way out.

Conditions: cloudy at first, becoming brighter.

Distance: a couple of miles.

Rating: 5 stars. Memorable! A really great experience - and some lovely butterflies.

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