Some of the most interesting things to see in Singapore are fauna and flora, besides the skyscrapers of course. There are all sorts of tropical plants here due to the warm and humid climate. The city is renowned for its field of orchids.
Things to See in Singapore
Proud of their natural resources, people from Singapore turned vast portions of land into gardens. Botanic gardens stretch along 52 hectares of land, not that far from the city center, housing some of the extremely rare species. Among others, there are the National Orchid Garden, the Ginger Garden, and the Evolution Garden.
I was at the National Orchid Garden when such rain poured down, that there was no use in holding an umbrella! Luckily, institutions like this usually offer raincoats due to the peculiar weather, and you will get a small bag for your umbrella when coming inside, so as not to leave a wet trail behind in a cafe or gallery.
Even though it was pouring like crazy, it was still warm and pleasant. So, pay attention to the clothes you are wearing, your shoes in particular. Try not to put on anything that will stay wet and won’t dry quickly, because it would make your touring around unbearable. It is not your intention, I am sure, to run back to your hotel on the other side of the city every hour or so, in order to change.
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Singapore Orchid Garden
The National Orchid Garden is one of a kind either due to specialists interested in new hybrids or curious visitors who can’t seem to stop admiring harmonious colors and shapes only nature can create. It is thus deservedly on the list of things to see in Singapore.
There is a walking trail through the garden, among small pieces of land dedicated to specific species, all marked and neat, until you come to the summer house where you will find all the info about hybrids and plants. There is the so-called VIP Orchid Garden, reminding you that all the orchid species and botanic gardens are there to promote good relations and diversity of nations.
The garden that was established in 1957 is home to various species and every one of them is named after a famous public figure from around the world. You will find orchids named after Princess Diana or Nelson Mandela. Being rewarded numerous times, the garden is deservedly one of the things to see in Singapore.
Vanda Miss Joaquim
There is also a species that represents the Singapore national flower since 1981. It was named after Agnes Joaquim who bred this orchid and thus called Vanda Miss Joaquim. This is the flower that was described by the first director of the Botanic Gardens of Singapore in 1893 which was the first written description of a Singapore orchid.
The Garden also houses a lot of tropical plants and ferns, nicely accompanied by wooden eaves, small bridges, and fountains. You will also find the Orchidarium, a simulation of the natural orchid habitats in lowland rain forests all around the world.
This really is an interesting place to visit, especially for a traveler from the Old Continent. At the small gallery at the entrance, it is possible to buy a pendant with a small orchid inside, wrapped in resin or silicone. Simple and nice souvenirs from this part of the world.
Singapore is not only interesting because of its fauna, but it will show off such a range of bird species that you might find, you guessed it – in a separate park.
The one I visited was Jurong Bird Park (which was eventually moved) with more than 9,000 birds, about 600 species, which will certainly make you admire their different colors and sizes. Visits to the park usually start with a performance where a parrot welcomes you in three languages (English, Malay, and Chinese), an albatross saunters around, and a cockatoo flies in circles above your head.
The park was divided into various parts making it easier for visitors to see the species they are interested in, being either African birds, predators, white, red, and orange flamingos, pelicans, swans, or penguins.
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Over the Forest
You could go around the park on foot and rest on numerous benches along the way (glancing at herons that don’t seem to have any interest in you), or take the small train that rides above lush vegetation and ponds. Although it might seem that the train would stick out of the scenery, you don’t even notice it, not until it passes right above your head, but still in a non-intruding way.
Here, there are no birds locked up in cages, they all have enough space to walk or fly.
There is an area for small parrots built in such a manner that you walk over the hanging bridge, way above the small forest. While strolling over to the other side there will be birds flying out of those trees right next to you and descending down again, making a specific noise. This is a genuine experience and deserves to be among the things to see in Singapore.
Don’t be surprised if you come across a group of Indians who would like to take a picture with you. But, just like the people of Singapore, tourists here are pleasant as well. So why not – put your best smile on and say “cheese”.
The Most Dangerous
There was an interesting cage I came across, just like the one I remember seeing in most of the zoos in other parts of the world. It was large, empty, with the inscription saying: “The most dangerous creature in the world – homo sapiens!”
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