June 2012
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The Singapore Botanic Gardens – a 74-hectare (183-acre) botanical garden in Singapore.

The Singapore Botanic Gardens is a 74-hectare (183-acre) botanical garden in Singapore. It is half the size of the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew or around one-fifth the size of Central Park in New York. It is the only botanic garden in the world that opens from 5 a.m. to 12 midnight every single day of the year. There is no admission fee for this garden.
The garden is bordered by Holland Road. The garden is bordered with Napier Road to the south, Cluny Road to the east, Tyersall Avenue and Cluny Park Road to the west and Bukit Timah Road to the North. The linear distance between the northern and southern ends is around 2.5 km (1.6 mi).
The first “Botanical and Experimental Garden” in Singapore was established in 1822. It was established on Government Hill at Fort Canning by Sir Stamford Raffles, who was the founder of modern Singapore.
The garden’s main task was to evaluate for cultivation crops. These crops were of potential economic importance, including those yielding fruits, vegetables, spices and other raw materials.

Attractions of Singapore Botanic Gardens

1. National Orchid Garden
• National Orchid Garden is located within the Singapore Botanic Gardens.
• This garden was opened on 20 October 1995 by Singapore’s Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew.
• The Singapore Botanic Gardens has been developed along a 3-Core concept.
The three cores consist of:
• Firstly, Tanglin which is the heritage core that retains the old favorites and rustic charms of the historic gardens.
• Central core is the tourist belt of the gardens.
• Third core is the Bukit Timah which is the educational and recreational zone.
• Each Core offers an array of attractions.
• The Garden is located on the highest hill in the Singapore Botanic Gardens.
• This is providing a place for 60,000 orchid plants.
• The garden consists of 400 species and more than 2,000 hybrids.
• A careful combination of selected trees, shrubs, herbs and orchids (mostly hybrids) with matching foliage and floral colors are depicted in the color combination in this garden.
The display of plants is in four separate color zones:
• The “spring” zone with its prevailing colors of bright and lively shades of gold, yellow and creams.
• The “summer” zone with its major tones of strong reds and pinks.
• The “autumn” zone of matured shades.
• The “winter” zone of whites and cool blues.

2. Burkill Hall and the VIP Orchid Garden
• Burkill Hall is a colonial plantation bungalow built in 1886.
• It used to be the director’s house.
• It was named in honour of the only father and son pair to hold the post of Director of Singapore Botanic Gardens, Isaac and Humphrey Burkill
• The ground level serves as an exhibition area. Here, the information is showcased on different hybrids named after VIPs who have visited the garden.
• At the back of Burkill Hall, there is VIP Orchid Garden with hybrids of some of the VIP orchids on display. Notable ones include:
– Dendrobium Margaret Thatcher
– Renantanda Akihito
– Dendrobium Masako Kotaishi Hidenka
– Dendrobium Elizabeth
– Vanda Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo

3. Orchidarium
• A heaven for serious orchid’s enthusiasts.
• The Orchidarium houses natural species in a tropical setting.

4. Tan Hoon Siang Misthouse
• Tan Hoon Siang was a descendant of Tan Tock Seng.
• He was a philanthropist and founder of the Tan Tock Seng Hospital.
• The misthouse contains a colourful collection of different hybrids.
• It has a small collection of fragrant orchids like Vanda Mimi Plamer.

5. Lady Yuen-Peng McNeice Bromeliad House
• It was named in the honour of its sponsor.
• The Bromeliad House showcases plants from the Bromeliaceae family, which includes the pineapple.
• The unique collections of bromeliads on display were acquired from Shelldance Nursery in the United States in 1994.

6. Coolhouse
• The Coolhouse tries to recreate the environment of a tropical highland forest.
• It showcases orchids that are normally only found in the tropical highland areas.
• Orchid show needs identification.

7. Rain-forest
• The Singapore Botanic Gardens has a small tropical rainforest of around six hectares in size.
• This is older than the garden itself.
• The rainforest and its bigger cousin at the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve are located within the Singapore’s city limits.
• Singapore is one of the only two major cities with a tropical rainforest within its city limits.
• The other being Tijuca Forest in Rio de Janeiro.

8. Evolution Garden
• The 9.9-hectare (3.7-acre) Evolution Garden is located within the Central Core area of the Gardens.
• It tells the evolutionary story of plant life on Earth throughout the ages.

9. Ginger Garden
• It is located next to the National Orchid Garden.
• This one-hectare garden brings together members of the Zingiberaceae family.
• The garden houses a restaurant called Halia Restaurant.
• There is also a drop-off point along Tyersall Avenue as well as a waterfall.
• The garden was officially opened in 2003.

10. Botany Centre and Tanglin Gate
• The reopened Tanglin Gate has been given a new look.
• The two new blocks of offices and classroom in the upgraded Tanglin Core area are known as the Botany Centre.
They house the:
– Library of Botany and Horticulture (including the Public Reference Centre);
– The Singapore Herbarium;
– Orchid Breeding and Micropagation; and
– Education outreach and workshop classrooms

11. Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden
• The Children’s Garden was named after its main donor Jacob Ballas.
• It was built at a cost of S$7 million.
• It is located at the quieter northern end of the Botanic Gardens.
• It has its own visitor centre with a cafe.
• It opened on Children’s Day, 1 October 2007.
• The National Parks Board claims it is Asia’s first children’s garden.
• There are play areas like the Water Play area, a small playground, tree-houses with slides, and a maze.
• There are also interactive exhibits that teach how photosynthesis takes place.
• There is a mini-garden that showcases how plants may be used to make dyes and beverages, or as herbs.
• At the Children’s Garden Visitor Centre there is a sculpture by the Israeli artist Zodok Ben-David.
• It is named Mystree.
• From a distance, the sculpture looks like a tree but a closer inspection reveals 500 human figures.
• The Children’s Garden has its own entrance along Bukit Timah Road.

Other Attractions

Tropical plants line on the bank of the Saraca Stream. The main highlights of the stream walk are:
• Yellow Saraca trees (Saraca cauliflora)
• Red Saraca (Saraca declinata)
• Palm Valley
• Bandstand area
• Sun Garden
• Sundial Garden

The Botanic Gardens has three lakes :
• Symphony Lake
• Eco-Lake
• Swan Lake

Best time to visit/climate

• Singapore is located a mere 1.5 degrees north of the Equator.
• Weather is usually sunny with no distinct seasons.
• Rain falls almost daily throughout the year.
• Most rainfall occurs during the northeast monsoon (November to January).
• Between May and October, forest fires in neighboring Sumatra can also cause dense haze.
The temperature averages around:
– 30°C (84°F) daytime, 24°C (76°F) at night in December and January.
– 32°C (90°F) daytime, 26°C (81°F) at night for the rest of the year.

Location on Google Maps

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How to reach Singapore Botanic Gardens?

1. By Foot
Entrance to the Gardens is easy through the Gardens’ major entrances:
• Tanglin Gate
• Burkill Gate
• Nassim Gate
• Cluny Park Gate
• Bukit Timah Entrance

2. By Car
Car Parking Facilities are available at:
• The Singapore Botanic Gardens’ Visitor Centre
• Bukit Timah Car Park at Bukit Timah Core
• Botany Centre
• Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden
• Public Parking along Tyersall Avenue

3. By Bus
Get to the Gardens by Public Bus via Holland Road or Bukit Timah Road.
• Via Holland Road
– SBS Transit 7, 105, 123, 174
– SMRT 75, 77, 106
• Via Bukit Timah Road
– SBS Transit 48, 66, 151, 153, 154, 156, 170
– SMRT 67, 171

4. By Taxi
There is a Taxi Drop-Off and Pick-Up point at the Visitor Centre along Cluny Road.
By Coach: Coach Drop-off Point is located at:
• Singapore Botanic Gardens’ Visitor Centre
• Ginger Garden Coach Drop-off Point
• Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden
Coach Parking is available at:
• Singapore Botanic Gardens’ Visitor Centre
• Tyersall Avenue Public Coach Park
• Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden

5. By Mass Rapid Transit (MRT, Circle Line)
Alight at Eco Garden (North end of the Gardens) via the Botanic Gardens Station.

How to reach Singapore?

1. By Plane
• Singapore is one of Southeast Asia’s largest aviation hubs.
• The easiest way to enter Singapore is by air in addition to flag-carrier Singapore Airlines.
• Its regional subsidiary is SilkAir.
• Singapore is also home to low-cost carriers Tiger Airways, Jetstar Asia and Scoot.
• Changi airport: The country’s main airport and major regional hub status.
• Seletar Airport: Seletar Airport is Singapore’s first airport.

2. By Road
• Singapore is linked by two land crossings to Peninsular Malaysia.
• The Causeway is very popular.

3. By Bus
There are buses to/from Kuala Lumpur (KL) and many other destinations in Malaysia through the Woodlands Checkpoint and the Second Link at Tuas.
Major operators include:
– Aeroline
– First Coach
– NiCE
– Transnasional
– Transtar

4. By Train
• Singapore is the southern terminus of Malaysia’s Keretapi Tanah Melayu network.
• There are two day trains (the Ekspres Sinaran Pagi and Ekspres Rakyat) and a sleeper service (Ekspres Senandung Malam) daily from Kuala Lumpur.
• A day train (the Lambaian Timur departing Singapore at 4:45AM).
• Sleeper (Ekspres Timuran departing at 6PM) daily along the “Jungle Railway” between Singapore and Gua Musang.

5. By Boat
Getting to/away from the ferry terminals:
• HarbourFront FT: Located next to HarbourFront MRT station.
• Tanah Merah FT: Get off at Bedok MRT station and catch bus No. 35 to ferry terminal.
• Changi FT: No bus stop nearby, take a taxi from Changi Village or Tanah Merah MRT.
• Changi Point FT: Take bus No. 2, 29 or 59 to Changi Village Bus Terminal and walk to the ferry terminal.

6. Cruises
• Star Cruises offers multi-day cruises from Singapore to points throughout Southeast Asia, departing from HarbourFront FT.
• Common destinations include: Malacca, Klang (Kuala Lumpur), Penang, Langkawi, Redang and Tioman in Malaysia, as well as Phuket,Krabi, Ko Samui and Bangkok in Thailand.
• There are also several cruises every year to Borneo (Malaysia),Sihanoukville (Cambodia), Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam) and even some 10 night long hauls to Hong Kong.

Some travel books from Amazon about Singapore

Lonely Planet Singapore Frommer’s Singapore Day by Day Malaysia and Singapore

Places to stay (hotels / restaurants along with website / contact numbers)

Hotels at wikitravel.org
Hotels at hotels.online.com.sg
Hotels at expedia.co.in

Blogs / Sites about Singapore Botanic gardens

Blogs at nparks.gov.sg
Blogs at travel-singapore-with-me.com
Blogs at sbg.org.sg
Blogs and reviews at yoursingapore.com

Images and photos of Singapore Botanic gardens

Images at google.com
Images at wikipedia.org
Images at botanikfoto.com
Images at tripadvisor.com
Images at pbase.com

Videos of Singapore Botanic Gardens

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