No tours scheduled today. Instead we wandered around on our own, enjoying not having to keep someone else's schedule, but not learning nearly as much as we did yesterday. We went to the top of the highest building in town, at least for the moment, to enjoy some fine views of this amazing city. Then we returned to the Gardens on the Bay area where we enjoyed the light show our first night here.
The gardens are on reclaimed land and much space has been devoted to this attraction. I think the Singapore government recognizes the confined feeling that its island residents can have, so it endeavors to bring as many varied experiences from the rest of the world to them. Sentosa Island is sort of a tropical resort where people can go to the beach and have a vacation without leaving home. The horticultural domes built on the bay bring the plants of the world to Singapore. One dome provided a cloud forest climate and the other a temperate climate. Both were a refreshing break from the incessant heat and humidity of this place. The plants were in amazing condition considering the fact that they were all brought here from somewhere else. Large trees had settled in and looked like they had been here forever. It was hard to spot a spent blossom or withered leaf. These were gardens that Disney would be proud of. The Cloud Garden also had the largest enclosed waterfall in the world. Since Singapore is so flat that the water has nowhere to fall and it would be a treat to see your first waterfall. Stalagtites and stalagmites had been brought in to illustrate what being in a cave is like; they must not have any of those here either. Tulips bloomed in the Flower Dome, reminding us that it is spring, not the dog days of summer.
Retail therapy is still a very big deal in Singapore. Perhaps the long arm of Amazon hasn't made it here yet. There are low end malls which look like a collection of what used to be outdoor vendors and very high class, ultra chic malls. We went to the Sands Resort across a foot bridge from the bay and at its mall saw every high end shop we've ever heard of and many more that were unfamiliar. After five hours of walking we needed a rest and headed to the food court, which was crowded with people. Although you can get a Starbucks and we even saw a Garrett's Popcorn, most of what people eat looks Chinese. The food court was near an ice rink where first timers gamely hung on the railing and wobbled their way around the rink.