Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Singapore Botanic Gardens

by Regin Reyno

Day 33
December 11, 2019
13th leg: Singapore 

"Nature and revelation alike testify of God's love."--Ellen G. White

After a delicious lunch at a hawker place called, Newton Food Centre, the set from the book turned movie, Crazy Rich Asians, I was on my way to Singapore Botanic Gardens. 

In my travels, one of the main focus is to visit UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Once a site has been declared by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, you can be assured of a wonderful and meaningful experience. They are chosen based on strict criteria. So, for a site or place to be on the list, it simply means that that place has significance.

National Orchid Garden
The crown jewel of Singapore Botanic Gardens
The Singapore Botanic Gardens is the only UNESCO World Heritage Site in Singapore, and the only tropical garden on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list. So, I made it a point to never leave the country without visiting it. 

I first checked on Instagram some photos of people who’ve been there. It looked normal to me; nothing special. I wondered what made that garden special. Then I had a little research. I found out the reasons why it is so significant. It is because of its history, size, and biodiversity. It even has a rainforest. 

But, even knowing the facts and the numbers, I still wasn’t impressed that much or even excited. I imagined a normal garden; plants, flowers, trees, maybe even a lake, but what could me more special? A garden is a garden. I’ve been to many gardens around the world; in China, India, Russia, and Thailand; so, for me, a garden is a garden. “What could be novel and exciting about this garden in Singapore?”, I thought. But because it's a UNESCO World Heritage Site, I gave it a go, hence, my trip that day from the hawker centre. 

After a very convenient and efficient ride on their MRT, I got off at Botanic Garden station. Then, I walked for a few meters to going to the entrance of the garden.

Upon walking, at first, nothing seemed special: plants, flowers, shrubs, bushes, then, truly, a lake!

It’s just another garden, or so I thought. 

After walking for quite some time, I arrived at the main entrance, and asked for directions to the rainforest area. That was, my target. I’ve read that this garden has a rainforest; that fact is impressive to me so I targeted the rainforest part. The name of that area is Singapore Botanic Gardens Learning Forest.

As I was walking, the beauty of the place became more apparent; lovely landscapes, verdant greens, trees, swans, and it is not so crowded.

As I kept on walking going to the rainforest reserve, I noticed an arrow that pointed to a path through a jungle. I took that path, then suddenly, I found myself inside an actual, real jungle with huge trees! That was in the afternoon and inside was quite dark. I was amazed: an actual jungle in the garden. 

But I decided to go out of the jungle and just follow the normal path to my destination as I don’t want to get lost and waste time. 

I arrived at a crossed path; one, going to the rainforest reserve and the other, going to The National Orchid Garden. I decided to stop by the orchid garden first.

When my parents went to Singapore before, one of the things they kept on telling us about Singapore is the beauty of the orchids there. So, for me, orchids were pretty much became synonymous to Singapore. That’s why, I decided not to skip this part.

This orchid garden-though inside the Singapore Botanic Gardens-you need to pay 5 Singapore Dollars to enter. So, after paying, I was able to see and experience beauty at its finest. Many orchids everywhere, different kinds, very beautiful landscape, comfortable benches and gazebos. The National Orchid Garden boasts the world’s largest orchid display, with over 60,000 plants and orchids.

I’m no expert on orchids, but when I was there, I can say it is indeed, world class; that I was experiencing beauty. It is one of my most beautiful experiences with flowers in my travels. Truly, the National Orchid Garden is the crown jewel of Singapore Botanic Gardens. 

I continued on to Learning Forest. After reading the sign or description, I went inside. It was hard to believe I was in Singapore that time. It felt like I was immediately transported to Borneo, Laos, or Palawan. Huge tress, thick undergrowth, wonderful canopy, and air that is so rejuvenating. I was literally, in a tropical jungle. 

It even has a ramp for a comfortable walking experience. It has a net, as well, where you can enjoy, play, and relax on top with the trees. 

Though, surrounded by huge trees, you’ll still have a comfortable experience; your shoes won’t get dirty because of the ramp. And the ramp is elevated to allow small animals to cross.

Singapore Botanic Gardens Learning Forest
Overall, the garden is well-maintained. It’s amazing how they keep it that way. Organized, safe, clean, but well-preserved.

Along the way, you’ll meet many gardeners; making sure the garden is in tip-top shape. I really salute the Singapore government for its efficiency, work ethic, political will, and how they impose discipline to its people. The Singapore Botanic Gardens is an example these qualities.

Singapore Botanic Garden truly, is an experience for me. It is the most beautiful garden I’ve visited. It is very relaxing, rejuvenating, and an antidote for stress. 

Visit Singapore Botanic Gardens. It’s great to relax there; jut read a book, stroll, have a date, walking with family, or just simply appreciating the wonderful nature God has created.

Photos can’t give this garden justice. You have you experience it.


MRT fare: 1.9 SGD
MRT Station: Botanic Gardens 
Singapore Botanic Gardens: free admission
The National Orchid Garden admission fee: 5 SGD

This is part of Tuyok 

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