Sunday, 8 May 2016

Singapore's Floral Treasure

Orchids were everywhere you looked in the National Orchid Garden
On our last day in Singapore we headed out a bit earlier to the Singapore Botanic Gardens. It was founded in its current location in 1859 and is a Unesco World Heritage site. Again the gardens are free admission except for a few places.

We were very surprised to see a number of morning walkers with their dogs! Some people were running, walking, doing tai chi, and it was great to see so many people taking advantage of such a beautiful place.

The scenic entrance to the National Orchid Garden
Our main aim was to hit the National Orchid Garden and then have brunch, which we did in good time. Orchids are Singapore's national flower, and this garden is proud to present over 1,000 species and 2,000 hybrids, all for the admission price of S$5.00, or S$1.00 for seniors!

It's a pretty large area and everywhere you look there are orchids of different colours and shapes. What was really interesting was seeing orchids growing off of tree branches because it's so humid there, that they naturally grow like this.

There is a VIP section, where visiting dignitaries have orchids named after them. In October 2014 Prince William and Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge visited the garden and saw the orchid, a white one, named after his mother, Princess Diana.

Other orchids include ones for former UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, former Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji, former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien, and Japanese Empress Michiko.

There are over 1,000 species of orchids on display
After seeing the National Orchid Garden and wandering around to see the swans in the lake and Symphony Lake, we headed to the cafe for brunch and were sated by the large portions! I had baked eggs with garlic bread, zucchini and tomato sauce, and another variation was a frittata, Continental breakfast or executive one with eggs, sausage and bacon.

When we were getting ready to leave, we heard thunder in the distance and were glad to get our Uber ride just as the drops started falling.

Speaking of Uber, in general the drivers were friendly, efficient, and in general cheaper than taxis. Only one misrepresented himself as driving a BMW when in fact it was a Ford Focus. We did get a ride to the Night Safari in a BMW and the driver, probably in his late 50s, was kind enough to give us phone chargers to use!

Orchids of all kinds of shapes and colours were in full bloom
All of them used GPS to get around, placing their phones on right side of the dashboard, and almost all of them tuned the radio to 80s music, which for me was like going down memory lane...

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