Singapore Day #2: ArtScience Museum, Gardens by the Bay & Marina Bay Sands

When our relatives were informed of our upcoming visit to Singapore, the first set of reactions from the ones who had been there were,

” When are you visiting Gardens by the Bay..?” and

” Don’t miss Gardens by the Bay..”.

Clearly, Gardens by the Bay seems to be the common favourite attraction and the one thats first jumps to mind. ArtScience Museum, Gardens by the Bay and MBS are situated in close proximity to each other, walkable distance and there is so much to explore, it can easily take up more than a day.

First stop, ArtScience Museum. The museum is housed in a curious white coloured, lotus-inspired building. This unique design gets your attention and you are eager to explore the inside. The exhibition housed inside is named “Future World” and is organised into four themes – Nature, Town, Park & Space. The exhibit consists of an array of interactive installations and artwork, the keyword here being “interactive”.

We started with the Nature theme, which showcases an artwork called “Black Waves” and another installation inspired by the three-legged crow from Japanese mythology, illustrating the creation of life.

From Nature, we move to the Town theme through the artwork named “Sliding through the Fruit Field”. Town has activities that inspire the challenges of shared spaces, such as “Sketch Town Paper Craft” and so on.

Moving to the Park which hosts artworks representing forms of recreation, which necessitates physical exertion while having fun. This is an effort to unplug from the virtual reality that we often and conveniently reach out in the name of fun. “Media Block Chair” is a fun activity here – you stack up colour cubes. The festive season has an added attraction called Sketch Christmas, where you colour your Santa and scan him. He then appears on the screen and and you can watch him deliver presents. It’s super fun !!

Space, the last theme houses the installation – Crystal Universe – the long strands of gleaming white lights on mirror floors, is a favourite spot for selfies. The exhibits in the ArtScience Museum, while they were mind-blowing, what was exemplary was the fun and joy we got from participating and learning by doing rather than just walking past the exhibits as we are so accustomed to doing.

They also have an exhibition titled ” Treasures of the Natural World” where the exhibits are picked and presented from the Natural History Museum in London. That’s half a day well spent. Next stop, Gardens by the Bay – the horticulture marvel !!

The major attractions are the twin domes – the Cloud Forest & the Flower Dome. The Cloud Forest Dome greets you with a 35m manmade mountain and waterfall. Its also the world’s largest indoor waterfall. After this spectacular sight, you just walk spellbound and enjoy the scenic display of trees, ferns, pitcher plants and the orchids. It also has a Crystal Mountain with stalactites.

The Flower Dome houses gardens from around the world – from a Mediterranean garden to a South African Garden to an Australian garden and many others in-between. It’s a world of perpetual spring with the flower displays changed to reflect the different seasons and festivals. Being December, all the trees were lighted up and it looked like a Christmas wonderland. Poinsettia, with it’s large showy scarlet bracts are everywhere and is currently my favourite plant. As a souvenir, bought a Risis natural orchid plated with 24k gold and palladium. It looks beautiful !! The Supertrees – the vertical plant displays – spectacular !! We also had a glimpse of their light and sound show in the evening, called Garden Rhapsody and being December it was a medley of Christmas songs.

For December, there is an added attraction called ” Christmas Wonderland” which houses a whole host of Christmas themed shows, rides, games, food and so on. But we had to skip this, we were running short on time and had to rush, as we wanted to cover Marina Bay Sands as well.

We walked to MBS and were greeted by the beautiful music fountain display. Mesmerised by the colourful display, we watched it in silence. Once the sound ceased, we noticed this huge “wishing well” as it is popularly called. It’s an art installation of acrylic and stainless steel named ” Rain Oculus”, with a water spiralling in it and functions as a skylight and waterfall for the retail mall below. The water also feeds the canal in MBS. The canal and the gondolas in the shopping mall was a surprise and a treat to watch. There are the expensive and exclusive brands housed in the mall. MBS was dressed in green and gold for Christmas. We finished the day with dinner at a restaurant named Beanstro located beside the canal and after a while the water started gushing down from the wishing well above and soon there was a loud waterfall right beside us…prefect end to the spectacular day !!

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