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Taking in the Pretty at Singapore's National Orchid Garden

Where: National Orchid Garden, Botanic Gardens, Singapore, Singapore
July 9, 2014 at 1:20 PM | by | ()

Singapore might be synonymous with skyscrapers (many just tall, some tall and slightly mental) and shopping malls, but there is a place to escape the city and focus on things much smaller and delicate: the beautiful orchids on display inside the city’s National Orchid Garden, showcasing over 1,000 species and 2,000 hybrids.

Part of Singapore’s Botanic Gardens, which date back to 1859, it’s a perfect antidote to a few days of city life, whether you’re an avid horticulturalist or just appreciate the pretty. The small entrance fee (SGD5 / $4) is worth it, especially since access to the rest of the Gardens is free.

Spreading over 74 hectares, you can get to the Botanic Gardens in a number of ways. There is the dedicated MRT subway stop on the city’s Circle Line, which has you walk in from the far northeast corner (marked “You are here” on the map above), or you can take buses from Orchard Road.

Note that the National Orchid Garden is a good bit further west (see the purple orchid symbol at the top of the map), which in the blazing Singapore heat and humidity is easily a thirty-minute walk. There are entry points closer if you need them. No matter where you plan to go, bring lots of water and be mindful of the sun and the mobility or fitness level of those with you.

The National Orchid Garden itself is relatively compact, with wide paths that encourage a little wander.

Burkill Hall, a plantation-style building from the 19th century, gives you access to the Garden’s VIP section, with orchid hybrids named after people like Nelson Mandela and, more recently, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Inside, information is displayed about the history of the orchid and the cultivation of different species and hybrids.

Elsewhere you can find a Celebrity Orchid Garden, as well as spot the Vanda Miss Joaquim, Singapore’s national flower. Regardless of the almost year-round unrelenting heat, we’d recommend finding a morning or afternoon to make the short journey out of the heart of the city to come here – there’s a reason Singapore’s Botanic Gardens are the most visited botanic gardens in the world.

[Photos: JasonD]

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