ASIA

Singapore – The End Of A Magical Journey

The Magic of Singapore

This post marks the end of my journey to magical Singapore. Whilst sifting through the photographs, I realised that I had taken very few nightscapes during my trip. I decided that this, in itself, is reason to return in the not too distant future.

St Andrew’s Cathedral Interior.

St Andrew’s Cathedral is the largest cathedral in Singapore. This is reflected in the spacious interior which has towering ceilings and a fifty five metre long aisle. When entering the church look for the following:

1) The Canterbury Stone which is set in a pillar by the lectern.

2) The Coventry Cross, on the column supporting the pulpit.

3) The Coronation Carpet in the Epiphany Chapel.

These objects come from the United Kingdom and symbolise the affiliation of the Church with the Anglican Communion in England.

The church has an interesting history. For instance, in 1942, shortly before the fall of Singapore during World War II, the cathedral was used as an emergency hospital. Church services were suspended and only resumed in 1945, after the Japanese surrendered.

St Andrews Cathedral, Singapore

Singapore River

The Singapore River flows for a distance of just over three kilometres from the Central Area. It has been the nations lifeline for over a hundred and fifty years from a time when fishing was the principle activity on the island.

The river has three quays along its course. Taking a bumboat cruise from any one of these quays is a popular and relaxing tourist activity.

Singapore River

Dragonfly Sculptures, Marina Bay Gardens

The Dragonfly sculptures are the main feature at Marina Bay Gardens Dragonfly Lake. Each metal work of art has a unique child rider. Each of these sculptures is a celebration to the joys of childhood.

Dragonfly Sculptures - Marina Bay Gardens

Supertree Grove & Skywalk

The population density on the small island of Singapore is extremely high. This means that land is at a premium and every bit of free space has to be utilised efficiently. The Singapore authorities have not been deterred. They have tackled the problem head on and with practiced creativity.

First off, there has been a long term policy of  land reclamation. A massive twenty two percent in total land size has been added, by using earth obtained from quarries, the seabed, and rock purchased from other jurisdictions.

There has also been a high level of creativity. This can be seen on almost every building where it is legislated that there has to be a certain percentage of green area incorporated into the structure. This is also evident at Gardens by the Bay where the Supertrees are vertical gardens that rise twenty five to fifty metres above the ground. Over one hundred and sixty thousand plants, from tropical flowers to ferns and climbers, cover these alien like structures. Supertree Grove & Skywalk, Singapore

Cloud Forest – Gardens by the Bay

The Cloud Forest is the smaller of two conservatories at Gardens by the Bay. It covers an area of two acres and replicates the cool moist conditions found in tropical mountain regions of South-East Asia and South America. Inside this conservatory the main attraction is the forty two metre high ‘Cloud Mountain’ which is completely covered by epiphytes (ferns, orchids, bromeliads and more)Cloud Forest - Gardens by the Bay

Gardens by the Bay – Wood Carvings

Not only does Gardens by the Bay feature plants but there are also wonderful sculptures and intricate wood carvings. These fine works of art complement the beauty of the plant displays.

Gardens by the Bay – Wood Carvings

Gardens by the Bay – Singapore

Gardens By The Bay – Singapore

Gardens by the Bay, Singapore is a nature park located close to Marina Bay and covering just over a hundred hectares of reclaimed land. The park comprises of three waterfront gardens, being Bay South Garden, Bay East Garden and Bay Central Garden. It is also home to world class attractions such as the Cloud Forest, Flower Dome, SuperTree Grove and OCBC Skyway. Within the three parks there are over five hundred thousand plants from all over the world and from a diverse range of environments.

Gardens by the Bay is justifiably ranked by Tripadvisor as Singapore’s top tourist attraction.

Gardens By The Bay – Camellia Japonica

Gardens by the Bay has many different varieties of beautiful flowers including a large number of Camellia Japonica shrubs. These glorious plants have glossy, deep green leaves and stunning red, pink, or white flowers.

Gardens By The Bay, Singapore – Camelia Japonica

Gardens By The Bay – Bay Central Garden

Bay Central Garden acts as a link between Bay South and Bay East Gardens and includes a three kilometre waterfront promenade that allows for scenic walks and an abundance of flora and fauna.Gardens By The Bay, Singapore - Bay Central Garden

Gardens By The Bay – Bay South Garden

The Bay South Garden, at fifty four hectares,  is the largest of the three gardens and has all the main attractions of the park. These include the conservatory complex, Supertree Grove, the Children’s Garden and the horticultural themed gardens. This area of the park is not to be missed and it is easy to spend the better part of a day exploring this section.

The overall concept of Bay South Garden draws inspiration from an orchid which is Singapore’s national flower. The waterfront conservatories represent the roots, the various green groves the leaves, the paths and communication lines are the shoots and the themed gardens and supertrees are the flowers. Gardens By The Bay, Singapore - Bay South Garden

Gardens By The Bay – Bay East Garden

The Bay East Garden is just over thirty hectares in size and has a promenade that borders the Marina Reservoir. It is made up of a series of large gardens that are each shaped like a tropical leaf. Gardens By The Bay, Singapore - Bay East Garden

Bay South Garden – Flowerdome

The Flower Dome is the largest glass greenhouse in the world and its climate has been designed to imitate the cool-dry climate of this planet’s Mediterranean regions. Bay South Garden, Singapore – Flowerdome

Gardens By The Bay – Conclusion

Gardens By The Bay welcomed almost nine million visitors in the year to 21st March 2016. There is free admission to most areas of the park except for the Conservatories where tickets are required to be purchased before being allowed to enter.

Gardens By The Bay, Singapore - Flowering Shrubs

Iconic Buildings of Singapore

Singapore Architecture

In terms of town planning, Singapore is one best designed city’s in the world. It is graced with wide tree lined streets, a top rated metro system, well planned waterways and a plethora of beautiful buildings. The city is also spotlessly clean and extremely well maintained. The architectural styles are wide and varied and are influenced by many different cultures and periods of time. The following is just a taste of what the city has to offer.

Raffles Hotel, Singapore

Raffles is without a doubt the most famous hotel in Singapore. It was opened in 1887 and the architecture symbolises the Island’s colonial history. The hotel is famous for its high teas, ornate furnishings and luxurious suites.

Raffles Hotel, Singapore

The Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall, Singapore

The Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall is one of Singapore’s oldest performing arts venues. It has been restored to its 1905 neo-classical glory and is home to the Singapore Symphony Orchestra. The complex is made up of two buildings which are joined by a central clock tower and common corridor.

The Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall, Singapore

Supreme Court of Singapore

The Supreme Court of Singapore is housed in a modern eye-catching building which replaced the old colonial halls of justice in 2005. The ‘flying saucer’ like top of the building is a modern interpretation of the old Court building’s central dome.

Supreme Court of Singapore

CHIJMES Hall, Singapore

CHIJMES Hall is a historic building complex in Singapore which is now used as a multi purpose hall(the old chapel building) and an art gallery(Caldwell House). The complex was originally used as a Catholic convent known as the Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus.

CHIJMES Hall, Singapore

Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay

 

Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay is a performing arts centre located close to the Marina Bay Sands Resort. The centre consists of a theatre that can seat up to 2000 people and a concert hall that has a capacity of around one thousand eight hundred guests.Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay

Marina Bay Sands Resort

Marina Bay Sands is made up of three hotel towers and a roof that looks like an extraterrestrial surfboard or luxury liner perched on top of a tripod. The whole resort encompasses a hotel with more than two thousand five hundred rooms, a one million three hundred thousand square foot convention/exhibition centre, a mall, a museum, two large theatres, restaurants, two floating Crystal Pavilions, a skating rink, and the world’s largest atrium.

Marina Bay Sands Resort

St Andrew’s Cathedral – Singapore

St Andrew’s Cathedral is the largest religious building in Singapore and is the islands oldest Anglican Church. Church services continue to be held on a regular basis in the church and the St Andrew’s Cathedral Choir is the oldest musical institution in Singapore.

St Andrew’s Cathedral – Singapore