As you may recall from my Marina Bay Sands post, on the way back from two weeks in Bali I spent a long weekend in Singapore. And it did not take much research to realize one of the most popular things to do in the city for both locals and tourists alike is to visit the lush Singapore Botanic Gardens. They are more than 150 years old and cover a wide expanse of land (82 hectarces, if you actually understand measurements like that).
I went to the Singapore Botanic Gardens on a Sunday morning and was shocked with the amount of people jogging, walking their dogs, doing yoga, and sitting in the park – it is definitely a happening place for locals, plus it is free. I grabbed a brochure from the visitors center and followed a few very well marked paths to the National Orchid Garden. I love orchids (and when I stop travelling so much will definitely buy a few for my London flat) so this area of the gardens with its 1000 species of orchids, and a further 2,000 orchid hybrids, was a dream come true. The scent was positively intoxicating and I gladly handed over 5 Singaporean dollars to enter (£2.90 or $3.60) and my fears when I had read on the website that some parts of the exhibit were closed were quickly diminished. Take a look at some of my favorite flowers:
While the main gardens are free The National Orchid Garden, located within the Singapore Botanic Gardens, does have a small fee, $5 SIN for adults (so even less in USD) and well worth a visit. This year is the 160th year of theNational Orchid Garden and they proudly boast on almost every sing and placard that they have the largest display of tropical orchids in the world. How many orchids do you need to have to be the biggest? Well it seems like 60,000 orchids will do the trick – comprising of 1,000 orchid species and more 2,000 hybrids in the full collection which spans a number of arces. I loved getting up close and personal with the flowers plush the green archways made for a great photo spot!
Once I was done exploring the orchid garden I traversed a bit more of the gardens, and it is very easy to see why it makes the Top 3 things to do in Singapore on nearly any list I could find (#1 by Time Magazine, @2 by US News, etc, you get the picture). They proudly boast on flyers and posters that the Singapore Botanic Gardens is the first and only tropical botanic garden on the UNESCO’s World Heritage List and I can see why. Plus, with hours of 5am to midnight it is hard to find an excuse for anyone not to go!
Does the Singapore Botanic Gardens look like a place you would want to visit?