Singapore - Day 2, Gardens and Gardens

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August 23rd 2018
Published: August 23rd 2018
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I slept in a little later than I had planned, but I think I needed it to do what I had planned for the day. I got my included breakfast, just a lite bite for me: two strips of bacon, a salmon mini-quiche, and fruit. Little did I know I would not eat again until 3pm!! Once I put all my stuff in my purse that could fit, including the provided phone from the hotel (really!), I made my way down to Marina Square Mall and across the street. It was only just after 9 am, but it was already a humid hot.

Gardens by the Bay

The walk itself was quite pleasant, along the bay, over the helix bridge and along the promenade. I bought a combined ticket to see the Cloud Forest and Flower Dome at the Gardens by the Bay. The woman recommended I go to the Clouds Forest first as they were "misting" right now. That meant the upper decks were misting and it looked pretty cool, almost like you were looking up at a jungle forest in the morning. It was a pleasant little walk and you got to walk along the upper pathway and look down below, the waterfall was pretty cool, and they had some educational exhibits inside. I next went to the Flower Dome and the first thing you see is Sunflowers when you walk in (one of my favorites!). They have different exhibits for different regions / continents on the planet, mostly consisting of plants and small trees. The flowers themselves are generally grouped below and have many startling colors. It was quite pretty, but I spent maybe 15 minutes walking around. I spent some time in the gift shop, gathering souvenirs for the nieces and nephews.

I wandered around the main garden a bit, through the Super Grove Trees. I originally intended to walk along the sky walk through the super grove, but it was very short and cost $8. I was not too sure what kind of view I would get that I had not already seen, so I stayed ground level and enjoyed walking through the many garden pathways. Seriously, you could spend a whole day here, just in the free part. It is beautiful and a lot to see. Just a pleasant, peaceful place to be.

Botanical Gardens

I walked over to and through the Marina Bay Sands hotel and hopped on my first hop-on, hop-off bus. They just glanced at my card, not scanning it, so I was happy. I sat up top in the open and boy was the sun brutal! I put on my SPF 50 kids lotion, and at least felt better about being safe from turning into a lobster, though it was soooo hot! It was about a 40 minute ride to the Botanical Gardens on the west central part of the city. The man at the entrance was so nice and gave me a map with a few recommendations on my tour around the gardens. He said to see the whole thing would take at least 4-5 hours, so I just wanted to see some highlights.

I first stopped at the National Orchid Garden. The Botanical Gardens are free, but to see the orchids you had to pay a whopping $5S. Seriously, compared to what I paid at the Cloud Forest and Flower Dome (about 5 times more), it was a bargain. And totally worth it. The Orchid gardens were the highlight of my day! I love flowers, and I have always liked orchids, but now I love the temperamental beautiful things. I took about 100 pictures here alone. Sorry in advance; I have a lot uploaded to this blog. I really just can't describe how beautiful some of them were and it is such an impressive display. I really enjoyed the villa, where there hybrid orchids displayed which were created for and named for heads of state or VIP guests who came to see the garden. Reluctantly, when I made my way all around the garden, it was time for me to go.

After I left the orchids, I made my way along the other paths in the gardens. I walked through the "rain forest", which while it was a pleasant, shaded walk, did not really seem to be very interesting. Except for many chickens that crossed my path. I found the gazebo "bandstand" and saw my second of three pairs of newlyweds (I think?) taking photos at the gardens. I walked through the extremely impressive Bonsai Garden - there were a bunch under an awning with high level security and a few sitting around the open terrace. The Sundial garden was also quite pretty, with little ponds at each quadrant. I had intended
National Orchid GardenNational Orchid GardenNational Orchid Garden

my favorite of the trip so far
to stop back in the main plaza and go for the $28S lunch meal "deal" but found myself back at the bus stop. Yeah, it was time to go, despite the fact I was starving at this point. I sat downstairs in the A/C this time. I was also lightly reprimanded by my bus driver to get my card activated at the home station, which I was not aware of (I thought it was activated the first time you rode the bus...).

Marina Mandarin Hotel

So once I got my card activated at Suntec City, I easily made my way across to my hotel. I tried to find a place to eat, but the ones that looked the most interesting were all closed until dinner. I forgot that between 2-4 there was free food at my club lounge. Duh!!! So I went immediately up there, had a couple of finger sandwiches, and a fruit tart. That was all I really needed. I came back to my room and took a quick shower to wash the sweat of the day off of me. I love my shower - there are three different selections that just make me feel pampered.

Soon after, I got a much needed massage. It was a nice little place in the hotel, expensive, and while the majority of the massage was good, there were times when it hurt so bad I started laughing. Yes, laughing. Like, is this really happening? Death by massage. Or it would just violently wake me up just as I was starting to relax. At one point, she was actually crawling on my back. So, I booked for a facial for tomorrow.

Fortunately, afterwards, I was able to get a glass of wine and more nibbles. Apparently that massage worked up an appetite. I originally intended to go across the street for the street food, but what they had at the lounge was actually a good representation. So I had smoked salmon (because I often crave this), seafood laksa, and Japanese fried chicken (which tastes like usual fried chicken but less oily). This means I have pretty much spent about $20 on food and drink so far on my trip. Not too shabby.

Super Tree Grove at Night

Not wanting to waste time in my room, I ventured back out and walked across the Helix Pedestrian Bridge again and through the promenade. Some kind of marathon or something was going on. I sat on a bench near a secluded part of the grove and waited for the sun to go down. I found the grove much more impressive, and peaceful, at night. It was neat to see them seemingly come to life over the 20 minute period between dusk and dark. After I got my fill of fluorescent trees, I headed back to my hotel, stopping in the shopping center for Marina Bay Sands. I just wanted to see it. I came in on the top floor and looked straight ahead toward a giant, sparkling chandelier, which was hanging over a little play area for kids. The chandelier had these lights that shone done, so the kids were having a grand ole time. I left and made my way across the lit up Helix bridge. When I got back to my room, I pretty much peeled my soaked dress off. Then ordered a fruity drink. Good night!

Steps: 22,000 / Miles: 9.0

Additional photos below
Photos: 48, Displayed: 27


National Orchid GardenNational Orchid Garden
National Orchid Garden

Some hybrid orchids are named for heads of state or VIP's (Laura Bush)

24th August 2018
Flower Dome - sunflowers!

Sunflowers are amazing and one of my favorite flowers. Nice shot.

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