Destinations Magazine

A Walk in the Cloud Forest

By Alternativeeden @markngaz
In one of the two large cooled conservatories in the Gardens by the Bay is a huge mountain. This is covered in various ferns, orchids, begonias and a whole host of other plants to create a massive living wall. 

On entering the Cloud Forest Conservatory (Cool-Moist) you are welcomed by what is claimed to be the tallest indoor waterfall in the world, (and who am I to argue!), casting a welcome cooling spray to make a change from the heat outside. Coming from the UK where we normally associate glasshouses with heat it is strange to enter one that is air conditioned. 


A Walk in the Cloud Forest

How's that for a dramatic welcome!

A Walk in the Cloud Forest

As you look up the Tower is covered in a cascade of plants. There are also numerous places to climb 
up to (or take the elevator!) for a view.

A Walk in the Cloud Forest

Another viewing spot taken from the ground. In places the plants have not yet fully knitted together, I 
would imagine in another year or so there will be no space between them.

A Walk in the Cloud Forest

Throughout were a series of carved statues. I would love something like these in our garden!

A Walk in the Cloud Forest

A Walk in the Cloud Forest

Clinging on!

A Walk in the Cloud Forest

A Walk in the Cloud Forest

Bromeliads clinging to the 'cliff' walls.

A Walk in the Cloud Forest

A view of the walkways. The mountain itself is hollow with stairs, lifts and elevators within to take you 
up and down the various levels. Within the mountain were a number of displays, although we found these to
be a bit of a wasted opportunity rather than being particularly engaging.

A Walk in the Cloud Forest

The source of the waterfall, not a great view if you are scared of heights!

A Walk in the Cloud Forest

A Walk in the Cloud Forest

A Walk in the Cloud Forest

Tree ferns and other trees, everything is still establishing as the Garden only opened last year. I would imagine this will look even more spectacular as the plants establish.

A Walk in the Cloud Forest
I must admit the architecture of the building interested me as much as the plants. The walkways will eventually be in the tree tops but for now you can admire the planted cliff faces.
A Walk in the Cloud Forest

A Walk in the Cloud Forest

A Walk in the Cloud Forest

Marina Bay Sands Hotel.  Yes that really is a giant 'boat' on top of the three towers. We visited the observation deck at the 'bow' on a separate day, and the views over the city beyond as well as the gardens are stunning.

A Walk in the Cloud Forest

View of some of the Supertrees outside the conservatory. (see here for the Supertrees at night)

A Walk in the Cloud Forest

Once you reach the top of the mountain they have created a plateau with a small pool, and numerous orchids.
A Walk in the Cloud Forest

A Walk in the Cloud Forest

A Walk in the Cloud Forest

Paphiopedilum sp.

Once you are back on the ground you emerge into a subterranean world with another waterfall and cool shady plants thriving in the misty conditions.
A Walk in the Cloud Forest

A Walk in the Cloud Forest

A Walk in the Cloud Forest

A Walk in the Cloud Forest

I want!!!!

A Walk in the Cloud Forest

The misters gave everything a dramatic feel

A Walk in the Cloud Forest

The cool conservatory as a garden still feels in its infancy (as does much of the Gardens by the Bay), however it is still an amazing space. It would be good if more plants were labelled, however as it matures the lack of labels may well work to its benefit and make it feel like a very convincing escape into the cloud forest. I'd love to be able to go back in a few years time and take another look.

Gaz

See also:

Succulents in the Flower Dome
Supertrees at Night

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