23 August, Singapore – ‘All Over The Place – Asia, part 2’

Since we arrived in Singapore I’ve seen quite a few pictures around of the ‘Gardens by the Bay’, mostly these big purple metal tree type things the size of a block of flats, covered in plants. When we arrived there this morning for a whole day’s filming they didn’t disappoint. There they were towering up out of the ground with the Marine Bay Sands hotel (the towers with the thing perched on top that looks like a ship) in the background. The “super trees” are actually cleverly disguised incinerator chimneys, where Singapore’s waste is burned and turned into energy, and they also have solar panels built into them too. Cel and I got to film on the suspended walkway that runs between some of them, with great views over the city. Then there was a lot more to see.

As well as the well maintained rockeries and gardens below the “super trees” there are two huge greenhouse domes, one which is air-conditioned to house European plants and one which harbours the world’s largest indoor waterfall, cascading off a lush green cliff face of vegetation. It even has carnivorous plants on top, including Venus fly traps! We finished our afternoon filming by going to look at a huge sculpture of a baby called ‘Planet’ that almost looks like it’s floating (by Brit artist Mark Quinn), before an extended coffee break while we waited for it to get dark. Then it was time for the 20 mins sound and light show, with the trees glowing and sparkling in time with the theme of that night, which was Broadway show tunes. Cel and I recorded our final link of the day and then sat back and watched the show. Bet the composer of ‘The Fiddler on the Roof’ never dreamed his music would be accompanying glowing trees in Singapore a few decades after he wrote it.

Once we’d had a quick freshen up, with our last item of the series in the bag (we’ve got one more day to go filming a compilation show), we headed out to a great little rooftop cocktail bar in the old town for our wrap party. Despite our day’s work in the heat we found the energy to stay up till chucking out time at 3am. Still got it!

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