Issue No. 6 : Nature's beauty and scenic views in Asia's garden-city...


Hello everybody and welcome to the sixth issue of "Singapore Travel Tips"!


So… What is in this issue of our newsletter? 


Enjoy the read!

Roni Shwartz




A)   Sights and stories of Singapore: Singapore Botanic Gardens


Occupying a relatively large area of almost 160 acres, not far from the city centre, the amazingly beautiful Singapore Botanic Gardens, one of the city's "must sees", boasts a stunning variety of species, including plants, trees, flowers and shrubs... Most of which originated from the tropical regions of Southeast Asia.


The garden was established by an Agri-Horticultural Society, back in 1859, but owes its great success to Henry Nicholas Ridley, an English botanist and naturalist, who managed it for 23 years, at the end of the 19th century, and turned it "from zero to hero"...


Ridley is best remembered for being the person who, against all odds, managed to introduce rubber trees to the region's planters: An idea that initially looked ridiculous and unrealistic to many of the colonial administrators (who gave him the unflattering nickname "mad Ridley"), but which proved to be genius at the end of the day...


The gardens' highlights include the Sun Garden where various species of cactus and other plants of arid areas can be seen, the Vanda Miss Joaquim orchid (Singapore's national flower, that can be found not far from the bandstand), the Rainforest area, where you can see an actual "slice" of a genuine rainforest, just like the ones that covered the region more than a century ago, and the Evolution Garden, where you can "travel through time" along the evolution of the plants world… But the real draw is unquestionably the National Orchid Garden (and the Orchidarium), where more than a thousand species and two thousand hybrids can be found, forming the world's largest display of tropical orchids…


The Botanic Gardens open daily, 5am - midnight and the entrance is free.


The National Orchid Garden open 8:30am - 7pm daily (no entry after 6pm), and there a small admission fee applies.


Click here for the full article, or here for the gardens' official website (Or you can also take a look at this map of the gardens, if you want to plan your visit better).


Tip: If you don't have much time in town, or you don't feel like navigating your own way, you can also visit Singapore's Botanic Gardens and the Orchids as part of a guided city-tour of Singapore, which takes you through the city's most popular sightseeing spots.



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B)    Somewhere to put your head at night: Shangri-La Singapore


Constantly ranked as one of Singapore's finest hotels, the luxurious Shangri-La enjoys a fantastic location, within a leafy and quaint area, yet just a heartbeat from Orchard Road's shopping and entertainment zone.


The hotel is engulfed by a lovely tropical garden and offers its guests a whole plethora of facilities, including a fabolous outdoor pool, Jacuzzi, spa, fitness centre, business services and some truly sensational restaurants and cafes...


Click here for more info and an instant online quote.



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C)    Restaurant of the fortnight: Casa Verde


Other than great food and exquisite ambience, one of the strongest draws of Casa Verde is its superb location, right in front of the greenery of Singapore's Botanic Gardens.


The restaurant's open air verandah is facing the gardens' Palm-valley, and listening to the sounds of the birds and the running water in the nearby fountains is truly enjoyable.


The menu boasts a decent choice of international favorites and café fare: Their scrumptious breakfasts include Eggs Benedict, Ham & Mushroom omelette, French toast and sausages, alongside local favorites like Chicken Congee or Laksa, while

lunch and dinner menus are more "serious" and feature a selection of lovely international and Italian specialties: From creative salads and sandwiches to pasta dishes and seafood.


Open daily, from early morning till around 11 pm


Phone: 6467 7326



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D)   Authentic eatery of the fortnight: Thai Noodle House


Although this lovely family run eatery is a bit off the beaten track for visitors, it makes a very good lunch break for visitors to the Singapore Botanic Gardens. Especially now, that Botanic Gardens MRT Station has finally opened.


The food they serve here is truly homey and authentic Thai, the service is friendly and the prices are quite moderate.  Recommended dishes include the ultimate Tom Yam Seafood Noodle, Claypot Glass-Vermicelli with prawns, Beef Noodles (comes with both beef balls and beef slices) and Khao Soi: A soup-like dish with egg noodles, pickled cabbage, shallots, lime and chicken in a curry sauce.


Open daily (except Mondays), 11:30 am - 9:30 pm


Coronation Arcade, Bukit Timah Road (Just a short walk from Botanic Gardens MRT Station and the northern gate of the Botanic Gardens)                    Phone: 6467 0104



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E)     An event worth knowing about: Festivals and live concerts


1. The Cranberries are coming to Singapore : The famous Irish rock band will perform a single concert in Singapore's Indoor stadium on 2nd April


For more details and tickets, click here.


2. Libera ("Angel Voices"), the legendary all-boy English vocal group with the heavenly voices, is going to give two concerts in Singapore's Esplanade Theatre ("The Durian") on the 6th and 7th of April.


For more information and tickets, click here


3. Kenneth Hamilton, an internationally famous Scottish pianist and writer, who is particularly known for his virtuoso performances of Romantic music, will play two recitals for piano in the Esplanade Theatre ("The Durian") on 31st March and 2nd April, presenting a fascinating panorama of two centuries of piano music, including works by Mozart, Bach and Beethoven - via the Romanticism of Chopin, Brahms and Liszt - to 20th century music by Rachmaninoff and Ronald Stevenson.


For more information and tickets, click here


4. A special tribute concert to Deep Purple's "Smoke In The Water" will be held at Fort Canning Park on 31st March to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the band's legendary album, featuring the greatest of Southeast Asian rock music’s legends…


For more information and tickets, click here



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F)     Exhibitions


1.  Singapore's ArtScience Museum, at Marina Bay Sands, hosts a truly interesting exhibition by the name ‘Andy Warhol: 15 Minutes Eternal’, which not only displays some of the artist's best works, but also brings to life his famous 1960s New York studio (and there is even a kids’ area, so the young ones won't get bored)....


More than 250 of Warhol's artworks have travelled here all the way from the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, presenting a chronological retrospective of his entire career, from the 1940s to the late 1980s...


The exhibition will be running until August and for more information, you can click here.


2.  Aquabumps: An Exhibition of Beach Photography is held at Tanjong Beach Club, in Sentosa until April 29th and brings Australia's cheerful beach culture straight to Singapore, with emphasis on Sydney's world-known Bondi Beach.


For more details, click here.



 Don't waste your holiday money!

You can visit the city's top attractions and places-of-interest without spending a fortune, by simply using products like the Singapore City Pass, or Singapore Flexi Pack, or the See Singapore Attractions Pass !



G)   Tip of the fortnight: Discovering Singapore's green side


Although gardens and green open spaces are not new to many of you, it is advisable to spend some time in Singapore's beautifully groomed parks, as they boast many tropical plants, which cannot be seen in your country, as well as delicate Chinese landscaping… Moreover, some of Singapore's parks and nature reserves offer nice walking trails that are both scenic and easy…


The Southern Ridges and Labrador coastal nature reserve would be a good place to start from for those of you who want to explore the city's green side but don't have all the time in the world…



Did you know? An open top hop on hop off bus tour of Singapore is one of the best and least expensive ways to discover the city!



Well folks, that is all for this issue… I hope you enjoyed the read and look forward to sending you our next issue in two weeks' time.


Meanwhile, as a frequent traveler in Asia, you might also have an interest in our other newsletters: Hong Kong Travel Tips, which brings the best of what Hong Kong has to offer, straight to your inbox, or Asia Cheap Eats, where you can find out about Asia's BEST inexpensive restaurants.


And one last thing… For those of you who missed the first three issues of this newsletter, here is a link to them…



All the best, Roni




© 2012 Asia-Pacific Guides Ltd

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