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Singapore Botanic Gardens
Wikipedia | Google | Google Images | FlickrSingapore’s Botanic Gardens are an absolute natural splendour and one of the most delightful spot in the whole city. The 183 acre property is brimming with native flowers, unique flora and a bunch of fun stuff to see and do. You’ll find restaurants, picnic spots, ponds, events venues and seemingly endless walking paths. If you’re a lover of all things made by Mother Nature, and wish to escape the hustle of the city, then make sure you spend a few hours exploring these magnificent gardens.
Brief look at historyThe British founder of Singapore, Sir Stamford Raffles, was quite the keen botanist. He established the first gardens here in the early 1800s, although the acreage was modest and the primary incentive was to grow profitable crops of fruits and vegetables. The gardens must not have been all that profitable, as they were closed just a few years after opening and left unattended for nearly three decades. When the property was taken over by the local horticultural society in 1859, the land was doubled in size and the landscape designer’s job was to turn what was essentially a wildly overgrown tropical jungle, into a splendid public park.
When the gardens fell into Japanese hands during the invasion, a curator was appointed to ensure that no looting or damaging of the gardens would take place. The extension of the park, which took place after British rule returned, have created one of the most respected and revered botanical gardens in the world. As of time of writing, the Singapore Botanic Gardens are awaiting induction in the UNESCO heritage list. If it is accepted, it will be the city’s first UNESCO listed site.
The most beautiful gardensThere are various gardens and forest to explore within the park, as well as three lakes, a few colonial-era buildings and beautiful historic statues.
Following, are some of the crowd favourites.
National Orchid GardensThe sparkling gem of the park is an extensive 7.5 acre garden, home to over a thousand different species of orchids, and over two thousand hybrids. Aficionados will delight in the mind-boggling display yet even non-connoisseurs will find it impossible not to appreciate the striking beauty of the treasures on display. You’ll also find three historic bungalows here which date back to the colonial era.
Ginger GardenAdjacent to the Orchid gardens you’ll find this delightful corner, overflowing with ornamental and medicinal plants and flowers. Colourful, tropical and incredibly beautiful, these gardens boast hundreds of different types of ginger plants, hence the name.
Bonsai GardenHere, you’ll find over 30 different types of bonsai trees, all shaped and pruned to perfection.
Healing GardenIn keeping with Asiatic traditional culture, the Healing Garden displays over 400 different plants which are used for medicinal purposes. Visitors are discouraged from touching any of the plants, as some may have toxic properties when handled.
Fragrant GardenThis garden grants an absolute sensory overload and found right next to the Healing Garden. Go during the day to admire the multitude of butterflies attracted by the scent, or visit in the evening, when most of the plants’ scents are at their peak.
Tropical rainforestThe 15 acre forest adjoining the gardens is brimming with crystal clear streams, small waterfalls and a plethora of enticing topical plant species. Aside Brazil’s capital, Rio de Janeiro, Singapore is the only city in the world with a luscious tropical rainforest right in the heart of the business district.
Evolution GardenA wonderful and very informative garden, where the evolution of plants on our planet is beautifully recounted.
Guided workshopsSerious botanists and naturalist may wish to partake in one of the many workshops offered at the Botanic Gardens. Planting, flower arranging and cactus growing are among the favourites and held on a monthly basis. Check website for pricing and booking details.
Admission InfoThese Botanic gardens are the only ones in the world which do not require an entry fee to visit. A very modest fee of SGD5 is required to see the National Orchid Gardens, however. Open from 5.30am to midnight every day of the year, the Botanic Gardens are particularly wonderful to explore at sunset and sunrise. Please do note that smoking, within the boundaries of the gardens, is strictly forbidden.
How to get thereThe gardens are in the heart of the city and within a 15-minute walk from Orchard Street, Singapore’s most famous shopping drag. An MRT station is located right near the front gates.
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Author: Laura Pattara. Last updated: Mar 23, 2015