Stopping to Smell the Flowers: The Singapore National Orchid Museum

circle2When I was a little girl, sneaking into my dad’s greenhouse was one of my favorite things to do.

I would smell the mossy jungle air, so unlike the arid California San Gabriel Valley and look with wonder at the foreign beauty of the orchids, so different from the native wildflowers. I’d take as much in as I could in the few minutes that I would allow myself because I was committing a major no-no frolicking in a glass house filled with fragile flowers and pesticides. Thus I acquired a love for orchids.

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Singapore is proof that great things do indeed come in small packages. With an area of 224 square miles, it’s one of the smallest countries yet it’s packed with an unbelievable amount of things to do and see. I find something new each time I visit and put about five new things on my list of things to do next time I find myself in Merlion land.

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Singapore is world famous for it’s orchids, but sadly, I managed to wait until my fifth visit to make it out to the National Orchid Gardens.

When my company sent me on a visa run I jumped at the chance to spend the weekend sightseeing and put the gardens as number one on my list of things to do. We literally got off the plane, put our things down at our home stay, picked up some picnic food, and went off to smell the flowers.

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The National Orchid garden is like diving into the over-sized bunch of flowers that some bride-zilla is bench pressing over her shoulder instead of diving to catch it at a wedding.

You’re suddenly surrounded by 3,000 types of spectacular orchid blooms in a huge variety of displays. I walked under arches of golden shower blooms, and meandered my way through the largest display of tropical orchids in the world. No big deal.

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One of my favorite places was the “Cool House” (because you know, I’m super hip and cool) which housed tropical mountain varieties of orchids not to mention hot and sweaty visitors seeking refuge from the heat.

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the cool house

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Flowers everywhere made me feel like Alice in Wonderland. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t imagine their little orchid jaws opening to break into song at some point in my sleep deprived red eye flight state of mind. I was once again a little girl trying to take in all the beauty of the flowers before it was time to go.

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…and a pineapple plant

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