Ideal Time: 1 - 3 hours
Open Time: 8:30 AM - 7:00 PM,
Last entry: 6:00 PM
Cost: Adults: SGD 5,
Students: SGD 1,
Seniors (60 and above): SGD 1,
Children below 12 years: No entry fee
Established in 1995, Singapore's National Orchid Garden is an exotic Garden whose sheer beauty draws in all types of visitors throughout the year. Located on the highest hill of the Singapore Botanical Gardens, the Orchid Garden is a major tourist attraction for everyone, whether they are interested in orchids or not. The Garden currently houses over 60,000 orchid plants, out of which 1000 are pure species and 2000 are hybrids; and all of which are carefully curated by the vast team of the Garden's horticulturists. The National Orchid Garden provides the visitor with the opportunity to witness several different types of unique orchids, many of which are rare species and fascinating hybrids; all of them equally breathtaking and gorgeous.
The National Orchid Garden is divided into many sections, each of them interesting and awe-inspiring. These sections include:
The Burkill Hall: Well-known for its soaring ceilings, large eaves and spacious verandahs, the Burkill Hall is named after the father-son duo of Isaac and Humphrey Burkill. Positioned at the highest point of the Garden, this breezy and well-ventilated section provides visitors with a breathtaking view of the Garden as well as of other areas like the Rain Forest and the Palm Valley. The most noteworthy feature of Burkill Hall is its gracefully tapered wooden pillars, each of which have been carved from a single trunk of the native Tempinis tree.
Tan Hoon Siang Misthouse: This is one of the major attractions of the National Orchid Garden, as it displays an incredible amount of rare hybrid orchids. Named after Tan Hoon Siang, the Misthouse is full of stunning, gorgeous and unique orchids set in a lush green environment. Visitors should not miss out on the rare Scented Orchids corner which houses unique orchids like the Papilionanda Mimi Palme. This orchid hybrid emits a strong sweet scent which smells almost like chocolate and is predominantly strong in the mornings. The Misthouse also showcases the climbing Vanilla planifolia orchid, the seeds of which are used to derive the popular Vanilla flavour. Along with scented orchids, visitors can also see some pungent orchid hybrids like the Bulbophyllum graveolens, B.phalaenopsis and B.beccarri. Irrespective of their scent, all of these orchids are bright, beautiful and colourful, and provide a refreshing break for the visitors' tired eyes.
VIP Orchid Garden: This Garden has a genius theme and is the most famous attraction in the National Orchid Garden. Designed to be an English backyard to Burkill Hall, the VIP Orchid Garden has numerous stupendous orchid hybrids named after State Visitors in a gesture of goodwill and peace. This practice was started by the Singapore Government in 1957 and has since then, become one of the major crowd drawers in the National Orchid Garden. The Garden now has around 200 orchids named after famous personalities; the most popular of them being the Dendrobium for Margaret Thatcher, the Dendrobium orchid for Joe and Jill Biden, and the Papilionanda for Ban Ki-Moon. Beautiful red, purple and white orchids adorn every inch of the VIP Orchid Garden.
Celebrity Orchid Garden: Similar to the VIP Orchid Garden in concept, the Celebrity Orchid Garden has orchids named after popular celebrities like Jackie Chan and Bindi Irwin. The bright red Vanda orchid was named after the famous Indian actor Shah Rukh Khan; the striking purple Dendrobium orchids were named after Jackie Chan and the stunningly bright yellow fringed with pink Spathoglottis orchid was named after Jane Goodall.
Cool House: As the name suggests; the Cool House was built to offer visitors a very realistic experience of being in a tropical cloud rainforest, complete with mist and gushing water. The Cool House not only houses innumerable cool growing orchids, all of which adorn its realistic man-made trees and shrubs, but it also houses an assortment of carnivorous plants. Blues, purples, whites and browns dominate the colour theme here. A fantastic orchid here is the Bulbophyllum echinolabium, which has the largest flower in its genus. Another main attraction is the marvellous Stanhopea ruckeri orchid which bears large atypical looking but sweet-scented flowers. The strange carnivorous plants like the pitcher plant is another reason why visitors flock to the Cool House.
Heritage Orchid Garden: With breathtakingly beautiful orchids in shades of orange, yellow and purple, the Heritage Orchid Garden pays homage to the importance of orchids in Singaporean culture and history. The orchids in the Heritage Orchid Garden are named after important historical figures. Beatrice Ng has the vivid yellow Aranthera orchid named after her while Maggie Oei gets the distinctive red and white striped Arachnis orchid.
Yuen-Peng McNeice Bromeliad Collection: Named after Lady Yuen-Peng Mcneice, the Yuen-Peng McNeice Bromeliad Collection houses over 200 species of bromeliads, all of which originated from the Shelldance Nursery in the United States in 1994. The Collection greets the visitor with a riot of colors; ranging from shocking reds and oranges; to soft whites, purples and calm greens. This Collection is exceptional because although it is in the National Orchid Garden, it features bromeliads and not orchids.
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The winter months are the best time to visit the National Orchid Garden. Most, if not all, of the flowers are in full bloom and the absence of heat, humidity or rainfall allows visitors to take their time admiring the flowers and taking pictures.
To reach the Garden, visitors can take a bus to the Botanic Garden Station from where it is a 20-minute walk to the National Orchid Garden. They must take bus number 7, 75, 77, 105, 106, 123 and 174 and get down at Napier Road. They can also reach the Garden by walking for 15 minutes from the Tanglin Gate, which is the second gate of the Singapore Botanical Gardens.
The Entrance Pavilion provides various types of books and reference guides, orchid plantlets and other National Orchid Garden souvenirs for visitors. Visitors can also buy souvenirs from The Provisions, which is located at the entrance of the Ginger Garden and provides meals as well as gifts and souvenirs. The Garden shops are Another popular place to pick up souvenirs, located in several places within the Gardens.
There is no dearth of eating options around the National Orchid Garden. There are plenty of eating options to satisfy every food craving. Popular restaurants include Bee's Knees at The Garage which serves Western cuisine, the modern bistro Botanico at The Garage which serves European cuisine, Casa Verde for pizzas, local and Italian food; the Corner House for elegant French cuisine; Food Canopy for local cuisine, the family friendly Food for Tots Café; and Halia Restaurant for a fusion of European and Asian cuisine.
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