WHY THE SINGAPORE BOTANIC GARDENS IS A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE?

by - 7:35 PM


WHY THE SINGAPORE BOTANIC GARDENS IS A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE?

It was a Sunday.  Family day to be specific.  But for overseas workers, this is the time to converge and meet fellow nationals.  In a well-manicured tropical garden that spans in acres, mats were laid down, a potluck of food shared and a familiar language emanated.  Overseas Filipino workers came in number.  I was led to Singapore Botanic Gardens meeting strangers and exchanging smiles.

Majority of my friends working in Singapore haven’t been to this botanical garden.  Since they are too busy with their corporate lives even on a weekend, I came solo and decided to meet them for dinner.  Armed with no itinerary, I strolled and lounged for almost 5 hours to discover the reason for its inscription as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


Singapore Botanic Gardens is actually comprised of a series of gardens.  Admission is free except for the National Orchid Garden.

WHY THE SINGAPORE BOTANIC GARDENS IS A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE?

WHY THE SINGAPORE BOTANIC GARDENS IS A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE?

WHY THE SINGAPORE BOTANIC GARDENS IS A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE?

WHY THE SINGAPORE BOTANIC GARDENS IS A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE?

WHY THE SINGAPORE BOTANIC GARDENS IS A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE?

WHY THE SINGAPORE BOTANIC GARDENS IS A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE?

WHY THE SINGAPORE BOTANIC GARDENS IS A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE?WHY THE SINGAPORE BOTANIC GARDENS IS A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE?
  
NATIONAL ORCHID GARDEN

Situated on a hilly side of the vast property, the National Orchid Garden houses a collection of more than 1,000 species and 2,000 hybrids of orchids.

WHY THE SINGAPORE BOTANIC GARDENS IS A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE?

WHY THE SINGAPORE BOTANIC GARDENS IS A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE?

Upon paying the 5SGD as admission fee, I entered as if in a maze.  I had no maps and no idea what to expect apart from the fact that obviously, this will be about orchids.  I moved with the crowd.

There are a number of attractions within the National Orchid Garden.  I passed by the Burkill Hall, VIP Orchid Garden, Orchidarium and the Tan Hoon Siang Misthouse.

WHY THE SINGAPORE BOTANIC GARDENS IS A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE?

The Burkill Hall resembles an old heritage house. This colonial plantation bungalow is named after the only father and son tandem to hold the post of Director of Singapore Botanic Gardens, Isaac and Humphrey Burkill.  The ground floor showcases different hybrids of orchids named after VIPs who have visited the garden.  Like a typical ancestral house, at the backyard is the garden full of orchids with sculptures as ornaments.

WHY THE SINGAPORE BOTANIC GARDENS IS A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE?

WHY THE SINGAPORE BOTANIC GARDENS IS A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE?

WHY THE SINGAPORE BOTANIC GARDENS IS A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE?

The backyard garden is known as the VIP Orchid Garden.  It is said that more than 100 celebrities, dignitaries and visiting heads of states have been honored by Singapore’s orchid diplomacy program. 

WHY THE SINGAPORE BOTANIC GARDENS IS A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE?

WHY THE SINGAPORE BOTANIC GARDENS IS A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE?

WHY THE SINGAPORE BOTANIC GARDENS IS A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE?

WHY THE SINGAPORE BOTANIC GARDENS IS A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE?

WHY THE SINGAPORE BOTANIC GARDENS IS A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE?

WHY THE SINGAPORE BOTANIC GARDENS IS A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE?
  
Photographers and serious orchid enthusiasts would definitely love the Orchidarium.  The orchids naturally grow on a tropical setting.

WHY THE SINGAPORE BOTANIC GARDENS IS A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE?

WHY THE SINGAPORE BOTANIC GARDENS IS A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE?

WHY THE SINGAPORE BOTANIC GARDENS IS A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE?

WHY THE SINGAPORE BOTANIC GARDENS IS A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE?

WHY THE SINGAPORE BOTANIC GARDENS IS A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE?

Just when I was about to make an exit, I noticed a small pathway with a prominent marker, Tan Hoon Siang Misthouse.  And so I entered.  The mist house is named after a philanthropist and founder of Tan Tock Seng Hospital.  It houses different hybrids of fragrant orchids.

WHY THE SINGAPORE BOTANIC GARDENS IS A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE?

WHY THE SINGAPORE BOTANIC GARDENS IS A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE?

WHY THE SINGAPORE BOTANIC GARDENS IS A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE?

WHY THE SINGAPORE BOTANIC GARDENS IS A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE?

WHY THE SINGAPORE BOTANIC GARDENS IS A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE?

WHY THE SINGAPORE BOTANIC GARDENS IS A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE?

WHY THE SINGAPORE BOTANIC GARDENS IS A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE?

WHY THE SINGAPORE BOTANIC GARDENS IS A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE?

WHY THE SINGAPORE BOTANIC GARDENS IS A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE?

LAKES

WHY THE SINGAPORE BOTANIC GARDENS IS A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE?

The Singapore Botanic Gardens has three lakes, namely Symphony Lake, Eco-Lake and Swan Lake.  Fortunately, I was able to pass by these three in my quest to locate the gazebo known as the Bandstand.  The gazebo is the usual image displayed when Singapore Botanic Gardens is being promoted.

WHY THE SINGAPORE BOTANIC GARDENS IS A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE?

WHY THE SINGAPORE BOTANIC GARDENS IS A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE?

WHY THE SINGAPORE BOTANIC GARDENS IS A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE?

WHY THE SINGAPORE BOTANIC GARDENS IS A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE?

Since it was a weekend, a free concert was about to take place at the Shaw Foundation Symphony Stage at the Symphony Lake.  A statue of the composer, Frederic Chopin, is also an added attraction near the Symphony Lake.

WHY THE SINGAPORE BOTANIC GARDENS IS A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE?

WHY THE SINGAPORE BOTANIC GARDENS IS A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE?

WHY THE SINGAPORE BOTANIC GARDENS IS A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE?

WHY THE SINGAPORE BOTANIC GARDENS IS A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE?

WHY THE SINGAPORE BOTANIC GARDENS IS A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE?

THE BANDSTAND

WHY THE SINGAPORE BOTANIC GARDENS IS A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE?

After hours of roaming around and just in time when my feet was about to give up, I found what I was looking for in the first place.  I took refuge on one of the wooden benches facing the Bandstand.  The octagonal gazebo serves as a venue for bands to perform.  And fortunately, in the late afternoon a band was about to perform when I arrived.  It was a perfect spot to relax and meditate.  The ring of the Yellow Rain trees surround the gazebo, providing a backdrop of light green foliage and some in yellow and making the terraced flower bed and palms complemented by the gazebo a perfect backdrop for wedding photo shoots.  In fact, there were a number being set-up and couples come in different wedding wardrobes – of varied nationalities.  I sat to people watch and that was a good one.

WHY THE SINGAPORE BOTANIC GARDENS IS A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE?

WHY THE SINGAPORE BOTANIC GARDENS IS A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE?

WHY THE SINGAPORE BOTANIC GARDENS IS A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE?

This iconic landmark of the Singapore Botanic Gardens retained its original form over the years.  The charm remains and no wonder this structure is the face of Singapore Botanic Gardens on posters and brochures.

WHY THE SINGAPORE BOTANIC GARDENS IS A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE?

WHY THE SINGAPORE BOTANIC GARDENS IS A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE?


It may be quite unusual that a tropical garden can be regarded as a UNESCO World Heritage Site but Singapore Botanic Gardens has the aesthetics, cultural and environmental value.  The site demonstrates the evolution of a British tropical colonial botanic garden transformed into a modern world-class scientific institution used for both conservation and education.

WHY THE SINGAPORE BOTANIC GARDENS IS A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE?

WHY THE SINGAPORE BOTANIC GARDENS IS A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE?


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1 comments

  1. Hi Mark,
    How many hours will it take to explore the whole Botanic Gardens?
    Thank you.

    ReplyDelete