Postcards from Christmas Wonderland in Singapore
Christmas Wonderland Singapore
Merry Christmas everyone. It is the season to be jolly and I am in a Wonderland like Alice, lost in a world of my own at Christmas Wonderland Singapore
It is colourful and vibrant in Singapore and I am soaking in the spirit of Yuletide at the Christmas Wonderland Carnival at Gardens of the Bay . Blended with the traditions of Europe, East meets West here as there is a magical atmosphere with carousels and travelling tents, light sculptures and toys.
Actually Christmas came a week early for me as Santa sent me a ticket on Tiger Airways to see the enchanting Christmas Wonderland Singapore. I could feel the spirit of Christmas in the air the moment I reached the hotel Shangri La, which hosted me. As my cabbie said . ” Madam, you are very lucky – this is where all celebrities and heads of State are hosted..even Obama,”
The moment I entered my Valley Wing, I was greeted with champagne, chocolates and cocktails. Champagne, I was told is in fact on the house for guests as well. Surrounded by gardens and waterfalls, the lush paradise was tucked away in the heart of the city near Orchards Road.
But it was the Christmas spirit that fascinated me . A tall Christmas tree glowing with angels made of fondants looked absolutely delicious.
Nutcrackers greeted me everywhere as Santa’s carriage was parked in the lobby . For a moment I wished it would offer me a free shuttle to Lapland.
However my next destination was equally fascinating – the Gardens by the Bay where Christmas Wonderland Singapore is spread over 35,000 sq kms. Let me take you on a visual tour of this carnival.
There are four main areas in this festive market – the light sculptures called the Luminarie created from Italy, the Fairground at the Meadow with carousels and rides from the United Kingdom, the Festive Market at the Super Tree Grove and the Christmas Toyland, a charming world inside the Floral Dome.
My favourite attraction is the travelling tent from Netherlands called Spigeltent where Harrys was serving mouthwatering meals besides the Ice Palace, thronged by kids who love to play on the ice skating rink and the snow playground.
An ideal family destination – the Christmas Wonderland Singapore is filled with rides, games and fun experiences besides pancakes, icecreams, chocolates, churros, cakes, a variety of drinks and other Christmas treats.
Lets start from the Floral Dome, the latest attraction this year. Along with the colourful flowers is a 11 metre tall pyramid decorated with toys – a tradition of German Christmas Markets and this wooden carousel becomes a centre stage of the Floral Dome .
Angels perform for us while nutcrackers pop out of the box
But the most beautiful part of the Christmas Wonderland is the Luminaire, sculpted lights with over 165000 bubs which created the enchanting extraordinaire. Handmade and created by craftsmen from Italy, the theme takes you to a medieval era .
There are over 56 sculptures glittering in and around the Supertree Grove, the Meadow Bridge, the Flower Dome among other other areas of Gardens by the Bay. While all of them are LED, except one which still retains the old incandescence.
Carols echo from the melodious voices of the choir who sing from inside the Spalliera that is the largest of all the Luminaire – the entrance towers over 20 metres in height.
Get inside the Spalliera and you get a different experience -even a snow blizzard. It houses an illuminated gazebo called Cassa Ammonica where the carol singers take centre stage.
Standing atop the Skywalk on the Super tree Grove in the middle of the night, I could feel the magic around me – the brilliantly lit Marina, the harbour and the Singapore Flyer on one end and the magnificent light sculptures and the entire carnival below. It is a surreal feeling with the wind in your face.
But walking around the festival market, taking a picture with Santa or biting into traditional treats or watching the parades and performances is an experience in itself. You can buy handmade perfumes and candles, pretty toys and quirky clocks. Have some Dutch pancakes or had to Janice Wong, the famous pastry chef’s stall for some delicious …
But if you like some games then do head to the Fairground for some carnival rides . One of the iconic is the 14 metre tallest slide in Singapore called Helter Skelter but my favourite is the Vintage Carousel.
Take the train or play some fun games here as well.
If you are a bit adventurous I would also recommend the Swinging Chairs, another iconic fun ride . But just walking around the fair and taking in the sights is quite an experience as well.
However for me, as a traveller, the best experience is to dine inside a century old travelling tent called the Spiegeltent that has travelled here all the way from Netherlands.
It is breathtakingly ornate and almost transports you to a magical world. Decorated with mirrors, sculptures, panels, stain glass and even silk and brocade draperies, the tent is sheer poetry carved in wood and glass.
I am told that there were over 1000 pieces of all these materials which were assembled together in this beautiful setting. In the night however,the setting changes dramatically with the lights
The food is exotic too. With Christmas treats like Merry Wings and Cajun Spice rubbed Turkey from Salmon, I settle in for Mac and cheese, which is a speciality of Harry’s. Sipping mulled wine, I trip on the desserts – gingerbread and raspberry sundae among other delicacies
If the atmosphere inside the tent is quaint, outside it is lively and charming. I am told that couples have proposed right here under these beautiful lights, hoping that the fairy tale ambiance would create magic in their lives as well. If there is one word to describe the Christmas Wonderland Singapore – it would be enchanting.
This post is written in partnership with Christmas Wonderland who had invited me, Shangri La who had hosted me and Tiger Airways, who had helped me with last minute bookings and rescheduling.
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