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  1. Gardens by the Bay, a new attraction that has brought a lot of attention to the Marina Bay area. Since its opening 2 weeks ago, I've been planning to bring my boy here for his birthday so here we are!
     It was drizzling when we arrived ):
    If you drive, the first carpark that you'll pass by is the Meadow Park. Drive further down to reach the main entrance, which is a basement carpark that is much nearer to the ticketing.
     At the main entrance
     The crowd was really crazy over the weekend, filled with so many locals and tourists. The hype about Gardens was still quite on and thus the flock of people who were visiting. We even overheard some tour guide saying "Hougang one go here, Kovan one go there! Don't all go one conservatory!", so I presume it should be a field trip organized by some CC.
    Set aside cash to get the tickets for a shorter queue, they have another counter for cash transactions.
    If you have Passion card, Safra card, NTUC Plus card, you're entitled to 10% off!
    Thankfully, there were no queues to enter the conservatories. Pretty flower photos to welcome you as you enter the Flower Dome
    The Flower Dome is divided into several sections: 1) The Baobabs - mainly consisting of trees that have many uses for its roots, hollow trunks, bark, wood, leaves, flowers and fruit, from building materials to food and medicine! 
    2) Australian Garden - A fascinating showcase of plants that have adapted to survive long dry seasons and fires from two regions in Australia – Western and South Australia. Check out the top right photo of the Kangaroo paw. It looks more like a real paw than my own hand.
    They're not dead! It's their way to survive!
    3) South African Garden - An amazing number of exclusive or endemic species of plantsThese species have needle-like leaves that form thickets of fire-prone, hard-leaf shrubs that grow in sandy, low-nutrient soil. Many of the plants found in this vegetation have small, dark leaves covered in a waxy outer layer that helps them to retain moisture. 
    4) South American Garden - This stunning garden will mesmerize you with exotic plants from Central Chile, on the west coast of South America and isolated from the rest of the continent by the Andes. 

    5) Mediterranean Garden - The Mediterranean Basin is one of the first places in the world to practise agriculture, with crops such as olives, figs, grapes, wheat and lentils. Its coastal location and climate makes it attractive for farming, recreation and urban development, which also threatens the natural habitats. It's my first time seeing an olive tree o_O, the only time I see the leaves are on those crowns sort of head dress.
    Me and my favourite daisies

    6) Californean GardenComprising mostly shrubs and a few trees, surrounded by herbaceous perennial and annual flowers, these plants are affected by natural fires that occur from time to time.
    7) Flower Field - The most pretty section of the entire conservatory!

    The second conservatory is the Cloud Forest and you'll be pleasantly surprised with a different experience from the Flower Dome. 
    Comprising a 35-metre tall mountain complete with the tallest indoor waterfall covered in lush vegetation. The Cloud Forest portrays plant life from about 2,000-metres above sea level at the top of the mountain to around 1,000-metres at the bottom of the ravine. 
    Ascend to the mountaintop comfortably via the lift and descend through two walkways. Experience and learn about unique biodiversity and geology of cloud forests, and the environmental threats that they face within the nine unique zones in this cool-moist Conservatory.
    It's a lil cold in here, so do bring along a cardigan!
    Not only is Gardens a good place for lots of photo taking, both of us gained lots of knowledge by the information boards that were placed around the conservatories. It's a good place to recap the things you've studied in Biology and understanding how plants adapt to the environment.
    Ending off the conservatory is about how global warming will affect these lovely plants and we can do our part to protect our environment! The conservatories are designed to be sustainable systems inspired by the cycles present in nature. For example, rain water is collected in an underground reservoir which is filtered by various plant beds. This water is then used to irrigate the plants. Biomass from all over Singapore (from pruning etc.) is collected and fed into a biomass boiler to provide electricity. The leftover ash is then used as a high grade fertilizer for the plants. The design of the place is meant to minimize its impact on the environment and reliance on the power grid. It's eco-friendly! If only such systems could be scaled down and be efficient enough to be placed in homes...
    We didn't manage to take the skyway because of the freaking long queue and the ticketing counter closes at 7pm on weekends and 8pm on weekdays. Do note that the queue for the skyway is different from the ticketing counter where you purchase the tickets to the conservatories. The ticketing counter as of now if just a tentage at the base of the Supertrees which support the Skyway. We feel that better coordination can be managed so that people don't queue for nothing especially if the time is nearing the end. The Skyway is a simple bridge which is about 50 long. We would suggest visits on a weekday if you want,  $5 to get up. We can't really tell if the $5 is worth it, but definitely not 30 mins of waiting time.

    And that's the end of our visit to Gardens by the Bay! Stay tuned to know where I brought my boy to for dinner! :D

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