Day 4 – Flower Domes and Jurong Bird Park

Our time in Singapore is flying past us. We have only 2 more full days left! Singapore has a distinct English-speaking style also known as “Singlish”. It is basically English spoken in a certain accent and with the use of “lah” and “leh”. I was starting to pick that up, having been in Singapore for 4 days now. The agenda for today was to visit the two GBTB domes which we could not do on day 2. Rain was on the forecast in the first half of the day, so it made sense to go and visit the domes in the morning. The domes are completely indoors and the weather outside makes no difference to a visit there.

We got some breakfast and then headed out to Bayfront MRT station. The Bayfront MRT station is actually located in the basement of one of the Marina Bay Sands (MBS) towers. So, when you come out of the station, you stand in the MBS mall. We made our way to Tower 1 and then tried to find the way to the gardens. The security officer at the main hotel lobby directed us to go to the 4th floor from where we can access another elevator going to the gardens. But those directions turned out to be wrong, as there were nothing but hotel rooms on the 4th floor. One of the hotel staff on the 4th floor suggested that we were given incorrect directions and we actually had to walk out of the tower, then go around the back and take an elevator which was located outside tower 1. All of this bouncing around ate up precious minutes. We took the correct elevator and walked for about 15 minutes before finally making it to the flower domes.

The flower dome and the cloud forest were both stunning. There is no doubt in the fact that both these domes are the top-rated sightseeing destination in Singapore. There were plenty (I mean plenty) of flowers and plants. The variety was just incredible. The flower dome had flowers from different parts of the world in a climate controlled environment. The air conditioning makes the dome very pleasant to be in, considering the heat and humidity of Singapore. The flower dome even had a section on different types of cacti.

Gardens by the Bay Flower Dome

                                                                  (Gardens by the Bay Flower Dome)

Gardens by the Bay Flower Dome

                                                                  (Gardens by the Bay Flower Dome)

Gardens by the Bay Flower Dome

                                                                  (Gardens by the Bay Flower Dome)

Gardens by the Bay Flower Dome

                                                                  (Gardens by the Bay Flower Dome)

Gardens by the Bay Flower Dome

                                                                  (Gardens by the Bay Flower Dome)

Gardens by the Bay Flower Dome

                                                                  (Gardens by the Bay Flower Dome)

Gardens by the Bay Flower Dome

                                                                  (Gardens by the Bay Flower Dome)

Gardens by the Bay Flower Dome

                                                                  (colourful decoration at the Flower Dome)

Gardens by the Bay Flower Dome Cacti

                                                                (different types of Cacti at the Flower Dome)

Gardens by the Bay Flower Dome White Cactus

                                                               (Incredible White Cactus at the Flower Dome)

The cloud forest was also equally brilliant. It had a massive supertree in the center with walkways around it. You have to go to the topmost level and then walk your way down 7 or 8 levels. The supertree also had a massive waterfall. Every level had an amazing variety of plants. There was a very creative section where plants were made out of Lego pieces. The Gardens by the Bay are truly unique. To have something of that sort in the middle of an urban downtown area was just amazing.

Gardens by the Bay Cloud Forest

                                                                       (Waterfall at the Cloud Forest)

Gardens by the Bay Cloud Forest

                                                                   (Walking path around the supertree)

Gardens by the Bay Cloud Forest Lego Pieces

                                                                      (these were made of Lego pieces)

Gardens by the Bay Cloud Forest Lego Pieces

                                                                   (these were also made of Lego pieces)

Gardens by the Bay Cloud Forest

                                                                         (walking down from the top level)

One can easily spend 2 hrs in each dome and even longer if you are a flower/plant enthusiast. Throughout our time in the two domes, we just kept taking pictures, as everything was so beautiful. We literally drained our phone batteries till they were below 50%. We finished walking through both the domes in about 2 hours total. However, we could have easily spent twice that time if we did not have other places to visit that day.

Gardens by the Bay

                                                                 (walking back to MBS from the Domes)

It was almost 12 noon by the time we were done. So, we walked back to Bayfront MRT. The direction signboards at the gardens were not the best. We were led to walk a much longer route than we really needed to. We must have walked for a good 20 minutes just to exit the garden complex. Upon exiting the GBTB park, we ended up at the MBS mall, back where we started in the morning. The plan was to visit the Jurong Bird Park post lunch, because we wanted to keep the last day completely free for shopping. Like the Singapore Zoo, the bird park also had shows throughout the morning and evening. These shows are an absolute must for every visitor. The first show of the afternoon was scheduled to begin at 3 pm. So, we had to make sure that we were at the park by 2:30 pm. That gave us about an hour to eat lunch because the MRT ride to Jurong was a long one as well. Jurong is far out in the western part of the island.

There was no time to try our foodie-list restaurants. We had to get something at the mall itself. After our Ling Zhi disappointment on Day 2, we wanted to eat dim sum and there was a Din Tai Fung at the MBS mall. Din Tai Fung is a famous dim sum chain with outlets all over Singapore. We looked at the menu hoping to find something vegetarian. Luckily, there were 3-4 veggie options! They were all excellent. Most of the sauces had pork or seafood in it, so we could not consume those. But, we ended up making our own sauce – red chilis mixed with soy sauce. It became somewhat popular as the group seated next to our table also ended up copying us. Indians surely know how to spice things up.

din tai fung red bean paste

                                                       (Dim Sum with red bean paste, ginger strips on the top right)

vegetarian dim sum din tai fung

                                                                    (Dim Sum with spinach and garlic)

red chili din tai fung

                                                                                 (a side of red chilies)

vegetarian dim sum din tai fung

                                                                        (vegetarian Dim Sum with spinach)

After a satisfying dim sum lunch, we got some gelato at a stall called Venchi, located just outside Din Tai Fung. We then took the MRT to Boon Lay. It was a loooong journey on the green east-west line. Once at Boon Lay, we then took bus 194 and just about made it to the bird park on time. At the bird park, we skipped the exhibits and instead headed straight to the first show of the afternoon – The High Flyers. The show was excellent and lasted about 20 minutes. After that show, we walked around some of the exhibits and then went to the second show of the afternoon – King of the Skies. That show was also amazing. There are plenty of videos on YouTube of these shows. Feel free to check them out to get a feel of what these shows are all about.

jurong bird park entrance

                                                                              (entrance of Jurong Bird Park)

high flyers show jurong bird park

                                                                                 (the High Flyers show)

iguana roaming about jurong bird park

                                                               (this iguana-like creature was walking around)

blue parrot at jurong bird park

                                                                                   (a beautiful blue parrot)

green parrot at jurong bird park

                                                                                           (green parrot)

red parrot at jurong bird park

                                                                       (these red birds are from South America)

colourful parrot at jurong bird park

                                                                                (more parrots, very colourful)

white parrot at jurong bird park

                                                                                         (a white parrot)

jurong bird park

                                                                    (a white bird with a pink coloured head)

waterfall at jurong bird park

                                                                       (a waterfall inside the bird park)

peacock at jurong bird park

                                                           (peacocks were walking in the open with humans)

male peacock at jurong bird park

                                                          (this guy was running around the waterfall area)

hornbill at jurong bird park

                                                                                            (a hornbill)

With the shows all done, we then visited all the exhibits at the park. Interestingly, there were some sections where we got really close to the birds. In one area, parrots were literally sitting on my arm and shoulder! We could even feed them. We enjoyed our time at the bird park. How many places around the world have a park dedicated just to birds? I highly recommend Jurong Bird Park to anyone visiting Singapore.

It was almost 6 pm by the time we were done walking through the bird park. The park was scheduled to close at 6 pm and we must have been among the last few people to exit the park that evening. We headed back east towards the city. Having had Asian food for most of our time in Singapore, we decided to get some pizza for a change. One of our friends had recommended Modesto’s in Vivo City Mall for wood-fired pizzas. So we head down south to Harbourfront station, which is located at the basement of Vivo City Mall. Most MRT stations in Singapore are either located below a mall or a commercial building. It was a Monday and there was no problem getting seated at Modesto’s. In fact, we got outdoor seats, overlooking the harbour and Sentosa Island! And to our pleasant surprise, Modesto’s had a 30% off on any a la carte order. Not only did we get discounted pizza, but we also saw the acclaimed Wings of Time show as we were eating. We got to see the entire show from across the water and we could even hear a bit of the music. The show looked really good and colourful, with stunning effects. A few fireworks followed the show. It was a great way to end another fun-filled day in Singapore.

margherita pizza at modesto's

                                                                        (the classic margherita pizza)

quattro fromaggio pizza at modesto's

                                                                      (quattro fromaggio pizza at Modesto’s)

But the day was not over just yet. After dinner, we headed back to Farrer Park station. As we were walking towards our hotel, we came across City Square Mall and there was a crowd of people in the lobby. We decided to peek in and see what the fuss was all about. It was a sale! All sorts of things were being sold at half price and shoppers were lapping it up. While inside the mall, I stumbled upon a well-known Japanese bakery called Chateraise. Japanese deserts couldn’t be overlooked and I had to go in. They had many interesting things like Hokkaido ice cream, chestnut buns, cakes, mochis, etc. Even though I was stuffed with pizza, I had enough room for a matcha green tea mochi. Amazing Japanese deserts close to Little India. That’s Singapore for you, a melting pot!

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