A well-planned marriage between Urbanisation & Horticulture

Singapore is well known as a Garden City (country) and I truly do not understand this name until I made a thorough visit to our pride, Gardens By The Bay & its surrounding Marina Bay area recently. I always get inspired to travel overseas to satisfy my exploration thirst but never really considered to explore our own country, the little red dot, in depth. We often take our own country and neighborhood for granted.
So when I am asked to join our Runner, Eddie, on a morning 80-minute running tour to visit Gardens By the Bay in depth, I gamely said “Yes!” even though the tour started at 7.00 am.
We gathered at Custom House and everyone did a 10-minute warm up stretching to wake up our muscles. Our journey began running along The Fullerton Bay towards Clifford Pier and then Merlion Park overlooking Marina Bay.

We made a stop to say “Hello” to Merlion who spouts water from its mouth 24/7. To be honest, I have never come so up close with the Merlion ever since it moved from its original position because he is always surrounded with a lot of tourists. This icon is a ‘must-see’ for everyone visiting Singapore, similar to other significant landmarks around the world. So I am glad we are at Merlion Park early in the morning so that we get to enjoy some quiet moments with him. 

We then ran pass the Esplanade – Theatres On The Bay and via the Floating Platform onwards to the Helix Bridge. We had a brief stop on the bridge admiring our Central Business District (CBD) from the elevated view.

Before we entered Gardens By The Bay, Eddie showed us the route that we will be covering. Almost immediately, we were transported into another oasis.

Despite being a local, it is still a must to have a group picture at the Dragonfly Lake. The beautiful dragonflies can be a little hard to spot as they fly amidst the plants and lake. Therefore when we saw a few huge ornamental ones, I insisted everyone to take a picture with them. We enjoyed this visual and sensory treat while discovering the aquatic ecosystem as we ran along the boardwalk by the side of the lake.

You see those futuristic looking trees in the background in the picture above ?  They are the most eye catching attraction in the garden, known as the Supertrees. There are a total of 18 such trees spread over 3 clusters : the Golden & Silver Garden and Supertree Groove. The tallest one measures as high as 16 storeys. Planted in these trees are over 162,900 plants comprising more than 200 species and varieties. I am very impressed by the huge amount of plants contained there.

 The next highlight of the run was the Marina Barrage. It is also known as the Marina Reservoir; the 15th reservoir and the first in the heart of the city. Yes… you saw it right. We have 15 reservoirs in Singapore ! Marina Barrage is the vision of the late Mr. Lee Kuan Yew (our founding father and first Prime Minister of Singapore) more than 20 years ago when he envisioned damming the mouth of the Marina Channel to create a freshwater reservoir to boost Singapore’s water supply. It acts as a tidal barrier to prevent flooding in low-lying city areas. Now, it also offers a venue for water-based activities right in the heart of the city.

We headed back to Gardens By The Bay via another route so that we get to cover other attractions such as the Heritage Gardens. It is an interesting space, connecting our history & cultural practices of Singapore’s main ethic groups (Chinese, Malay, India and Colonial establishments) through plants and trees.
We made a little detour into a path and came to the Kingfisher Lake. This lake is lesser known and hidden well from the public eyes. The tranquility often attracts many birds to the lake and we saw nature lovers and avid photographers spending a lot of time at this lake capturing these beauties in their natural habitat.

The latest lure in the Garden, The Canyon, is a collection of sculptural rocks with over 60 one-of-a-kind ancient rock forms sourced from Shandong, China. The most striking rock is this one in the picture below. It reminds us of the Ruyi Jingu Bang (如意金箍棒). It is the name of a magical rod used by the immortal monkey king Sun Wukong (孙悟空) in the Journey to the West story (西游记).

As we leave our eco footprints in the various corners of the Garden, our run came to an end. Although, it is only a 80-minute run, we were extremely glad that we covered so many highlights of the Garden as well as the Marina Bay – without the crowd and the heat !
So if you are coming to Singapore, perhaps you may wish to consider seeing our lovely Marina Bay area from another perspective in a green and healthy way. Contact us!
Posted on 25 Nov 2016 by Sheryl 0 468
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