Singapore's 74-hectare botanic wonderland is a Unesco World Heritage Site and one of the city's most arresting attractions. Established in 1860, it's a tropical Valhalla peppered with glassy lakes, rolling lawns and themed gardens. The site is home to the National Orchid Garden (adult/child under 12yr S$5/free; 8.30am to 7pm, last entry 6pm), as well as a rare patch of dense primeval rainforest, the latter home to over 300 species of vegetation, over half of which are now (sadly) considered rare in Singapore.
The National Orchid Garden itself is the legacy of an orchid-breeding program that began in 1928, and its 3 hectares house over 1000 species and 2000 hybrids. Of these, around 600 are on display – the largest showcase of tropical orchids on Earth. Located next to the National Orchid Garden is the 1-hectare Ginger Garden, with over 250 members of the Zingiberaceae family. The recently opened Learning Forest guides visitors on a network of boardwalks and elevated walkways through different habitats, including swampy wetlands and rainforest canopies. Children will love exploring the interactive Jacob Ballas Children's Garden, complete with water-play feature and tree house. Free, themed guided tours of the Botanic Gardens run on Saturday, while the Symphony Lake makes a romantic setting for seasonal opera performances – check the website.