1. Singapore Botanic Gardens, May 2015. One of Singapore’s biggest draws is the incredible amount of greenery on offer, from leafy parks and meticulous urban gardens to the stunning hiking trails of The Southern Ridges. But the epicenter of this flowering majesty comes in the form of Singapore Botanical Gardens and its 60 acres of UNESCO Heritage parkland. Better still, it’s free to enter and open daily from 5am to midnight.
2. Singapore Botanic Gardens, May 2015. Opening its doors back in 1859, the gardens played a key role in the city’s rubber trade boom and later became the venue for Singapore’s most legendary political meetings and concerts. Today you can enjoy over a thousand species of flora. The park even has its own tropical rainforest (!), where squirrels and multicolored birds hop between the branches as you make your way along the boardwalk path.
3. Singapore Botanic Gardens, May 2015. The handsome shell-shaped Symphony Stage lies right in the heart of the gardens by Symphony Lake, just west of the visitor centre. People flock here on the weekends for free concerts from the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, who perform Mozart and Tchaikovsky alongside John Williams’ rousing Indiana Jones score!
4. Singapore Botanic Gardens, May 2015. Don’t miss The National Orchid Garden, even if you do have to shell out a negligible 5SGD for the privilege (£2.70/€3/ $3.60). The scope of species on offer here is dizzying and there’s even a farm where a team of gardeners busy away cultivating the gorgeous Hybrid Climbing Orchid, Singapore’s national flower.
5. Singapore Botanic Gardens, May 2015. I finished up my afternoon’s explorations in the Ginger Garden, with its two hundred and fifty odd species of plants from the pungent Zingiberacae family. But fear not, if at this stage you feel like you’ve had your fill of plants and flowers, you can always do what I did and take a load off in the fancy Halia Restaurant. My drink of choice? A Ginger & Honey Sling of course!
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