The ethereal beauty of Christmas Wonderland

Singapore: A Colorful Christmas at Gardens by the Bay

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 is neither snow nor reindeer on this tropical island. Yet it doesn’t stop Singaporeans to celebrate this festive season. On the contrary, Christmas in Lion City is as big as any celebration during the years. The city truly lights up during this season, with elaborate ornaments predominating 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 worth visiting, with seasonal flowers and delightful Christmas spectacles.

A Brief Introduction of Gardens by the Bay

A marvelous combination between architecture and nature, Gardens by the Bay is an urban sanctuary at the heart of Singapore. It expands over 101 hectares and comprises three waterfront gardens: Bay South Garden, Bay East Garden, and Bay Central Garden. Since its opening in 2012, this lush oasis has won multiple accolades and become an integral 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 experience 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.

1. Flower Dome

As its name implied, Flower Dome is home to exotic flowers and plants from semi-arid regions 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 last Christmas. They were blended into a colorful 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 conservatory in the world. It took the shape of a giant orchid 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 systems that focus on occupied zones.

The glass roof of Flower Dome. It looks like a space colony
Christmas spectacles at Flower Dome
A mini-version of the Church of Iceland

2. Cloud Forest

Adjacent to the Flower Dome is the Cloud Forest – a mist-filled conservatory packed with colorful orchids, 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-story 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 clouded with diverse vegetation.

Cloud Moutain
View of Marina Bay Sands from Cloud Mountain

3. Floral Fantasy

Though Flower Dome is one of the 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, cavernous spaces, and floral artworks.

The variety of plants on display and the creative ways in which they’re presented are truly fascinating. From live plants, fresh-cut to dried and preserved blooms, they all come together to add colors 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 dragonfly’s flight path. It flies over the bay, the gardens, the lakes, into the conservatories, and finally ends up at the Supertree Grove. This delightful journey gives visitors an overview of the entire Bay South Garden.

Floral Fantasy features four vibrant, dreamlike landscapes.

A White Christmas at Floral Fantasy
Nocturnal orchard at Floral Fantasy

4. 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. The wonderland takes place on a massive ground spanning the space of eight football fields.

It encompasses part of the Dragonfly Lake and the oft-photographed Supertree Grove. There are various stations where visitors can soak in the Yuletide spirit, with bright lights, soothing music, and cool drinks. Yet the sight to behold is the ethereal beauty of Spalliera Luminaire. Handcrafted by Italian craftsmen, this illuminated sculpture resembles a magnificent cathedral. Together with the faux blizzard that occurred every hour, it creates a truly magical scene.

Walk of Peace – a tunnel illuminated with 60,000 light bulbs
The ethereal beauty of Christmas Wonderland

16 thoughts on “Singapore: A Colorful Christmas at Gardens by the Bay”

  1. Merry Christmas dear Len.❤️🎄🙏

    1. Thank you! I’m glad to see the Christmas Wonderland still place this year. Some hope during this uncertain time. I wish you a pleasant holiday 🙂

    1. Thank you, cô Tám. It’s more like an expansive park than a botanical garden. Those conservatories are just part of the park. Merry Christmas to you! I wish you a safe and pleasant holiday 🙂

  2. This is truly a visual feast Len. Your photos are breathtaking. I love the combination of Christmas trees and tropical plants. The cloud forest with that waterfall is incredible. I was last in Singapore in 2010, before this complex was built. It’s clearly time to return. Happy holidays!

    1. It’s definitely worth a re-visit! My mom was surprised when seeing my photos of Marina Bay. Her last visit was in 2009 and she said there was only grassland. I wish you a pleasant holiday. And a better 2021 😀

  3. Jolene – Sydney, Australia – Jolene is a banker by trade, a writer at heart, and is a contributor to Thought Catalog. You are welcome to peek into her adventures and reflections on films and life at "SoMuchToTellYou", her ultimate love affair with words.
    Jolene says:

    Hope you had a lovely Christmas Len!
    Did you go this year? It’s beautiful… I’ve never remembered Singapore to be this gorgeous.
    I hope you have been staying well this year! 😊

    1. Thanks, Jolene! I’m glad to hear from you again. It has been a while 🙂 The pictures were from last Christmas. This year, I could only make some domestic trips. It was quite interesting because I hadn’t seen much of my country. I hope you have a pleasant holiday. And a better 2021 😛

      1. Jolene – Sydney, Australia – Jolene is a banker by trade, a writer at heart, and is a contributor to Thought Catalog. You are welcome to peek into her adventures and reflections on films and life at "SoMuchToTellYou", her ultimate love affair with words.
        Jolene says:

        Thank you, you too. 🥳🥳🥳

  4. Mabel Kwong – Melbourne, Australia – Writer and multicultural blogger based in Melbourne. Writing to help you navigate cultural identities and confidently pursue creative passions.
    Mabel Kwong says:

    These are stunning photos, Len. Absolutely colourful, vivid and full of life. When I lived in Singapore, I remember many places there would go all out for Christmas decorations. If I remember correctly, Christmas Day you can go out and about to the shops unlike here in Australia where everything closes for Christmas.

    Gardens by the Bay looks so festive for the end of the year, with each section decorated along with its own celebratory vibe. That Walk of Peace must have been like something out of this world with all those tiny orange bulbs 🙂 Hope you are doing well and take care.

    1. Thank you for the kind words, Mabel! I’m glad to hear from you again. Hope you are doing fine as well 🙂

      It’s the same in Germany. Everything is closed for Christmas. Even public transportation is very limited. And 24th Dec is a true silent night…

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