The city of Singapore is well-known as a busy international business hub, and its enormous skyscrapers and dazzling architectural sights have wooed many visitors. However, this lively, technology-geared city also boasts another claim to fame of a much more natural type: the Singapore National Orchid Garden.
Nestled inside of the Singapore Botanic Gardens, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Orchid Garden is home to the largest public display of orchids in the world. Guests visiting the meticulously cared-for garden will be dazzled by the enormous array of orchid species, colors and scents, and will enjoy the tranquil environment.
All visitors to Singapore are advised to take a break from the bustle of the big city and all its modern marvels to enjoy the serene, natural atmosphere of the gardens in the heart of the city, where beauty and peace are always in bloom.
A colorful array of perfectly manicured flowers greet visitors at the National Orchid Garden
Whether you are a gardening enthusiast or simply a nature-lover, the National Orchid Garden will make for an awe-inspiring and relaxing afternoon. Opened in 1995, the three-hectare park is home to 60,000 orchid plants, which includes 1000 different species and over 2,000 hybrids. The variety is astonishing: the range of orchids from the classic pink or white, to a light green with blackish-purple spots will make it impossible for guests to pick a favorite.
Guests will not complain about having to walk through the lovely Botanic Gardens to reach the National Orchid Garden
The National Orchid Garden is located in the heart of the city, and in the heart of Singapore Botanic Gardens. The Botanic Gardens are made up of three parts, with the National Orchid Garden set in the Central Core. However, no guest will lament the necessity of having to stroll through the Botanic Gardens to reach the orchid displays; the lush grounds of the park are fastidiously cared for and stunningly beautiful. Locals and visitors alike, especially joggers, families, and practitioners of tai-chi, can be found in the park during all of its open hours, 5am to midnight.
Despite the generous opening hours of the Botanic Gardens, the Orchid Garden itself is only open 8:30am to 7:00pm daily. The Botanic Gardens are free to enter, but the Orchid Garden requires a general admission fee of 5 SGD (3.54 USD), 1 SGD (0.71 USD) for students, 1 SGD (0.71 USD) for seniors over 60. Children under 12 may enter for free. Free guided tours are offered on Saturdays; more information about these can be found on the official website, as well as at the Visitor Services Center within the Botanic Gardens. No reservations are necessary except for groups of 20 or more.
The rare, chocolatey-smelling Papilionanda Mimi Palmer Orchid is the prize of the Scented Orchid Corner in one section of the garden
The garden is divided into several different sections, which wards off the monotony that can result in other flower gardens. One interesting section is the Tan Hoon Siang Misthouse, which contains the rarest and most unusual orchids in the entire garden.
One area of the Misthouse has been deemed the ‘Scented Orchids Corner,’ which may especially interest children visiting the garden. Look out for a particular species of orchid, the Papilionanda Mimi Palmer, that is known for the almost chocolatey smell it emits, especially in the mornings. Another emits a foul smell to attract a certain type of pollinating insect. No matter the scent, guests of all ages will enjoy this showcase of unique flowers.
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The Aranda named for Chinese politician, Zhu Rongji, is one of the many dedicated orchid hybrids in the VIP Section
One very special portion of the National Orchid Garden is the VIP section.This area promotes peace and harmony among countries as evidenced by the name placards beneath the orchids on display: each bears the name of the international politician or other important visitor to the garden for whom it was named. New orchid hybrids in this section have been specifically dedicated to famous figures including Zhu Rongji, Margaret Thatcher, and Joe Biden.
Another noteworthy section of the garden is the Cool House. Unlike visitors from cooler climates, Singaporeans as well as orchid plants thrive in the typically hot, humid weather. For guests unaccustomed to the humidity, the Cool House will provide a welcome respite from the heat. Designed to simulate a tropical highlands cloud forest, the Cool House is home to the small fraction of orchid species that thrive in cooler weather. Guests visiting this area will surely enjoy the cool mist as much as these cool-weather orchids do.
Guests of all ages will be dazzled by the wide variety of unique flowers at the National Orchid Garden
The National Orchid Garden is the perfect outing for any visitor to Singapore, including individuals and groups, adults, children and families. Although the National Orchid Garden can be fully enjoyed in around one hour, visitors can make a day of their visit to this unexpectedly peaceful area in the heart of the city.
The National Orchid Garden has a sizeable gift shop with high-end souvenirs, including gifts like orchid-themed jewelry, and young orchid plants in vials that can be taken home and grown by the recipient.
In addition, the surrounding Botanic Gardens make for a lovely spot to spend time after viewing the Orchid Garden, and several eateries can be found there as well, from casual cafes to more upscale dining restaurants. A popular choice is Halia, which is known for its use of natural spices and herbs from the gardens, and is located near the National Orchid Garden itself. Finally, the famous shopping street Orchard Road is not far from the gardens.
Balance a visit to the modern marvels of Singapore city with an afternoon at the beautiful National Orchid Garden
The only requirements a visitor must fulfill to enjoy the beauty of the National Orchid Garden are good eyesight and a lack of urges for picking flowers. Singapore is known for its business and its buildings, but the verdant Orchid Garden is an unexpected gem amid all the metropolitan chaos that will make guests feel transported to another world of quiet, peaceful, and beautiful nature.
Whether you visit because the buzz of the city has you feeling stressed, you’re an avid gardener and flower-lover, or you just want to escape the heat in the cooling mists of the Cool House, people of all ages and interests will have a refreshing and enjoyable visit at the Singapore National Orchid Garden.
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