On a recent Singapore Tour, the last place we expected to find a tropical rainforest is the midst of a sprawling urban metropolis. Yet, that is what one finds in the middle of Singapore, of all places. Set in a different world just a few short miles from the central business district and the shopping meccas of Orchard Road are the Botanical Gardens, home to thousands of different plant specimens including over 1000 species of orchids. This Urban Tropical Rainforest sits on over 180 acres and is an excellent choice to stroll, or sit and meditate while taking in the amazing chi that radiates from this oasis.
Getting there is easy as there is an MRT stop for the Botanical Gardens on the Circle Line (CC 19). The Hop On buses also stop there which is probably a better choice if you are out seeing the rest of the city. The Singapore Botanical Gardens are open daily from 5 AM to Midnight and there is no charge for entry. The Orchid Gardens however, charge a spate SG $5 admission fee although the modest admission delivers outstanding value with over 2000 hybrids or orchids to see and experience.
Take a walk through the Tropical Rainforest Walk which passes under a shady canopy with many rare species to enjoy. The walk is so serene that it seems real even though you are walking on a constructed wooden pathway placed there to protect the plants and the environment. The pathway opens up again into the rest of the gardens where the Ginger Garden and the Orchid Garden lay waiting to be explored.
After exploring the Orchid Garden, there is a very large park with ponds, shade trees and plenty of lush green grass to stop and let the kids play, or simply throw a blanket on the ground and watch the world go by underneath a shade tree.
Before leaving, be sure to spend some time strolling through the Healing Garden which has numerous species of medicinal plants used throughout the world. The plants in the Healing Garden are organized by their use and treatment of medical conditions and are all thoroughly described with numerous small plaques which detail their use and where found in the world.
Whether for a quick break at the end of the business day, or a place to spend an entire weekend afternoon, the Singapore Botanical Gardens are truly a Tropical Urban Rainforest and an excellent choice to experience the serenity and energy of nature.