At the moment I am in the town of Ubud on Bali, Indonesia. Contrary to expectations, Bali revealed itself a very pleasant and relaxed place, very different from Java. Thanks to the movie “Eat. Pray. Love”, in which Julia Roberts implemented the last part of the trilogy right here, Ubud became a magnet for various enlightenment seekers. Despite this superficial fame, it easily wins you over with its amiable and relaxed vibe. Thanks to the particular brand of tourists it also possesses the relevant infrastructure.
After seven months of travel, I am not always super excited about visiting another temple or museum to add to the long line of similar establishments just recently visited. I do get excited when I get a chance to try something new. In Ubud I therefore attended yoga classes for the first time in my life. I found them quite entertaining. In some way yoga reminded me of my contemporary dance classes. Thanks to the dance stretching, it was relatively easy for me to assume various asana positions. Just now I was in another class, this time Tibetan bowl meditation. In general meditation is hard. This time though I managed to catch several times this fleeting moment of concentration when your mind is truly empty, with no thoughts and no judgements, and you are simply aware of yourself and your surroundings.
Today I was in the right mood to process the photos from Singapore Botanic Gardens. We came to Singapore by plane from Kuching. Despite the humid heat, we loved Singapore. Do not believe when they say there is nothing to do there! True, there are no ancient temples and the stereotypes are correct: the streets are sterile and when you try to buy a chewing gum, they look at you as if you’re mad (in our innocence we actually did get that very reaction in a random shop). And yet we were amazed at the perfect organisation and thought put into this place, at the choice of recently created world class tourist attractions and at the magnificent food. The first such attraction – the Singapore Botanic Gardens!
The gardens consists of many ingeniously designed subparts. Foliage Garden:
Where you can relax by the pond:
Evolution Garden is organised in accordance with the timeline of plant evolution on Earth. Each period is represented with the vegetation still surviving from it as well as with the landscapes that dominated.
The Gardens are enormous, yet every detail is carefully considered. There are restaurants as well as very picturesque open air concert spaces. Listening to some Handel under the stars must be magical there.
This guy run over our path just like that:
The entrance of the National Orchid Garden.
Picture perfect spots inside the Orchid Garden:
The Coolhouse, which reproduces particular highland microclimate, very humid yet cool:
There was a whole collection of carnivorous plants, much like the ones we just saw on Borneo in the wild:
Bromeliad Pavilion inside the National Orchid Garden:
And finally a pond with a slowly drifting swan.
This was surely the best Botanic Garden I’ve ever visited – the Singaporeans have invested a lot of effort, resources and most importantly fantasy to make it a wonderful place to visit!