Visiting SG: Gardens by the Bay, Marina Bay Sands and River Cruise

It’s our first day in SG!

Our whole family visited Singapore for the first time last December 6-11, and we went kinda chill on our itinerary because we wanted a relaxing vacation and because we had kids with us. For our first day, we went on a River Cruise, visited the Marina Bay area, and Gardens by the Bay. We Klook-ed almost everything, and so our tickets were all booked beforehand.

The Singapore River Cruise

Our river cruise ticket can be claimed at the Clarke Quay Jetty, so we headed straight there via the NE (Violet) line of the MRT. We were there at around noon time, and there were very few shops are open. But Clarke Quay was still pleasant and colorful to go around in.

We booked this river cruise via Klook during their 11-11 sale, so it cost us about PHP 800+ each. You can show the mobile voucher to the counter, and they will give you complimentary vouchers in exchange. The views from the boat are really interesting, ranging from the colonial buildings to the modern ones.

Some views from the boat!
There’s an audio guide that tells the story of the significant places we passed by.

Shoppes at Marina Bay + Helix Bridge

We disembarked at the Bayfront South Jetty, which led us straight to Shoppes at Marina Bay, a mall right in front of the Marina Bay Sands. It is quite a beautiful mall, and we stopped here to rest and eat.

From the mall, you can reach the ArtScience Museum.

Gardens by the Bay: Flower Dome

It was Christmas extravaganza at the Forest Dome!

We bought tickets via Klook again for both the Flower Dome and Cloud Forest. The mobile voucher can be shown at the entrance turnstiles itself so no need to exchange for vouchers/tickets at the counter. The domes really are so beautiful, and I’m amazed by Singapore’s consistency and excellence here. Aside from being a cool recreation spot/ tourist attraction, it really can bring awareness and educate a lot of people.

Gardens by the Bay: Cloud Forest

The cloud forest is stunning right at the entrance.

Right beside Flower Dome is Cloud Forest, a conservatory which aims to replicate the environment and show the lush vegetation in tropical mountainous regions. The way to see this dome is to go straight up via elevators, and go down while exploring. Being an architecture graduate, I was super fascinated with the dome itself and how everything is designed. My sister (a bio grad) and niece, on the other hand, really can’t get enough of the plants in both domes!

After going around Cloud Forest, we hung out a bit outside the gardens and waited after dark to see everything lit up. And the place really kinda changes at night!

That wraps up our first day of exploring SG! Our day wasn’t even that full but we were all too tired. However, I felt like all our activities were truly worthwhile in terms of the price and the aching of our feet. We all enjoyed exploring the gardens and the marina bay area, where everything is just so well-designed. It also helped that the weather was great, besides the light drizzle in the morning.

Anyway, some tips:

  1. Booking online saves you money and queuing time. But this is already given. A lot of sites such as Klook and KKday offers them. And take advantage of sales!
  2. Bring reusable water containers. Most of the places we went to (especially in the gardens) had water refilling stations, in line with their advocacy to limit the use of single-use plastic. Save the environment and a few dollars! (A bottle of water is around SGD 1-1.50 from what we saw)
  3. Wear good shoes for a loooot of walking.
  4. For the river cruise, you can try what we did and disembark on your next destination, and not where you boarded the boat. (However, note that you cannot board again.) In our case, we started from Clark Quay, and explored the Marina Bay area after going down at the Bayfront Jetty. Saves a bit of commute/walking time.

Thanks for reading and do check again for my next post! For our next day, our family went different places in the morning and then visited the Night Safari!

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