Gardens by the Bay walkabout

I remember seeing a gigantic baby sculpture at the Gardens by the Bay, south and always wanted to take picture of it but couldn’t find the time. Finally, I was able to find time today. I had 1/2 the morning and sometime in the afternoon to myself, so I decided to cover the Meadow, the Dragonfly island and the Flower Dome. I had already been to both domes but decided on the flower dome again because of the prevailing theme, Flight of Fancy, a colourful display of hot air balloons and other exhibits.

Equipment

Thus this time, I brought with me not two, but four lenses:

  1. Zuiko 12-60mm SWD to cover typical scenary
  2. Zuiko 8mm Fisheye for ultra wide landscape
  3. Zuiko 35mm macro for the flowers or insects close ups
  4. Sigma 105mm macro for longer working range on insects

Baby hunting

First I head to the Meadow and look for my ‘baby’.

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Planet sculpture – by Marc Quinn. 

I particularly like this angle because it contrast the baby in the foreground with the financial centre in the back. In the highly competitive work environment with tremendous stress on everyone, it is an unfortunate consequence that baby making has to take a back seat.

Dragonfly hunting

I wanted to take some live dragonflies but didn’t manage to capture any keepers because those I spotted are really skittish and just can’t keep still for a picture. In the end, I could only contend with a more friendly grasshopper…

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… as well as metallic dragonflies.

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Flower dome

Without much luck with dragonflies and I’m melting under the hot noon sun, I headed to the cool conservatories. I wanted to take an aerial overview of the Flight of Fancy theme, so I went to the Baobabs.

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Just a few more steps and the good overview of the Flower Dome.

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Next I head down to the Flower field to have a better look at the exhibits.

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Overheard one of the visitors mentioning to her friends that she wanted to get married here. She better hurry though, because these exhibits are not permanent.

Having enough of the exhibits, I turned my attention to the flowers. I don’t particularly like to take flowers though, but these few caught my eyes.

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Overall, I had quite a fruitful trip today 🙂

River Hongbao 2013

I made it a point to go to the annual River Hongbao every year if I can and ever since I was attached, I didn’t miss any. This year, as usual I brought my family along.  Each year, I will always think the event was very crowded… only to find the next one even more crowded. But this year was exceptional… the rainy spell meant the turnout was lesser. I came to the conclusion because my wife and I was able to push a pram into it and came out alright!

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But still, from the pictures, it is difficult to tell it was not as crowded.

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Generally, I find the lanterns, lights and colours much nicer than past River Hongbao.

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One of the main highlight I would not miss was to take a look at my chinese zodiac. This year each zodiac was housed in a gigantic vase.

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The reason of housing it in a vase this year was because vase, in mandarin, sounds similar with safe, i.e. 平平《瓶》安安.

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This year, our new guests were also featured.

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Another must have, the wishing well.

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As usual, there will always be performances. The crowd in front of the stage will always discouraged me from approaching the stage and as my children got more articulate and demanding… I find it increasingly difficult to refuse to let them take a look.

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Colourful stage performance

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Good bye River Hongbao 2013, we will be back next year!

Flower Dome @ Gardens by the Bay

I got a few hours of early release from office today (one day earlier than Chinese New Year Eve) and my kids should be having fun at their childcare, so I decided to maximise my few hours of freedom. After having a quick lunch, I headed down to Bloodbank@DhobyGhaut to donate some ‘healthy’ blood before the CNY festive contamination. Bloodbank@DhobyGhaut, located in the Dhoby Xchange right above Dhoby Ghaut MRT station is definitely much more convenient than Bloodbank@HSA.

Then off I went to Gardens by the Bay. I had already went to Cloud Forest with my wife sometime ago, so decided to take a look at the Flower Dome again (my first visit was during its preview during one of the Orchid Exhibition). Before I reach the domes, I was already greeted with festive colours of flowers. Nice!

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Festive colours

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Fisheye fun

I had not gotten a fisheye lens when I first visited Flower Dome during its preview and now that I had one, I tried to play with it in the wide area inside the conservatory.

After having fun with my fisheye lens, I turned my focus on the colourful flowers. I read that the flowers will be changed slowly throughout the year, to reflect the ‘changing’ seasons. So I presume it is the spring colours I’m seeing now, predominantly red, pink, yellow and white.

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Flowers everywhere

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Festive mood

Nearer the exit… it is not the flowers but a simple chinese knitting that caught my attention.

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Comparing the two domes, I prefer the Cloud forest to the Flower Dome. I found the former’s multistorey architecture, waterfall and varied flowers much more interesting.