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Strange and Wonderful Orchids: Visiting Singapore’s National Orchid Garden

Visiting the National Orchid Garden inside the Singapore Botanic Garden | #VisitSingapore

When I think of Singapore ‘great food‘, ‘skyscrapers’ or ‘shopping’ come to mind. But travel along any of the main roads or highways and you’ll notice plants, trees and flowers carefully cared for by workers or locals – Singaporeans love to indulge in nature’s beauty.

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When locals want to escape the noise or concrete they often head to the Singapore Botanic Gardens. With 74 hectares of space and free admission, there’s plenty of room for all. If you’re visiting the gardens for the first (or even fifth!) time, buy a ticket and head into Singapore’s prized National Orchid Garden.

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I’ll be honest, I didn’t realise just how many species of orchids are found around the world. Not tens, hundreds or even thousands, but tens of thousands breeds of orchids can be found worldwide. Currently, 1,000 species and 2,000 hybrids can be found within the National Orchid Gardens.

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Visiting Burkill Hall and the VIP Orchids

While some countries present fine wine, stuffed animals or – in the case of a gift to US President Barrack Obama from Saudia Arabia‘s leaders – a US$16,500 gold-plated clock, Singapore creates a unique gift for visiting foreign dignitaries, by breeding hybrid orchids.

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Located behind Birkill Hall, a colonial plantation bungalow built in 1886, the VIP Orchid Garden showcases some of these breeds. Stop inside the hall to see which foreign dignitaries have been honoured with their own orchid breed before heading out to view them.

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German Chancellor Doctor Angela Merkel, former South African President Nelson Mandela, Her Royal Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and former Australian Governor-General Quentin Bryce are among the dignitaries who have been honoured with orchids named in their honour.

Diana, Princess of Wales has also been honoured with a pure white orchid in Memorium and more recently, during an official visit to Singapore, Prince William and Kate were presented with their own orchid.

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Next to the VIP Orchid sections is a small ‘Celebrity Orchid’ area where actors who have contributed significantly to society have been honoured. Among them is Hong Kong actor Jackie Chan, Italian singer and philanthropist Andrea Bocelli and Australian Bindi Irwin – daughter of the late Steve Irwin – who is a wildlife ambassador.

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Exploring the National Orchid Garden

The National Orchid Garden is huge so you’ll need a good few hours if you want to see all of the gardens.

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Get up close to natural tropical orchids in the Orchidarium before walking through the Misthouse, an area filled with colourful hybrids often found in mountains, highlands or that require a cooler setting – and a nice respite from Singapore’s humidity! There’s even a Bromeliad House where you might just be lucky to see a pineapple or two growing!

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At SGD$5, the National Orchid Garden is a must visit when in Singapore. It’s a small price to wander the diverse gardens, get up close to Singapore’s national flower – the stunning Singapore Orchid, discover the diversity of this species of flower, and a chance to escape away from the concrete city into a land of colour and peace.

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Details

Singapore Botanic Gardens
1 Cluny Road
Singapore

Website: www.sbg.org.sg

Admission to Singapore Botanic Gardens: Free

Admission to Orchid Gardens:
Adults – SGD$5
Students & Senior Citizens – SGD$1
Children under 12 – free

Notes:

  • Try to avoid visiting during the weekends because the Orchid Gardens are incredibly popular with locals and visitors. During the week, you won’t have to jostle for photography space with as many people.
  • Want to go straight to the National Orchid Garden? Ask your driver to drop you off at the stop along Tyersall Avenue.
  • The Singapore Botanic Gardens is Singapore’s first ever UNESCO nomination due.
  • The SBG has placed handy ‘camera’ icons around the park indicating the best places to take photos!
  • Bring water! Walking around for extended periods in Singapore’s humid weather leaves you parched. There’s a cafe near the entrance to the National Orchid Garden so remember to grab some snacks or at least a drink.

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More photos from the National Orchid Garden

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I visited Singapore as a guest of the Singapore Tourism Board.
All thoughts and opinions are, as always, my own.

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11 Comments

  • Reply
    Deborah Dickson-Smith
    March 30, 2015 at 8:25 pm

    Beautiful photos Nicole! I love Singapore’s Botanic Gardens – a little oasis of calm in the middle of all that hustle.

    • Reply
      Nicole
      June 9, 2015 at 11:24 pm

      Thank you, Deborah! 🙂
      It’s a great space to escape the bustle of the city, and even better that it’s free.

  • Reply
    De'Jav
    March 30, 2015 at 10:23 pm

    I’m heading to Singapore the end of April. Definitely have the gardens on my list of things to see.

    • Reply
      Nicole
      June 9, 2015 at 11:30 pm

      Hope you managed to visit the National Orchid Garden and Botanic Gardens while you were in Singapore, De’Jav!

  • Reply
    rebecca
    March 31, 2015 at 4:32 pm

    they are beautiful, you got some great shots

    • Reply
      Nicole
      June 9, 2015 at 11:24 pm

      Thanks, Rebecca! It’s easy to take beautiful photos of a beautiful subject. 🙂

  • Reply
    Olga
    April 5, 2015 at 2:00 am

    I think orchids are an acquired taste. I never really found them beautiful before, but now I think it’s one of the most gorgeous flowers out there in the flower world!
    I love your post – amazing pictures!

    • Reply
      Nicole
      June 9, 2015 at 11:29 pm

      I never really found them beautiful before I visited the National Orchid Garden, but after seeing the diversity and colours of them… well, they’re just stunning! 🙂

      Thank you for your kind comment, Olga! 🙂

  • Reply
    Get in touch with Nature in Singapore
    April 13, 2015 at 10:00 am

    […] the gardens and have some time buy a ticket (S$5 for adults) and head into Singapore’s prized National Orchid Garden. Thousands of species of orchids, including hybrid species bred as gifts for foreign dignitaries […]

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    May 14, 2015 at 10:27 am

    […] Strange and Wonderful Orchids: Visiting Singapore’s National Orchid Garden […]

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    City Guide: Singapore
    July 15, 2015 at 10:01 am

    […] Explore the (free!) Singapore Botanic Gardens – A piece of nature in the heart of the city, the Singapore Botanic Gardens is a tranquil oasis amongst the concrete jungle. The highlight? The National Orchid Garden that houses thousands of species of orchid, including specially bred versions that have been presented to foreign dignitaries and celebrities. Read more about the National Orchid Garden. […]

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