Saturday, February 21, 2015

[SINGAPORE] The Hanging Gardens of Singapura

The name of the place is actually Gardens by the Bay. Why so straightforward, Singaporeans? We are Southeast Asians. We are expected to beat around the bush. They could have also referred to it as “Those Gardens across the Three Buildings with a Surfboard on Top” if they wanted to be really descriptive. It does not get any less creative than that. What about something that sounds gimmicky like “Merly the Merlion’s Gardens” or something epic like “The Hanging Gardens of Singapore”?

But as they say, a rose by any other name would smell just as sweet, except that I would not really know if there are roses because I did not enter either the Flower Dome or the Cloud Forest. Here are some of the key questions I asked myself in deliberating whether I should go in or not: 1) Is there a roller coaster in there; 2) Are there going to be carnivorous plants with a wicked sense of humor; 3) Should I really pay close to a thousand pesos just to see plants?

It was a hard decision. I already budgeted around SGD30 for that attraction, but I thought that money would go a long way if used for other travel expenses. In the end, my decision was influenced by a sneak peek of the Flower Dome, a part of the interior of which could be viewed from the second floor of the open esplanade. I did see a waterfall surrounded by a throng of camwhores having a field day. SGD28 to watch tourists taking selfies in a giant botanical garden? I walked along and enjoyed the gardens outside.

It did not help that Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands was just across the street. If you would ask me to choose between shopping and plants, I would gravitate more toward the former. But that happened after spending half an hour or so enjoying the scenery at Gardens by the Bay. One of the more popular attractions there is the OCBC Skyway, characterized by the hanging bridges connecting several Supertrees. You have to pay SGD5 to get up there, which is not really that pricy if you ask me.

I did not go there either because I felt I did not have to. The main reason why people go up is to take a selfie with those three buildings with the surfboard on top at the background. I was able to snap a selfie capturing that and some of the Supertrees from down below anyway, so I thought why pay SGD5, right? I would suggest that you go up, though, especially if you are no longer paying the admission fee for either the Flower Dome or the Cloud Forest. You could then enjoy the panoramic views from above.

And then I went malling. Capitalism, what have you done to me? Maybe it is a strategy of theirs to place these two attractions right next to the other. Oh, so you are tired from all the plants now, huh? Let us relieve you from your stress by taking your Singapore dollars in exchange for something branded. Dior? Prada? Givenchy? Name it, they have it. They even have separate stores for adults and kids. The mall also has a fake river complete with gondolas a la the Grand Venetian in Macau.

There is also a casino in case you are interested. I was interested, but then again I am on a budget. I felt so poor. Hahaha, so sad! Having a visual overload of all things signature, I then had myself questioning how we all tend to get enslaved by the predominantly capitalist society that we live in. USD800 for a shirt, really? Perhaps satisfaction from purchasing such items is only effective for the filthy rich. That amount is, like, equivalent to three months of rent if you reside in a third world country. Doh.
[SINGAPORE] The Hanging Gardens of Singapura

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