My taxi driver hated the Chinese and Japanese Gardens in Singapore. His reaction when I told him I wanted to go there was “You what la? Nobody goes there any more!”.
I remember the taxi driver also tried to take me the Gardens by the Bay instead, insisting that it was better than the Chinese and Japanese Gardens. I explained to him that I’d already been there multiple times, and now I wanted to experience these gardens for the first time. “But there’s nothing to do here, it’s old, only a few families ever come here now”. I once again explained that despite this fact it would still be good chance for me to have a little walk in the afternoon sun. “Bah, your choice, la!”.
The gardens here are split into two sections: the Chinese Gardens, and the Japanese Gardens. The Chinese area is designed to be striking and colourful and entertaining, whereas the Japanese part is designed to be more of a peaceful Zen garden. I spent most of the time in the Chinese Gardens this time, as the weather cut short my experience. Next time I will make sure to have a bigger look at the Japanese Gardens.
One of the most striking features of the Chinese Gardens is the pagodas, especially the two that are built over the lake. You can enter these pagodas and walk up to the top, although there are signs on the walls saying that the top level should not ascended, but I found the interior of these small pagodas to be a very peaceful area, where I could look out of the lake and worry about the ever-darkening skies overhead.
Walking further around the garden, I was enjoying the carefully manicured foliage beside the lake, and the pristine grass beside the pathways, which were being attended to by Indian workmen even while I was there. Further into my exploration of the garden, I saw a huge Malayan Water Monitor basking in the heat between some bamboo trees. These things can give you a nasty bite if you disturb them, so I took a quick photo and carried on walking!
The statues of Confucius and friends were very impressive, and I spent a lot of time reading the informative plaques on these statues, and the main 7-tiered pagoda here at the Chinese Garden towered over everything before it! By this stage it was getting very overcast and I heard some rumbles of thunder in the clouds. I decided that my time at the Chinese and Japanese Gardens was going to come to a close. I was glad I didn’t listen to my taxi driver and persisted with my pwn instinct to check out this quaint little park in the west of the island. On my way out, however, I spotted another monitor lizard crawling out of the nearby Jurong Lake, heading towards me in a storm drain! I didn’t get any photos but I was still lucky enough to be able to make a little video embedded below.
Thanks for reading! Please do remember check out my other adventures from Singapore!