In keeping with its reputation as the "Garden City", Singapore is awash with lush gardens and parklands as tropical greenery carpets the landscape. Innumerable trees and flowering shrubs line the expressways and colourful plants hang from balconies and overhead bridges.
The Singapore Botanic Gardens epitomises the tropical island's luxuriant parks - a combination of primary jungle and elegantly laid out flowerbeds and shrubs. Spread over 52 hectares, the gardens hold about 4,000 species of plant life, many rare specimens amongst them.
Singapore is one of only two cities in the world to have a significant area of primary rainforest within its boundaries. The 164-hectare Bukit Timah Nature Reserve - just 12 kilometres from the city centre - contains more species of flora than the entire North American continent.
There are dozens of other gardens and reserves in Singapore, among them the Chinese Garden and Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, Singapore's first designated wetland nature reserve and a major stopping-off point for migrating birds during the months from September to March.
2 Jurong Hill, Singapore.628925, Tel:.+65 6265.0022, Fax.+65 6261.1869
80 Mandai Lake Road, Singapore 729826, Tel:.+65 6269.3411, Fax:.+65 6362 6923.
The Gardens epitomises the tropical island's luxuriant parks. Spread over 52 hectares and close to the centre of the city, the Gardens is a combination of untouched primary forest and specialty gardens displaying frangipanis, roses, ferns and desert plants, to name a few. There are numerous plant species here, including many rare specimens, reflect the Gardens' richness and diversity of plant life.
The present orchid enclosure has 20,000 orchid plants on display. The National Orchid Garden promises sprawling orchid displays, water features, and an exotic bromeliad collection from Central and South America. Other attractions for visitors' enjoyment include Palm Valley, Eco-Lake and outdoor concerts on Symphony Lake.
Shop for exquisitely beautiful gift items at the RISIS Store located at the entrance of National Orchid Garden. Its merchandise ranges from ornate sets of orchid brooches to unique name cardholders with designs inspired by the Peranakan culture, which is a fusion of Chinese, Malay, and European influences. Definitely a great place for those who are looking for special mementos.
If you are looking for a fine dining experience by the greens, head on down to Au Jardin, an exclusive little French restaurant serving one of the best French cuisine in town. For more information, call Tel: 6466 8812. If fine dining is not your cup of tea, drop by any of the cafes ideally located in the Gardens.
Getting There: From the Orchard MRT Station (NS22) along Orchard Boulevard, take SBS bus 7, 77, 105, 106, 123, 174, SMRT Bus 75 and CSS 2 along Holland Road, SBS 66, 67, 151, 153, 154, 156, 170, 171, 186 and SMRT Bus along Bukit Timah Road.
Bukit Timah Nature Reserve
East Coast Park
Fort Canning Park
MacRitchie, Peirce & Seletar Reservoirs
Mandai Orchid Gardens
Marina City Park
Pasir Ris Park
Singapore Botanic Gardens
Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve