Gardens by the Bay

One of the most iconic sights of Singapore is a relatively recent addition – The Gardens by the Bay.

In January 2006, an international master plan design competition was launched to seek design ideas for Gardens by the Bay.

It had more than 70 entries submitted from over 24 countries, including 35 from Singapore.

Work started on the gardens in 2007 and opened to the public in 2011.

There are 12 main sections to the gardens including the East Bay, floral pavilions and the most recognisable part – the Super Tree Grove!

It’s also a great place to survey another of Singapore’s iconic sights – the Marina Bay Sands Hotel.

We’ll be heading up the top of that later for some panoramic views over the harbour.

Measuring between 25 and 50 metres tall, Gardens by the Bay’s Supertrees are designed with large canopies that provide shade in the day and come alive with an exhilarating display of lights and sounds at night.

Join the crowds standing and staring at these iconic giants and stroll along the 22-metre-high OCBC Skyway.

Sadly the weather was not good enough for the skyway to open so we couldn’t walk up there due to violent, sudden rainstorms!!

There are 18 Supertrees in Gardens by the Bay and 12 of them can be found at the Supertree Grove.

The tallest one measures up to 16 storeys in height and there is also a restaurant at the top of one of them.

This free attraction has to be on your Singapore itinerary. It’s an incredible engineering feat and the gardens could easily take up at least two days of your trip.

Over 158,000 plants made up of more than 700 species and varieties of bromeliads, orchids, ferns and tropical flowering climbers have been planted on the 18 Supertrees.

The Supertrees have different planting schemes in various colours ranging from warm tones like reds, browns, orange and yellows, to cooler hues like silver and pink.

As evening starts to close in, the trees start to light up – heralding the much anticipated light and sound show that takes place each evening. There will be LOTS of pictures of that . . . .

Sex sells on the seedy side

Heading to the sleazier side of gay Paris tonight with a visit to the iconic Moulin Rouge.

Its red windmill was probably made familiar to those of us of a certain age thanks to Baz Lurman’s film of the same name.

However it has been known as the world’s most famous cabaret for many years prior to that.

The original establishment, which burned down in 1915, was co-founded in 1889 by Charles Zidler and Joseph Oller.

The Moulin Rouge is best known as the birthplace of the modern form of the can-can dance.

Originally introduced as a seductive dance by the courtesans who operated from the site it evolved into a form of entertainment of its own and led to the introduction of cabarets across Europe.

You can still pay to watch a show at the Moulin Rouge but it isn’t cheap! So we contented ourselves with checking out the windmill and then taking a look of some of the other dubious ‘delights’ that Boulevard de Clichy had to offer.

This is definitely the seedier side of Paris with a wealth of sex shops and strip clubs.

Now the red light district of the city, Boulevard de Clichy used to be home to a wealth of renowned artists such as Picasso and Degas.

Now however it is home to art of a rather different type!