The 139-year old Singapore Botanic Gardens is a star visitor attraction for foreign tourists as well as the local residents. The Gardens possess an array of botanical and horticultural attractions with a rich history and a wonderful plant collection of world-wide significance. The Gardens is only a stone throw from the hassle and bustle heart of the city centre.
The Singapore Botanic Gardens is divided in a 3-Core Concept. The Tanglin core is the heritage or historical core retaining some of the charms of old favourites. The Central core is the tourist belt of the Gardens. Bukit Timah is the educational and recreational zone. Each Core offers an exciting array of attractions. The Tanglin Core has the Bandstand, the Sculptures, Sun Rockery, our national orchid Vanda Miss Joaqium, Swan Lake, the Marsh Gardens, the Plant House and the Rain Forest Central core has the National Orchid Garden, Palm Valley, Symphony Lake, the Visitor Centre and Heliconia Walk. Whereas the Bukit Timah core comprises the Ecolake and Economic Garden where one can examine the various herbs and spice, medicinal plants as well as nuts and beverage crops and fruit trees.
The Rain Forest is one of the original jungle left on the island and it contains over 300 plant species in a mere 6 hectares fragment. Some of Singapore’s tallest trees like the kempas and meranti can still be found here.
The Gardens provides a learning ground for the novice birdwatcher and naturalist. Almost all the garden birds are found there. Other interesting birds are the wild Lesser Whistling Duck at the Symphony pond, the Oriental Magpie Robin hipping on the lawn, Long-tailed Parakeet at the Oil Palms near the Visitors’ Centre and the Rare Reg-legged Crake hiding the under bushes. There are records of several hornbill species at the Gardens that supposedly had escaped from some private gardens around the vicinity.