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18 September 2014

Gardens by the Bay East and Marina Barrage

Whilst everyone is familiar with Gardens by the Bay South (the side with the Flower Dome and Cloud Forest) how many of you have visited Gardens by the Bay East?  Well neither had I until quite recently.  It was actually my husband who discovered this side of the gardens whilst he was out running and on a slightly wet Sunday a few weeks later we decided to go and explore them a little more.

Whilst Gardens by the Bay South is usually always full of visitors this part of the gardens was practically empty.  I'm not sure if that's because we arrived just as the heavens opened and everybody else had checked the weather forecast first or if it's always like that.  Regardless though this meant we could soak up the serenity of the gardens and explore them exactly as we wanted to.

This was taken in the area called the Rain Garden, very apt for the weather that day

This side of the gardens seems a bit wilder than the opposite gardens, a lot more focused on the natural aspect of the gardens and in making them suitable habitats for various wildlife.  It is described on the Gardens by the Bay website as an interim garden and that future developments will be based around the theme of water.  There are already a lot of ponds etc. here and information about how it is planned these, and the water they hold, will be used going forward.

Of course you can also enjoy views across the water to the domes in Gardens by the Bay South as well as of Marina Bay Sands, the city skyline and the Singapore Flyer.  There isn't a lot of shelter in these gardens so come prepared for sunshine or rain.  Luckily though we did manage to find a spot with a seat and shelter as the rain came down heavier again whilst we were in the gardens.  This area however would be the perfect spot to come armed with a good book for an afternoon of peace and reading.



If you decide to visit this side of the gardens another thing you can do is walk across the Marina Barrage and back along the south side of the gardens which is exactly what we decided to do.  Well, to be honest, we weren't sure if we could just get across but we thought we would walk down and see.  Luckily you can and it's clearly a very popular route with cyclists!  So we got to walk right across the barrage, see the ships out at sea and get some good views back towards the city.  The reservoir that the barrage has created is the first right in the heart of the city and is its most urbanised catchment.  When you get to the other side of the barrage there is actually a visitor centre you can go into as well.  We didn't on this occasion but continued our walk instead up towards Gardens by the Bay South.

View from the Marina Barrage towards the city

We had had a very early start that particular Sunday and although it felt like the middle of the afternoon by the time we reached the barrage it was only lunch time.  So our final point of call that day was to Satay by the Bay, a collection of hawker style stalls in the Gardens for something to eat and a welcome cold drink.

Gardens by the Bay East seems to be a real spot of tranquility, perfect for some peace, quiet and downtime.  The walk through the gardens and across the barrage was a really delightful way to spend our Sunday.  Next time you are looking for somewhere different to go walking perhaps you'll think about here.

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