Welcome to our signature ultimate guide to Singapore’s attractions. This article will be your one-stop guide to everything related to the Singapore Botanic Gardens.
We will cover topics such as the history of the gardens, the different attractions and activities available, and the best times to visit. So whether you are a first-time visitor or a regular, this blog will have something for you.
We hope that you enjoy reading and find the helpful information.
- Why Should You Visit Singapore Botanic Gardens?
- Quick Facts about Singapore Botanic Gardens
- Singapore Botanic Gardens: 3 Ways to Explore
- 1. The Classic Route: Singapore Botanic Gardens’ Heritage Site
- Swan Lake
- Sundial Garden
- The Bandstand
- Vanda Miss Joaquim
- Ginger Garden
- National Orchid Garden
- Admission Charges
- Opening hours
- Crane Fountain
- Golden Shower Arc
- Tan Hoon Siang Mist House
- Yuen Peng McNeice Bromeliad Collection
- Secret Ravine
- The Sembcorp Cool House
- Burkill Hall
- Palm Valley & Symphony Lake
- Shaw Foundation Symphony Stage
- Eco Garden & Eco Lake
- 1. The Classic Route: Singapore Botanic Gardens’ Heritage Site
- 2. The Learning Forest & Gallop Extension Trail
- Learning Forest
- Gallop Extension
- 3. Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden
- Singapore botanic Gardens Wrapping Up
Why Should You Visit Singapore Botanic Gardens?
This beautiful and expansive garden is a walking distance from Singapore Orchard road (the busiest area of Singapore). If you take a bus to get here from any distance in Singapore, it will take up to 5 mins. Singapore Botanic Park is a nature lover’s paradise, with lush gardens, beautiful flowers, and majestic trees.
The park is home to an incredible variety of plant life, from local flora to exotic species worldwide. There are also numerous different gardens to explore, each with unique features. Whether you’re interested in learning about the plants or want to enjoy the scenery, there’s something for everyone at Singapore Botanic Park.
Quick Facts about Singapore Botanic Gardens
The Singapore Botanic Gardens is a 151-year-old tropical garden located at the fringe of Singapore’s central business district.
The Gardens’ history began in 1859 when the Agri-Horticultural Society of Singapore laid out a small garden on Tanglin Road.
Today, the Singapore Botanic Gardens spans 74 hectares of land and is one of three gardens, along with the Botanic Gardens, located worldwide, inscribed as a UNESCO Heritage Site.
The Botanic Gardens hosts over 10,000 species of plants, including the national flower of Singapore, the Vanda Miss Joaquim.
Getting to Singapore Botanic Gardens
The Singapore Botanic Gardens is a paradise for plant lovers and nature enthusiasts. The gardens are easily accessible by public transport.
The MRT station closest to the gardens is Napier MRT, one of the latest MRT stations in town (operated in 2023) to get to Tanglin Gate or Botanic Gardens MRT station to get into Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden.
To get there by bus, take the following buses: 7, 75, 77, 105, 106, 143, 162, 167, 171, 174, 184, 185, 187, 961, and 980.
The Singapore Botanic Gardens are open from 5 am to 12 am daily. The last admission is at 11 pm.
There is no entry fee. However, there is a charge for parking and some of the attractions within the gardens.
Singapore Botanic Gardens: 3 Ways to Explore
Botanic Garden Singapore has four main entrances: Tanglin Gate, Nassim Gate, Tyersall Gate, and Bukit Timah Gate, which will take you to explore these three main areas.
The Classic Route: Singapore Botanic Gardens’ UNESCO Heritage Site
Learning Forest & Gallop Extension Trail
Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden
If you are the 1st timer to Singapore Botanic Gardens, we suggest starting with The Classic Route: UNESCO Heritage Site; it will cover 70% of the main attractions in Singapore Botanic Gardens.
Once you have more time, go ahead to Learning Forest and Gallop Extension trail (the new addition to Singapore Botanic Gardens Complex).
And if you are coming with kids and want to focus on playing rather than exploring, Jacob Balas Children’s Garden is where you spend most of your time.
Let’s cover each way to explore Singapore Botanic Gardens.
1. The Classic Route: Singapore Botanic Gardens’ Heritage Site
We always recommend beginning with the uniquely designed Tanglin Gate.
Tanglin Gate, erected in Tanglin in 1859, is located near the oldest area of the Gardens.
It’s a short walk from the Tanglin Gate to the Gardens’ History Museum, the CDL Green Gallery, the Botany Centre, Swan Lake, and the Bandstand.
Along your way from Tanglin Gate, you will meet a wide walkway with greeneries surrounding, and if you are lucky, you will see this turtle chillin’ under the afternoon sun.
From the Tanglin Gate, we reach our first point; Swan Lake at the Singapore Botanic Gardens is a popular visitor attraction. The lake is home to a flock of swans and is a beautiful garden ornamental feature.
Swan Lake was built in 1866 and was initially known as Main Lake, and First Lake before a beautiful couple of mute swans from Amsterdam arrived.
Visitors can often see the swans swimming and interacting among themselves, and sometimes they may even catch a glimpse of them mating.
In the middle of Swan Lake is a sculpture that looks like swans are taking flight.
This piece of art is called “Flight of Swans.” It is made of bronze and was put up in 2006.
Mr. Eng Siak Loy is the sculptor. He is a well-known artist whose long career began in the 1960s at the Singapore Academy of Art.
He has also made a lot of stamps and coins. He has made 56 sets of stamps for Singapore and 18 coins.
We decided to follow these mute swans to their home, and it is amazing to watch them from a close-up. Don’t get too near because they may feel intimidated and splash the water on you.
The Sundial Garden is the sole place in Botanic Gardens that has a classical design and is within 10 minutes from the Tanglin Gate.
A pleasing geometric pattern is made by the way the lily ponds, brick walkways, and Greek statues are set up around the sundial in the center.
The sundial was designed by Ursula Holttum, the wife of Eric Holttum, the director of the Singapore Botanic Gardens, and was put up in 1929, and it still works accurately.
The sundial is set up for its location near the equator, where in summer, the midday sun shines from the north and during winter from the south.
The Bandstand, an octagonal gazebo, was built in 1930 and has remained in its original form. The Bandstand site began as a modest hill 33 meters above sea level, the highest point on the Tanglin Core site.
Around the 1860s, this hill was leveled to make room for regimental bands to perform, flanked by terraced flower gardens and palms.
While it is no longer utilized for musical concerts, it is a popular wedding photography location and an iconic symbol of the Gardens.
We can find two prominent sculptures at the western end of the bandstand. The first one is “Girl on a Swing,” the first of the three bronze sculptures donated to the Gardens by David Marshall.
Sapiah, a local Malay factory production operator, inspired this life-size bronze sculpture.
The figure is erected such that she appears to be in mid-air.
She swings over a bed of vividly colored flowering bushes in the Gardens, giving the impression of immense enthusiasm and freedom of movement.
And the second one is “The Girl on a Bicycle”; she rides along the path of a spiraling hedge, her legs pulled off the pedals in ecstatic abandon.
David Marshall gave the artwork in 1987, saying that it encapsulated what he desired for Singapore’s children and that he thought it symbolized the joy of living.
Vanda Miss Joaquim
A step further from the bandstand, the designated cultivation area welcomes us for Singapore’s National Flower, Vanda Miss Joaquim.
There was a boost to the popularity of Vanda Miss Joaquim in Singapore after it was designated the national flower in 1981, with many media reports on growing and caring for the hybrid and calls to increase its visibility in public spaces.
So this designated area is the answer to this request to let the visitors engage with Vanda Miss Joaquim closer.
Several hundred ginger species and other plants from similar families may be found at the Ginger Garden. The Ginger Garden has proven popular among visitors, featuring a stroll behind a waterfall and a pool filled with huge Amazon water lilies.
The one-hectare Ginger Garden is home to more than 250 species of Zingiberaceae and related plants. Visitors are treated to various gingers in all shapes and sizes, many with remarkably lovely leaves and blooms.
The Ginger Garden is also a habitat for one of the best fine-dining restaurants in Singapore, The Halia. Halia, In Malay meaning ginger, is found in the Singapore Botanic Gardens’ one-hectare Ginger Garden, home to over 250 gingers with gorgeous foliage and colorful blossoms.
The Halia was formally opened in 2001. Consequently, the dining area is inconspicuous, with full-height glass windows luring the greenery inside and allowing visitors to dine in the Garden while remaining pleasantly ensconced in relaxed surroundings.
Decades-old gigantic palm palms protect the earthy beauty of the Singapore Botanic Gardens like protectors.
National Orchid Garden
Okay, talking about National Orchid Garden is a juicy topic. This is a garden inside of the garden, and to explore this Orchid Garden, you need dedicated hours. Yes, we said hours.
The fastest you can get a grip on this place is within an hour, but to explore and enrich yourselves, aim for 2 hours is the best.
To get in, you need to pay an admission fee, please refer to the table below:
|Seniors (60 years of age and above||$1||$3|
|Student (Valid student identification by local public and private education institutes)||$1||$3|
|Children below 12 years of age||Free|
- all Singapore citizens, permanent residents, and those living in Singapore, including holders of employment passes, work permits or dependant passes
8.30 am – 7.00 pm daily (last ticket sales and entry at 6.00 pm)
Orchids have been linked with the Gardens since 1859. The results of the Gardens’ orchid breeding program, which began in 1928, deserve to be presented in full glory.
The design of these orchids is ‘hand-crafted’ by the Gardens’ horticulture experts, who are committed to bringing out the best in each hybrid cross.
The National Orchid Garden’s grandeur of these exquisite blossoms is a sight, with over 1000 species and 2000 hybrids on exhibit.
From the entrance, we suggest beginning from the East area with Tropical Montane Orchidetum, including Tan Hoon Siang Mist House and The Sembcorp Cool House as your primary target; the other two, Tuen Peng Mcneice Bromeliad Collection and Secret Ravine, are a second priority within that Tropical Montane Orchidetum.
Aesthetic, cultural, conservation and theme orchid tales weave through the space, instilling a sense of understanding and excitement for orchids as Singapore’s natural heritage.
Visitors may experience the transformation of flora as they ‘ascend’ the lowland forest into the cool tropical montane forest at the Tropical Montane Orchidetum, which includes the refurbished orchidarium, Yuen Peng-McNiece Bromeliad Collection, Tan Hoon Siang Mist House, and an expanded Cool House
.A sustainable water drainage system is a highlight and navigation tool, connecting the many displays while cleaning the water runoff into Symphony Lake.
After you are done with Tropical Montane Orchidetum, walk up to the north part to see another spot of Vanda Miss Joaquim and Burkill Hall, then you make your way out.
Along the way, you will see some attractive spots, which you can immerse further later by yourself.
Let’s jump into our experience at National Orchid Garden Singapore.
Tan Hoon Siang presented these exquisite cranes as a celebratory gift for the opening of the National Orchid Garden. The sculpture, surrounded by lovely orchids, stands at the Garden’s entry, welcoming and wishing all guests good health and life.
Golden Shower Arc
Following our suggestion, to begin with, the East part, you will find this popular photo spot, Golden Shower Arc. Been posted more than thousands of times on Instagram.
The golden shower is the Dancing Lady Orchid, which has luxuriant yellow blossoms that cover the arches.
Tan Hoon Siang Mist House
At altitudes ranging from 650m to 1,000m, the refurbished Tan Hoon Siang Mist House resembles a pale tropical garden.
Its exhibition space has grown from 350m2 to 760m2, and it now includes a variety of rare, uncommon, or award-winning hybrids and species from the National Orchid Garden’s specialized breeding stock of orchids.
Phalaenopsis, Vandaceous hybrids, and Dendrobiums are some of the orchids displayed.
There will also be Lady’s Slipper orchid hybrids (Paphiopedilum).
Yuen Peng McNeice Bromeliad Collection
The Yuen Peng McNeice Bromeliad Collection has been improved to simulate a mid-elevation Neotropical woodland setting ranging in elevation from 650m to 1,000m.
It features a variety of Neotropical plants, including bromeliads, aroids, and Calathea species, as well as orchids.
The 620m2 exhibit house has major groupings of plants from many bromeliad genera, including Ananas, Guzmania, Neoregelia, Tillandsia, Pitcairnia, Aechmea, Vriesia, Cryptanthus, and others.
Orchids from the Neotropics, such as Cattleya, Epidendrum, and Oncidium species and hybrids, are also included.
The Secret Ravine is a lengthy, meandering trail connecting all three display pavilions.
This part is intended to represent the deep and narrow valleys of tropical highlands, and it has rare orchids and ferns that thrive within rock cracks and fissures.
The Sembcorp Cool House
After walking outside under the sun, it’s time to refresh yourself under the controlled cool temperature house at The Sembcorp Cool House.
Imagine going through an ethereal glasshouse garden and experiencing the charm of tropical mountain paths in a montane forest.
You can do just that at Sembcorp Cool House and get up and personal with a wide variety of orchids!
Sembcorp donated S$10 million to revive the temperature-controlled glasshouse at the National Orchid Garden within the Singapore Botanic Gardens as part of Singapore’s Golden Jubilee celebrations in 2015.
This reinforces their continued commitment to environmental promotion and protection in support of Singapore’s Green Plan to make the city green and sustainable.
Burkill Hall, established in 1868, is the only two-story Anglo-Malay plantation-style bungalow known to exist.
The unusual design, which included upper-floor verandahs and a central forward-projecting entrance porch, was inspired by the local “plantation house,” so named because it was the focal point of an agricultural estate.
It is very popular for events because it provides the perfect setting for weddings and special occasions.
Inside Burkill Hall, also there is an important space called VIP Orchid Garden.
The VIP Orchid Garden, styled after an English backyard garden, contains a prize collection of over 120 VIP orchid hybrids named after various State Guests and other VIPs to build diplomatic connections between Singapore and other nations.
It is a nice move from Singapore, huh?!
Here are some local orchid hybrids named after the VIPs:
1. Aranthera Anne Black
In 1956, this hybrid became the first orchid to be named after a VIP, kicking off a 65-year tradition.
It was named after Lady Black, the wife of previous Singapore Governor Sir Robert Black.
Because older blooms in a spray of these orchids do not fade when succeeding flowers open, they make an excellent cut flower.
2. Aranda Lee Kuan Yew
This orchid was named after our founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, as you may expect from its name.
This orchid hybrid, named after Lee Kuan Yew, resembles the one named after his late wife (Vanda Kwa Geok Choo) in terms of color, shape, and size, as well as a few species in their respective lineages.
3. Dendrobium Memoria Princess Diana
Dendrobium Memoria was named after the late Diana, Princess of Wales.
Princess Diana was baptized on September 22, 1997, a month after she was killed in a car accident.
The flower was supposed to be delivered to the Princess on an official visit to Singapore barely two weeks following her death.
4. Dendrobium Iriana Jokowi
This orchid species has been named after Indonesian First Lady Iriana Joko Widodo (Jokowi).
Dendrobium Iriana Jokowi is a powerful and free hybrid Dendrobium flower. At a height of 5.6 cm, this flower blooms straight and semi-arched.
White flowers and yellow light brownish petals bend tawny to reddish brown petals.
While in bloom, the orchid has a reddish purple tint along the borders and a dark purple color in the middle.
5. Papilionanda Kamala Harris
US Vice President Kamala Harris has joined the list of VIPs who have orchids named after them.
Earlier today (23 August), she was presented with the Papilionanda Kamala Harris, a hybrid orchid with light purplish-pink blooms, vivid pink dots and tessellations, and a magenta lip, at a ceremony at the Istana.
And there are more influential names in this VIP Orchid Garden that are worth a visit!
Palm Valley & Symphony Lake
Just outside of National Orchid Garden, we found a huge valley whereby always fully packed during weekends with families and friends having picnics here.
Kids run around while the other family members enjoy the music performance on the Symphony Stage.
Palm Valley is home to the Singapore Botanic Gardens’ Palm Collection, which includes approximately 115 genera and 220 species.
They are laid out in a herringbone pattern, with islands representing each main plant group.
The collection includes palms from all six subfamilies: Arecoideae, Coryphoideae, Calamoideae, Ceroxyloideae, Phytelephantoideae, and Nypoideae.
Symphony Lake is an artificial lake that was established in 1974 and has a big stage known as the Shaw Foundation Symphony Stage, which was built in 1994 on an islet in the midst of the water body.
The stage is well known as the location for the Singapore Symphony Orchestra’s monthly SSO in the Park open-air performances, which gave rise to the lake’s name.
Shaw Foundation Symphony Stage
What better environment for a performance venue than lush vegetation beneath the open sky?
The Shaw Foundation Symphony Stage, located within the Singapore Botanic Gardens, is a popular site for numerous free concerts and events.
It is constructed on an islet in the midst of Symphony Lake.
The stage is most known as the venue for the Singapore Symphony Orchestra’s concerts. Be sure you bring your own picnic basket to satisfy any potential food cravings.
The Shaw Foundation Symphony Stage is centrally positioned in the Singapore Botanic Gardens.
Its stage hosts various concerts and events throughout the year and is a nice area to picnic while listening to music.
The Shaw Foundation Symphony Stage, located at the foot of Palm Valley in the midst of the Botanic Gardens, comes alive with the sights and sounds of concerts on a regular basis.
These concerts, which are usually held on the nights when it is cooler, draw large crowds who come to enjoy the casual mood and celebrations.
We walked around and met this masterpiece of Chopin.
This sculpture is a dedication to one of the greatest composers of all time, Frédéric Chopin (1810 – 1849). The bronze sculpture, sculpted by Karol Badyna, weighs a heavy half-tonne.
It has a view of Palm Valley and the Shaw Foundation Symphony Stage, where orchestras perform for public audiences on a regular basis.
The composition arrived at the Gardens two years before Chopin’s bicentennial.
Chopin, who was attracted by the sound of the piano from an early age, began official study at the age of seven and created the Polonaise in G minor that year.
Overall, you can choose your favorite area in the valley and spread out your picnic mat.
The children may play on the grounds while the grownups enjoy some outdoor entertainment.
The Shaw Foundation Symphony Stage is a short distance from Nassim Gate.
Eco Garden & Eco Lake
We are the last area from the UNESCO Heritage Site route, Eco Garden & Eco Lake, which can be accessed easily from Symphony lake or from Bukit Timah Gate.
The Eco-Garden is a discovery garden of plants of economic importance throughout human history. The word ‘eco’ stands for both economic and ecological here. Trees, shrubs, and herbs yielding a myriad of products from spices, dyes, resins, and fibers to fruits and timbers are laid out across a spacious landscape.
The sinuous shores of the peaceful Eco-Lake are home to a family of elegant Black Swans, from Western Australia, as well as other important plant and animal species. A beautiful setting coupled with a soft and natural atmosphere, it is an ideal place to wind down after a long day.
Bamboo has been used in construction throughout history. Some have a tensile strength 10 times stronger than steel making them ideal materials for scaffolding, bridges, modern architecture, and even bicycle frames.
Many species have also been selected for their ornamental value, such as the Buddha’s Belly Bamboo, a unique form of Bambusa vulgaris with bulging stems that can be found next to the
Some of the giant bamboo is also home to the world’s smallest species of bat! At around 3cm across, they are just small enough to squeeze into holes made in the Bamboo stems by beetles and roost between the nodes.
Commonly seen decorating Singapore’s overhead bridges and road dividers, the colorful flowers of bougainvilleas make these plants very attractive.
The spectacular collection of bougainvilleas (Bougainvillea hybrids and cultivars, Nyctaginaceae) was started in the 1920s by Director R E. Holttum, as part of his program to introduce more color into the Gardens by hybridizing and selecting plants that would flower well in the humid Singapore climate.
Today, the collection boasts more than 50 cultivars, including Bougainvillea glabra ‘Pride of Singapore’ and Bougainvillea spectabilis ‘Calcutta’.
Visit the Eco-Lake and these Black Swans will greet you. They are often observed skimming across the lake and occasionally even strolling on the neighboring grass!
Why not spend some time at Eco-Lake with them?
There are plenty of open spaces to sit, unwind, and take in the views and sounds.
The lake covers a big area and is one of the most prominent features of the landscape.
This lake is also home to a vast number of birds, including both local and migratory species.
One may witness schools of fish in the lake’s pristine waters, which are surrounded by a natural, tranquil ambiance. We found a family of turtles swimming around!
This is the end of our first route: The Classic Route: Singapore Botanic Gardens’ Heritage Site.
One of the most experience walks in Singapore Botanic Gardens, especially for first-timers.
2. The Learning Forest & Gallop Extension Trail
Okay, the second way to explore Singapore Botanic Gardens is a trail of Learning Forest and Gallop Extension. It may be overwhelmed for you, but we will make it easy for you to understand it.
The map below is the entire picture of these 2 areas, The Learning Forest and Gallop Extension.
Let us share the gameplan to cover this trail, we will start from SPH Walk of Giants which is connected with Swan Lake then we will go to Learning Forest, cross the HPL Canopy Link (a Canopy bridge that connects Learning Forest and Gallop Extension), end our journey at Gallop Extension.
The Learning Forest, in contrast to the rest of the Botanic Gardens, is a little more rustic and vast, separated into distinct zones for nature enthusiasts to explore.
The region can be explored on foot thanks to a network of boardwalks and elevated walkways that bring tourists closer to nature.
Begin at the lowlands and the ground and gradually work your way higher.
You may even stand on an overhanging bridge and quietly survey the entire region.
At the Keppel Discovery Wetlands, you can stand on the edge of a freshwater forest wetland and watch the dragonflies on the water and walk among some of Southeast Asia’s tallest trees at the SPH Walk of Giants, where you can also jump around on aerial nets on the boardwalk.
SPH Walk of Giants
The SPH Walk of Giants is a 260-meter-long elevated boardwalk that lifts guests from ground level to a height of 8 meters.
The walkway allows visitors to get up and personal with a variety of plant species prevalent in the region’s lowland rainforests.
Features of The Walk of Giants include an amazing array of forest ‘giants’, palms, epiphytes, and climbers, as well as the ‘Canopy Web’.
The Canopy Web lets guests to experience being in a forest canopy from a height of around 8m.
Visitors may peek up into the tops of the surrounding trees and view them in bloom up close.
The Canopy Web is built to support up to 900 kilograms, or 12 people, at any same moment.
Walk out onto the cargo net and have a meeting with a tree.
Consider the sensation to be similar to climbing a tree without really climbing a tree.
Products of The Forest & Durian Theory
Products of the Forest, this collection includes farmed forest plants used for human purposes such as lumber, construction materials, and food.
And at Durian Theory, this area of the Learning Forest comprises tree species with particular growth styles that prompted E J H Corner to establish his ‘Durian Theory’.
Corner hypothesized that many of today’s flora is derived from durian-like tree species.
Keppel Discovery Wetlands
The Keppel Discovery Wetlands are a 1.8-hectare restoration effort of the forest wetland habitat that once existed near the Singapore Botanic Gardens.
A well-chosen array of plant species representative of the region’s freshwater forest wetland environments is on exhibit. These habitats are now critically threatened.
The restored freshwater wetland was called the Keppel Discovery Wetlands in honor of Keppel Corporation’s contribution to the Gardens.
Botanists’ Boardwalk and Pulai Marsh are among the attractions of the Keppel Discovery Wetlands.
The Botanists’ Boardwalk features the efforts of prominent botanists such as Nathaniel Cantley (Superintendent from 1880 to 1888), Henry Ridley (Director from 1888 to 1912), and E J H Corner (Assistant Director from 1929 to 1945).
The landscaping around the boardwalk includes plant species collected from throughout the region and named after our botanical forefathers.
The Marsh of Pulai
The Pulai Marsh is supplied by a natural spring and gathers water from the surrounding region.
Every month, this spring delivers enough water to fill one Olympic-sized swimming pool!
The Pulai Marsh is home to a diverse range of vegetation and wildlife.
It is also a restoration of the freshwater forest wetland ecosystem that was once located near the Singapore Botanic Gardens.
The restoration of the Pulai Marsh will allow natural species to flourish in the region and create a haven for wetland animals in the metropolis.
For photo lovers, visual addicts, and plants enthusiast, Singapore Botanic Gardens Gallop Extension is for you. A complete package of Instagramable Art Galleries in British Colonial Houses, a new hiking trail, and one of the biggest children’s playgrounds.
The Gallop Expansion to the Singapore Botanic Gardens is an 8-hectare development that brings the Gardens’ total space to 82 hectares.
It consists of two preserved buildings that have been renovated into the Botanical Art Gallery and Forest Experience Centre @ OCBC Arboretum, as well as the COMO Adventure Grove, Mingxin Rambler’s Ridge, and OCBC Arboretum.
The HPL Canopy Link crosses Tyersall Avenue from the Gallop Extension, linking the ridgetop forest ecosystems at Mingxin Foundation Rambler’s Ridge to the Learning Forest.
Visitors to the HPL Canopy Link may get up and personal with a variety of species typical of lowland deciduous forests, a major forest type in Continental Southeast Asia, which includes Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Burma.
HPL Canopy Link
The HPL Canopy Link ascends to an elevation of 7 meters from the Learning Forest’s Bambusetum, giving a vantage point viewing the collection of more than 30 species of tropical bamboo before carrying visitors into the canopy of a replicated lowland deciduous forest environment.
The meandering and gradually climbing bridge allows visitors to slow down and enjoy nature more closely, with deciduous tree species such as Dipterocapus alatus (Yang Na), Lagerstroemia floribunda (Malayan Crape Myrtle), Sindora siamensis, and Corypha lecomtei growing alongside (Lan Palm).
Gallop Extension Visitor Center
Not many resources provide the information about Gallop Extension Visitor Center, it may be overlooked for many, but not for us.
At a glance, we adore the architecture of this Gallop Extension visitor center, how green elements dominate the interior part of it, and in the middle, the artwork installed took your attention automatically.
Yes, the artwork called Terrarium as Diorama: Our Garden Narratives, which presented by Vertical Submarine.
Vertical Submarine in partnership with professional gardener and NParks’ Community in Bloom ambassador Hamzah Osman sparks a new idea about how the notion of a diorama and terrarium informs modern circumstances of living.
By exploring the Singapore Botanic Gardens’ gardens and monuments, the group employs discovered artifacts and repurposed materials to showcase a terrarium exhibit co-created with the Gardens’ community.
Inspired by the Wardian Case, an early type of terrarium used for plant protection, this upcycled structure also incorporates elements from iconic heritage landmarks throughout the Gardens such as the Swan Lake Gazebo and the Bandstand to emphasize the importance of protecting and conserving our nature and heritage.
Justin Loke is the collective Vertical Submarine’s founding member. His most recent work includes History Without Words at the National Museum of Singapore, which was part of the National Art Council’s first Arts x Tech Lab 2021, and Cathay Hotel: The Curse Of The Lost Red Shoe.
He was the creative director and scriptwriter for this headline act for Singapore Night Festival 2022.
After you pass through the Gallop Extension visitor center, the next part of this trail is The OCBC Arboretum.
The OCBC Arboretum is a conservation initiative designed to cultivate and preserve 200 species of dipterocarps, the most significant trees in the Asian rainforests.
These slow-growing forest giants are threatened by logging and wood harvesting.
But, if protected, they can survive for centuries.
The OCBC Arboretum’s 2,000 trees alone are capable of sequestering 80 million kg of carbon dioxide over the course of their lifespan. Forestation can play a significant role in addressing climate change.
The region’s largest arboretum with 2,000 rainforest trees and an IoT (Internet of Things) technology to improve vegetation care.
Internet of Things (IoT) sensors to remotely monitor the trees’ development and climatic conditions.
The different interpretive signs aid visitors in learning about the forest’s diverse environments.
Como Adventure Grove Playground
The COMO Adventure Grove is a natural playgarden where children may interact with nature through play and discovery.
It will allow youngsters to pick how and what they want to play with, instilling a feeling of adventure and discovery while also boosting their independence.
The playgarden is inspired by the trees in the garden and recreates the feeling of climbing trees and “monkeying” around!
Let us guide you on how to navigate and experience this playground.
This is a welcome artwork when you step into COMO Adventure Grove, a giant Cempedak (Artocarpus integer) where kids can climb its uneven surface.
The 100-times-larger-than-life cempedak enables youngsters to mount its prickly surface with grasping grips.
As they descend, children of varying ages may sharpen their coordination and develop their sense of awareness due to the varying levels of difficulty.
Tips: Be careful and watch your kids especially while it is raining, it can be slippery.
The Banyan Tree Tower
The Grove is a gigantic sandpit surrounded by verdant vegetation and centered on a 10 m-long banyan tree.
It is complemented by sprawling branches built by custom experts, Kinetics, who turn steel supports into trunks with hand-painted tree bark textures.
A 5.8-meter-tall Banyan Tree Tower dominates the new play space, with up to 13 “roots” and “branches” reaching across a massive sandpit.
Children may swing, slide, and climb on these structures simulating the aerial roots of the Weeping Fig – while the structures are constructed of steel, they have been hand-textured to seem like the bark of a tree.
Go climb the Banyan Tree Tower for a fresh view of nature from 5.8 meters above the ground!
Not only will the kids get to burn off some energy, but they could even see a nesting bird or squirrel from up here!
Double Tube Slides
For us, this is the main attraction of this playground, The Double Tube Slides.
These two large tube slides, measuring 6m and 11m in length and intended for speed and excitement, allow children to escape the canopy with a thrilling ride and keep them returning for more.
The sandy route, adorned with plants and creepers, exposes many more nature-inspired marvels.
Forest Discovery Center @ OCBC Arboretum (Atbara – House No.5)
A short trip down the winding road will bring you to the Forest Discovery Centre @ OCBC Arboretum, which is situated in a stunning colonial black and white structure.
This freshly opened exhibition area is where one can find out more about the forest environment and conservation.
Constructed in 1898, it now contains the Forest Discovery Centre @ OCBC Arboretum, which shows Singapore’s forest ecosystems, and underlines the necessity of maintaining them.
With a series of educational and interactive exhibits, visitors may experience a bird’s eye perspective of Singapore’s various kinds of wood, and learn about the Gardens’ historical role in saving them.
Features include a photographic installation of forest trees, family-friendly exhibits, and movies highlighting three diverse forest ecosystems present in Singapore and their distinctive flora and wildlife. The three forest ecosystems found in Singapore – freshwater swamp forests, coastal and mangrove forests, and tropical rainforests.
We learned to discern the croaking noises of the Black-eyed Litter Frog, Crab-eating Frog, and Malayan Horned Frog. Some visitors remained for some time around these tables, as they appeared to find these animal sounds interesting.
Children will enjoy observing birds using magnification glasses and a telescope that faces the trees outdoors.
Underneath the home, behind the stilt arches, is a terrarium with a lowland forest understory.
Botanical Art Gallery (Inverturret – House No.7)
We are heading to one of the most Instagramable spots in Singapore Botanic Gardens, House No. 7, a.k.a Inverturret.
The cottage at 7 Gallop Road that houses the Botanical Art Gallery is a classic structure.
It was formerly owned by Charles MacArthur, chairman of the Straits Trade Company, and was constructed in 1906.
It was given the Scottish name Inverturret, which conjures up pictures of the streams of the high points.
The Straits Trade Company subsequently acquired both Inverturret and the neighboring 5 Gallop Road. After then, they were leased to the French government.
The ambassador’s house was number 7, currently the Botanical Art Gallery. It served in this capacity until 1999, before the government repaired the two mansions in 2012.
Now that the Botanical Art Gallery and it are focusing on artworks in various mediums, the building is starting a new chapter in its history, offering visitors new views of the incredible world of plants.
The first floor is for regular exhibitions that are always changed every six months. The exhibition called Flora of Southeast Asia was held during our visit.
Flora of Southeast Asia, billed as “the first worldwide botanical art show on the native flora of Southeast Asia,” features a fascinating assortment of tropical fruits, leaves, and flowers.
This show commemorates the first partnership between the Gardens and the Botanical Art Society with the Indonesian Society of Botanical Artists, the Thai Botanical Artists, and the Philippine Botanical Art Society.
The permanent collection is housed on the top floor. These sketches and pictures are not less detailed than other artworks but have a unique feel and approach.
On the same floor, we found that the class of dry brushing was a part of the Flora of Southeast Asia exhibition led by Sunanda Widel. Sunanda Widel is a founding member of the newly established Botanical Art Society (Singapore) BASS, a Fellow of the Society of Botanical Artists, and a member of the American Society of Botanical Artists, USA.
She paints in watercolors and is inspired by the colors, patterns, and bold forms of the many tropical plants around her.
The wonderfully renovated interior of Inverturret House is a delight to explore, don’t miss the verandas; it provides soothing views of the surrounding landscape.
Do you agree that the architecture is a balanced combination of East and West?
It completes our trail of Learning Forest and Gallop Extension, which is the blend of nature exploration, kids’ must-go learning while playing destination, and an art gallery.
3. Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden
Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden is a play area within the Singapore Botanic Gardens. It is named after Jacob Ballas, a Jewish philanthropist who donated money for its construction.
The Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden is the first children-specific garden in Asia.
Its subject, “Life on Earth Depends on Plants,” is intended to educate and instill in youngsters a love of nature.
The Garden is a comprehensive nature-learning setting where children may explore and experience learning better to understand the ecology of plants and our environment.
A farm, an orchard, and a forest with its own stream and ponds provide kids with a space for discovery, adventure, and play at The Garden.
Little explorers may explore the suspension bridge and nature play areas; aspiring naturalists can walk along the stream and climb the tree homes; and our urban gardeners can study plant growth and pick up gardening ideas!
Follow these pathways to become an “Adventurer,” “Gardener,” or “Naturalist” for the day in the Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden.
It is Asia’s first (and largest) children-only garden and an excellent location for children to learn about the environment and wildlife.
The Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden is intended for children younger than 14.
NB: If you come without kids below 14 years old, you can’t enter Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden
Singapore botanic Gardens Wrapping Up
The Singapore Botanic Gardens is truly a must-visit for any nature lover or gardening enthusiast. With its verdant gardens, diverse plant life, and tranquil atmosphere, it’s easy to see why the gardens are one of Singapore’s most popular tourist attractions.
So, whether you’re looking to immerse yourself in nature, or want to admire the beauty of the gardens, be sure to add the Singapore Botanic Gardens to your itinerary.