My family loves to go to the Singapore Botanic Gardens, one of our island’s most well-loved tourist attractions which draw about 3 million visitors annually. Its enticing mix of free admission, beautiful 52 hectare landscape, awe-inspiring greenery and thoughtful touches makes it a must visit for us. We always feel rejuvenated after our trips there.
The implementation of paid parking was a bane to some and a boon to others. For me, I like the idea of more parking spaces being available, even though I have to pay for it.
On the way in, I spotted this Hippo Bus, which is an innovative topless Hop-On Hop-Off tour service. Its owner James Heng has been known to an envelope-pushing entrepreneur who recently won the tourism awards.
The Visitor’s Centre provides a nice shady spot to rest and prepare for the hike through the garden. Old-world style clocks telling the time of major cities around the world plus photographic exhibitions add a nice touch. Its ample seats are also useful, especially for the numerous parents with tots on prams.
Cafe Les Amis has always attracted crowds of all ages despite its relatively pricey (though quality offerings). Foodies will know that its parentage – the Les Amis Group – is one of the top restaurant chains offering pristine fine dining experiences.
On our way back, Ethan suddenly decided to take a walk up the Rainforest track. Apparently some of the trees here are more than a century old. And of course, please don’t introduce damaging alien species that will disturb the balance of its eco-system.
On our way up, we spotted this intrepid guide (likely a volunteer) who was sharing with the group about the habits of the Cicada, a fascinating insect that spends 10 over years underground as a nymph before emerging for only a couple of weeks as a winged adult. Of course, its shimmering song is unmistakable in any tropical rainforest.
UPDATE (6 July 2015): Congratulations to the Singapore Botanic Gardens for being recognised as the latest UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s a happy occasion for all of us here in Singapore, especially nature and garden lovers like us.