Only one more full day left on our Singapore trip and we save one of the best attractions for last. If your a flower lover or horticulture enthusiast you would really enjoy Singapore National Orchid Garden as much as I did. This garden is located in the Singapore Botanic Gardens and houses the most beautiful and exotic collection of orchids in the world.
The National Orchid Garden was open in 1995 by Singapore’s Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew. However, the Botanic Gardens has been been cultivating rare and beautiful orchids since 1859 and their Orchid House was opened in 1899. The gardens were redeveloped in the 1980s into a three core concept. These three zones are Bukit Timah Core, Tanglin Core and Central Core. On the highest hills of the Central Core is where you can find the amazing National Orchid Garden. This garden has the largest collection of tropical orchids on the plant. It has over 60,000 orchids from 1000 different species and 2000 hybrids.
To get to the National Orchid Garden we caught an Uber there. This was the quickest and most cost effective way from the Harbourfront. The driver dropped us right near the Orchid Plaza, where got a taste to some of the beautiful orchids we would later see. In this area there are a couple of cafes in the Ginger Garden. The Orchid Plaza store is also here where you can buy tickets to the garden and souvenirs. The tickets are really cheap, only costing $5 for adults and $1 for students. They are open from 8:30 am until 7pm. There are many other gardens within the Botanic Gardens that I would have loved to see if we had more time. Most are open from 5am until Midnight and are free to visit.
Before we visited the Orchid Garden we had to have breakfast. So we choose Halia Cafe in the Ginger Garden. This gorgeous garden cafe is a wonderful place to have an early breakfast or lunch and the prices are quite affordable. Their menu features many dishes with ginger or ginger related ingredients. I am the only big ginger fan so I very excited to eat here.
Since I was yet to tick chilli crab from my Singapore eat list, I ordered the Chilli Crab Eggs (Spicy tangy tomato sauce, crisp crostini, poached egg & crabmeat). Marco ordered the Halia’s Chili Crab Bun and for Octavia we ordered the Selection of Toast, served with Halia’s pineapple ginger jam, homemade kaya & honeycomb butter. I really loved everything but the most delicious thing I tried was their house-made pineapple ginger jam. I’m still kicking myself I didn’t buy some to take home.
On entering the Orchid Garden we came across the Crane Fountain. This beautiful fountain is set against an array of trees, palms, luxuriant shrubs and colourful orchids.
The first garden we entered was the Mist Garden, which features lowland Neotropical orchids surrounded by bromeliads. It is called the Mist garden because mist is activated every hour to mimic their natural environment, which is an important water source for these flowers.
The Enchanted Garden features an extensive collection of orchids as well as the the Crown Pavilion and Gold Bird Cage. Many of these orchids have won awards for their quality and vibrancy and some have been especially created. The Silver Arches are adorned Tillandsia and orchids from America.
The Heritage Orchid Display has hybrid species that have been interationally awarded, have been important in the cut-flower trade or have been named after historical persons. In this area there are also a couple of huts and the Tiger Orchid Fountain.
Burkill Hall was built between 1867-68 and was named after the directors of the Botanic Gardens (Henry & Humphrey Burkill. This house is perhaps the last surviving Anglo-Malay Plantation residents. The house features a steeply sloping pyramidal roof, extending beyond the external walls, to protect the home from the heat of the sun and rain. This home was restored in the 1990s and is a popular venue for weddings. We were unable to go upstairs, but on the bottom level there were some interesting information boards about orchids.
Just outside Burkill Hill there is the VIP Orchid Garden. It features hybrids from orchid breading programmes and are used to promote good relations with other nations. If it wasn’t so unbelievably hot, I imagine this would be a lovely place to sit and read a book.
The Orchidarium is simulates the environment where orchids would grow throughout the world. Most of the orchids in this garden are very tiny and hard to find, but it was nice to see their natural habitat.
The Orchid Safari garden features different types of orchids that resemble animals or have been named after them. The Celebrity Orchid Garden is nearby which has flowers named after star and popular personalities.
The Golden Showers Arches displays many tiny Golden Shower/Dancing Lady orchids. These small orchids were the first hybrid produced by the Botanic Gardens breeding program in 1939. The arches are a great spot to take a photo, as is this display of purple orchids near by.