Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Asia: Singapore's Gardens by the Bay

Our next adventure in Singapore was a trip to the beautiful Gardens by the Bay. This is a relatively new attraction in Singapore involving outdoor gardens, fake trees known as "Supertrees," and huge glass domes in which are housed even more gardens.

At first I thought we would walk around outside and see some native plants. It only took me about three minutes to realize that the plan of touring one of the glass domes would be much more weather appropriate!

On our way to the dome we passed a long walkway of colorful orchids. Orchids are everywhere in Singapore (and Thailand too). The very hot, very humid weather just makes them sing for joy.

Inside the dome we could sing for joy too at the relief from the oppressive heat. And there was a nice view of the city out the windows.

A number of flowers from Australia were on display at one end of the pavilion.

Palm trees grew to great heights and huge swathes of geraniums cascaded over high walls.

I loved this fluffy wall of tiny pink daisy flowers.

The glass dome was so large there were two levels with pathways and landings all over the place.

Of course it was fun to people-watch! I was surprised on our journey how few westerners I saw. Here in America I am used to a great deal of racial blending and a large population from Asian countries. Singapore did not have the same proportions.

The roses in the dome were being grown in ideal conditions with no pests. The rose bushes were so happy they almost looked fake!

The flower show on at the moment was a celebration of blue flowers! Blue is a rare color in the flower world so it was fun to see which flowers they collected.

I especially enjoyed this fake little English cottage they used as a centerpiece for the exhibition.

These incredibly large hydrangea blooms fascinated me. They were so large as to be unbelievable.
They were the real deal!

Michael and I both enjoyed the driftwood sculptures scattered throughout the building.

And there was a tree full of delicate camellia blooms. Such a beautiful ombre affect on these petals!

Upstairs we visited the cactus and succulent exhibit.

We wanted to bring this dragon sculpture home for James.

The baobab trees were so cute!!!

We were just fascinated with this furry cactus! Yes! That is supposed to look like fur and it sure does!

This succulent arrangement was so well done. Too bad I can't have one in my house. :)

Because of limited gardening space these wall gardens are apparently becoming more popular!

And here's one last English rose.

It was hard to leave the flowers but of course a food adventure is always exciting to me. We headed for lunch and on the way passed this bakery.

Many familiar foods but definitely an Asian twist to them: green tea red bean bread, chocolate bread with Chinese characters on top, curry donuts, etc.

 The best part was the trip to the fruit market!!! We were after the famous durian but along the way I had to look at everything else: mangos, papaya, oranges, bananas, pineapple, jackfruit, lychees, dragon fruit, and other exotic fruits.

These little biscuit-like treats intrigued me. But we walked by because they were definitely not gluten-free.

We passed a Chinese sweet shop filled with bags and bags of all kinds of preserved plums. But they were not at all like the sweets I'm used to (think bitter, sour, with a large pit included) and I have to stay away from dried things anyway so on we went. 

We found piles of durian! Isn't it a strange looking creature (er, fruit)? Durian has such a strong, distinct odor that it is banned on public transportation and in hotels! 

Our hostess, Amy, picked out a dish of already peeled durian and we took it back to the apartment to see what we thought!

Here I am trying my first bite. It has a custard skin-like texture on the outside with a curdled custard texture inside around the large seed. The pungent smell, along with the strange texture, and the strong taste made me decide that perhaps I could learn to enjoy this fruit but at this point I wasn't willing to pay money for it (and it's not cheap). There is something odd about the taste -- it almost has a touch of onion flavor to its very sweet, tropical flavor. It was not revolting, but it was odd.

Durian is known as the "king of fruits." Fortunately, there is also a "queen of fruits" -- the mangosteen. And the mangosteen is so delectably delicious. It's hard to describe but has elements of  mandarin orange and almost rosewater while bursting with sweet juice. It might be my favorite of all the fruits I tried!

With the all-important durian tasting behind us it was time to pack our bags and head to Malaysia! Next time I'll tell you about our week at the Le Grandeur Palm Resort.


Pom Pom said...

How funny to see the Singapore girls on their phones, just like everyone here.
The garden under the dome is cool!

Anonymous said...

Love that blue tile wall behind you as you try out the fruit. The purple bouquet too!
Love seeing all the pictures of your Asian trip!

Jody Lee Collins said...

Those gardens under the dome...positively stunning. I'd spend hours there for sure.

You are so brave to try the durian; many, many markets carry them in the Seattle suburb where we live because of the large Asian population in our county. SO interesting...God is pretty creative, eh?