Flower power

It may be a busy metropolis, but Singapore still manages to feel like a big, beautiful garden that happens to have lots of high-rises in it. There are 300 parks and four nature reserves to explore with the two highlights coming from completely different time periods.

Founded in 1859, Singapore’s Botanic Gardens is the first and only tropical botanic garden on UNESCO’s World Heritage Lis and has the world’s largest orchid display with more than 60,000 plants in the National Orchid Garden.

At the other end of the spectrum is Gardens by the Bay, which quickly became the ‘people’s garden’ when it opened in 2012 with its Supertrees quickly becoming Singapore stars. The trunks of these 25-50 metres steel structures are covered with orchids, ferns and flowering climbers, and every night there are two free and spectacular Garden Rhapsody music and light shows. The man-made Supertrees dance with light to an exhilarating soundtrack by one of Singapore’s most sought-after composers, Ban Wenfu. There’s a boardwalk suspended in the sky that connects the Supertree forest and, if you get there early enough, you might be able to secure a ticket. If not, just lie on the ground and take it all in.

Gardens by the Bay is also home to the world’s largest glass greenhouse, The Flower Dome, and the Cloud Forest with the world’s highest indoor waterfall. Not just a visual treat, both domes offer a memorable way to escape Singapore’s heat of the day.

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