Gardens by the Bay: Cloud Forest
A greenhouse like no other, the Cloud Forest is both beautiful and breathtaking. It was one of my favourite places to visit in Singapore. As you step past the doors and into the the column-less greenhouse, a cool mist washes over you and your eyes and ears are met with the likes of a waterfall. The 35 metre mountain beckons the domes visitors to reach its top. I found myself beginning the slow but worthwhile walk up and around the Cloud Forest, admiring the beautiful range of fauna and flora, limestone stalactites and the media wall. Growing atop the mountain were a mixture of plants including orchids, ferns, gesneriads and other lush greenery.
There's no criss-crossing of paths, no bumping into people coming back from a certain platform or viewing point. Everyone is moving in the same direction up and the same spiral down. The paths wind in and out of the large mountain, with plants doing very much the same. Resembling that of a tropical rainforest, the plants are given the necessary environmental conditions to thrive - climate, temperature and humidity. Ascending the mountain entails different attractions at each level. After viewing the crystals and stalactites, the tree top walk takes off on level four, 30 metres above the rain forest floor.
On the highest level is the "Lost World", with temperatures here resembling conditions 2000 metres above sea level. Boasting aerial views of the canopies and the mountainside, it's also a fantastic place to take photographs of the surrounding Marina Bay Sands and Singapore's Ferris Wheel. As you come back down to Earth, you're met with a room reminding you of the unique biodiversity of forests and the environmental threats they face. I came away from this beautiful walk thinking about the environment and how important it is to treasure it. Take your time and don't rush this masterful mountain.