Thursday, October 22, 2015

Feast Your Eyes with Colours at Gardens by the Bay

When my parents came over last month, we brought them to Singapore for sightseeing. Every time they come to visit us, my husband and I usually bring them to a new place in Malaysia so when they go back to Indonesia, they'd have a new touristy place locked in their "Been There" list. This time around, we chose to bring my parents to Singapore and let them see Gardens by the Bay, which I had actually yearned to visit for years but never had the opportunity to do so until last month. As such, when my husband agreed to visit this horticulture-themed leisure destination in Singapore with his parents and my parents, I was very excited. Furthermore, I was sure that my Mom, who loves gardening and flowers in general, would appreciate this place very much. So.. off we went to Singapore.

On the weekend before Naomi's birthday, we left Seremban early in the morning for Singapore. On our way to Singapore, we stopped by Yong Peng for a bowl of fish ball noodle brunch. It was not my first time eating Yong Peng's famous fish ball noodle but was my parents' first time. I think the noodle was good but not fantastic. On another note, Naomi was not feeling too well that day, so she was not in her best mood. When I carried Naomi while waiting for my noodle, Naomi decided to pee on my shirt and... half into our journey to Singapore, I had to change to a new shirt in the restaurant's toilet. #travellingwithkid

Grumpy face in the morning.

By noon, we arrived in Singapore and went straight to Gardens by the Bay, which was not so difficult to find with the assistance of Ms. GPS.

Once we reached Gardens by the Bay, the first thing I sought was ATM machines. Call us crazy but we did come to Singapore with minimum cash and didn't exchange any RM to SGD in advance. All this because I still have some dollars in my Singapore's bank and planned to withdraw some cash in Singapore to fund our leisure visits there.

Waiting for Mommy checking out the ATM Machine.

Who knew that my Singapore ATM card was already expired because it's just too old and not equipped with the latest don't-know-what chip technology? In simple words, the ATM machine rejected my ATM card.. so no cash was withdrawn. #panic

Fortunately, we could buy our admission tickets with my husband's credit card, otherwise, how ah? Haha.

Lady Boss waiting for Mom and Dad to buy the tickets.

As my husband did not bring Naomi's stroller to Singapore and guessing that one conservatory in Gardens by the Bay would be a massive place to explore, we opted to visit the Flower Dome only. I knew that Naomi would be running around like mad inside the garden and we would not have the energy to keep up with her should we visit another conservatory. Also, RM value towards SGD dropped like hell last month, so we rain checked visiting other paid attractions available in the Gardens - until we bring Naomi's stroller next time.

The moment I entered the Flower Dome, which size approximately equals to 2.2 football fields, my first reaction to my family about it was "Wow, this place is damn huge and so cool. Fully air-conditioned too!". As expected, the minute we stepped inside this indoor garden, our Energizer Bunny got very excited and ran around the gardens like she'd just been unleashed or something. My husband and I were trying hard to follow Naomi around and stop her from plucking any flowers in the garden because such action is obviously prohibited. Two minutes later, all of us regretted the fact that my husband did't bring Naomi's stroller to Singapore. Sigh x10000000000.

Moving on, the first garden that greeted us in the Flower Dome was the Succulent Garden which hosts various waters-storing dessert plants.

Naomi and the wall of succulents.

I also have some mini succulents and cactus at home but why they look like nothing compared to those displayed in the Flower Dome, eh?

Even the cactuses look good.

While I normally consider succulents and cactuses as boring and plain type of plants, I must admit that when they are being showcased in the Flower Dome, they have become amazeballs.

Lion Dance look-alikes succulents.

Meanwhile, I took turn in chasing Naomi around with my husband although mostly, he was the one who followed Naomi around. This is why, I tended to just wander around the garden and randomly admired whatever plants in front of me as I didn't want to lose sight of Naomi. My husband actually brought a camera with us, but thanks to Naomi who was constantly on the move, he had no mood to take nice proper pictures of us or the beautiful flowers and unique plants surrounded us that day.

Angry toddler wanted to run around.

Despite our issues in managing Naomi in an open space; luckily our parents, especially my Mom, were still able to stop and smell the flowers and examine the various plants collection at the Flower Dome such as the colourful chrysanthemums, bottled trees, orchids and many more.

Angry kid when asked to stay still.

They took lots of pictures with the Flower Dome's scenery and had a close look at each plant they found interesting.

My parents and I with the marguerites.

My Dad is not famous for his photography skills so I tried my best to help my Mom take pictures with the flowers. Then, whenever my mood was better (after being so angry at Naomi who didn't want to stay still), I also asked my Mom to snap some pictures of me with some pretty flowers as mementos.

Trying to be happy despite the chaos during holiday.

Here are some beautiful flowers pictures that my Mom captured with her phone in the Flower Dome. She actually took tons of the flowers pictures but I am too lazy to edit and post all of them here, so here I give you some of the snippets only.

Duo coloured flowers.

One more here:

So orange.

And here is the view of a part of the Flower Dome from above.

Beautiful, isn't it?

My poor husband literally had not much time and mood to take pictures while we were at Gardens by the Bay because he was so busy carrying and taking care of Naomi and wanted to make sure that we all had the chance to enjoy some leisure stroll in the garden. As a result, he had not many pictures taken while we were in Singapore last month. Too bad.

Three generations.

By the time we circled half of the Flower Dome, I think our Energizer Bunny's time to recharge her battery was up. She needed to nap but was still restless somehow. Alas, one after another tantrums were thrown in public... If only we had a stroller and we could put her inside it for a while and take a breather!

The child was hungry and tired but refused her milk.

Only God knows how many toddler meltdowns we dealt that afternoon. Nonetheless, we still managed to snap some family pictures with the flowers. Else, I'd really think our visit all the way to Gardens by the Bay was so wasted.

Pretty sight?

The last bits of the Flower Dome that we saw was a garden that is quite similar to Chinese or Japanese Garden, I think.

My parents with the Chinese or Japanese Garden as the background... Not sure.

The last garden displayed lots of pretty and unique looking chrysanthemums and orchids. When we almost finished visiting the Flower Dome, my Dad's interest in taking photos was obviously went down to 0 hence his annoyed expression below.

My old man and I.

Before we concluded our visit to Flower Dome, my Mom maximized her chance to take photo of almost every flowers she could find. She must have found the experience to visit such a huge garden with a myriad of blooming flowers precious. On the other hand, my Dad got impatient waiting for my Mom taking pictures of this and that flowers and commented that my Mom was like a young kid who can't stop using her phone to take pictures bla bla bla.

Rare orchids picture from my Mom's phone.

When we left Flower Dome, the clock showed 3pm and all of us were so famished because we had not our lunch. We should have eaten something before we entered the garden! Since we were so hungry already, we decided to just go to one of the restaurants within Gardens by the Bay's premise. We were told by the information counter that the nearest restaurant around the garden would be the SuperTree Dining. However, why did I feel that we had to go for an extremely long walk to reach to that restaurant...? I literally had to drag my feet to get to the restaurant... Was it because our tummies were rumbling and we had to take turn in carrying Naomi while walking?

Once we reached to the restaurant, we quickly ordered our late lunch and our food roughly cost about SGD 10 per pax. The food was not bad and the portion was considered big, especially the chicken thighs.

Energizer Bunny recharging her battery while we were eating.

Done with our late lunch, we decided not to go back to Malaysia immediately yet didn't plan to visit another tourist destination in Singapore either because I was drop dead tired and feverish too. Next, I suggested the idea to join the Outdoor Gardens Audio Tour at Gardens by the Bay so we got to chekc out other parts of the Gardens that we could not reach by foot. Everyone said okay so after taking hefty amount of pictures with the iconic SuperTree Groves somewhere near the restaurant, we walked back to the information counter to get the tickets for the Audio Tour.

The glorius Supertree Groves.

The Audio Tour costs SGD 8/pax (for adults) and SGD 3/child and it encompasses a leisurely 25 minutes ride around the Bay South Garden on a 22-seater Garden Cruiser tram.

Waiting for the Audio Tour to start.

I quite enjoyed this tour because I didn't have to sweat and stress while exploring some other parts of the Gardens. We got to  know the Cooled Conservatories, Themed Gardens, Meadow and also the Supertree Grove so overall, I think the tour ride was worth the price. Thankfully, the haze on that day was not so bad so our outdoor activity around the Garden was quite enjoyable.

The penguin tree in the Themed Garden.

In conjunction with the Mooncake Festival last month, some parts of the outdoor gardens were also decorated accordingly. The outdoor gardens were quite interesting to check out too but again, since most of us were so exhausted already, we could not really enjoy the outdoor garden scenery thoroughly nor take pictures with the decorations.

The Koi decorations.

I think, if we go to Singapore for holiday and had never been to Gardens by the Bay, visiting Gardens by the Bay is a must because this place is so beautiful and worth visiting. Not to mention that Supertree Groves have now become one of Singapore's icons too, I think? So somehow we must take photos with them? Haha.

Caterpillar-like flower that my Mom snapped on our way back to the parking lot.

Lastly, if you are travelling to Gardens by the Bay with a toddler or baby, please don't forget to bring your stroller. Stroller is so important for a holiday that involves long stroll such as this one otherwise what is supposed to be a leisure stroll in the garden will easily turn into a nightmare stroll in the garden. In fact, you can use the stroller for your kid or store his or her heavy bag since lugging your kid's bulky diaper bag around the garden is not going to be fun either.

Gardens by the Bay, Singapore
Address: 18 Marina Gardens Drive, Singapore 018953
Conservatories Rate: SGD 8 - SGD 28
Outdoor Garden Audio Tour: SGD 8/adult and SGD 3/child
Opening hours: 9am - 9pm daily

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