Visit The 2018 Singapore Garden Festival with Jerry Coleby-Williams

Cup and saucer vine, Gardens by the Bay

Cup and saucer vine, Gardens by the Bay

VISIT THE SINGAPORE GARDEN FESTIVAL with JERRY COLEBY-WILLIAMS, 19 July 2018 to 24 July 2018.

Join Kew-trained horticulturalist, conservationist, television and radio talkback gardening presenter Jerry Coleby-Williams on a small group tour of Singapore to discover its horticultural and culinary delights.

Day 1: Thu 19 July 18 Arrive Singapore

Fly from Brisbane (or your nearest capital city) to Singapore. (Flight booked by The Adventure Traveller.)

0910: Depart Brisbane on Singapore Airlines flight SQ 256 1530: Arrive Singapore

After clearing immigration and customs at Singapore Changi Airport, look for your local guide in the arrivals hall. The guide can be identified by a small sign with the wording “Singapore with JCW” on it.

Take a transfer to the Parkroyal on Pickering – a unique modern hotel in downtown Singapore with incredible sky-gardens and city views. Jerry will meet everybody in the hotel lobby upon arrival.

After some free time at the hotel to freshen-up, we will be dropped off at Lau Pa Sat (“the old market”) for dinner (meal at own expense). Lau Pa Sat is the grand dame of markets in Singapore. The market’s striking Victorian-era cast iron architecture, built in 1894, was moulded in Glasgow. This is a great setting for scrumptious Singaporean food, a little island of the colonial past amidst the modern city.

With bellies full of local hawker food we will then board a ‘bumboat’ for a cruise along the Singapore River to see the city lit up at night. A transfer will then drop us back to the hotel.

Stay five nights at the Parkroyal on Pickering (Superior room) in Singapore.

Meal included: None

Important note: No vouchers are required for all the listed travel arrangements in Singapore which have been made by Mayflower Holidays (based in Kuala Lumpur) and their local contact, The Traveller DMC (based in Singapore) on behalf of Inter Asia Tours. In the event you may encounter any difficulty that cannot be solved by the local guide, please contact or ask the hotel to contact The Traveller DMC immediately for assistance – See their contact details below.

Day 2: Fri 20 July 18 Kampong Glam & Gardens by the Bay

This morning we will explore Kampong Glam on a private walking tour.

There’s so much to see and enjoy in Kampong Glam, The Royal Malay Quarter of Singapore. Today compact Kampong Glam is still the heart of Muslim Singapore. Dating from 1840, the Old Istana Kampong Glam was a former Istana or Palace beautifully restored to become The Malay Heritage Centre. Learn more about the intrigues of the Malay royals and how the Sultan was convinced to sign over Singapore to the British.

The Sultan Mosque with its graceful golden dome is the most photographed mosque in Singapore. The national mosque of Singapore, Sultan Mosque has an impressive prayer hall that holds 5,000 worshippers. Facing Mecca, it’s topped with a pair of massive golden domes and twin 8-story minarets that can be seen from all over the low-rise neighbourhood. Bussorah Street a lively pedestrian mall belies its important history as a pilgrim’s hub for the region, in the days when the journey to Mecca was done by sea.

Along the way, we’ll explore the historic streets of Kampong Glam to see some traditional businesses that have been around for generations, as well as how new cafes and shops have injected a fresh vibe into the area, making Kampong Glam a popular haunt for Singaporeans of all races today. Another stop is the Royal Graveyard where the remains of various figures from early Singapore buried in the overgrown graveyard which include Tengku Abdul Kadir, the president of the Singapore-Malay Union during the 1940s. The tour is designed to end at lunch time, so it’ll be perfect timing for you to enjoy the specialities of the area.

In the afternoon we will visit the Gardens by the Bay. With Jerry guiding you through these spectacular 21st century botanic gardens it will be a memorable experience.

The Gardens by the Bay span 101 ha of reclaimed land in central Singapore, adjacent to the Marina Reservoir. The reservoir receives rainwater from a 10,000 ha catchment, one sixth of the city’s footprint. The Gardens by the Bay are part of the government’s plan to transition Singapore from a garden city into a ‘city in a garden’, using horticulture, the urban forest and other green assets to raise the quality of life.

The park consists of three waterfront gardens: Bay South Garden, Bay East Garden and Bay Central Garden. The largest of the three gardens is Bay South Garden which covers an area of 54 ha. It contains two massive and impressively planted conservatories – the Flower Dome and the Cloud Forest. Visits to both are included in the tour.

Spectacular, innovative and refreshingly cool, the 1.2 ha Flower Dome is the largest column-less glasshouse on Earth. The Flower Dome replicates the dry temperate climates of the Mediterranean, South Africa, California, and parts of Spain and Italy. With plantsman Jerry on hand you will not only enjoy the amazing beauty of these plantings and flowers, but you will also gain insights into the world of plant adaptations and plant uses.

At 0.8 ha, the Cloud Forest includes a 42-metre mini-mountain, complete with a 35-metre waterfall, the world’s highest constructed waterfall. The summit can be reached by elevator and descended via escalators, making the glasshouse accessible to all. Experience the cool, moist conditions of the tropical highland regions between 1,000 to 3,000 metres above sea level. A highlight is the walk down Cloud Mountain. Occasionally shrouded in mist, Cloud Mountain is planted with epiphytes and other unusual highland plants, like orchids, bromeliads, vireya rhododendrons, tree ferns, medinillas and anthuriums. A lake filled with islands of insectivorous plants sits at the summit of this architectural and horticultural wonder. We guarantee that this, plus great glimpses of the cityscape, will inspire you.

There are plenty of rare and unusual, eye-opening tropical plants and landscapes growing outside too. Eighteen Supertrees are located at Gardens by the Bay, with 12 forming the Supertree Grove. Standing at heights varying between 25 to 50 metres, these iconic vertical gardens have broad canopies that cast welcome shade and come alive with an exhilarating display of light and music at night. Take the opportunity to ascend one of the Supertrees to absorb the panoramic views of this 21st century botanic garden and the surrounding Marina Bay. Also highly recommended for its views is a stroll along the OCBC Skyway – a 22 metre high, 128 m long aerial walkway connecting two of the Supertrees. The walkway closes at 9pm, but access ceases at 8.30pm.

After dark be dazzled by the magnificent Garden Rhapsody light and sound show at the Supertree Grove. There are two free shows daily (7:45pm and 8:45pm) and these wonderful displays will be a highlight of your visit to Gardens by the Bay. After a magical evening show we will be returned to our hotel by private guided transfer, arriving by 10:00pm.

Meal included: Breakfast

Day 3: Sat 21 July 18 Singapore Botanic Gardens and Little India

We’ll make an early start this morning to avoid the heat of the day for our visit to the Singapore Botanic Gardens and National Orchid House (https://www.sbg.org.sg/). Established in 1859, the Singapore Botanic Gardens are 74 ha (183 acres) of gardens and parkland. A meticulously maintained landscape of themed tropical displays, the gardens grow approximately 3,000 species of tropical and subtropical flora. Initially, the botanic gardens played a key role in the acclimatization of economic crops in Asia, such as rubber, researching new techniques in cultivation and harvesting under the direction of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (England). Singapore Botanic Gardens improved the quality of rubber sap, its’ harvesting and its conversion into latex.

Under the Directorship of Professor Richard Holttum from 1925 to 1954, the Singapore Botanical Gardens improved to become one of the world’s finest in terms of its’ aesthetic appeal, the value of its’ scientific collections, botanical research and the initiation of its’ orchid garden. In retirement, Professor Holttum mentored Jerry’s studies in botany at Kew Gardens in England (1979 – 1982).

In 1953, Professor Holttum published ‘Gardening in the Lowlands of Malaya’, condensing 30 years of garden development into the first proper guide for the home gardener: “Lowland gardening… is an all- the-year-round job… because nature (whether as friend or enemy) works quickly in our warm, humid climate”.

Singapore Botanic Gardens are one of only three botanic gardens in the world that have been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site – the other two being the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew and the Padua Gardens in Italy. They are the only tropical garden to have received this honour.

The scenic landscape includes lakes, rolling lawns and display gardens including the National Orchid Garden as well as a vital remnant of pre-settlement primary rainforest. The latter includes over 300 native plant species, over half of which are now rare in Singapore.

The National Orchid Garden is the main attraction of these botanic gardens and is the legacy of an orchid-breeding program that began in 1928. Covering 3 ha, the garden grows 7,000 different orchids, including over 1,000 species, with approximately 600 different kinds in bloom at any one time. This is the largest tropical orchid garden on Earth and it has greatly enhanced the world’s market of orchids as cut flowers. Adjacent to the orchid garden is a Ginger Collection (the Zingiberaceae family). This recent addition has 1 ha dedicated to displaying 250 members of the ginger family used for food, perfumery, ornament and medicine. It’s another ‘world best’ garden, with pockets of shade, and well worth exploring.

Late this afternoon, after a chance to chill and relax at the hotel, we will venture to vibrant Little India. With its beautiful temples, exotic markets and delicious food you’ll be dazzled by the sights, sounds and aromas of this ethnic enclave. As the sun sets we will grab a bite to eat (dinner at own expense) at one of the small vegetarian restaurants near the Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple. Why not try a delicious masala thosai – savory crepe filled with curried vegetables – or spicy Indian curry?

Meal included: Breakfast

Day 4: Sun 22 July 2018 Singapore Garden Festival

After breakfast, the Parkroyal on Pickering have offered to give our group a tour of the gardens for which the hotel is renowned: massive sky-gardens drape the glassy towers with copses of frangipani and palms at every fourth level. Foliage plants flourish throughout the interior, helping to cool and cleanse the air. The hotel is full of eco-friendly features from solar powered systems to rain harvesting to conserve potable water.

The tour of the hotel’s fascinating gardens will be considered by the hotel if the group stays at the Parkroyal on Pickering. Approval will be granted by the hotel after the hotel booking has been confirmed.

After the hotel garden tour we will transfer back to the Gardens by the Bay to visit the Singapore Garden Festival.

The Singapore Garden Festival is a biennial garden and flower extravaganza, a showcase of some of the world’s best landscape designers, gardeners and floral artists. Having grown from strength to strength since the inaugural festival in 2006, the Singapore Garden Festival is widely acknowledged as the world’s premiere tropical garden expo. Highlights of the sixth installment of the festival will include ‘Landscape and Fantasy Gardens’; ‘Balcony Gardens’; ‘Floral Windows to the World’ and, naturally, the latest and best orchid releases at the Singapore Orchid Show.

We’ve allowed a full day for the festival, however you are free to leave the group at any time should you wish to return to the hotel for some R&R; do some further sightseeing at your own leisure or grab some shopping bargains along Orchard Road.

Meal included: Breakfast

Day 5: Mon 23 July 2018 Southern Ridges and HortPark

The Southern Ridges comprise 10km of green, open spaces that connect Mount Faber Park, Telok Blangah Hill Park, HortPark and Kent Ridge Park. These ridges provide an alternative for walking enthusiasts, history buffs, shutterbugs, nature lovers, bird watchers and families looking for a different kind of family outing and takes you on a loop around the peak of Mount Faber.

Follow the paved walkways to enjoy spectacular views of the southern part of Singapore and the Southern Islands. You will come across a distinctive wave-like structure of the 274m-long pedestrian bridge named as the Henderson Waves that matches its name perfectly. This charming, wood-panelled bridge was built to improve connectivity between nature areas and is the tallest pedestrian bridge in Singapore. The elevated walkway of the Telok Blangah Hill Park is also an excellent platform for bird watching.

HortPark is a unique park that showcase different themed garden displays such as Silver Garden, Plant Introduction Garden, Home Gardens, Native and Cultural Gardens, Edible Gardens, Community Gardens, Golden Garden, Prototype Glasshouses. This 23-hectare park, which features a collection of beautiful themed gardens suitable for indoor and outdoor activities with nature appreciation and gardening-related activities, be it recreational, educational, research or retail. Next to the Vineyard, an alfresco fine dining restaurant, is the Lifestyle Corner, an area where you can find a range of indoor plants and DIY decor ideas for your home or office. A park connector links HortPark to Kent Ridge Park that leads you to the canopy walk, another trail on the Southern Ridges that offers trekkers the experience of walking through a secondary forest at eye-level with the forest canopy. The visit ends with a calming effect of the sounds of birds and insects interrupting the serenity of the park.

The afternoon is at leisure.

At an agreed time this evening we will meet in the hotel lobby before transferring to the Long Bar** at the iconic Raffles Hotel**. It is here that we’ll raise our glasses with Jerry and enjoy some farewell drinks including Singapore Slings, Singapore’s own gin-based cocktail (drinks are at own expense). As the saying goes: ‘If you haven’t been to Raffles, you haven’t been to Singapore’. Cheers!

You will be returned to your hotel by 10:00pm, however the night owls who’d like to party on at the bar can easily catch a taxi back to the hotel (taxi at own expense).

Dress Code to Long Bar @ Raffles Hotel: casual or smart casual; pool attire is not permitted.

**The Long Bar and the Raffles Hotel have been closed for some major renovation and are currently scheduled to be re-open for business at the end of June 2018.

Meal included: Breakfast

Day 6: Tue 24 July 2018 Depart Singapore

After breakfast this morning you will be transferred from the hotel to the airport for your flight back to Australia, or for onward journey.

0940: Depart Singapore on Singapore Airlines flight SQ 245 1930: Arrive Brisbane

Meal included: Breakfast

*Please note* Additional accommodation and touring in Singapore (and beyond) can be arranged by The Adventure Traveller if required at an additional cost.

COST:
TWIN / DOUBLE ROOM: AUD$ 2,970 PER PERSON (plus flights);
SINGLE ROOM: AUD$ 3,960 PER PERSON (plus flights);

** Minimum 10 people / Maximum 20 people **

INCLUSIONS

  • 05 nights hotel accommodation as per itinerary (19-24 July 18);
  • 05 hotel breakfasts as per itinerary (B = Breakfast);
  • Private guided coach transfer from Singapore airport to hotel – one same transfer for theentire group (19 Jul 18);
  • Return private guided coach transfers hotel-Lau Pa Sat–cruise terminal–hotel (19 Jul 18);
  • Join-in Singapore river cruise (19 Jul 18);
  • Morning tour of Kampong Glam including private coach with driver, local English speakingguide and admission to Malay Heritage Centre (20 Jul 18);
  • Afternoon tour of Garden by the Bay including private coach with driver, local English speakingguide and admission to Flower Dome & Cloud Forest (20 Jul 18);
  • Morning tour of Botanic Garden including private coach with driver, local English speakingguide and admission to Orchid enclosure (21 Jul 18);
  • Afternoon tour of Little India including private coach with driver, local English speaking guide (21 Jul 18);
  • Two-way private guided coach transfers hotel – Gardens by the Bay – hotel to attend Singapore Garden Festival 2018 – admission fees, if any, are not included for this day (22 Jul 18);
  • Morning tour of Southern Ridges and HortPark including private coach with driver, localEnglish speaking guide and admission to the park (23 Jul 18);
  • Private guided coach transfers hotel–Raffles Hotel’s Long Bar–hotel as per itinerary (23 Jul 18);
  • Private guided coach transfer from hotel to Singapore airport – one same transfer for the entiregroup (24 Jul 18);
  • All current Government service tax & service charges;EXCLUSIONS:
  • All air arrangements to/from Singapore;
  • Pre and post tour arrangements;
  • Singapore visas, if applicable;
  • Surcharges if private airport transfers may be required;
  • Tour cost reduction if for any reason any of the included group transfers and tours may not betaken by any group tour members;
  • Lunches, snacks & beverages unless specified;
  • All arrangements not listed in the inclusions;
  • Travel Insurance;
  • Tipping;
  • Expenses of personal nature such as minibar, telephone/fax/email/internet costs, video/camera fees, medical costs, laundry, etc;
  • Any other services not mentioned above.