Singapore’s 1st UNESCO Heritage Site

In 2015, Singapore’s very own Botanic Gardens was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. I remember beaming with pride as I read the news because I have such fond memories of the colossal Gardens as a child. It was always a treat when my parents brought us there occasionally. And in recent years, I too enjoy bringing the dogs out to the Gardens for walks. It’s a very large garden (by Singapore standard), occupying 82-hectares of land located at the fringe of Singapore’s shopping Street – Orchard Road. And due to its recent elevation in status, more tourists have been visiting the garden. We acutely felt it when we brought the girls out there this weekend. A fortunate thing that our schedule worked out somehow and good weather was forecasted so we forged ahead, leaving home as early as 7.30am hence managing to avoid the crowd that started streaming in around 9am.

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Considering Paris’ health condition at this point, we were not too ambitious about covering much ground at the Gardens. It was a simple enough strategy – to make it to the iconic landmark of the garden that is the Bandstand, and then to the Swan Lake. The bandstand is clearly a favourite spot of the locals; when we arrived at gazebo erected in 1930 there were 3 different groups of people already absorbed in their various activities. Some indie filming was going on to the right, a group of ladies were practising yoga to the left, and a group of fresh graduates wearing their convocation gowns and mortarboards were taking commemorative photographs at the back. Well, it certainly isn’t hailed to be Singapore Botanic Gardens’ iconic landmark for nothing. 🙂

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The girls didn’t seem to want to remain on the grass patch (I suspect ants were biting them since I was also bitten) so I quickly snapped some pictures with a profile of the bandstand in the background and then brought them back up to the pavement while waiting for the group at the front of the bandstand to clear the area when they were done. Paris and Belle were much happier to oblige when we got them to sit on the pavement.

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We didn’t have to wait long. By the time we had the front of the bandstand to ourselves, I have already got the girls prepped with hair bows. Most people who came across us couldn’t resist the urge to take picture of the girls because they looked so sweet! Inside, the girls were feeling anything but. They were hot, bothered and thirsty as it was exceedingly humid at the Gardens although it was still early in the day. We too, were perspiring profusely.

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We found a bench nearby for the girls to take a rest while the mister walked back to the car to fetch their water bowl and bottled water. The girls took the opportunity to indulge in their favourite past-time – people watching. Since they were too tired to stray off, I wasn’t watching them too closely, allowing them to explore around the bench freely. Both decided that it was a good idea to nestle under the bench together. These girls… sometimes I simply cannot fathom what go through their minds. 😆

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The mister loves the girls to the moon and back. And his love is reciprocated by both Paris and Belle, without a doubt. They see him as the Alpha of the pack and most of the time, only listen to his instructions. As I was making my way down to the centre of the grass patch (to allow the girls to do a sport of sprinting towards me), I turned back and saw a picture-perfect moment – all three of them were looking at me from the bench. I’m thinking of printing this into a large poster to hang on one of our walls at home.2016.08.06-Botanic Gardens-015b

After ample rest and water, we proceeded to the Swan Lake. Kind of an anticlimax because it wasn’t very picturesque. Perhaps the cloudy sky did a great disservice to its beauty. In any case, the girls were exhausted and we decided to call it a day there and then. Didn’t even get to meet up with our friends who wanted to see Paris since they were only coming much later.

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As we were leaving, I commented to the mister about how nice it is that entering and visiting Singapore Botanic Gardens doesn’t require any fee. We have visited parks and gardens overseas that collect an entrance fee. I hope it remains this way; the Gardens has become such an integral part of our lives.

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