About 2 months back, I brought MY on an excursion to Singapore Botanic Gardens. It was one of those adventures where I shelved on one side, telling myself to blog about it when I have the time, but never getting down to blogging about it. Before I knew it, I had forgotten most of the details and decided to just not blog about it anymore.
But when it was reported that Singapore Botanic Gardens is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, I decided to dig the photos out to blog about it. To record what it was like when it was a non-UNESCO World Heritage Site. Lest things change from here on.
You see, I read with some concern on the news that travel agencies are hoping to cash in on its UNESCO World Heritage status and are adding Singapore Botanic Gardens to their itineraries. I kind of like the way Singapore Botanic Gardens is now… with minimal people. I’m not sure I want Singapore Botanic Gardens to be swarmed with tourists the way Merlion Park is. But then again, maybe I think too much. Singapore Botanic Gardens is HUGE (and they have plans to expand it). So hopefully the bus loads of tourists would be spread out, and Singapore Botanic Gardens will retain its quiet charm.
Okay, enough of the serious stuff. Let’s get on with the journal of our trip!
Singapore Botanic Gardens: From Botanic Gardens MRT to Orchard MRT
During our outing, MY and I walked all the way from Botanic Gardens MRT to Orchard MRT. Okay, I walked. MY just sat+slept in the stroller most of the way. Arriving from Botanic Gardens MRT, we entered through the Bukit Timah Gate and first headed for Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden.
We passed by some baobab trees a.k.a. Bottle trees a.k.a. Dead Rat Trees. Ewwww… What’s up with the name ‘Dead Rat Trees’? Does this look like a dead rat to you?
Bottle Trees are like native to those of us who stay in the North of Singapore. Bottle Tree Park… Remember? I felt a sense of affection towards these trees. MY only felt the heat.
We continued our walk towards Jacob Ballas Garden, motivated by the signs along the way showing the distance getting shorter and shorter. Love these signs btw.
And a HUGE lizard was waiting to welcome us! What was that anyway? I googled around a bit to find an answer, and the closest thing I could find was a Malayan Water Monitor. Yes? No? It looked like one, but… What was a water monitor doing amongst dry leaves?
So anyway, that was just so you know that there was interesting wildlife at Singapore Botanic Gardens! Back to Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden. We arrived! Here’s a map.
The first thing we saw when we entered was the water play.
MY said he didn’t want to play, so moving on… There were many plants along the pathway. Like bananas!
And this funny pomelo lookalike!
According to the sign, it is called a Calabash.
Next, something more recognizable: Aloe Vera
I’ve never quite thought about what a papaya flower looks like. I was looking around to see if there was a papaya, but I found these little flowers instead.
Moving along… we saw cotton plant.
And peanut plant.
And pineapple. Too bad this was before our Okinawa trip. Ever since our Okinawa trip, MY had been squealing “PINEAPPLE” whenever he saw one. It was totally ingrained in him. Talk about experiential learning.
And we reached an interactive station where children could learn about photosynthesis. It looked kind of old and neglected.
But surprisingly the lights were still working!
And so was the mist.
And we reached the Treehouse!
The sign said that the recommended age was 5-12 years old.
There was a ladder that was too difficult for 2 year old MY to climb.
So we skipped the latter and found a flight of staircase to go up to the top of the slides. But after going up, MY didn’t have the guts to slide down. Hrmmm…. How is he going to survive NS next time??
We left the treehouse and continued going around to find more plants. We found Touch-Me-Not, my childhood favourite! MY was super intrigued by it.
And another childhood favourite: Saga tree. But there were hardly any saga seeds on the ground to collect. So sad.
Moving on moving on… Walking past some random flowers and butterflies…
Finally spotted something interesting! Saw this tree that was covered with some fruit. The sign said it was ‘Anatto’ .
Next, the Fig tree was also covered with fruits!
Passing by more random flowers…
We arrived at yet another playground!
This one looked a lot more suitable for younger children. But it was crazy HOT there. So we passed.
And we were back at the water play area. This time, MY said he wanted to play. Guess it was just too hot and he needed to cool down.
After he was done playing, we checked out the cafe outside. There were little tables and chairs for children at the Kidz Cafe there. But the food didn’t look very appetizing.
So I just bought an ice cold drink and we continued our *long* walk through the rest of Singapore Botanic Gardens.
After walking for cannot-remember-how-long, we arrived at the Visitor Centre.
The Visitor Centre was EXACTLY mid-way between the Bukit Timah Gate and Tanglin Gate!
This was the most crowded area in Singapore Botanic Garden. It would probably get more crowded from now on. There was a heritage tree.
And everyone was taking photo of this tree so I also took a photo. I was frankly quite tired by this point and couldn’t bother looking at the signs anymore.
I popped by the National Orchid Garden to ask if the orchid Varanda Lee Kuan Yew could be found there. But they told me it had withered already. SIGH.
We passed by the waterfalls where wedding couples like to take photos at.
And after that, made a beeline for the Tanglin Gate. Occasionally, I saw people taking photos of random flowers and I joined in.
And oh, this one I have to mention. You see these purple and white flowers? They were near the Swan Lake. Do stop by to smell them!
When we reached the Swan Lake, MY suddenly woke up. (There went my hope of having a peaceful meal at Food for Thought!) He wanted to feed the swans, but I couldn’t find any feed around.
Later on, after we left the swan lake, we found the capsule dispensing machine for the swan feed at the Botany Centre. Why didn’t they put it next to the Swan Lake??? I was too tired to walk back from the Botany Centre to the swan lake. (It was not THAT far, but I had walked all the way from Bukit Timah Gate so I was not backtracking – not even by a whee bit.) So too bad, MY didn’t get to feed the swans.
And we headed to Food for Thought for a well-deserved lunch break. >Cick here to read more about Food For Thought at Singapore Botanic Gardens.<
After lunch, I was feeling all energetic again! I contemplated whether to hail a cab to Orchard MRT, or to walk. I decided to walk to save money. And I kind of have a boycott-cabs policy ever since 99% of them refused to bring me to the zoo.
Along the way, we stopped at McDonald’s at Forum Shopping Mall for a break. And I realized our milo + latte cost more than a cab ride from Singapore Botanic Gardens. So much for saving money.
After our drink, we headed to Orchard MRT to take the train home. It was a great day out and I’m glad it did not rain!
Singapore Botanic Garden Visitor Information
Address: 1 Cluny Road Singapore 259569
Getting There: Botanic Gardens MRT (for Bukit Timah Gate)
For more details on getting to Singapore Botanic Gardens via other gates, please click here.
Main Garden 5am – 12midnight daily
Children’s Garden 8am – 7pm daily (last admission 6.30pm)
Visitor Centre (Nassim Gate) 8am – 5.30pm daily
Botany Centre 8am – 5.30pm daily
Contact Number: 64717361 (Visitor Centre) / 64717138 (Botany Centre)