A Masterpiece of Gardens By The Bay
Gardens By The Bay, in downtown Singapore, is an exceptional botanical park with 5000 species of plants. A park made even more exceptional by its two giant cooled conservatories that are among the largest greenhouses on the planet, for plants that wouldnt grow in equatorial Singapore.
We are here visiting the “smallest” of the two conservatories, the Cloud Forest Dome. A 0.8 hectare greenhouse, still! Nevertheless, it is the tallest of the two, and contains a 35-metre high man-made mountain from which is flowing the world’s tallest indoor waterfall.
As you might have guessed from its name, this conservatory houses plants that grow in the cloud forests. They are tropical forests growing on mountains from 2000 m and above, where the temperatures are cooler but the air is very humid. These forests are often caught in the mist and the clouds – hence the name.
In order to recreate this environment, the temperature inside is constantly kept between 23 and 25°C, and mist is realeased at regular times during the day to keep the humidity high. Tree ferns and carnivorous plants thrive, among others.
As a visitor, you will be led into a tour up and down the “mountain”. The most impressive parts are when you are walking on the hanging footbridges, realising how massive the greenhouse is.
There is a 28 SGD (about 20 USD) fee to enter (gives access to both conservatories), which can deter those traveling on a tight budget. However, if like me you enjoy plants and nature, as well as impressive man-made structures, I think it is worth spending a little extra for something you will remember for a long time!