In these dark times, it can be easy to let the news take over and become sad, frustrated, and demotivated. I noticed myself getting more negative and realized that re-living some of the awesome experiences of my trip would help me feel better, think more positively, and – hopefully – share some happiness with others.
Fittingly, the Singapore light show called OCBC Garden Rhapsody at Gardens by the Bay is one of the first memories to pop up. It’s one of my highlights of Singapore and my whole trip in Asia.
Info about the best light show in Singapore
There are a few light shows in Singapore, the most famous one being the Marina Bay Light Show, and this one is just down the road at Gardens by the Bay. Tourists flock for the best view of the Marina Bay one and while I wanted to attend, it overlapped with the timing of the OCBC one my couchsurfing host planned for us to see. As a local, he said the Marina Bay one isn’t very impressive, but I couldn’t verify that myself since I was only in Singapore for a few days. I’m guessing it was just “nice” but nothing that would knock my socks off, like the OCBC Garden Rhapsody did.
The Garden Rhapsody is simply magical, making the artificial trees and whole garden come to life music and lights. As the show begins, there’s an anticipation in the air and everyone becomes quiet. Then the lights and music start, and for the duration of the show, you’re captivated and taken through emotions with the various music changes.
Here’s my video from my visit:
What: A 15-minute light show with surround-sound classical music
When: Every day (when there’s no pandemic) at 7:45pm and 8:45pm
Admission: FREE! Despite its reputation to be expensive, Singapore is surprisingly affordable and this light show is one of the many free things to do in the city/country.
Official website: Gardens by the Bay
Where: In the middle of the artificial 50-meter tall trees, the Supertree Grove, in Gardens by the Bay
How to get there: Bayfront MRT station and look around to see it. There’s a bridge to get into the park called Dragonfly Bridge. There should also be signs you can follow!
18 Marina Gardens Drive, Singapore 018953
How to get the best experience
Arrive about 10 minutes in advance, as the crowds come in about 5 minutes beforehand, taking up much of the space on the ground. Yup, to get the best experience, follow the locals and lie down on the ground to get all the supertrees into view. Just like an IMAX theatre, doing this allows you for surround-vision to go along with the surround-sound!
- Apparently if you visit in December while the Winter Wonderland fair is happening, there’s a $6 SGD fee to enter, but it’s otherwise free.
- Viewing from above, on the Skyway (the walk between the trees above ground level) and from the tallest middle Supertree, costs extra. From local recommendation, it sounds more costly than it’s worth – we’re on a budget, people!
- Just a 10-minute walk from the Marina Sands Bay, it’s possible to catch both shows if you plan on it! Attend the 8pm show at Marina Sands Bay and then attend the 8:45pm Garden Rhapsody show! In between you can stroll around the gardens, as it’s lovely to visit
- No need to pay to go up to the supertree walkway, says my local couchsurfing host. It may be pretty, but you don’t get a bird’s eye view of the whole park and the view from lying down is actually the best for the light show
- Taking a stroll through the gardens area before the show and/or between the two shows is a great way to experience the reclaimed land with fewer people and still have that enchanted atmosphere
- Get a great view of three of the iconic skylines in Singapore from the Marina Barrage. It’s a lesser-known spot where you can see the greenhouse dome in the Gardens by the Bay, the Marina Bay Sands Hotel, and the Singapore Flyer (the ferris wheel). Go up the elevator that is outside the building to the rooftop for pretty views with the locals
The free Marina Bay Sands Spectra Light Show is still great to see. It runs Sun – Thu at 8pm & 9pm and Fri & Sat at 8pm, 9pm & 10pm, for 15 minutes. It’s about a 5-10 min walk from here to the Supertrees. Unfortunately due to the coronavirus, it’s closed until at least June 1, so check the website when you do go. Marina Bay Sands Skypark. Same MRT station. dancing water, orchestra music, and colorful laser lights
My recommended route for the waterfront:
- Get off at Bayfront MRT
- Walk clockwise around the Marina Bay Waterfront Promenade. Watch the Spectra light show at 8pm from opposite the Marina Bay Sands
- Once that’s over, walk up to the Merlion
- Walk across the Esplanade bridge towards the Youth Olympic Park
- Cross back towards the Marina Bay Sands hotel by the cool Helix Bridge
- Cross under the highway to the Gardens by the Bay, which you should see to the left (east!)
- Walk around there until 7:35pm, when you should start making your way to the Supertree Grove in time for the Garden Rhapsody light show at 8:45pm
- Walk around the garden afterwards to the Marina Barrage for more lovely views
The Garden Rhapsody is the best light show in Singapore by far and I would say it’s a must-do if traveling to Singapore.
I hope I’ve inspired you a bit with this post! To spread some positivity, what was one of your favourite travel memories?