In a dome of nature wonders

By ybanezkim26 | hive-174578 | 14 Feb 2020


After my evening walk at Gardens by the Bay I promised to myself that I will go back during the day time to see the Flower Dome and Cloud Forest because both were already closed when I got there that night. I wondered how I am supposed to do that because my flight back to the Philippines will be in the afternoon of a weekday which means I have no weekend to spare for wandering. Then my boss said that I can take the morning of my last day in Singapore off, that I don't need to work and I can go sight-seeing or shopping before I fly in the afternoon. Hah! Isn't that amazing? As sure as the sun shines every day, I will take that opportunity!

I hailed a cab after packing up on my last day in Singapore. To the Gardens by the Bay, and make it fast! I have only until noon to wander and it is nearly ten o'clock.

The Supertrees do not look as appealing at day time as they are at night. They look like plain structures without the charisma at day time. The light effects at night make the Supertrees more enchanting in the dark.
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The Marina Bay Sands casino to the left of where I entered Gardens by the Bay looked grand with all the lights at night. However, its grandeur does not diminish at day time. It actually looked like a superior structure towering over Singapore. The Sky Garden looks like a spaceship that landed on the three towers.
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I moved past the Supertrees and came to this spiral dragon tail tunnel which seemed like an entrance to whichever is at the end of the tail.

The end of the tail is an open ground where one would think which way to turn. To the right will lead to an open garden where I eventually found the giant cacti during my evening walk. To the left is a pathway to another part of the garden where the other set of Supertrees are. A little farther forward is another area where a visitor would think what's next. To the right is a souvenir shop. To the left is the ticket booth for entrance tickets to the Flower Dome and Cloud Forest. I turned left.
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I asked for ticket to the Cloud Forest only because I thought I was running out of time. The attendant asked.

"For one only? Twenty dollars. If you buy for two, twenty eight dollars."

She meant one of either Flower Dome or Cloud Forest. The price made me think. Twenty eight Singaporean dollars seem expensive but twenty is way more expensive for just one attraction. Ah, marketing strategies! They intentionally do this to be able to sell more.

Okay, let's have a ticket for the two attractions. That means I have to hurry or the plane will leave me behind.

I opted to go to the Flower Dome first. This dome is the largest greenhouse in the world as listed on Guinness World Records in 2015. Let's get in and see what it got to offer!

The entrance of the dome on the upper ground floor is like a tunnel with wall-size screens of flowers on both sides. It was like walking in a garden where all "the flowers smile as you walk by."
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Near the end of the entrance tunnel is this model of house front and yard.
The pool of flowers on the front yard is lovely. The flowers by the windows look overkill though. I thought the flowers are stealing the attention from the windows. It would be better if smaller plants are placed by the window panes.

Notice the red ones at the back of pool of flowers.
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I went around to the back side to take close-up photos of the red ones, which looked like a type of orchid, but I thought it was an epic fail. I just kept shooting without paying attention to the focus. Now that I am writing about it when I realized the subject on the photos were not really focused. I still love the redness though.

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I mentioned that the entrance to the dome is at the upper ground floor. Here is the lower ground. I thought there was a stairway to go down straight to this but I took the longer path. I turned left and followed the road going around and down.
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To the left of the road was elevated flower bed with different animal statues. When I first spotted this corner from afar, the deers looked real. Only that the front feet of the first and the last ones do not reach the ground making it obvious that they are artificial.
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Few meters away from the deers are these beautiful daisies. The different colors added more life to the sight. And there are the girafees towards the back. I thought I took closer shots of these long-neck statues but I can not find one. I must have clicked at the wrong subject that time.
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Further down the road, I came across these statues which took me slow to absorb how they look levitating. I first looked for steel stick that was used as post to hold the upper body but there was none. It took me a while to notice that they are all holding on to their bags and luggage that are all touching the ground. Those are all that hold them up in mid-air. I figured how they look levitating but I did not understand why the statues were designed wanting. I searched the web and found this;

LA FAMILLE DE VOYAGEURS
CREATED BY BRUNO CATALANO, DONATED BY CHANGI AIRPORT GROUP
Flower Dome
Bronze

‘La Famille de voyageurs’ (A travelling family) depicts a family visiting Gardens by the Bay before heading home. As they depart Singapore, they take with them beautiful memories and leave a part of themselves behind. Inspired by the universal theme of travel, French sculptor Bruno Catalano’s eye-catching works, with their dashed bodies and the deliberate lack of volume, invite the viewer to mentally reconstruct the possibility of the human potential.

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Somewhere along the curve of the road before I hit the lower ground floor are these manicured trees. With the shape, these can pass for all-time Christmas tree.
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Across the trees is this flower bed with the beautiful orchids. I was surprised to see them healthy and bright growing on the ground. That is because during my childhood days, my elder brothers used to get them from the forest growing on trees like moss. It has been failure for me to grow them on coconut husk. We should have thought of at least trying to put them on soil back then.
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An auntie was bending over and picking trash from the flower bed when I approached. Without looking at her I said, "Auntie, good morning! You have beautiful flowers here. Let me take photos, yeah?"

Without waiting for an answer, I already pointed my phone out and took some shots. I was expecting something like "it's okay, go ahead" but her reply surprised me.

"Ah, from the Philippines lah?"

I laughed and asked, "how did you know?"

"Your language. The way you speak." Yeah, right. There are many Filipinos along the streets of Singapore. I walk by and just by hearing them, I can surely tell that they are of my own skin. I am just amazed that even foreigners can tell.

She stopped what she's doing and apparently wanted a conversation. I asked her name.

"Helen. You?"

"Lumen." Sounds the same, huh?

I asked if we can take our photo. She gladly posed in front of the camera. I asked if I can post on social media.

"Sure, lah."

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I took close-up shots of the orchids. I thought I had good ones but I ended up a little disappointed when reviewing them. I guess it is one thing that I need to learn in photography as just a hobbyist and newbie - macro focus and correct angle.
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Helen and I chatted for a while. She was saying she is a volunteer working in the dome. She also mentioned that all of them working there are volunteers. I wonder if "all" those volunteers that she refer to are only the ones wearing uniform like her because I thought I saw someone working in the garden but was wearing casual attire. Maybe not. Maybe I was just not paying much attention with what I saw.
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I moved on and came to another pool of amazing orchids. From afar, one pool looked like cherry blossoms of different colors on the ground.
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Growing orchids was not easy for me. Not one lasted long in spite if my efforts to tend to them during my elementary days. Seeing them so healthy and this many was jaw dropping. Apparently, I have many things to learn about orchids. Yeah, one day when I retire and have time for that at home...
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This yellow orchid was something new to me. I used to have the spotted version of it which I was told it is called "tiger" orchid. I thought maybe because of the spots that it is called that way. But tiger has stripes and not spots, right? The ones I had have yellow flower with red dots scattered on the flower. It did not have flower this tall. I thought it was just a third of these flowers length. Dwarfed?
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It was already past ten o'clock in the morning. I was sure the sun was enjoying its reign outside but it was chilling inside the dome. Why, it's air-conditioned! Apparently, the natural environment is what these plants miss in this dome.
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I had more scenes of orchids as I approached the exit. These white ones were the most common that my elder brothers found in the forest during our younger days. Still, none of them lasted long. I wish I knew better back then...
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The exit is another tunnel with monitors on the left. They look smaller than those at the entrance. Maybe that is because flower figures are jammed into one screen unlike at the entrance that one flower for every screen is being displayed. Optical illussion effect.
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At the end of the tunnel exit is the souvenir shop. On the other side of the shop are the entrance and exit of the Cloud Forest. That's a good location strategy, yeah? Whether you go to the Flower Dome or Cloud Forest, you still end up with the temptation to buy something amd spend more. I didn't, though.
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Cloud Forest is next. Join me again on my next post for my walk inside the other dome "next door."

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ybanezkim26
ybanezkim26

Chemical Engineer | Travel Blogger | Novelty Seeker

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