Gardens by the Bay has two cooled conservatories (or what I like to call ‘domes’ because it’s easier for people to know what I’m talking about): Flower Dome and Cloud Forest. I blog regularly about my visits to Flower Dome at Gardens by the Bay. So I think people are mistaken that I prefer Flower Dome to Cloud Forest.
Truth is, the very first time I visited the two domes at Gardens by the Bay, I liked the Cloud Forest much more than the Flower Dome. The only reason I don’t blog about Cloud Forest much is because, from the day it opened till now, there were hardly any changes to it! Whereas at Flower Dome, the floral display changes every two months of so. That’s why I always had something to blog about. You can check out some of my older posts from Flower Dome:
> Cherry Blossoms Display(2017 | 2016)
> Christmas Floral Display (2016 | 2015)
> Dahlia Dreams (2017 | 2016)
> Tulipmania (2017 | 2016)
> Blue Beauties (2017)
> Tribal Tempo (2016)
> Lilytopia (2016)
It wasn’t until the day I went for a photo walk with my older son MF and my new baby (a camera, not a real baby) that I decided it was high time I wrote at least one post on the Cloud Forest on this blog. After all, I have already written plenty on Flower Dome, I have written about the Children’s Garden, and then I have written about OCBC Skyway. It’s just weird for me to leave out Cloud Forest.
So yeah.. 5 years after my first visit to Cloud Forest, I am finally here to share with you some photos of what is actually one of my favourite attractions in Singapore and some tips for visiting with kids.
Gardens by the Bay is planned such that the exit of Flower Dome leads right into Cloud Forest. Okay, not right into. They force you to go through the souvenir shop first. But idea is there. So what most people would do is, from the ticketing counter, they would go to Flower Dome first (the entrance of Flower Dome is very near to the ticketing counter) then after exiting Flower Dome, they would go on to Cloud Forest.
In other words, if you want to beat the crowd, you should go in the morning, head DOWN the escalator between the ticketing counter and the entrance of the Flower Dome and you would find yourself at Cloud Forest before anyone else. If you are not there first thing in the morning, then it doesn’t matter. It’s gonna be crowded throughout the day. :p
Once you enter, you will be greeted by the huge waterfall. Here’s a tip: Bring a jacket. Given Singapore’s scorching hot weather, chances are that you are dressed in t-shirt and berms when visiting Gardens by the Bay. But the Cloud Forest can get pretty cold, especially with the water from the waterfall splashing at you. My older boy deliberately went right up to the railing to let the water splash on him. Your kids may do the same. Sometimes I see tourists holding umbrellas or wearing ponchos while taking a photo in front of the waterfall. I wouldn’t go to that extent. But at least a jacket if you don’t want to catch a cold.
Most people only pay attention to the waterfall and not so much to the plants on the ‘mountain’. But if you look closely, you would actually notice a variety of floral and fauna on the walls.
MF did not share my love for flowers. But he spotted a dragon nearby and decided to go on a dragon hunt.
Turned out there were quite a number of dragons around and kids could dragon hunting!
After he was done with dragon hunting, MF went on to totem hunting.
And then we discovered flowers made of LEGO! Something that MF stopped to admire for a while. He was like, “So cool!! The flowers are made of Lego! How did they do that?” I thought it was pretty strange for him to ask that, considering he have been to Legoland Malaysia so many times.
After passing the Lego flowers, we were whisked up to the top of the Cloud Forest to an area called ‘Lost World’ by elevator. Please be patient while waiting for the elevator. During crowded hours, you may have to wait a while to get into one.
From there, we began our Cloud Walk – which was the highest elevated platform in the dome. I thought MF would be terrified, considering how scared he was at the OCBC Skyway. But he didn’t find the Cloud Walk scary at all. I can never understand kids.
From the Cloud Walk, we could see where we came from. Moments ago, we were just down below! The patch with the spotlights was where the Lego flowers were.
There was quite a nice variety of flowers to admire as you walk along the Cloud Walk. So do stop to take a look. Usually my kids would be over excited and just run along the metallic platform.
But as MF grew older, he has become a bit more interested in reading information boards. And he found some along the Cloud Walk to keep himself entertained.
After the Cloud Walk, we found ourselves going through the Cavern.
And we found a viewing platform called Waterfall View. It was too crowded on the platform so we didn’t bother waiting around for our chance to grab a photo.
We continued our way down and found ourselves at the Treetop Walk. Which MF enjoyed strolling along and checking out the trees below us.
And on the same floor, we could see the ‘Crystal Mountain’ which displayed stalactites and stalagmites. I don’t usually stay long here because my kids always have this urge to touch the stalactites and stalagmites and I’m terrified that they would break something. So we would just hurry along.
Going down the escalator from the Crystal Mountain, there were toilets and a baby care room if you need them.
And from the toilets, going down another escalator would bring you to ‘+5 Degrees’ which was a short documentary film that showed what would happen to Earth if our temperature was to increase by 5 degrees. MF enjoyed the film and it was a good way for kids to learn of the catastrophic effect of global warming.
Right after that was ‘Earth Check’ with a lot of information about the Earth and climate change. I found this section to be a bit of an information overload for young children. Adults and older children would be able to understand it better.
And towards the end of the walk, we found ourselves walking through ‘Secret Garden’.
I loved the display behind glass panels of rare plant species, with magnifying glasses for us to observe them closer. They were located at adults’ eye level though, and kids would have to be carried up to take a look.
And before exiting, there were more toilets and another baby care room. They sure take good care of visitors with young children here.
When we first visited Cloud Forest, MF was still a baby and we pushed him on a stroller throuhgout the entire facility. Rest assured that Cloud Forest was catered for wheelchairs and strollers. At certain points where visitors had to use stairs or escalators, there would also be an elevator for visitors with wheelchairs and strollers. Just that you may have to wait a while for them when it’s crowded.
Now that MF was 6 years old, the visit was a lot more fruitful as he could walk around and read the information on the many information boards around the dome. Although he was terrified of the OCBC Skyway, he loved the Cloud Forest so much that he insisted I take a photo of him just before we exited. (Something he SELDOM requests for – unless he really likes a place.)
Just to tease him, we went back to Supertree Grove after exiting the Cloud Forest and asked him if he wanted another walk on the OCBC Skyway. (We had unlimited access as Friends of the Gardens members.) I thought the Cloud Forest may have conquered his fear of elevated walk or something. But he gave me a big flat NO. lol….
Ideally when you’re visiting Cloud Forest, you should try to be there during mist timings to feel like you are walking through the clouds. Somehow I have always been missing the mist timings. Mist timings are at 10.00am, 12.00pm, 2.00pm, 4.00pm, 6.00pm and 8.00pm daily.
Discounted admission tickets to Gardens by the Bay:
For visitors from overseas, you can get discounted admission tickets to Gardens by the Bay from Klook Travel. Usual admission fee to the two domes is $28, but Klook is selling them for $22.
Note that for locals, there is no incentive to get from Klook because Gardens by the Bay already has a discounted admission fee of $20 to two domes.
Information on Cloud Forest:
Time: 9am – 9pm Daily (please check official website for special closure dates before visiting)