[REVIEW] Singapore's 'Avatar: The Experience' transports visitors to a real-life Pandora

Entrance of the immersive walkthrough event "Avatar: The Experience" held at Gardens by the Bay in Singapore until Dec. 31. [LEE JAE-LIM]

One step into the Cloud Forest at Gardens by the Bay in Singapore, and visitors will suddenly find themselves transported to the planet of Pandora to feel the wonders of the alien planet that Jake Sully first felt in the 2009 hit film “Avatar.”

Before the release of “Avatar: The Way of Water” this December, the sequel to the epic sci-fi flick by James Cameron which is finally set for its worldwide release after 13 years, visitors to the area are recommended to take part in the immersive walkthrough event “Avatar: The Experience,” which takes visitors through the fictional universe that Cameron created.

Cloud Forest, which is a unique architectural glass greenhouse home to many exotic plants and one of the world’s tallest indoor waterfalls, is perhaps the perfect place in which to bring the world of Pandora off screen. Upon entering, visitors are welcomed by the sound of the waterfall and a slight mist of water droplets on their faces, while a mountain banshee, as seen in the movies, sits at the bottom of the waterfall.

While both the daytime and nighttime scenery at the Cloud Forest offer different charms, visitors are recommended to visit “Avatar: The Experience” after the sun sets, when colorful fluorescent lights illuminate the entire forest, reminiscent of the nighttime Pandora as seen in the film.

A panoramic view of the Cloud Forest from the Cloud Walk bridge [LEE JAE-LIM]

The highlight of the first floor is the Avatarize Yourself section that features a collection of pods which, when entered one, scans the face to create a personalized Avatar face. Although the photo programs aren’t the highest quality — the program seems to copy and paste the same top half feature of the Avatar face onto all participants — the pod feature still offers a worthwhile individualized experience. Using QR codes, visitors can download their Avatar face for free.

The rest of the floor is dominated by Pandora plants, creatures and even the Sully family. To get a sky view of the entire grounds, visitors can take an elevator to the top floor, the sixth, and work their way down from there. Dubbed the Cloud Walk, the bridge leads down to the fourth floor and offers a panoramic view of the Cloud Forest and Marina Bay.

The fourth floor houses another immersive experience highlight, titled Fly a Banshee, which is an interactive virtual reality activity where participants become a banshee and fly around the skies of Pandora. With arms turned to wings on either side, the program reads participants' arm movements so that visitors can have control of their virtual flying experience.

Situated at the corners of floors one and four are photo shoot spots with the baby Viperwolf and baby Banshee. Guides can take photos with visitors’ phones, but the photos taken with their cameras are only accessible online after payment.

The Sully family and other exotic creatures and plant species dominate the first floor of "Avatar: The Experience" [LEE JAE-LIM]

The entire walkthrough took up around an hour and 30 minutes, leaving ample time for photo sessions around the block. All in all, the event was an interesting experience, even for those who are not necessarily a fan of the movie. The immersive experiences are fit for visitors of all ages, and though they may not use the most up-to-date, state-of-the-art technology, they do offer sufficient amusement and entertainment.

“Avatar: The Experience” will be held until Dec. 31. Ticket prices range from $23 to $53, depending on whether visitors are Singapore residents or not. More information can be found on its website (