Being such a tiny place, most people will find that there is a lack of places to explore on bike in Singapore. (I don’t. I haven’t gone to a lot of places in the heartlands yet! There is much more to discover for me! HAHAHA!) Routes get repeated and oftentimes people venture out to neighboring countries just to pedal somewhere else. New places that open get a lot of hype. One such new place is the central garden at Gardens By The Bay (or GBB South).
Photo from Guowen Wang on Flickr.
I admit I was one of the people highly curious about what it was when it was being constructed. For me, the white pillared structure seemed like a dinosaur skeleton in the process of being unearthed. In reality, they are two greenhouses. The shorter one is the Flower Dome while the taller one is the Cloud Forest.
Photo from Max Tan on Flickr.
From East Coast Park going west on the southern side, you can cycle on the road through Nicoll Highway or if it’s earlier than 7pm, you can take the going through Tanjong Rhu PCN, GBB East, Marina Barrage, GBB South, then through Marina Bay Sands onwards. This route may be longer, but it’s a lot safer and more scenic as well. The only tough thing is that it might be crowded with walkers especially going through GBB South and the walkways between GBB and Marina Barrage. But if you like to pootle and people watch, this is the route to take.
On weekends, when there are lot of recreational cyclists thereabouts, it’s easy to spot a friend or two going your way. On the very first time we decided to check out Gardens by the Bay on the way home from an LCSG ride, we spotted Amy and Adriane. Bless and I were unsure of the route to GBB East from ECP so it was a bonus to just follow Adrienne’s lead.
I feel out of place here. Seems like this is a “Team Brompton” gathering. LOL.
Another bonus about having Adriane along is that he likes to play tour guide. Here we are stopped at the Tanjong Rhu PCN while Adriane talks a bit about local history.
The path next to the river on GBB’s eastern side is W-I-D-E and attracts recreational activities of all sorts.
It is also a great spot for a lot of photographers hoping to take that one amazing shot of some of Singapore’s iconic structures. At dusk, you can easily recreate silhouettes of the Sands hotel, the Flyer ferris wheel, the helix bridge, the ArtScience Museum and the dinosaur bones and Na’vi-esque supertrees of GBB against the setting sun.
The bridge that connects Gardens by the Bay East and the Marina Barrage closes around 7ish every night. I’m hoping that in future, once all the additional construction is done, that the bridge is open ’till a later time. Let’s say 10pm? Cycling here at night with all the lights would be beautiful — but it’s not fun coming in from the eastern side and trying to find a detour and ending up having to go back and go through Nicoll or the Kallang PCN.
The barrage is a location for a lot of picnickers and on weekends, expect to see a lot of kites around. When I was new here, I found out that fishing and kite flying were common hobbies for Singaporeans. It wasn’t like that across the border in KL, and it definitely isn’t like that back home in Manila. Singaporeans have very laid back hobbies, I suppose.
Here’s a view of the Dome’s pillars up close.
We were so excited to finally be at GBB that we stopped underneath the nearest cluster of supertrees and took some pictures.
Ok. Here’s the thing. This first time we went to GBB, we actually cycled around (GASP!). There weren’t any signs saying biking was prohibited and there were no areas to park the bikes either. It was only when we were in the very center of the gardens did we see posters saying biking wasn’t allowed. One staff member also came up to Adriane and told him to kindly push the bikes whilst in the park. This was way back in July though. Since then, the park has already posted “No Biking” signs at most of the Garden’s entrances and there are some bike racks installed at the entrance nearest to the pass underneath the ECP flyover.
So in case you’re planning to go there today, please note that riding a bike is NOT allowed INSIDE Gardens by the Bay South! Remember to bring a bike lock, or just push your bike around. Also note that cycling the perimeter is still allowed.