A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.Oliver Wendell Holmes
If you are in search of thrills or a relaxed beachside afternoon, then Sentosa Island is the right destination for you. It is Singapore’s favourite leisure destination. Sentosa Island includes long beach, Fort Siloso, two golf courses, the Merlion, 14 hotels, and the Resorts World Sentosa, featuring the theme park Universal Studios Singapore. Covering Sentosa Island in a day is impossible as it has so much to offer and also as we both are not beach enthusiasts, we decided to visit the famous theme park Universal Studios. Though not a fan of rides I was in a way cajoled into signing up for this.
There are various modes of transport to reach Sentosa, however, we boarded the Sentosa Express monorail from the VivoCity shopping mall which is much easier. I must say the transport links and the information help desk are very helpful for the tourists to move around, it’s very well managed. We alighted one stop later at Waterfront station and headed towards the Universal Studios Globe.
Universal Studios is a world-class theme park located within the Resorts World Sentosa. We both are not theme park fans but we thought it would be good idea to visit this place and a get a feel of this park which is renowned worldwide. The park offers enticing selection of attractions, rides and entertainment for families and thrill seekers.
The park is filled with breath-taking rides which tourists were enjoying but was a big NO NO for us. However, as we walked the Sci-Fi City, we came across TRANSFORMERS The Ride: The Ultimate 3D Battle ride where you fight evil forces in a heart-pounding 3D combat. Being a big Transformer fan, I gathered a lot of courage to convince myself and Amoli to go for this ride. The queues are lengthy and you need to wait minimum 1 hour for your turn. After a long wait, we finally managed to get a space in the simulator. It was utterly brilliant especially the ending, however, didn’t feel great after that though with my head spinning.
Next, we moved on to the Ancient Egypt city to face the mummies and beetles on an indoor roller coaster in total darkness – all the better to ignite our fears. The stunt show The Water World was also fascinating with death-defying stunts and explosions in a live performance.
By now, we were exhausted and had to replenish our lost energy, so we stepped into the many themed restaurants. The theme park has plenty of eateries, drinks and nice choice of food. It is very well organised with professional trained staff. The only disappointing factor was the long queues for every ride which kind of eats most of your day and energy. You can buy an Express pass if you want to avoid the queues, however, the price is twice the price of the ticket which we thought was not worth it as it also included a 20 minute minimum wait.
Both being not rides enthusiasts, we decided to bid goodbye to Sentosa Island to visit the Gardens by the Bay and Marina Bay Sands.
Gardens by the Bay is a nature park, adjacent to Marina Reservoir. The park consists of three waterfront gardens: Bay South Garden, Bay East Garden and Bay Central Garden. The Bay South garden houses two huge cooled conservatories – the Flower Dome and the Cloud Forest as well as a cluster of gigantic Super Trees. As it was Christmas time, the place was lit with Christmas decorations, lightings, and Christmas markets.
The Flower Dome is the world’s largest column less glasshouse which replicates a mild, dry climate and features plants found in the Mediterranean and other semi-arid tropical regions. It features seven different “gardens” as well as an olive grove with a bistro and a central changing display field to enable flower shows and displays to be held within the conservatory.
The Cloud Forest replicates the cool moist conditions found in tropical mountain regions, South-East Asia, Middle and South America. It has a “Cloud Mountain” which is accessible by an elevator, and you can descend the mountain via a circular path which also has a waterfall providing refreshing cool air. We were definitely blown away by the beauty of the flora and the age of some of the trees. The gardens are an incredible achievement by Singapore and well worth a visit.
As you come out of the south garden, you can see these Super Trees, which are tree-like structures that dominate the garden’s landscape. They are home to exotic ferns and plants and they are fitted with environmental technologies that mimic a tree’s function such as harnessing solar energy to provide lighting, collection of rain water for use in irrigation, shading, and also serving as air intake and exhaust functions as part of the conservatories’ cooling systems. There is an elevated walkway if you want to enjoy a panoramic aerial view of the Gardens.
As it was Christmas time, there were lot of food stalls, markets open and the atmosphere was lively with lights and decorations. We were eagerly waiting for the Garden Rhapsody which is a light and music show which makes the Super Trees come alive. It was so peaceful to see the Supertrees with the music, lights and Marina Bay Sands in the background, just magical. The Marina Bay Sands resort includes hotel, casino, shopping mall, convention centre and museum and the Marina Barrage. You can just relax at one of the park benches here and watch the beautiful city as the night passes by.
Watch the Garden Rhapsody –
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