Thursday, 4 May 2017

Singapore Botanic Gardens

Wellington, Sydney, Valencia, ohhhhhhh the Botanic Gardens I've seen! But of course I couldn't pass up the botans in my new home: Singapore.

As they were free to enter, Yannick and I visited on a cloudy day and walked from the north end (where the MRT is located) down to the south.

As Yannick was photographing the lake, this turtle popped out of the water and peered closely at him. Though there are signs warning you not to feed the wildlife, I suspect that his keen interest was snack driven.

Along our walk we found many beautiful sights, and were yet again amazed by how well-maintained everything in Singapore is. There wasn't a leaf out of place.

The gardens were so immaculate that it's common to see photo shoots taking place there. As we circled the gazebo, we saw a wedding party approaching with entourage in white and bouquets of balloons.

For a reasonable entry fee of $5, we took a stroll through the Orchid Garden. I'm not particularly fond of flowers (I like them but wouldn't go out of my way to see them), but this garden was awe-inspiring.

There must have been thousands of different kinds of orchids, all living in harmony together. From tiny yellow ones with intricate freckled petals to great white ones like a puff of cloud, the varieties were astounding and endless.

It wasn't small either, and we got a tad lost trying to find all the different routes so that we didn't miss anything. We managed to get a sneaky photo of one of the gardeners tending to his orchids too! There was even a special VIP garden-within-a-garden-within-a-garden, where a collection of orchids could be seen that were named after famous people (including Barrack Obama).

Not long after arriving in the country, I joined a group called the Singapore International Ladies' Group, which was great for meeting new people and getting out and about. One of the regular meetups was the Monday morning power walk through the botans, which was so much fun!

It was lovely to be able to get some outdoor exercise and time in nature (though some of the most manicured nature I've seen). The ladies were great to chat to, and we went at such a pace that we could talk but by the end of our near 2-hour power walk we were very tired and drenched in sweat.

It was during one of these weekly meetups that I spotted my first monitor lizard, which was exciting! The second time I saw one, I had to get a photo to prove to Yannick and my dad how big they were. This meant that I fell behind the rest of the group and had to run to catch up - in my jandals no less! The ladies were all quite concerned that I would be able to do the walk in my jandals, but I showed them. I walk everywhere in these babies.