I’m not much of an outdoor person, but under controlled circumstances, nature can be nice, and Gardens by the Bay is indeed a really nice version of the wilds. You get the feeling that you’re out in nature, but without having to worry about all the creepy stuff such as animal poo, scary bugs and snakes.
I first visited Gardens by the Bay when I was in Singapore in September. Back then, I didn’t have much time, so I only went to see the OCBC Skyway and the Flower Dome and decided to skip the Cloud Forest. When I was back in Singapore with Poul in December, the Cloud Forest was therefore top priority.
A really nice thing about both Cloud Forest and Flower Dome is that both observatories are so big. Even on a busy day (like the day we went), it didn’t feel crowded. Ok, there can be a bit of a line forming in front of the most popular photo spots, but really nothing to talk about. When we stopped to admire a particularly beautiful flower or secure some selfie-proof that we had been there, we never felt that we had to hurry. There was plenty of room for everyone to explore the observatory at their own pace.
Just like Flower Dome, Cloud Forest is situated inside a huge glasshouse. In the middle is a 35m tall, green mountain covered in the kind of vegetation, which you’ll find in tropical mountain regions including some beautiful carnivorous plants.
The waterfall is the tallest indoor waterfall in the world. It looked gorgeous, but it was hard to catch on camera. I regret that I didn’t record a small video, so you could hear the mesmerizing sound of the water falling down. Inside the mountain is a display of real stalactites and stalagmites and before you exit, you can also educate yourself in the climate changes around the world, should you wish to do so. The temperature inside the observatory is kept at a steady 23-25°C, but it felt a lot colder, so don’t wear a short summer dress, like I did, but put on a sweater.
The Cloud Forest is open daily 9:00-21:00 (last ticket sale 20:00). Tourists pay 28SGD for a combination ticket which includes entrance fee to the Cloud Forest and the Flower Dome. Read more about Cloud Forest on Gardens by the Bay’s website.