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A Day Out: Chinese Garden in Singapore

Who knew there’s a Guinness World Record holder right in the heart of this western gem?


It may not be one of the top Singapore attractions these days but the Chinese Garden is still a great place for a day out with family and friends, especially if you live in the west side of the island.  

The 13.5-hectare garden was developed in the 1970s to attract visitors to Jurong while retaining nature within what used to be a highly industrial area.

Stroll through the various parts of the garden and try to spot some of the birds, wildlife and flowers that thrive in area.  We were lucky enough to see a kingfisher! (At least that’s what this city girl thinks it is.) Enjoy the views over Jurong Lake and other smaller lakes within the garden or just enjoy the outdoors and give your Instagram feed a little bit of nature love. 

Here are our top picks of what to see at the Chinese Garden:

7-Storey pagoda 

The icon of the Chinese Garden is the Cloud Piercing Pagoda, as it is known, and you can get to the top of it. It stands at 48-m high, so you are sure to be in for a great view!

Garden of Abundance 

Can you find the animal sculpture of the year you were born in according to the Chinese zodiac? There are also the benches with those 12 animals and somehow, the animal for the year of the mouse looks a lot like a certain Disney character. Hmmm…   

Bonsai Garden 

Bonsai Garden at Chinese Garden Photo by Muneerah Bee

Even if bonsai plants are not of much interest to you, walk through this tranquil enclosure for some gorgeous photo backdrops. Your social media followers may not be able to guess that you’re in Singapore. 

Live Turtle and Tortoise Museum

Live Turtle and Tortoise Museum Photo by Muneerah Bee

This museum holds the Guinness World Record for the largest collection of Turtle and Tortoise in the world. You can find pig-nose turtles, red-footed tortoises, alligator snapping turtles, giant Asian pond turtles, snake-necked turtles, African tortoises, and many more species here. Ask about feeding and petting opportunities for the kids. 

The animals in the museum were once pets and they will not be able to survive if they are released into nature. So the museum acts as a sanctuary to these animals and they are healthy in the current living condition, as verified by the authorities. Museum admission is $5 for adults, $3 for children


While a weekday visit to the Chinese Garden is relatively quiet, it has more visitors on Sundays and it is also the go-to place for Mid-Autumn festival celebrations, which takes place around September or so, with special displays as seen here.  

Lantern Festival at Chinese Garden 2012 Photo by Muneerah Bee


Japanese Garden

Japanese Garden Torii Photo by Muneerah Bee

Do spare some time to visit the Japanese Garden, built as a symbol of friendship between Singapore and Japan. And guess what, you don’t have to go to Japan for a glimpse of the iconic Japanese Torii gates. It’s all right here. 


Fun Facts

  • The Chinese and Japanese Gardens will be integrated into Jurong Lake Gardens soon. 
  • Unlike most public parks and gardens in Singapore, the Chinese Gardens and Japanese gardens are managed by JTC.
  • Pets, alcohol, kick-scooters, roller blades, bicycles, swimming, camping, and kite-flying are not allowed in the both gardens. 


Muneerah Bee, March 2016

Photos by Muneerah Bee

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