Christmas in Paradise: Part 4

So, where was I?

We’re on our way home from Australia, breaking the journey by stopping over again in Singapore. A hotel in Bugis this time, further downtown and easy walking distance for the marina area. Close to this little place, actually: Raffles Hotel. We stop off here for an overpriced glass of so-so wine. Check out that traveller’s palm behind Bryan, though! Amazing.
Raffles Hotel
Singapore2
Singapore3Most of the city’s architecture is concrete and glass barbarity, to my taste, but striking with it. We do have a very specific destination, however, on the recommendation of a friend (Singapore University prof Michelle Lazar). Getting there involves passing through the strangest shopping mall I’ve ever seen.

I’m starting to feel as though I’m on board one of Iain M Banks’ Culture ships; or maybe an Orbital (note for non-SF readers: these are imagined constructions in a post-scarcity utopia). This is a sensation that increases as the day goes on.

Singapore4
Singapore5
Singapore gardens1
We’re on our way to Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay, an enormous park complex accessed by a footbridge high up over the city traffic.
Singapore gardens3
Gardens lake
And we’re in.
CloudForest
Gardens by the Bay is open to the public free of charge, but its two enormous conservatories are ticketed. Both are worth a visit, but the Cloud Forest conservatory is breathtaking.
CloudForest1
CloudForest2
Cloud Forest2
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Cloud Forest14
The contrast between this manicured environment and Fraser Island couldn’t be greater. It certainly has its charms though. Here’s one of the manicurist-gardeners at work.
Cloud Forest5
I’ve enjoyed putting these posts together; I hope they’ve been an equal pleasure to look at! Here’s two more glam shots of plants to finish! Cor.
Cloud Forest8
Cloud Forest9

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