Singapore is a city of rapid growth and constant change. Having visited Singapore numerous times I want to share a little about one of my favorite places – and review the Cloud Forest Dome at Gardens by the Bay.
Gardens by the Bay, opened in 2012, are an impressive addition to Singapore’s modern skyline, and have quickly become a popular destination for both tourists and locals.
It’s easy to see why – the beautiful greenery combined with striking architecture makes Gardens by the Bay a true Singapore icon. With the Supertree Grove, the Heritage Gardens, and the two huge conservatories, it would be easy to spend an entire day here. (Ed’s note: Discounted tickets through our affiliate partner are available here.)
The Cloud Forest Dome
If, however, you don’t have a full day to spend, and need to prioritize, the huge greenhouses, or bio-domes, are the way to go. The Flower Dome is the larger of the two, but in my personal opinion, I believe the Cloud Forest is more impressive.
As soon as you walk in, you’re greeted by a 115 foot (35 meter) waterfall, the sound of which fills the entire building.
Cloud Mountain, from which the waterfall flows, dominates the center of the greenhouse and is positively coated in greenery and flowers. Follow the path around the base, then take the elevator to the top. The views are magnificent; both of the plants and architecture within the conservatory, and of the city visible through the massive glass dome. The path then spirals downwards, sometimes inside the mountain, sometimes outside. At each level, information about the exotic environment that the greenhouse emulates is presented beside the exhibits.
Displays include a garden of carnivorous plants near the top, and a room full of stalagmites to mimic the interior of a cave (complete with bat noises!).
The path continues with a set of rooms dedicated to the preservation of tropical cloud forests, and concludes back at ground level. Near the end, you’ll find a fascinating display of miniature orchids. They are so small, they require looking through magnifying glasses to see them properly!
Throughout the experience, the lush greenery and cool freshness can almost make you forget that you’re actually in such a densely populated city. While the ubiquitous crowds are never far, there’s always something peaceful and refreshing about a walk through Singapore’s Cloud Forest.
The Cloud Forest (and Gardens by the Bay as a whole) is a popular attraction. To avoid larger crowds, try visiting in the morning on a weekday.
How to get to the Cloud Forest by train:
Take either the Circle Line (yellow) or the Downtown Line (blue) to Bayfront station. After disembarking, just follow the signs to Gardens by the Bay; then follow the next signs to the domes!