After lunch with a colleague, I was contemplating how to fill up the spare time in the afternoon before meeting some friends for dinner. Hmm, I have my laptop/tablet with me so I can find a cafe or the library, surf some net and perhaps plan out the itineraries for upcoming travels.
Or… I can take a stroll in a park! Catch some fresh air and be amongst nature.
Of all the parks in Singapore, the newly-declared UNESCO World Heritage site- Singapore Botanic Gardens– came to mind.
Though I don’t visit the garden that often in recent years but it holds many fond memories for me. Off the top of my head: Picnics, feeding bread to the swans at the “swan lake”, a somewhat-like-a-treasure-hunt activity during JC…
It was very hot at noon time but by the time I’d reached the gardens (around 4pm), there’s an overcast and a slight drizzle. I was half thinking about turning back but when I thought about having travelled all the way here from the East, I’m not going to give up like that. Just cross my fingers that there won’t be a downpour, at least not for the next 2 hours please…
Thankfully, the drizzle had stopped after a few mins, though it came back again but stopped shortly thereafter. What erratic weather this is!
It’s a good thing I had brought along selfie stick. Had used to find them amusing but it is really handy. Like in this case when I am by myself and I can easily take my own pictures as and when I want.
From the start point (Bukit Timah Gate, which is next to the “Botanic Gardens” MRT Station), I strolled through the bougainvilleas & bamboo collection and herbs & spices section towards the “Symphony Lake”.
Since it’s on a weekday, it was relatively quiet at some parts of the garden. There were pockets of tourists but for a number of areas, it’s just me and a few other individuals. Bet it’s more crowded over the weekends so this is really an ideal time to visit the garden for some quiet time.
Ah.. the old Tembusu tree. Think this tree is more than 200 years old! I’d missed seeing the tree that had appeared on our $5 note. That calls for another visit? :p
It’s tempting to just roll out a picnic mat and lie on the vast field next to the symphony stage. That reminded me. Had brought Zac here for a walk. Poor boy had a diarrhoea. Aiyo…
Those lotus leaves remind me of empty tart shells… Oh man, I am also thinking of lotus leaf glutinous rice (河叶饭). Stop it!
As I was walking along the symphony lake, I saw a little girl pointing excitedly towards the centre of the lake and kept asking her dad, “Is that a monitor lizard??”
Oh my, yes it is. Something long and dark gliding across the lake. That distinctive lizard head. *shudder* Since it was swimming at quite a distance and I believe this fella ain’t gonna suddenly change course and charge towards me at turbo speed, I felt “safe” standing where I am, just observing him make his way towards the shrubs behind the stage. A loud “plop” as it climbed (or leaped, I dunno) onto the kerb, before entering through the shrubs, had made me jump a little. Silly me. Hope no one saw that. Hehe…
Now to check out some orchids at the “National Orchid Garden”. It’s free entrance for Singaporeans and PRs. In here, there are so many types of orchid species and hybrids, and of different designs and colours.
I didn’t realise until I read the papers today that the British PM, David Cameron, was here on the same day as well. Think he was here much earlier and left. No wonder there were these security officers lingering around.
There are also some orchids named after famous people, like Margaret Thatcher (ex British PM), Prince William and Catherine (“William Catherine”), one in memoria of the late Princess Diana.
My favourite part is the “Cool House” cos it’s air-conditioned!! So nice and cooling from the hot weather.
YES!! I had finally found the area where there are these garden swings. Seems like more than 10 of them situated within the same area.
This was my last stop. Time check, another 30mins to go before I need to leave for my next appointment. After walking non-stop for 2 hours, I can feel a slight ache in my feet. Plopped myself in one of these swings and just…. zone-out… Unfortunately, these swings had emitted loud grating squeaks each time it swings. Some oiling needs to be done.
There are some parts of the garden which I have not explored. There are some areas which I would really like to just sit at a bench or on the grass, just to soak in the serenity of the surroundings. That warrants another visit soon!