Singapore Garden Festival 2020
with Helen Young
17–23 July 2020 (7 days)
Discover the luxuriant glory of the gardens of Singapore, from historic botanic gardens to 21st century urban designs, as well as the Singapore Garden Festival, the most significant garden show in the tropics.
Singapore has reinvented itself in the last decade as a ‘City in a Garden’, embracing 21st century landscaping concepts and technology. Join garden writer Helen Young to explore some of the highlights of this exciting city, with its vibrant food culture, lush sky-gardens and the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Botanic Gardens with its incomparable orchid collection.
Spend two days at Gardens by the Bay, which hosts the Singapore Garden Festival, and delight in the finest that tropical and sub-tropical gardening has to offer.
Note: At time of publication (September 2019), most but not all visits were confirmed. Therefore, while we undertake to operate the tour as published, there may be some changes to the itinerary.
AT A GLANCE:
• Enjoy a day at Gardens by the Bay, and a day at the acclaimed Singapore Garden Festival, the only garden show in the tropics, showcasing creations from the world’s top award-winning garden and floral designers
• Wander through the 82-hectare Singapore Botanic Gardens and the National Orchid Garden, which boasts a collection of cultivars named after visiting world leaders
• Traverse the green belts linking the city’s national parks, oases of calm where Singaporeans come to walk with nature
• Stay in Orchid Club rooms at the deluxe 5-star Park Royal Hotel, the ‘Hotel in a Garden’, whose balconies and walkways are given over to verdant gardens planted with palms and other tropical species
Friday 17 July 2020 / Arrive Singapore
Depart Australia or New Zealand on suggested Qantas/Air New Zealand flights to Singapore. Renaissance Tours or your travel agent can assist you with your flights and other travel arrangements.
Arrive in the afternoon and make your way to the hotel.
In the evening, join Helen and fellow travellers for a welcome briefing followed by a special welcome dinner. (D)
Sat 18 Jul / Singapore
In the morning, enjoy a talk by Helen before an introductory coach tour of Singapore, the ‘city in a garden’. Stop at the Ocean Financial Centre to view the stunning vertical green wall and enjoy a short tour of the Marina One building, an integrated development of apartments and retail nestled in greenery.
Enjoy a visit to a wet market to get an up-close look at the fresh produce of Singapore. Then enjoy a guided tour of Chinatown, before lunch at the Oasia Hotel. Designed by renowned Singaporean architect, Patricia Urquiola, the Oasia Hotel is a 27-storey tropical skyscraper that provides welcome greenery and respite to the residents of the area.
After lunch enjoy a visit to one of Singapore’s community gardens. In addition to sowing edible crops, community gardens provide Singaporeans with a platform to bond with their wider community. With over 1,000 community gardens in Singapore, these have been instrumental in attracting wildlife to the city area. (BL)
Sun 19 Jul / Singapore
Begin this morning with a guided nature walk through Singapore’s Southern Ridges, a 10km stretch of open green spaces in the city which is connected to a network of other parks in the area by a system of bridges and raised walkways.
At the end of the walk enjoy some time at leisure at the hotel, before transferring to the National Gallery of Singapore for lunch at the National Kitchen by Violet Oon. After lunch enjoy a guided tour of the gallery’s highlights, including the exhibits which feature the world’s largest public collection of Singaporean and Southeast Asian art. Return to the hotel in the late afternoon and enjoy the remainder of the day and evening at leisure. (BL)
Mon 20 Jul / Singapore
Today visit the Singapore Garden Festival, located at Gardens by the Bay. The festival, now in its eighth iteration, is the world’s premier tropical garden show, exhibiting more than 400,000 plant specimens. Featuring landscape gardens, fantasy gardens, balcony gardens and more, the festival displays the best of Singaporean and international garden design. No floral exhibition in Singapore would be complete without a riotous display of the island’s most beloved blossom and Singapore’s national flower, the orchid. Enjoy free time for lunch at the festival.
Return to the hotel in the afternoon for some free time, and in the evening, enjoy a leisurely cruise on the Singapore River followed by dinner at a local restaurant. (BD)
Tue 21 Jul / Singapore
After breakfast, continue your exploration of Singaporean flora with a visit to the city’s historic Botanic Gardens, a UNESCO World Heritage-listed tropical garden founded in 1859. Its extensive National Orchid Garden contains over 1,000 species, including cultivars dedicated to visiting dignitaries like Queen Elizabeth II, Emperor Akihito of Japan and Diana, Princess of Wales.
After lunch, enjoy a guided tour of the Spice Garden at Fort Canning Park. The garden was once the site of Singapore’s first Botanical and Experimental Garden started by Sir Stamford Raffles in 1822.
Return to the hotel in the mid-afternoon enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure. (BL)
Wed 22 Jul / Singapore
This morning return to Gardens by the Bay for an exploration of this unique site. Built on 101 hectares of reclaimed land and opened in 2012, Gardens by the Bay is testimony to the garden revolution which Singapore has experienced in recent decades. The centrepieces are two huge, cooled conservatories, each around a hectare in size: the Flower Dome bursting with specimens from the Mediterranean, South Africa, Australia and South America, and the Cloud Forest replicating the cool, moist conditions of the mountain forests of Southeast Asia and South America. Outside, an elevated walkway runs through the grove of ‘Supertrees’, a series of 16-storey vertical gardens growing ferns, vines and bromeliads.
Return to the hotel in the mid-afternoon for some time at leisure before dinner at the Marina Bay Sands complex. After dinner return to Gardens by the Bay to enjoy the daily sound and light show spectacular, before returning to the hotel. (BD)
Thu 23 Jul / Depart Singapore
Enjoy a morning at leisure in Singapore, before a special farewell lunch at the famous Raffles Hotel. Opened in 1887 and newly refurbished in 2019, the hotel is one of the icons of Singapore. Perhaps enjoy Singapore’s signature cocktail, the Singapore Sling.
Then depart for the airport to visit the astounding Jewel at Changi Airport. After some time to check in for suggested evening flights, enjoy time to explore the Jewel including the hedge maze, Canopy Bridge, Shiseido Forest Valley, Canopy Park and Topiary Walk, as well as the Rain Vortex, the world’s largest indoor waterfall.
Tour arrangements conclude at Changi Airport after the visit to the Jewel, in time for flights departing from 7:30pm. Renaissance Tours or your travel agent can assist you with your travel arrangements, including flights and any extra nights’ accommodation, either before or after the tour. (BL)