Wednesday, November 28, 2012

How many gardens are there in Singapore? Oct, 2012

On a recent trip to Singapore, J&K and I visited as many gardens as we could.  We only got to three, mainly because of the heat which turns me into a puddle, but I feel we got to see some of the best (though we missed the classic botanical garden, next time!).  For some photos see K's blog here.

Chinese Gardens
It was the mid-autumn festival and the local Chinese Garden had set up extra scenes throughout the garden.  We climbed the pagoda for a better view of the lake and wandered most of the pathways.  This garden also deserves a return visit for the reptile/turtle zoo-it is mysteriously off in a corner.  We also saw the monkey that has been hanging around the garden, grabbing snacks-totally comfortable hanging out near people.

Durian Dessert
Somehow I have avoided eating durian until now.  I didn't do it on purpose, just never got around to trying it.  In case you don't know, the durian is a fruit that looks like a hedgehog, has rabid fans, and smells so strongly that it is forbidden on the subway.  Many say that the smell is like...waste product.  But I think that depends a bit on your nose.  So I finally decided to give it a try in a sort of an ice cream dessert.  I didn't hate it-it has a creamy texture not usually found in fruit and being frozen keeps the smell down.  The weirdest part was the taste returned all evening long like nothing I've ever eaten before!

The beige scoop is durian

Haw Par Villa
This is not a textbook garden.  It is a family memorial site and moral education rolled into one.  The memorial parts are...different.  They are painted concrete sculptures, often illustrating a story.  The moral education come from dioramas depicting the different types of punishments for different offences.  It is quite old, so it is not surprising that we find it strange and fascinating.  This is one of my favorite places to visit in Singapore because it is so much of the place-I can't really imagine it anywhere else.  And in Singapore, where a 20 yr old building gets torn down just because it is so old, it is nice to see this remnant of the past.  And it is still popular!

Gardens by the Bay
The gardens are a new installation under the Marina Sands hotel.  The fancy designer has built in a set of 'Supertrees' that some love and some hate.  There is a walkway at the top that has great 360 views.  Even though it was a little hazy it was well worth the SGD5 for the breeze alone!

We wandered through the gardens which are set up as mini educational spots showcasing plant aspects like roots, fruits or flowers.  There are also the culturally themed gardens representing Singapores three main cultures, Chinese, Indian, and Malaysian.  The Chinese garden has a waterfall that follows the stairs down to dragonfly lake.  It is already becoming a popular site for photo shoots-we saw one fashion and one wedding shoot taking place.

Snacks!  There is a somewhat fancy food court to escape the heat.  We choose Canelle for drinks and dessert and can recommend the macarons and merengines.

We didn't go into the flower or orchid dome, which cost extra, as they seem like they deserve a few hours each.  Next time!

No comments:

Post a Comment