There are many things to do and see in the Chinese & Japanese Gardens.
Arriving in the early evening from the Jurong Bird Park
, here is a list of what we did and some of some of the interesting attractions that can be found within these gardens.
Of course, we’ll save the best for last!
Garden of Abundance
The newest addition to the Chinese Garden family is the Garden of Abundance.
The original name of this garden was “Zodiac & Pomegranate Garden”, derived from the elements used for the construction of the garden.
The Garden of Abundance presents an enchanting collection of magnificent stone sculptures of the 12 Chinese Zodiac Animals; 100-year-old Pomegranate trees from Shantung, China
; 4 auspicious stone bridges representing blessings of prosperity, love, fertility and abundance; among other attractions.
The 100-year-old pomegranate trees from Shantung, China were carefully selected to be planted into this new garden. The Pomegranate trees sits among the 12 Chinese Zodiac Animal sculptures. This creative concept of Chinese Garden is a scenic spot that’s designed according to Chinese tradition and folk culture.
Also sundial. Sundials, actually, two to be precise. One in the Chinese Garden with the other in the Japanese Garden. The ones here in these Chinese Gardens
usually represents Earth, while the sundials in Japanese Gardens are said to represent the planet, Venus
Most importantly, unification.
The theme and design of this garden bestows sincere wishes that’s dedicated to the visitor.
Everything is plentiful here.
Hence, the name Garden of Abundance was selected
The Bonsai Garden is the largest Suzhou-style bonsai garden outside China.
As a grand prelude, a pair of lion-shaped Podocarpus bonsais from China stands guard at the Garden entrance.
The Bonsai Garden is situated close by the Japanese Gardens section of the park.
The Ixora Garden displays a collection of more than 15 varieties of the evergreen shrubs, making it a colorful backdrop for the Eight Chinese Legendary Heroes statues, set within the garden.
Ixora is native to tropical Asia where over 400 species existed. They are mostly shrubs and small trees that are part of the under-story plant community in the tropical forest, but some species can become very tall. People of the region have been using Ixoras for generations, not only for ornamental purposes but more importantly because of their medicinal values.
In southern China, one of the most common native species is Ixora chinensis identified by its almost stalk-less leaves and red flowers. It is widespread in Southeast Asian gardens and use to treat various ailments like rheumatism and wounds. Ixora coccinea, a dense shrub with scarlet flowers, is native to India where it is widely use in traditional medicine as well. The leaves possess antiseptic properties and the roots can be used to treat diarrhea and fever.
The Eight Immortals
The Eight Immortals are a group of legendary saints in Chinese mythology
. Each Immortal’s power can be transferred to a power tool that can bestow life or destroy evil. Together, these eight tools are called the “Covert Eight Immortals” or “Eight Treasures” and respectively represent their holders and embodies good wishes and blessings.
The instruments are: the fish-shaped drum that can tell the future; the precious sword that can subdue monsters and drive away evils; the flute that can make everything grow; the lotus flower that can bring self cultivation; the bottle gourd that can save all living things from misery; the fan that can make the dead come back to life; the jade clapper that can purify the environment and the flower basket that has great magic power.
They are revered by the Taoists and are also a popular element in the secular Chinese culture. Most of them are said to have been born in the Tang or Song Dynasty and they are said to live on a group of five islands in the Bohai Sea, which includes Penglai Mountain-Island.
Live Turtle and Tortoise Museum
Saved the best for last… Unknown to many, there’s a small, dingy and a little quirky museum inside the Jurong Chinese & Japanese Gardens of Singapore, showcasing many, if not all, kinds of turtles and tortoises.
Rare and exotic ones too! And yes, even mutated 2 headed ones!!
From tiny to huge in size, vegetarian to carnivorous, the Live Turtle and Tortoise Museum exhibits different species turtles and tortoises.
A highlight of the museum is that it exhibits many exotic types of tortoises, such as tortoises with 2 heads and 6 legs – where only one in every few million of these rare species will survive.
The Live Turtle and Tortoise Museum is home to more than 200 turtles and tortoises in over 60 different species.
Here, you’ll get the chance to meet cute Terrapins, fearsome Alligator-snapping turtles, swift Snake-necked turtles to humongous Sulcata tortoises and beautiful Star tortoises.
You’ll get to see a ridiculously lazy Pig-nosed turtle and also encounter a turtle that’s named “Mata Mata”!
The best part is that most of the tortoises are allowed to roam freely!
Opportunities to pet and feet the animals never fail to thrill children and adults alike.
The Museum is also a showcase of collectibles such as toys, ornaments, tableware and furniture, inspired by these animals.
Although it technically is a museum, I personally wouldn’t call it one.
I felt warm and welcomed here, a little bit like home away from home as this “museum” is owned by a family and it was passed down from their previous generations.
The family seemed to operate this “museum” more out of goodwill and their love for turtles/tortoises, rather than being a business oriented one – with the entrance fees being close to nothing.
This family who runs the Live Turtle and Tortoise Museum has shared their love for these creatures throughout the generations and they’re now sharing it with everyone else.
The Live Turtle and Tortoise Museum is well worth the visit, especially if you love turtles/tortoises.
If you want to see (almost) every turtle or tortoise in the world, come here!
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