Sunday, July 22, 2018

Highlights of Singapore Garden Festival 2018

WELCOME BACK - Singapore Garden Festival 2018!  Held once every 2 years, this is our family's favourite floral event that we would not miss. Roaming through Gardens by the Bay for more about 3 hours, we managed to cover most of the main SGF highlights! Check out where you can start from and what you can expect to see in this year's festival.

We expected a huge crowd to visit SGF2018 and availability of car park is limited. Lucky for us, we managed to get a parking lot near the Meadow Carpark.

We purchased our tickets from the ticketing booth at Meadow Carpark, and began our walk from the entrance of THE MEADOW .  

Beautiful scent of the orchids welcomed us as we walked through 'The Mountains'.  

We moved on to check out the designer works at Balcony Gardens before proceeding to the Flower Field. Taking a family photo with the iconic Gary the Grasshopper is a must on our SGF visit.

Benny the Bee at the flower field filled with sunflowers

It is a beautiful day and the little garden gnomes are out at the gardens to play as well. 

We entered into the Floral Windows of the World showcasing exquisite exhibits designed by local and international floral designers.

Test tubes has become a favourite medium of displaying the floral. I love to see the different combination and effects it can brings out.

Every exhibit is unique and creative. It gives you a different visual perspective from different angles.

I like this colourful piece as it is vibrant and hopeful.

I probably have been seeing and smelling too much durians lately that I immediately felt that this exhibit is a perfect representation of floral surrounding the spiky durian fruit.

 Other exhibit at Floral Windows to the World

Among all the exhibits, this is my personal favourite - Breakthrough. I love how the flowers break their way through the ground to reach the light. A very uplighting piece.

Students from local tertiary institutions also participated in the Landscape Design Challenge. Check out who won along the way to the Fantasy Garden.

Fantasy Garden is my next favourite area to visit because of the beauty and creative landscape  created by renowned local and international gardening luminaries which never fails to enchant me.

'African Thunder' won my heart immediately and its definitely without any doubt my favourite landscape installation thus far! Designed by Leon Kluge (South Africa), you have to stay to watch how a series of thunder rolls over the dry grassy savannahs and transforming the sky with streaks of fire, followed by rainfall that brings life to the dry landscape. The rain triggers an explosion of colour on the savannah, giving life to the arid landscape.

Did you spot an angel in the garden?

What is within the 'mountains'? Enter to find out. Every landscape holds a mystery and the wildest of imagination. 

We moved on to the at Learning Garden to learn more about pollination, how seeds are dispersed and more!

We are blessed with a cloudy afternoon and the sun is not too hot. From the Learning Garden, we proceed on to the Therapeutic Garden where you can take a seat and catch some rest before entering the Supertree Grove through the Floral Canopy.

Penjing & Artistic Stone Exhibition & Competition has moved to the outdoor this year. Nevertheless, the collection of penjing is still as astonishing. Every pot has so much delicate details within and we cannot imagine how much effort, love and care the owners have undertake to look after their pots. To shape each Chinese word would takes years!

Gold Award winner - Looks likes a miniature of a huge tree. If you look closer, there are so many little branches hidden within the green leaves.

Grand Champion and award winning bonsai by Mr David Leow. The densely structured branches and young sprouting leaves stood out from the rest!

After spending much time at the garden, toilet break is very much needed. Remember to hold on to your ticket stubs and get a chop/stamp so that you can re-enter to continue your visit to the SGF if you accidentally exit the area.

We walked through the Lost Forest which felt like a mini forest maze. Don't worry as there are signs to direct you to Secret Garden of Edibles

It is pretty dark and small in the Secret Garden of Edibles so you really have to keep your eyes open and look around you. Though it is not a big area, you will find chilli, radish, grapes, apples, pears and more within.

The furry fruit (left image) is actually an eggplant! Pear tree (right image) can also be found within. A gentle note that all fruits found within are real!

Horticulture & Community Gardening

Community Garden Edibles Competition - Don't be surprised that our local gardeners can also harvest huge food crops! SGF2018 features the largest wintermelon, pumpkin and even tomato! Does this interest you to grow edible plants in your home?

My Home Garden - I love to have plants in the house but after many attempts, I must admit I do not have green fingers. Even terrariums which I though would be a good start seems to fail on me. Still, its really inspiring to see the lovely displays that can be put in our homes.

I am always intrigued by the floral table series in every SGF. This year, they featured a water fountain dining concept which I thought is very creative - apart from its practicability and amount of time and effort it takes to clean and maintain.

Do not miss picking some gardening tips by the local farmers on your way out. :)

Marketplace - Our final stop of the day! The Marketplace is a free zone accessible for all and  public does not need to pay admission fee to enter. Unlike previous years, we did not make any floral/fauna related products. Instead, Hubby bought leather belt and I got myself a leather wallet! Still, we enjoyed shopping in the air-condition shelter.

We did not enter the Flower Dome this time as we were famished and tired after walking for more than 3 hours within Gardens by the Bay. Will try to be back again to visit Orchid Extravaganza Floral Display at the Flower Dome next time.

Click here to view the listing of the Stage Programme happening during SGF2018.


1) Travel to Gardens by the Bay by public transport. As SGF often attracts a huge crowd (especially on the weekend), carpark availability is limited.

2) Tickets to the Singapore Garden Festival also includes admission to the Flower Dome at Gardens by the Bay. Recommend that you visit early in the morning, have lunch and return to the Flower Dome after lunch.

3) Wear comfortable clothing and footwear as you will be spending many hours at the gardens.

4) Keep yourself hydrated and energised! Bring your water bottles and food to provide you with the energy boost needed to keep you going throughout the day!

5) Be ready for the unpredictable weather! Bring along your caps and umbrella in case of rain or shine.

6) Bring your cameras/mobile devices and standby your battery packs or mobile charger. Lots of photography opportunities and the last thing you want is your camera or mobile phone's battery going flat.

7) Ensure you get a stamp/chop prior to exiting the ticketing area. This allows you to re-enter in case you exit the ticket zone.

Date: 21 July - 3 August 2018
Location: Gardens by the Bay (The Meadow, Supertree Grove, Flower Dome)
Show Opening Hours: 10am to 10pm daily
Conservatories Opening Hours: 9am - 10pm daily

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Taiwan 8D7N Free & Easy Tour - Taipei 101 Observatory (台北101观景台)

Taipei 101 needs no further introduction as it is an iconic landmark in Taipei, Taiwan. The 508-meter-tall skyscraper was once the tallest building in the world from 2004 to 2010. It is also a key attraction on every New Year's Eve, attracting locals and tourists to catch the spectacular fireworks display.

Our first visit to Taipei 101 was way back in 2010. Back then, Denver followed us on our first trip to Taiwan and we had a gorgeous night scenery of Taipei. This time, we have Gladys along with us and we are going to the top to check out the panorama view of the city!

To purchase the tickets to Taipei 101 Observatory, make your way to the 5th floor of Taipei 101 Mall. Opening hours is from 9am to 10pm daily. Do check out their website/facebook page in case there are early closures due to typhoon or events.

It was indeed an experience to take the Guinness Word Record breaking high-speed elevator to the observatory on the 89th floor which only takes about 40 seconds! Our ears may feel a little uncomfortable but it gets better soon after.

The Indoor Observatory on the 89th floor offers 360 degree view of Taipei's skyline. 

Different view from different angle.

We have to capture this beautiful moment against the spectacular backdrop.

Missing Hubby here but we managed to squeeze in for a rather clear shot.

The children try to use the high powered binoculars to see if they can spot any familiar landmark. Do you know there is also a mailbox where you can send a post card back home!

Infinity Sky - Where I stand is an interesting kaleidoscope having multiple reflections. It almost felt like I can see through to the bottom level of the skyscraper.

Another interesting zone not to be missed is to see the world's largest and heaviest wind damper that is also open to the public for viewing. Suspended between 92nd and 87th floors, it serves as a key element of wind and earthquake resistance system of Taipei 101.

Interesting facts of the Wind Damper

We took the opportunity to take pictures with the Damper Baby. There are a total of 6 of them - Lucky Red, Rich Gold, Smart Silver, Cool Black and Happy Green.

Thanks to the good weather, we made our way up to the Outdoor Observatory on the 91st floor by stairs. (Note: Outdoor observatory is only open on certain days, please refer to public notice onsite for information). This is the highest we can get and where you can view the tip of the spire.

The unblock view of Taipei City is incredibly beautiful!

We spent about 1.5 hour at Taipei 101 and it was yet again another memorable trip to witness the city skyline before we come to the end of our 8D7N Taiwan trip.

Check out our Taiwan 8D7N itinerary.

Taipei 101
Address: No.7, Sec. 5, Xinyi Rd., Xinyi Dist., Taipei City 110, Taiwan (R.O.C.)

Visited in Nov 2016