The Singapore Botanic Gardens are an extensive tourist destination in this city-state and a feted part of its history. The garden is a 3 Michelin Star experience and has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The 158-year-old gardens are located on the edge of the Orchard Road Shopping District and are home to the world famous Orchid Garden of Singapore. Sprawled over 82 hectares, the gardens have over 10,000 different species of plants and flowers and receive millions of visitors who come to the island every year.
What Makes Singapore Botanic Gardens Special
Here are ten reasons why we think the Gardens are one place that should feature on your itinerary:
1. There is a whole Orchid Garden inside this place
That is right, the Botanic Gardens are so huge that there is a garden inside them. The Orchid Garden of Singapore is spread over three hectares and several hills and is the star of all attractions here for tourists visiting the garden complex.
Home to over 1000 species and more than 2000 orchid hybrids, the garden is a beautiful place to be. The ground floor displays orchid hybrids developed here along with information about them.
2. The Gardens hold a special place in the history of Singapore
The first version of the gardens “Botanical and Experimental Gardens” were established by Sir Stamford Raffles, who founded the port city and was himself a keen horticulturist. The park was established on the Government Hill at Fort Canning and its main objective was to develop and research cultivation crops like fruits and vegetables. This progenitor of the Botanic Gardens were closed in the year 1829.
Moreover, Singapore Botanic Gardens UNESCO World Heritage Site is the country’s first entry to the list.
3. You can visit VIP flowers in here!
The VIP gardens are located behind the Burkin Hall and are one of the most brilliant displays of orchids and hybrids in the whole world. Some of the VIP orchids that are on display were named after international dignitaries that visited the Gardens including Princess Diana, Margaret Thatcher, Japanese emperor Akihito, and Queen Elizabeth II. In fact, this apparent honor of naming an orchid after a visiting dignitary has been termed Singapore’s orchid diplomacy and more than a 100 people have been felicitated this way.
4. The Gardens house a whole rainforest as well
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The Singapore Botanic Gardens have a cute little tropical rainforest that is about 14 acres in size. The rainforests actually predate the Gardens by several centuries and have been preserved over the years by the people running the Gardens. In fact, the city is one of the only two cities in the world with tropical forests within its limits. You can venture a little bit into the forests here for an authentic experience of a tropical forest.
5. The place played a huge role in shaping the latex industry of South East Asia
Singapore Botanic Gardens history is quite interesting. Established in its current form in 1859 by the Agri-horticultural society, the gardens led the effort to perfect the technique of extraction of rubber from the plant, led by its first scientific advisor Henry Nicholas Ridley. The technique is still used today, and efforts of the Gardens to popularize it led to such a huge expansion in rubber production in the Malaysian peninsula that half of the world’s latex was produced here in the 1920s.
6. The Gardens host many events annually
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At any given point of time, there are quite a few walks, tours, events, music shows, etc. happening in these premises. You can check online for Singapore Botanic Gardens events, which will not only give you an opportunity to meet new people and indulge in different experiences, but also get closer to nature.
7. You can take your children here for a picnic
Named after a philanthropist who donated to the gardens, Jacob Ballas Children Garden is a perfect place for a low key picnic. Situated near the north end, the Garden has a separate visitor’s centre and also a small cafe. There is a Water Play Centre and also a children’s playground that includes pretty little tree houses, slides, and mazes. Apart from all this, you can also have your family feed swans and fish at the ponds around the Gardens.
The garden also includes a bunch of educational tutorials, for example there are educational multimedia exhibits for children about photosynthesis, use of flowers for dyes and herbs, and others.
8. The Botany Centre and Tanglin Gate are a must-visit for everyone
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The Tanglin Gate figures amongst the oldest attractions inside the Botanic Parks. The iron cast gate has now been replaced with a silver door that has a leaf green motif on it. Two brand new buildings here now house the main Botany Centre of the Gardens. This includes the Library of Botany and Horticulture and the Singapore Herbarium.
The Green Pavilion happens to be the very first amongst all green roofs in Singapore, covered completely with plants and other weeds. The basement of the Pavilion houses a cafe called Food for Thought, which is the perfect place to witness the beauty of the Singapore Botanic Gardens at night.
9. You can laze around the Saraca Stream
The Saraca stream trail is one of the significant features on the Singapore Botanic Gardens map. Near the Tanglin gate, the area is most popular for the yellow and red Saraca trees that line the small stream here. The shaded area is a great place to spend the day. The musical breathing of the water here is the place to steal a few moments away from the hustle and bustle of the cities.
10. The Gardens are open for most of the day
Singapore Botanic Gardens opening hours are unique by every standard around the world. You can visit the place anytime between 5 in the morning to midnight every day for the whole year, which means the Gardens are pretty accessible round the clock. You can come for jogging, picnics, walks, or get-togethers here almost any hour of the day.
Fun fact: The Singapore Botanic Gardens entrance fee in itself is nada, but entering the Orchid Garden will cost you a mere INR 50 per person.
Singapore Botanic Gardens as well as Marina Bay Gardens both feature prominently on every must-visit list in the country. Whether you’re a nature lover or not, you must include it in your Singapore tour itinerary!
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