Spanning around 82-acre, Singapore Botanic Gardens is the testament of the Singapore’s reputation as a “garden city” and the first UNESCO World Heritage Site in Singapore. Established in 1859 by the Agri-Horticultural Society, Singapore Botanic Gardens is more than three time of the age of Singapore itself. From the very first time, the Gardens is a simple ornamental garden with roads and terraces and it was transformed over the years into the huge, astonishing park as it is today.
Singapore Botanic Gardens is an ideal place for everyone ranging from a family, a couple, a wistful adventurer and even the Biologist. This tropical garden is separated into three different sections consisting of the Tanglin Core, the Central Core and the Bukit Timah Core.
The Tanglin Core
It is the oldest portion of the Gardens and the first area you will see when entering the Gardens. In the portion, you will find SBG Heritage Museum featuring interactive exhibits that describe the history behind the Botanic Gardens, CDL Green Gallery displaying botanical-or greening-related exhibits, serene Swan Lake situated across the gallery and Sun and Bonsai Gardens. Spend your time relax and admire tranquil lake with beautiful swans and the ring of yellow rain trees and the rolling greens that stretch into the distance.
The Central Core
This area offers a variety of restaurants ranging from Casa Verde serving both local and international cuisine, E J H Corner House offering an exquisite dining experience and Gastro-Botanica which is a contemporary restaurant serving French-inspired menu.
Apart from restaurants, this area also houses Evolution Garden and Healing Garden. If you want to experience the plants existed in the dinosaur period, head to Evolution Garden. Go to Healing Garden, if you want to see over 400 varieties of medicinal plants used traditionally in Southeast Asia.
In between the Tanglin Core and the Central Core, there’s a rain forest that once thrived in that area. The forest is a home to myriad plants comprising of rattans, fruit trees and even the towering Jelutong. Near the forest is Palm Valley where the six different types of palm nestled in. Walk to the end of the valley, you will spot the symphony lake where you can picnic or sit around the lake to savour orchestral performances performing at the Shaw Foundation Symphony Stage on the centre of the lake.
National Orchid Garden
Situated in the Central Core, it displays over 1000 orchid species and 2000 hybrids. This area is wheelchair-friendly as the route is thoughtfully designed for wheelchair-bound individuals. Grab an orchid guide at the Entrance and following the trail. You will find the Golden Shower Arches, Burkill Hall where you can see the bird’s-eye view of the entire garden, VIP Orchid Garden featuring the collection of orchids that was named after international VIPs, Tan Hoo Siang Mist House displaying rare and award-winning orchid cultivars and the Cool House, a simulated tropical mountain forest where orchids of Asian, African and American origin are grown.
Bukit Timah Core
This portion has the most convenient gate for a large group of people to enter through. In Bukit Timah Core, you will experience the Eco-garden, the Foliage Garden and Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden. At the Eco-garden, you will find plants that producing valuable products like spices, fibres and fruits and in the centre of the garden, there’s a lake which is a home of black swans. Walk further to the Foliage Garden to admire decorative terrestrial and aquatic plants of various leaf shapes, textures and colours. If you come with children, don’t miss the Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden. The garden is designed in “All Life on Earth Depends on Plants” theme. It is the portion where the children can learn about nature in uniquely interactive ways.
Singapore Botanic Gardens is open daily from 5 a.m. to midnight and has no entrance fee. It is a perfect place to jog in the early morning and have a romantic evening at the lake. Located in the central Singapore, the Gardens is close to the Orchard Road. To access the Gardens, you can take the bus, MRT or taxi. When venturing to Singapore, don’t miss to visit Singapore Botanic Gardens.