December 16, 2011

Gardens by the Bay East | Marina Barrage

Gardens by the Bay East
Tanjong Rhu Suspenson Footbridge
One of our walking buddies found out that the Gardens by the Bay East was open with all barricades removed. So for this walk we wanted to see what was in store for us at the Gardens. Our plan was to visit Gardens by the Bay then cross over to the Marina Barrage and finish off by walking along the roads of Marina South to Lau Pa Sat.

Gardens by the Bay East
We began the walk from the bus stop near Mountbatten Community Centre and walked along the Geylang Canal in the direction of the Singapore Indoor Stadium. There was a park connector on the left bank all the way to Costa Rhu but we chose to walk on the right bank where we had to walk on the concrete slab anchoring the guardrails along the canal. Just before the stadium was a drain where we turned right and aimed for the Kallang Leisure Park where we had an early lunch to provide us the calories for the main walk.

Lily Pond
After lunch we walked passed the Kallang Indoor Stadium to cross the pedestrian foot bridge. The site of the former Kallang Stadium was walled up to allow for the construction of the future Kallang Sports Hub. The main entrance to the Gardens is from Rhu Cross. For those who prefer going there by bus take 158 from opposite the Mountbatten Community Centre or from Aljunid MRT and get down at Costa Rhu.

Marina Bay Sands
The Gardens by the Bay East is about 1900m long. The width varies from 150 to 200m. It is sandwiched between Marina Bay Golf Course on the east and the Marina Channel on the west. They are situated on a triangular-shaped piece of reclaimed land (Marina East) bounded by the East Coast Parkway ECP in the north, the Marina Channel on the west and the sea in the south. From the Gardens, you will have spectacular views of the Benjamin Sheares Bridge, the Singapore Flyer, Marina Sands, the two domes in Gardens by the Bay and the Singapore skyline.

Singapore Flyer
Although the Gardens looked bare from the Benjamin Sheares Bridge compared with mature parks in the rest of Singapore with their decades-old trees forming a dense canopy, nevertheless on the ground the perspective was different. The plants as well as some trees were flowering attracting butterflies and dragonflies and our walk through the park was a a surprise because the view was breathtaking. It would be most pleasant in the evenings with the lighted Singapore skyline as the backdrop.

Marina Barrage Water Feature
The Gardens are fully developed with plant life, rain shelters, ponds, rock gardens, swales, etc. Now it's waiting for the trees to mature over the years to extend their crown to provide more shade.

Sustainable Singapore Gallery
Marina Barrage
As we crossed the Marina Barrage, we could see on the left the construction of the underground Marina Coastal Expressway connecting the East Coast Expressway to Keppel Road near the Marina South Pier.

Marina Barrage on opening day
The Marina Barrage implemented several energy saving ideas such as a grass-covered rooftop and a solar energy farm. The rooftop also served another purpose providing visitors with a place to relax, play, or have a picnic while absorbing the views of the city skyline. When we were there the sky opened up and we spent the time enjoying the model demonstration of the function of the barrage as we waited for the rain to stop.

Related Posts
East Coast Park to Gardens Bay East
Gardens by the Bay South and East
Kallang Basin and Marina Reservoir Walk

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