Why I love the Supertrees of Singapore

I’ve been lucky enough to visit Singapore multiple times in the last decade but it was this year’s trip that established it as a strong contender for one of my favourite cities.

Singapore has a reputation for being a bit boring, and ten years ago I would have agreed. But every time I’ve popped in, it’s become increasingly impressive. This time it was the immense ‘Supertrees’ that blew me away. I’d seen plenty of pictures online, but nothing prepared me for how striking they would be in real life. It’s hard to find tourist attractions that actually live up to their reputation, but these wonderful constructions go above and beyond any expectation.

We get so used to looking up at colourless skyscrapers, accepting the inevitable monotone greyness of any massive structure looming on the landscape. These are such a fine example of inspiring architecture, a partnership between human construction and nature. Each tree is a gigantic trellis of climbing ferns and orchids. All colour coordinated so that individual trees shimmer in similar colours; one in dusky pink, another in golden yellows and even one in silver. To look at them, you’d never know they’re made of concrete and steel. Nothing can describe the feeling of looking up and seeing such a colourful and majestic canopy towering way above you. It feels surreal and awesome, a triumph for nature holding its own in the midst of the mundane.

On top of the artificial canopies are solar panels used to power up the spectacular light show each night. Unfortunately, my 24 hours in Singapore was coming to an end just as the lights were coming up. This was the last photo I took before jumping into a cab and heading to the airport. Oh, how I wish I could have stayed longer!

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