It proved to be a hot and humid day and so it was a refreshing welcome upon our arrival at the Cloud Forest dome of Gardens by the Bay. Towering at a height of 35 m, we were welcomed by the world’s tallest indoor waterfall. The waterfall thundered and churned out mists and vapours – reminiscent of waterfalls we see in nature in cooler climates. For a moment our cares and worries were cast aside, awed by this spectacle.
The Cloud Forest dome is one of two conservatories at the Gardens by the Bay. The waterfall feature is part of an even higher structure known as “Cloud Mountain”. It is an intricate structure clad with vegetation found on mountainous regions in South-East Asia, Central and South America. Had it not been for the glass roof, the waterfall, when paired with the environmentally-friendly air conditioning can almost fool visitors into thinking that they have been transported into the cool highlands.
After taking the elevator to the top, we followed a circuitous path down the “Cloud Mountain” admiring the various orchids, ferns and other highland vegetations adorning the lush “mountain” side. This started from the top-most “Cloud Walk” to the lower “Treetop Walk”. On the lowest level is where the “Secret Garden” is located. Here you’ll find has a range of ferns, begonias, orchids, and other plants which are increasingly rare. Altogether there are about 7,000 plants of more than 135 species and hybrids and well represent many of the plants found in limestone forests and caves. Don’t forget to catch a glimpse at the new installation of miniature orchids. They are so tiny that you will need to view the blooms through a magnifying glass!
Before we know it, an hour and a half passed by quickly and our leisurely stroll in this surreal environment came to an end. But our sojourn at the Gardens by the Bay has not ended yet. Next: Flower Dome.
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