City in a Garden

03-02-18

There is so much to do in Singapore and there is a real emphasis on nature and being outside which suits us. The Botanic Gardens are a UNESCO world heritage site and feature on every blogger’s must see list in Singapore so we made that the mission of today.

Having clocked up 22,000 steps yesterday we allowed ourselves a bit of a lie in. Our hotel is on the 28th floor and waking up to incredible vistas across the city is a real treat. Our bathroom has floor to ceiling windows so we can watch the clouds roll in as we take a shower.

It’s incredibly easy to get around the city using the MRT which is the equivalent of the London tube. There’s only about 6 lines and they are so well laid out and signposted, making it really user friendly. It’s cheap, efficient and great for people watching! Every single MRT station has its own mall attached. The term shopping center just doesn’t do these futuristic mega-malls justice. I’m not talking about some multi-tiered grotty selection of irrelevant shops with a dated BHS in the basement. These are brand new, huge destinations with incredible architecture, state of the art entertainment and wonderful food courts.

The restaurants and food courts are worthy of a visit in their own right, with stunning displays of fresh produce and delicious hawker stalls to choose from. We found a great little bakery in the mall on our way to the MRT and picked up breakfast en route.

We made our way over to Holland Village first which is just a couple of stops from the Botanic Gardens. Popular with expats, Holland Village is a leafy and upmarket area with plenty of bars, brunch cafes and independent shops. After our stroll here we headed for the gardens in the scorching heat.

Once through the gates, the roar of bustling city life melted away and we found ourselves in a vast, tranquil oasis of green calm.

Featuring themed gardens, walking trails and glassy lakes, the gardens are truly stunning and unbelievably, they are free to the public.

The orchid garden is a particular highlight, boasting the world’s largest collection of tropical orchids.

We were lucky enough to visit whilst a concert was being hosted by the US airforce band of the Pacific.

A great way to while away a couple of hours in the gorgeous evening light before heading home.

Whilst walking around Singapore we’ve both been struck by the cleanliness and order everywhere. No rubbish, no dirt, no homeless, no men weeing in the streets like the Philippines. There seems to be a huge sense of civic responsibility here. People help each other and really take pride in looking after their surroundings. Chewing gum is illegal in Singapore and eating and drinking is a fineable offence on the underground. I can see why some critics would describe Singapore as a bit of a sterile, nanny state but it makes for an incredibly comfortable, safe and clean city environment. So far we’ve loved the green spaces and friendliness of everyone and are so impressed with the architecture and culture that we can’t wait to explore more.

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