A rainforest under a glass dome, a waterfall you can reach through elevated walkways and a man-made mountain covered in dense vegetation.
I’m used to seeing natural waterfalls and mountains in just their raw, rugged environment, often far from the city and involving long travel times to get to. So it was amazing to be walking amidst skyscrapers one moment, then enter a dome that replicates the conditions typically found in tropical mountain regions. The Cloud Forest in Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay manages to blend state-of-the art technology with diverse and exotic plant life from tropical highlands. At the center of the Cloud Forest, is a 35-meter tall mountain covered in lush vegetation shrouding the world’s tallest indoor waterfall. The misty mountain is densely covered with a vertical carpet of ferns, moss, orchids, bromeliads, begonias and carnivorous pitcher plants.
However, no hard hiking is needed to scale this mountain. Visitors get to ascend to the highest point called “The Lost World” conveniently by elevator. From there you can get an amazing view of the Marina Bay waterfront before descending via two industrial walkways snaking through the clouds, all the while enjoying an aerial view of the canopy and mountainside below. If humanity ever succeeded in embarking on interplanetary flight, this would probably how we bring our plants to Mars or Moons of Jupiter. This place has a very special Space Age vibe.
Gardens by the Bay, 18 Marina Gardens Dr, Singapore 018953. Cooled conservatories are open from 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM, Daily. Standard admission rate for Two Conservatories (Flower Dome & Cloud Forest) is $28 for adults and senior citizens, $15 for children. Access to the Outdoor Gardens in Bay South is free. www.gardensbythebay.com.sg