Speaking of parks and vegetation, it should be mentioned that there are all sorts of tropical plants in Singapore due to warm and humid climate. The city is actually well famous for its field of orchids. 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 and respected species. Among them there are the National Orchid Garden, the Ginger Garden and the Evolution Garden.
I was at the National Orchid Garden Singapore when such rain poured down that there was no use of any kind of umbrella. Luckily, institutions like this one usually offer raincoats due to the peculiar weather, and you will get small bags for you umbrellas when coming inside, not to leave wet trail behind you while in a cafe or a gallery. Even though its pouring like crazy, it is still warm and pleasant. So, one more time – pay attention to the clothes you are wearing, your shoes. Try not to put on anything that will stay wet and not being able to dry quickly, because it would be unbearable to tour around the city that way. I am sure that it is not your intention to run down to the hotel at the other part of the city every hour or so, in order to change!
National Orchid Garden Singapore
The National Orchid Garden is one of a kind either regarding specialists interested in new hybrids or curious visitors who can’t seem to admire enough those harmonious colors and shapes only nature can create.
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 explanations about hybrids and plants. You will find the so called VIP Orchid Garden, reminding you that all the orchid species and botanic gardens were there to promote good relations and diversity of nations.
The Garden that was established in 1957 is home to various species where every one of them is named after one famous public figure from the world (thus you will find the orchid named after princess Diana or Nelson Mandela).
Being rewarded numerous times, this is deservedly one of the city’s attractions.
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 so it was called Vanda “Miss Joaquim”. This is the flower that was described by the first director of the botanic gardens of Singapore in 1893, and it was actually 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, the 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 the small orchid inside, “wrapped” in resin or silicone. Simple and nice memory from this part of the world.
More than 9,000 birds
Singapore is not only interesting because of its fauna, but it will show off with such a range of bird species which you might find (you have guessed it) in a separate park.
The one I have visited was the Jurong Bird Park with more than 9,000 birds, about 600 species, which will certainly make you admire their different colors and size. Visits to the Park usually start with some kind of performance where a parrot would welcome you in three languages (English, Malay and Chinese), an albatross would saunter around and a cockatoo is flaying in circles above your head.
The Park is 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.
Bridge above the forest
You can go around the Park on foot and rest on numerous benches along the way (looking at herons that don’t seem to have any interest in you), or take a small train that goes 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, and still not intruding the surroundings.
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 would 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 specific noise. Don’t be surprised if you come across a group of Indians who will ask you to take a picture or two with them, with every single one of them actually. But, like the people of Singapore, tourists here were pleasant as well, so why not, put your best smile on and say “cheese”!
The most dangerous
There was one interesting cage I have come across, just like the one I remember seeing in most of the zoos. It was large, empty, with the inscription saying: “The most dangerous creature in the world – homo sapiens!”
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Full Singapore SERIES
Wow, I’ve had layovers in Singapore before, but never had a chance to explore like this. Even Chagi airport is impressive. And I’ve never seen a flamingo in real life before.
Next time spend few days more in Singapore and you will see flamingos in various colors! 😀
How come I missed National Orchid Garden on my Singapore trips! Damn…I need to visit the country again now. Since I have family living there, I could just pretend to visit them while the real motive would be to explore these gorgeous orchids 🙂
Family in Singapore? Oh well, I’ll expect bunch of photos from the Garden soon! 😀
What a fascinating place! I would love to visit Singapore, it’s super high on my list. This place looks beautiful to photograph. I just love orchids!
You’d enjoy the Garden then, since there is such a variety of orchids to admire! 🙂
There is nothing like checking out a garden in a city whilst hitting the road. My favourite is in Hong Kong but would love to check out this park in Singapore (haven’t been there yet). Great post and loving the photos.
Haven’t been to Hong Kong’s garden, but I’ll sure check that one out, thanks! 🙂
Singapore is on my list to visit. Your pictures truly captured some of the beauty that it offers.
Thank you, so glad you like the photos! 🙂
The place looks so lush green and wet. I would definitely want to visit the bird sanctuary and the vegetation. It would be a great learning experience to know about it all. Also, I loved the mention about homo sapiens, it’s so true. 🙂
It is, isn’t it! When you see such natural beauties, it makes you wonder about that homo sapiens guy! 😀
Those orchids are beautiful! I’ve never seen orchids like the ones in the left and right image.
There are so many more in the Garden, and I have so many photos of them that it was just impossible to post them all! 😀 So glad you like it!
I remember that garden! I was kind of orchided out for a while afterwards. The train sounds like fun; it’s always good to have a different perspective on things, and seeing trees from their own level is like squatting down to talk with a child. One learns so much!
The train was so much fun, and so nice that it didn’t actually intrude the surroundings. Thanks! 🙂
I grew up next door in Indonesia and have been to the Orchid Garden many times. Thanks for sharing – those are beautiful pictures. Everytime I go there, I will need a long indoor AC moment after each visit, because Singapore is so damn hot!!
the Round The World Guys
Hey, thanks! 🙂 I was lucky, it was the end of February when I was there, so the weather was just perfect. Except for the constant raining! 😀
i visited singapore and the orchid garden last year – you have done a great job describing it – and your photos are lovely!
Thank you so much, so kind of you! 🙂