It may be summer all year round in Singapore, but Yuletide spirits are in full swing in the island nation. In fact, its urban offerings rival that of any western city, with dazzling decorations, light extravaganza and entertainment galore.
Positioned next to the equator, Christmas in Singapore is always green. There are neither snow nor reindeers in this tropical island. Yet it doesn’t stop Singaporeans to celebrate this festive season. On the contrary, Christmas in the Lion City is as big as any celebration during the years. The city truly lights up during this season, with elaborate ornaments predominate the central districts.
Though Singapore has no shortage of stunning Christmas decorations, Garden by the Bay stands out from the rest. More specifically, its Christmas Wonderland is a sensational display of lights and sounds that can enthrall any visitor (including myself). Other facilities such as the Flower Dome or the Floral Fantasy are also woth visiting, with seasonal flowers and delightful Christmas spectacles.
A Brief Introduction of Gardens by the Bay
A marvellous combination between architecture and nature, Garden by the Bay is an urban sanctuary at the heart of Singapore. It expands over 101 hectares and comprises of three waterfront gardens: Bay South Garden, Bay East Garden and Bay Central Garden. Since its openning in 2012, this lush oasis has won multiple accolades and become an intergral part of the city’s skyline.
Among the gardens, Bay South Garden is the largest (54 hectares) and the most popular one. Through its various conservatories and landscapes, visitors can exprience the best of horticulture and Singapore’s finest garden artistry. It’s without a doubt one of the most fascinating parks that I’ve visited.
As its name implied, Flower Dome is home to exotic flowers and plants from semi-arid regions from around the world. You can find numerous species – many are very rare – in eight distinct gardens, such as ancient olive trees, peculiar cactus or towering baobabs. The dome also features a changing display of flowers. For example, a wide array of poinsettia was exhibited during last Christmas. They were blended into a colourful landscape dotted with gnomes and Nordic landmarks.
Even if you are not into greenery, the futuristic design of the Flower Dome is reason enough to visit. Occupying an area of 1.3 hectares, this glass structure is the largest cooled conservatories in the world. It took the shape of a giant orchird petal rising from the lush landscape. The Flower Dome is also praised for its environmentally sustainable elements, including special glass which can reduce heat gain or smart cooling system that focus on occupied zones.
Adjacent to the Flower Dome is the Cloud Forest – a mist-filled conservatory packed with colourful orchirds, anthuriums, ferns and mosses. It mimics the cool-moist ecology of the tropical highlands, found in South East Asia, Central- and South America.
The moment you enter the Cloud Forest, you will be amazed by a multi-storey structure called the Cloud Mountain. At the height of 35-metre, it allows visitors to have a bird’s-eye view of the green carpet beneath, as well as the Marina Bay. The “mountain” itself is also part of this glass biome. It features a breath-taking indoor waterfall and is completely claded with diverse vegetation.
Though Flower Dome is one of Gardens by the Bay’s most spectacular attractions, it’s far from the only floral paradise that you can visit. Located next to Bay Front Station, Floral Fantasy features four vibrant, dreamlike landscapes. Each takes inspiration from fairy tales, with waterfalls, carvenous spaces and floral artworks.
The variety of plants on display and the creative ways in which they’re presented is truly fascinating. From live plants, fresh cut to dried and preserved blooms, they all come together to add colours and scents to this beautiful place. It’s like a walk into the realm of fantasy, where your senses are enlivened. And depends on the season, the flowers change accordingly.
Aside from the floral artistry, there is a 4D multimedia ride simulating a dragonly’s flight path. It flies over the bay, the gardens, the lakes, into the conservatories and finally end up at the Supertree Grove. This delightful journey gives visitors an overview of the entire Bay South Garden.
Christmas Wonderland at Gardens by the Bay
During the year-end holiday, Christmas Wonderland is, however, the pièce de résistance of Gardens by the Bay. Since its debut in 2014, this month-long event has brought joy to millions of visitors. It features extravagant light shows, astonishing decorations and a wide range of Christmas activities.
Last year, the wonderland took place on a massive ground spanning the space of eight football fields. It encompassed part of the Dragonfly Lake and the oft-photographed Supertree Grove. There were various stations where visitors could soak in the Yuletide spirit, with bright lights, soothing music and cool drinks. Yet the sight to be hold was the ethereal beauty of Spalliera Luminaire. Handcrafted by Italian craftsmen, this illuminated sculpture resembles a maginficent cathedral. Together with the faux blizzard that occurred every hour, it created a magical scene.