After several visits to the main section of the Singapore Botanic Gardens, I finally got round to seeing the National Orchid Garden, and I wish I had gone there earlier. Unlike the small orchid house at Bogor Botanical Gardens in Indonesia, the Singapore National Orchid Garden occupies a large outdoor space, with an indoor cool house housing particular specimens. You need time to walk around the whole garden, and it is well worth it to see every section. But with entry at only S$5 for adults and S$1 for students (children get in free), a repeat visit is also a possibility.
Following the map, we set off around the well landscaped gardens, stopping every few metres to admire the beautiful plants. The orchids are surrounded by other species of plants and trees so there is plenty to see.
Advertised as “the largest display of tropical orchids in the world”, a plethora of colours and patterns can be found. The gardens are divided into sections, clearly marked on the map. We saw the VIP Orchid Garden and the Celebrity Orchid Garden, both of which feature orchids that have been bred for a particular famous person. Everyone from kings, queens and presidents to film stars has an orchid named after them. Vanda Miss Joaquim, Singapore’s national flower, can also be seen in its own section of the gardens.
The Yuen-Peng McNeice Bromeliad Collection, which is the pineapple plant family, offered a brief break from orchids, before we hit the cool house. This displayed the most stunning orchids, in amazing patterns and colours. We noticed that as well as looking beautiful, many have appealing scents. Orchids can smell very different to each other, however, and some of the aromas were more attractive than others.
A Flowery Path
As well as the designated sections, orchids were planted along beside the path throughout the garden, with small labels, so we could recognise which were cross-breeds of the others. And all ready for the eager tourist, special photo-spots have been marked along the path, offering the perfect spot for a photo with a spectacular flower backdrop.
The orchid garden was large than I expected, and with stunning flowers blooming on every corner it took over an hour to walk around it. There is plenty to see here, for a fraction of the price of some of Singapore’s other attractions.
The National Orchid Garden is just one part of Singapore Botanic Gardens. The rest of the gardens have free entry, but you need multiple visits to see everything. Highlights for me include the Healing Garden, the Ginger Garden and the Rainforest. It’s a pleasant way to spend a day in Singapore.