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Friday, 10 July 2015

Complete Guide to Singapore Botanic Gardens (Part 2)

Dates of visit: 21 Aug, 2 Sep, 12 Oct 2014, 2 Jul 2015

Singapore Botanic Gardens
1 Cluny Road
Singapore 259569
Opening hours 5am - 12am

I had drafted this post long before Botanic Gardens is made UNESCO World Heritage Site.  I am sure glad and proud that one of my favorite spot in Singapore was given what it deserve.  I took longer than expected to complete this post as I kept missing certain areas of the garden.  I went back again and again, to compile the photos.

All photos are taken by me unless other wise stated, *prouds* giving a pat on the shoulder ^.^

This post is a continuation from HERE which is covers the Bukit Timah Core.

Let's move on to the center of Singapore Botanic Garden:

Central Core -
Click HERE for larger map.

Attractions to explore includes -
* Nassim Gate Visitor Centre
* E J H Corner House
* Evolution Garden
* Healing Garden
* Rain Forest
* Palm Valley and Symphony Lake
* National Orchid Garden
* Ginger Garden
* Fragrance Garden

Not in any particular section, saw this heritage tree.  It has witness the changes in Singapore for the pass 100 years, at least.  If it can talk, I wonder what kind of story it will tell...

The exposed sturdy root was up to my waist.
This is the biggest tree I ever seen in my life!

Fragrant Garden
I visited Fragrant Garden in a afternoon.  香喷喷 indeed, enjoy the natural aromatherapy, inhale!
It's said that the fragrance is more intense at night.

Most flowers are white here...

Pinwheel Flowers

Tabernaemontana  Africana

Some genius gave such a complicated name >.<
Tabernaemontana  Africana
Any way, this is pretty unique to me, as in we don't see this flower along the streets.

Large deep green leaves with...
Lacy Tree
 ... "eyes" on the trunks!  Looks like a giant version of those on pineapples.
Lacy Tree
Inhale the perfumed air, move on...

Healing Garden
Click HERE for larger image.

This 2.5 hectares garden is gated with 3 entrances -

NEEM GATE,  next to Fragrance Garden.

GELAM GATE, next to Food Canopy.

GAMBIR GATE, next to Raffles Building.

Over here, there are over 400 species of plants with medical properties.  There are boards indication their names and their purposes in healing.  Here's some of them....

Carica Papaya

I thought only papaya fruit can be eaten.

Surprisingly, the leaves can be used to treat colic and swells.  Even more surprising, the roots can treat kidney stones!  Ya, my hubby just had a surgery to remove a stone.  The thing is, such condition will re-occur >.<

Melastoma Malabathricum
A decoction of the leaves are use in traditional medicine as postnatal tonic and to treat diarrhea.  Powdered leaves and roots are use to treat wounds.

Lawsonia Inermis 指甲花
This caught my attention as it's chinese name is 指甲花, direct translation to english is "Finger Nail Flower".  I later found out that another common name of this plant is Henna.  Once the leaves are smashed into paste, the Henna dye is be use as body art or hair dye!  I believe many of us had done Henna on our hands or legs before, but we never know where Henna comes from, learn something new right?  Heehee...

Other parts of this plant is useful also.  Seeds and seed oil are use to treat corns and warts; the roots can be use for fevers, malaria etc.

TongKat Ali
I am sure many know this - man's "tonic" lolxx...  Never in my imagination TongKat Ali plant looks like this.  It's so ordinary, so small and fragile looking.  I thought it should look more sturdy as a traditional tonic!  Waaahaahaaa.....  Other than that, it can be use to treat fevers, mouth ulcers and jaundice.

Hibiscus Sabdariffa
It's dark red flowers looked so wicked and attractive!  It is use as a diuretic, to treat high blood pressure, wounds, sores and biliousness.

Jatropha Curcas 麻风树
The chinese name of this plant is horrifying 麻风树, direction translation to english is "Leprosy Plant", holy shit.  Perhaps due to it's branches with really ugly bumps all over.  I tried my best to capture it's ugliness in photo but fail >.<   Anyway, the bark is use as a fish poison (ie. to knock out fish without killing them and also still safe for to be eaten) and the seeds are use as contraceptive, my gawd.....

A man-made fountain giving Healing Garden some rhythm of water.

Also spotted some nice blooms which names not indicated -

Spotted a climber plant which looks unreal.  The leaves are frosted white covered with fine hair!

The only bloom which looks like ordinary morning glory but much bigger in size.

Behind all these photos is a persistent me.  This was before I gotten a zoom lens camera.

Now with that camera, I could capture clear close shots even at 5 metres away, no need to climb until like that lolxx...  The only set back will be it's bulkiness, can be tiring to carry it around.
Took a pic of this squirrel without it even knowing, heeheehee.....

Trees with unknown red berries.

Many fell on the ground, I picked up one on my palm to show you the size.
Seducingly edible right?

Yes, monitor lizards are everywhere including Healing Garden.
This babe is about 1.5 foot long.  It's cute, I know most of them will go "Yukes, yeks, urrgg..."   But they are really cute to me, heehee.... not house lizards though.  I am freaking scared of them lolxxx....  I am weird >.<

National Biodiversity Centre is in Healing Garden as well.

Note that Healing Garden close every Tuesday, unless falls on Public Holiday.

Beside Healing Garden near Gelam Gate is Food Canopy, which a economical food court.

Further down, about 15 mins walk with a killer up slope is Blue Bali, an asian cuisine restaurant.  When we reached there it wasn't open, we nearly cried, really T____T
You may find out more about it HERE.

Evolution Garden
Dinosaur age garden with lots of rocks worth photo taking.

Small pond almost covered by lotus leaves and big big smooth pebbles in and around it.

Flinstones kind of water coolers.

Nassim Gate Visitor Centre
This is a resting point right at the center of Botanic Garden.

This is the main entrance.

If you are coming out from Healing Garden or Evolution Garden, this is the overall view.

Moving closer, this out door water fountain is a hot spot for photo taking for tourists.

Birds here aren't too afraid of human.  This birdie was looking at the camera lolxx...

Among those few trees, there's a Cannonball Tree.

Cannonball flowers are really pretty.

There's a Souvenir shop to chill (it's aircon!).

Lastly but most importantly, here's got food - Casa Verde.

There's more outdoor tables than indoor.  From what I observed, outdoor seats are taken by caucasians while indoor seats are occupied by asians.

Casa Verde offers both western and local dishes.
Orders are made and paid at the counter, like fast food restaurant.

 Italian Herb Roasted Chicken S$14.50

7% GST is chargeable, but no service charge as diners have to collect their own cutleries and serviettes.

Besides Nassim Gate Visitor Centre is National Parks Headquarters.
Working in Botanic Garden is so cool!

EJH Corner House

This vintage colonial house was a resident for Assistant Director of SBG (1929-1945).  The building is kept and converted into a french restaurant.

According to a friend, food was good and the service was excellent!  Haven't got a chance to dine here but you may click HERE to find out more.
Corner House, image credit www.sbg.org.sg

Palm Valley and Symphony Lake

A landmark that you won't miss, Shaw Foundation Symphony Stage is planted on Symphony Lake.

Symphony Lake is blanket with lots of large lotus leaves.

A few lotus flowers can be spotted, looking at their beauty took away my troubles for a moment.

Different species of palm trees surrounds Symphony Lake.

Also a photo spot ;)
Behind me is Heliconia Walk, a pedestrian path full of ginger plants more than 2 metres tall.

The flowers looks like cranes/birds at certain angel, amazing.  I spend quite a while admiring them...

A fat monitor lizard was spotted.  Most people just walked pass without noticing.  They stopped and looked at what I was looking and snapping, then they saw it lolxx...

Most of the time, I am very sensitive to hustling sounds of leaves.  I am afraid there might be snakes, but so far, the sounds were all made by squirrels or lizards from their movement.
I think I had said it before, but still need to repeat, I LOVE MY CAMERA!

The exterior of the Cool House in National Orchid Garden can be seen near Symphony Lake.

Rain Forest Trail
I had covered part of this rain forest trail from National Orchid Garden to EJH Corner House.

However, please note that this section of the trail is closed from 4 July 2015.
Information and image from www.sbg.org.sg
You may enter the Rain Forest Trail through Vanda Miss Joaquim Plantation (at Tanglin Core) to EHJ Corner House.

Lucky me visited before the section is close.  So here are the photos...

Plywood pathway were straight and even, many joggers love it here.  Squirrels can be seen jumping around from tree to tree, I practically saw 1 or 2 of them every 5 meters I walked.

The strangler figs were growing in complicating manner.

I estimated the diameter of this Johor Fig about 2 meters?  I am not too sure, but it's really huge and tall, my handphone couldn't capture the entire height of it.

Staircase that leads to EJH Corner House which is the end of the rain forest trail.

Ginger Garden
Here got food!  Nice delicate local & western fusion cusine at Villa Halia and Halia Restaurant.

Both restaurants are opposite each other.
Villa Halia
I had attended a event at Villa Halia and was very impressed by the food, especially their ginger ice-cream dessert, it left a deep impression.  But me bad, the photos are missing >.<  You may find out more from HERE.

Halia Provision is a kiosk selling beverages, ice-cream, some finger food etc.  But be warned that it's not too pocket friendly :X

The sign says: "Beware low branches".  Obviously, I am short enough not to ignore this kind of warning lolxx..

Outside the mini waterfall.

Inside it.

Besides the waterfall, you may notice a fig growth on the rocks.

National Orchid Garden
There are over 100 species of orchids and 2000 hybrids to be seen.  So much so that I'll have to do a separate post for this.  You will be awed even if you aren't a plant/flower lover.

Click HERE for more information and flower filled page.

From 10 July to 31 August 2015, all Singapore citizens and permanent residents will enjoy free entry to the National Orchid Garden.

  Meanwhile National Orchid Garden:

 Opens daily 8.30am - 7.00pm
Admission Fee -  S$5 for adults
S$1 for students and senior citizens (60 years old and above)
Free for children below 12 years old

I will be working hard on the Part 3, Tanglin Core which is the last part ;)

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