Welcome to our travel blog. We are Tabitha and Nic. In 2011 we 'retired' in our early 40s and set off to travel the world. We spent our first year in South America and have been lucky enough to make two trips to Antarctica.

Our blog is a record of our travels, thoughts and experiences. It is not a guide book, but we do include some tips and information, so we hope that you may find it useful if you are planning to visit somewhere we have been. Or you may just find it interesting as a bit of armchair travel.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Singapore - Orchids, Supertrees and orangutans

Gardens by the Bay, Singapore
Singapore is one of those places that we tend to hear good things about. And there are certainly a few things to recommend it for a short stopover en route to somewhere else. Beyond that, we personally weren't so keen, but that is for a different post; for now let's look at the good stuff.

Monitor Lizard

Our first impressions were pretty good. We arrived in sunshine, and on the drive in from the airport we could see luscious greenery and colourful flowers. And certainly the horticulture here was a real plus point.

Botanical Gardens, Singapore

One of our visits was to the botanical gardens. They are big enough that you could easily spend a day here, wandering amongst the different types of planting, including the sensory garden and the quite informative medicinal garden. You don't have to be an enthusiast to enjoy it here, it is just a pleasant, free way to spend some time - and they have monitor lizards roaming around.

Lions, Singapore Zoo
The one thing you would have to pay for is to go into the orchid garden. It isn't much, and it is quite an impressive display of different types. I love orchids, so it was well worth it to me to go inside.

We also went to the zoo, which had been highly recommended to us. It's not a bad zoo, but neither was it anything that special. It probably doesn't help that we are starting to feel a bit less interested in zoos generally, as we focus on trying to see more animals in the wild, but in the main, this just didn't catch our interest.

Fruit Bat, Singapore Zoo
There were a couple of good bits; it was fun to watch the lions being fed, and we rather enjoyed the walk through with the fruit bats and lemurs.

White Tiger, Singapore Zoo
And there was one highlight, which was the orangutans. They have a big group here and they are free to roam in and out of their area. It is quite fun to see these big orange apes swinging through the trees above your head

Orangutans, Singapore Zoo
That experience isn't without its risks though - if you find yourself in an isolated shower on an otherwise beautifully sunny day, you may want to go find somewhere to have a wash! We didn't see anyone get caught when we were there, but there was a near miss!

Gardens by the Bay, Singapore
Our favourite thing in Singapore was the Gardens by the Bay.

Gardens by the Bay, Singapore
We walked around some of the outer garden areas, but we weren't that excited by them and it was too hot for us to worry about seeing it all. But it is well worth going just for the two domes and the supertrees.

The cloud forest dome is set up so that you walk up through the 'cloud' and see the different plants that grow at the various levels. The 'cloud' is a fine mist spray, which doesn't soak you, and we found very welcome on a hot day. It is worth trying to coincide your visit here with one of the spraying times, as otherwise you don't really get the effect.

Gardens by the Bay, Singapore
The other dome has much more to see, so takes longer to go around. The plants and flowers are quite beautiful, and there is usually a special exhibition of some sort. When we were there it was the zodiac signs and dahlias.

Gardens by the Bay, Singapore
But the most spectacular thing to see is the Supertree Grove. You can pay to go around the elevated walkway, but we didn't bother with that.

Gardens by the Bay, Singapore
These giant tree like structures look fabulous just as they are, but the real display happens in the evening, when they have the Garden Rhapsody light show. It is really stunning to watch.

Gardens by the Bay, Singapore
Gardens by the Bay, Singapore

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