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Thoughts of Singapore

Monday 27th July

storm 31 °C

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Swipe left to see the full panorama

We are now relaxing comfortably in Bali but for now my thoughts are lingering back to Singapore. Our second day in the city was even more enjoyable than the first. Early morning brought stormy weather. After a relaxing breakfast in the club lounge (so worth paying for a club room if you can, for all of the extras that come free of charge) we relaxed in our room for a while watching the lightening and storm clouds approaching. We had pre-booked tickets for the Singapore Flyer (like the London Eye but nearly a 100 foot higher) so were a bit concerned when it seemed to have stopped running. I guess having a bathroom window with a direct view meant we could check this out without having to brave the rain. We asked reception whether the closure was due to the inclement weather and a quick phone call confirmed that it was. Given that the worst of the storm seemed to be passing over we decided to take our chances, and luckily for us it reopened just as we arrived. The 'flight' was very much as it's London counterpart but it gave us yet another opportunity to take photographs of the sights of Singapore including the Marina Bay Sands, the Gardens by the Bay and our hotel.

After a light lunch/ afternoon tea back at the hotel we walked over the Helix footbridge and then on to the Gardens by the Bay. They look pretty amazing from a distance but exceeded all expectations once there.

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There are two bio domes both larger than at the Eden Project in the UK. The most spectacular by far is the Cloud Forest. Just inside, a waterfall (the largest indoor water cascade in the world) gives a hint of what is to come. A central pillar is planted with hundreds of thousands of exotic plants including numerous varieties of orchids. A lift takes you to the top of the dome and suspended walkways take you past plants and the waterfall and give you the sense of being in a rain forest. An rather salutary and scary educational video near the exit describes what the planet might be like at the end of the century if we don't do something about global warming.

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The flower dome is less spectacular but gives the opportunity to see some of the smaller species of the baobab (one tree that holds a particular fascination for me). It also houses a large display of flowers, although a little unnaturally and rather gaudy for my taste. By the time we finished looking round the bio domes it was starting to get dark and our intention was to go and look at the 'super trees' at close quarters having previously seen then lit up from the distance of our hotel. They did not disappoint; combining the appearance of a modern art installation with that of the natural form of flowers and climbing plants as you might see elsewhere in the tropics. What we hadn't appreciated is that they have a light and sound show twice every evening. We wanted to go up onto the walkway that links some of the trees and although we had to queue to get up there we were able to see part of the show from ground level and the rest from the walkway. Best of both worlds and a thoroughly amazing experience.

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So specular was it that it nearly made me cry (how soppy) and good enough that we decided to have something to eat nearby in the gardens so that we could watch the second viewing! We then made the short walk back along the river admiring the view of the Flyer illuminated against the night sky, and with our hotel ever in view back across the Helix footbridge to the Ritz Carlton Millenia for another much needed nights sleep.

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Posted by Gill's Travels 02:41 Archived in Singapore

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Singapore more than exceeded my expectations! Admittedly they were partly set by my parents' visit more than 20 years ago. Much has changed since and the Bay Gardens, the Flyer and the super trees were amazing!

by Nigel's Travels

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