The best thing about Singapore is its greenery. I imagined Singapore would be an artificial city with many skyscrapers and didn’t expect to see greenery in the city. However, planted greenery is well designed with a great deal of effort from Singaporeans. You can find its growth in the residential areas, the skyscraper districts and lightly traversing the city’s canals and waterways.
Green Terrace in the city
You can enjoy greenery and nature in the city and the following listed areas. When I arrived in Singapore and saw a lot of green spaces all around, I remembered that Singapore has a Tropical Rainforest Climate. Singaporeans make the best use of the moisture and sunlight. You can also enjoy green terraces in the city. Roadside trees and terraced greens were beautiful. In Japan, it is the trend to plant greens on the balcony of the house, but the volume of green is much less than in Singapore.
Gardens by the Bay is one of the experiments to expand green areas in the city. It was built in 2012 and Supertree Grove was planted with the height of 25-50 meters on a 110 hectare site. Supertree itself was made by rebar and the plant is growing along with the rebar. The idea was astonishing. I already knew Supertree Grove from media articles, but it was much bigger than I had imagined. The contrast of wine red rebar and greens and flowers was so beautiful. There were many runners after sunset along the sidewalk.We took the Singapore Flyer near Gardens by the Bay. The highest point of the Singapore Flyer is 165 meters and it takes 30 minutes to go around. Kisho Kurokawa, a Japanese architect, designed this giant wheel and each gondola is the same size as a public bus, so there is a space to walk around inside to see different viewing points of the Singapore city night scape. It offers such dynamic panoramas.
Walking from the Singapore Flyer to Marina Bay Sands was also fascinating and we could enjoy the Marina Bay Sands Light Show.
Singapore is trying to revitalize its tourism industry. Entertainment conglomerates invite popular musicals, live action events and night shows. There were lots of night activities, but we preferred to walk around, because the temperature was much cooler than in the daytime. You won’t find any streetlights that aren’t working and the city is basically very safe to walk around in a small group. You will see many tourists and people jogging in the parks and along the riverside.
I hesitated to go to see the Merlion because I thought it would be just a photo spot. Everyone told me it was so disappointing, but my friend who lives in Singapore now, strongly recommended taking a photo with the Merlion as a lasting memory of my trip. Thanks to her advice, I could surprisingly enjoy the Merlion. My expectation was so low, but the Merlion statue is bigger than I had thought. There were less tourists in the morning, so we could take photos from several different directions.The 8.6 m handsome Merlion with fish tail was so sophisticated. The Prince of Srivijaya found a lion near the seashore and Singapore was called a town of lion in Sanskrit based on a Malay chronicle of the 11th century.
The reason why the Merlion has a fish tale is because the area was called a port city in Jawa language from ancient times and the Merlion has a fish tale as a symbol of this. The area itself offers beautiful views and is nice to walk around. We enjoyed greenery walking from Gardens by the Bay to the Merlion through the Youth Olympic Park and Esplanade Park.
Along Singapore River and canals, there are several spaces to take a rest and a good sidewalk covered with green trees. We saw many locals who were running after sunset.
The canal is a symbol of what Singapore developed and gained throughout its history. The central route particularly gives stunning views of the urban areas of Singapore, with an especially romantic sight of the parks and skyscrapers.
The Singapore River Cruise departs every 15 minutes and is easy to take from Clarke Quay, Merlion Park and many other spots along the Singapore River.
During the Riverside Walk, we visited the Asian Civilizations Museum near the end of the Singapore River and Marina Bay. As the Asian Civilizations Museum explained, “ACM focuses on the many historical connections among the cultures of Asia” and we could enjoy displays from the Chinese, Islamic and Ancient world through to Christian arts. The museum displays the Tang Shipwreck and has a special VR exhibition to explore for ceramics in the Java sea.
The layout of the exhibition is also very attractive, using a lot of space. We spent two hours there, but the size of the museum is not so big, so if you were in a hurry, you could look through in less than an hour.
Greenery in the town was beautiful, and we also loved Singapore Botanical Gardens. The transportation was so easy due to the well-developed subway system. Public bus transportation is also organized well and we can visit the Botanical Garden from anywhere in Singapore. In the morning or early evening is the best time to go. The park site is huge, so it takes 2-3 hours to see it all. Established in 1859, the gardens reflect the English Garden style for plant research. You can enjoy open air space, National Orchid Garden and paths under the various kinds of trees that lead to historical buildings.
After visiting the Botanic Garden, I could see that Singapore was aware of the risk of being too dependent on only a few kinds of plantations and so, quality education was introduced in order to empower people by raising their skills and expertise. Science Centre Singapore has many interactive activities to learn Science. When we visited the Butterflies up-close area, we saw rare insects and were allowed to touch them under the full green trees. The staff explained kindly and their topics were wide-ranging and deep.
When to visit
The daytime walking was almost impossible. It was really hot and humid. I felt the humidity is different from Tokyo’s hot summer and it was so hard to see around during daytime in Singapore. It is better to keep away from the sunshine and to stay indoors. Morning and early evening is the best time to walk around town and to visit parks.