Red bridge over ornamental lake in Chinese and Japanese Gardens in Singapore

Chinese and Japanese Gardens

It’s not for nothing that Singapore is known as the “Garden City”, and the Jurong Gardens are among the best of the bunch.

Occupying two islands on Jurong Lake, connected by a marble bridge Singapore’s Chinese and Japanese gardens are a wonderful demonstration of the two different but interconnected traditions. In the Chinese Garden, you’ll find elaborate buildings set against nature: multi-tiered pagodas with white walls and terracotta roofs; circular moon doors; a classic, Peking-style stone boat. On the Japanese island, it’s much more muted: hump-backed bridges; stone lanterns; simple, rustic architecture. Of course, you don’t need to be able to spot the difference to enjoy these beautiful, relaxing spaces — but the more you know, the more interesting they become.

Beyond the Chinese and Japanese islands, there’s even more to explore. On Alstonia Island, the flooded habitat imitates a freshwater swamp forest. Along the lake’s edge, the Rasau boardwalk meanders through golden grasslands. Forest Ramble, meanwhile, is Singapore’s biggest nature-themed place space, complete with swings, slides, suspension bridges, paddling pools and trampolines shaped like lily pads. Wherever you choose to explore, don’t forget to keep an eye out for squirrels, long-tailed macaques, otters, dragonflies and butterflies.