Mount Kinabalu

Mount Kinabalu, Sabah, 4th to 6th May 2019.

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Birds, Butterfly, Funghi, Gecko, Insects, Landscape, Moth, Mount Kinabalu, Nature, Orchids, Photography, Sabah, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Clouded leopard.

On the morning of the 4th, we were still in Kota Kinabalu and we visited the KK Museum before leaving for Mount Kinabalu, just a few hours drive.  I photographed the clouded leopard on display because it was not very likely we would actually see one.

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Birds, Butterfly, Funghi, Gecko, Insects, Landscape, Moth, Mount Kinabalu, Nature, Orchids, Photography, Sabah, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Chinese cemetery, KK.

On our way, I took this photograph of a Chinese cemetery from the moving bus.  I had earlier missed photographing another, larger one as we passed it due to not being sufficiently alert.  I was told they are on the tops of hills and I think facing North.  The next two images are also taken from the moving bus.

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Birds, Butterfly, Funghi, Gecko, Insects, Landscape, Moth, Mount Kinabalu, Nature, Orchids, Photography, Sabah, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Village in forest.

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Birds, Butterfly, Funghi, Gecko, Insects, Landscape, Moth, Mount Kinabalu, Nature, Orchids, Photography, Sabah, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Forest in mist and cloud.

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Birds, Butterfly, Funghi, Gecko, Insects, Landscape, Moth, Mount Kinabalu, Nature, Orchids, Photography, Sabah, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Unidentified moth.

I think we were still en route, though in the hills, and this was somewhere we stopped, probably for lunch.

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Birds, Butterfly, Funghi, Gecko, Insects, Landscape, Moth, Mount Kinabalu, Nature, Orchids, Photography, Sabah, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Leaf litter.

This is the first image from Mount Kinabalu, which is also the location of all following images in this post.

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Birds, Butterfly, Funghi, Gecko, Insects, Landscape, Moth, Mount Kinabalu, Nature, Orchids, Photography, Sabah, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Unidentified orchid.

In the late afternoon, we went for a walk along a road near where we were staying, albeit in the rainforest.

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Birds, Butterfly, Funghi, Gecko, Insects, Landscape, Moth, Mount Kinabalu, Nature, Orchids, Photography, Sabah, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Roadside ferns on dead log.

This is a focus-stacked image.  In other words, it combines many exposures at different pints of focus to get greater depth of focus than would otherwise be possible.  Admittedly, I was a bit careless with the exposure and there is more noise than there should be (though not visible at small image size).

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Birds, Butterfly, Funghi, Gecko, Insects, Landscape, Moth, Mount Kinabalu, Nature, Orchids, Photography, Sabah, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Unidentified mushrooms.

Another focus-stacked image, taken using a camera that largely automates the process of taking the exposures.

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Birds, Butterfly, Funghi, Gecko, Insects, Landscape, Moth, Mount Kinabalu, Nature, Orchids, Photography, Sabah, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Rainforest foliage.

(Two images combined for depth of focus for this one).

Birds, Butterfly, Funghi, Gecko, Insects, Landscape, Moth, Mount Kinabalu, Nature, Orchids, Photography, Sabah, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Female Papilio memnon, Common name: Mormon.

We are now back at the Lodge, probably in or near the dining area.

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Birds, Butterfly, Funghi, Gecko, Insects, Landscape, Moth, Mount Kinabalu, Nature, Orchids, Photography, Sabah, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Kuhl’s Creek Frog, maybe

Early next morning, we are on another walk before dawn.  These exposures are by torchlight.

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Birds, Butterfly, Funghi, Gecko, Insects, Landscape, Moth, Mount Kinabalu, Nature, Orchids, Photography, Sabah, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Unidentified frog.

In some cases there was very little light.  This was 180mm, 1/400sec, f6.3 @25,600 ISO and is a 70% crop.

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Birds, Butterfly, Funghi, Gecko, Insects, Landscape, Moth, Mount Kinabalu, Nature, Orchids, Photography, Sabah, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Spider’s web.

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Birds, Butterfly, Funghi, Gecko, Insects, Landscape, Moth, Mount Kinabalu, Nature, Orchids, Photography, Sabah, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Funghi on log.

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Birds, Butterfly, Funghi, Gecko, Insects, Landscape, Moth, Mount Kinabalu, Nature, Orchids, Photography, Sabah, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Mt Kinabalu.

(Now later in the morning).  Mount Kinabalu lies within a World Heritage Site, Kinabalu Park.  It is the highest mountain in Sabah at 4,095 metres.

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Birds, Butterfly, Funghi, Gecko, Insects, Landscape, Moth, Mount Kinabalu, Nature, Orchids, Photography, Sabah, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Juvenile female leaf insect (Phylliidae).

Remarkable camouflage from this leaf insect.  A 47 million year fossil indicates they have changed little over time.

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Birds, Butterfly, Funghi, Gecko, Insects, Landscape, Moth, Mount Kinabalu, Nature, Orchids, Photography, Sabah, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Orchid.

In the afternoon we visited the local Botanical Gardens and I took some focus-stacked images of orchids.

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Birds, Butterfly, Funghi, Gecko, Insects, Landscape, Moth, Mount Kinabalu, Nature, Orchids, Photography, Sabah, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Orchid.

“A recent botanical survey of the mountain estimated a staggering 5,000 to 6,000 plant species (excluding mosses and liverworts but including ferns), which is more than all of Europe and North America (excluding tropical regions of Mexico) combined.”.

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Longicorn beetle: Family Cerambycidae, possibly Dihammus species.

In the evening we went for another night walk.

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Birds, Butterfly, Funghi, Gecko, Insects, Landscape, Moth, Mount Kinabalu, Nature, Orchids, Photography, Sabah, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Unidentified Gecko.

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Birds, Butterfly, Funghi, Gecko, Insects, Landscape, Moth, Mount Kinabalu, Nature, Orchids, Photography, Sabah, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Stick Insect – Phasmid.

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Unidentified caterpillar.

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Birds, Butterfly, Funghi, Gecko, Insects, Landscape, Moth, Mount Kinabalu, Nature, Orchids, Photography, Sabah, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Kinabalu Torrent Frog?

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Unidentified Bird.

These last two images are near the Lodge, on the morning of the 6th.

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Birds, Butterfly, Funghi, Gecko, Insects, Landscape, Moth, Mount Kinabalu, Nature, Orchids, Photography, Sabah, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Indigo Flycatcher.

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Cloud Forest and Asian Civilisations Museum

19 January 2018, Cloud Forest, Gardens by the Bay and Asian Civilisations Museum, Singapore

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Asian Civilisations Museum, Cloud Forest, Flowers, Gardens by the Bay, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Orchids, Photography, Singapore, Travel

From the Flower Dome it is a very short walk to the Cloud Forest.

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Asian Civilisations Museum, Cloud Forest, Flowers, Gardens by the Bay, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Orchids, Photography, Singapore, Travel

Some of the flowers are similar but the arrangement is very different.

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Asian Civilisations Museum, Cloud Forest, Flowers, Gardens by the Bay, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Orchids, Photography, Singapore, Travel

The “cloud” part comes from a cloud of spray released every couple of hours but we were not there at the right time top see this.

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Asian Civilisations Museum, Cloud Forest, Flowers, Gardens by the Bay, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Orchids, Photography, Singapore, Travel

There is a similar dome which here window cleaners are cleaning from the outside.

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Asian Civilisations Museum, Cloud Forest, Flowers, Gardens by the Bay, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Orchids, Photography, Singapore, Travel

The arrangement is much more vertical with great cascading walls of greenery.

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Asian Civilisations Museum, Cloud Forest, Flowers, Gardens by the Bay, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Orchids, Photography, Singapore, Travel

People down below were performing ritual activities with small rectangular objects.

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Asian Civilisations Museum, Cloud Forest, Flowers, Gardens by the Bay, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Orchids, Photography, Singapore, Travel

Perhaps a form of Tai Chi….

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Asian Civilisations Museum, Cloud Forest, Flowers, Gardens by the Bay, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Orchids, Photography, Singapore, Travel

More of the “green wall”.

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Asian Civilisations Museum, Cloud Forest, Flowers, Gardens by the Bay, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Orchids, Photography, Singapore, Travel

Overall, I found it more artificial and less satisfying than the Flower Dome.

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Asian Civilisations Museum, Cloud Forest, Flowers, Gardens by the Bay, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Orchids, Photography, Singapore, Travel

Perhaps my opinion would have been different had the spray been operating.

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Asian Civilisations Museum, Cloud Forest, Flowers, Gardens by the Bay, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Orchids, Photography, Singapore, Travel

… And we look up to those above us….

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Asian Civilisations Museum, Cloud Forest, Flowers, Gardens by the Bay, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Orchids, Photography, Singapore, Travel .

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Asian Civilisations Museum, Cloud Forest, Flowers, Gardens by the Bay, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Orchids, Photography, Singapore, Travel .

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Asian Civilisations Museum, Cloud Forest, Flowers, Gardens by the Bay, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Orchids, Photography, Singapore, Travel

We then left for a brief stop at the hotel where I dropped off most of my camera equipment, then headed for the Asian Civilisations Museum.

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Asian Civilisations Museum, Cloud Forest, Flowers, Gardens by the Bay, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Orchids, Photography, Singapore, Travel

I had decided it was not going to rain and didn’t take my umbrella.  I was wrong.  We are walking over a bridge and rain is fast approaching.  We just made it inside the museum before a deluge hit.

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Asian Civilisations Museum, Cloud Forest, Flowers, Gardens by the Bay, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Orchids, Photography, Singapore, Travel

One of the main displays was of the contents of the wreck of a ninth-century ship, here shown as a scale model.  The bowls are some of the sixty thousand retrieved from the wreck.  The ship originated from the Abbasid Empire in the Persian Gulf.  It had sailed via India to China and was returning when it was wrecked in the Java Sea.  It was built entirely without nails.  Wooden planks were sewn together with coconut rope and caulked with wadding.

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Asian Civilisations Museum, Cloud Forest, Flowers, Gardens by the Bay, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Orchids, Photography, Singapore, Travel

Here are some of the Chinese jars from the wreck.  On the left is a fully restored one showing its ash glaze technique; the unrestored jars on the right show how much effort must have gone into restoration.

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Asian Civilisations Museum, Cloud Forest, Flowers, Gardens by the Bay, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Orchids, Photography, Singapore, Travel

This painting particularly caught my attention and shows lots of interesting detail if you click on it for a larger view.  Painted by a Chinese artist, probably for a foreign trader, it shows a square in Guangzhou (Canton), China and some of the people depicted can be identified.  It is 1807 and is at the time of a trial of sailors from the ship Neptune who killed a Chinese man in drunken brawling.  After several days of adjudication, one seaman incurred a small fine.

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Asian Civilisations Museum, Cloud Forest, Flowers, Gardens by the Bay, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Orchids, Photography, Singapore, Travel

This is Singapore harbour in around 1850 by an unknown Chinese artist.  Three European ships dominate the foreground and some of you may notice some difference from the aerial shots of Singapore a couple of posts ago.

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Asian Civilisations Museum, Cloud Forest, Flowers, Gardens by the Bay, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Orchids, Photography, Singapore, Travel

This looks like a giant floating marble boulder but is a sculpture by Eng Tow (2015), based on a grain of rice.

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Asian Civilisations Museum, Cloud Forest, Flowers, Gardens by the Bay, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Orchids, Photography, Singapore, Travel

16th century bronze Buddha from Lan Na, in Northern Thailand, stylistically influenced from Sri Lanka.

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Asian Civilisations Museum, Cloud Forest, Flowers, Gardens by the Bay, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Orchids, Photography, Singapore, Travel

A Bodhisattva from 4th century Ghandhara (between Pakistan and Afghanistan).  It shows the influence of the West (ancient Greece and Rome) on Buddhist art.

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Asian Civilisations Museum, Cloud Forest, Flowers, Gardens by the Bay, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Orchids, Photography, Singapore, Travel

Chinese far from Jingdezhen, around 1700.  The man on the crow’s nest of the ship could be General Xue Rengui, who invaded the Laiodong Peninsula for Tang Emperor Taizong.  The Laiodong Peninsula is just north-west of North Korea and is where in the nineteenth century Port Arthur was located.  The war was against Goguryeo in 644AD.  Goguryeo was a Korean kingdom incorporating what is now North Korea, the northern half of South Korea and the southern and central parts of Manchuria.

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Asian Civilisations Museum, Cloud Forest, Flowers, Gardens by the Bay, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Orchids, Photography, Singapore, Travel

Chrysanthemum dish from Jingdezhen in China, 1723-1735 (during the reign of Yangzhen, the third Qing or Manchu emperor).  Based on the naturalistic style of Yun Shouping (1633-1690), this is an example of what became the characteristic style of the Yangzhen period.

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Flower Dome

19 January 2018, Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay, Singapore

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Flower Dome, Flowers, Gardens by the Bay, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Orchids, Photography, Singapore, Travel

We jumped onto the MRT (Singapore Underground) and headed for the Gardens by the Bay.  Here we are looking back to a massive hotel complex and the city behind it.

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Flower Dome, Flowers, Gardens by the Bay, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Orchids, Photography, Singapore, Travel

Our taxi driver from the airport suggested going up to the top and visiting a café.  We went to go there on the way back but opted out when we found it was $20 each just to go up in the lift and in any case the visibility was not so good by then.  Out of curiosity I checked out how much it costs to stay there.  Room prices start at $680 per night and you can always reserve a suite for $5,900 per night.  Then you can have a bottle of champagne delivered to your room for as little as $125 and trips in the lift are free.  Perhaps if they had paid us the price of a suite to stay there we might have been interested.

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Flower Dome, Flowers, Gardens by the Bay, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Orchids, Photography, Singapore, Travel .

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Flower Dome, Flowers, Gardens by the Bay, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Orchids, Photography, Singapore, Travel .

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Flower Dome, Flowers, Gardens by the Bay, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Orchids, Photography, Singapore, Travel

Singapore’s tropical climate does produce some interesting trees though.

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Flower Dome, Flowers, Gardens by the Bay, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Orchids, Photography, Singapore, Travel

Fortunately we didn’t encounter any mosquitos but you have to watch out for the dragonflies.

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Flower Dome, Flowers, Gardens by the Bay, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Orchids, Photography, Singapore, Travel

More species of Singapore’s interesting trees.

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Flower Dome, Flowers, Gardens by the Bay, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Orchids, Photography, Singapore, Travel

Agave Titanota (Rancho Tambor Century Plant, Mexico).

And now we’ve reached the Flower Dome.  No flowers in this shot but you’ll see some soon.  Inside the massive dome the temperature is kept at 23ºC to 25ºC and the humidity from 60% to 80% – which makes it a good place to go on a hot sticky Singapore day.

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Flower Dome, Flowers, Gardens by the Bay, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Orchids, Photography, Singapore, Travel

Desert Rose (Adenium genus, frangipani family (Apocynaceae). Africa, Middle East and Socotra. Bulbous trunks to store water. Many species have poisonous sap used by native people to poison hunting arrows and fish..

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Flower Dome, Flowers, Gardens by the Bay, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Orchids, Photography, Singapore, Travel

Hanging umbrellas.

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Flower Dome, Flowers, Gardens by the Bay, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Orchids, Photography, Singapore, Travel

A small pagoda-style gazebo with workers pruning the plants.

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Flower Dome, Flowers, Gardens by the Bay, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Orchids, Photography, Singapore, Travel

Euphorbia x lomi (crown of thorns).

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Flower Dome, Flowers, Gardens by the Bay, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Orchids, Photography, Singapore, Travel

Many of the flowers had no labels though.

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Flower Dome, Flowers, Gardens by the Bay, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Orchids, Photography, Singapore, Travel .

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Flower Dome, Flowers, Gardens by the Bay, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Orchids, Photography, Singapore, Travel .

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Flower Dome, Flowers, Gardens by the Bay, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Orchids, Photography, Singapore, Travel .

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Flower Dome, Flowers, Gardens by the Bay, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Orchids, Photography, Singapore, Travel

Blue children in front of a blue flower bed.

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Flower Dome, Flowers, Gardens by the Bay, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Orchids, Photography, Singapore, Travel .

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Flower Dome, Flowers, Gardens by the Bay, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Orchids, Photography, Singapore, Travel .

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Flower Dome, Flowers, Gardens by the Bay, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Orchids, Photography, Singapore, Travel .

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Flower Dome, Flowers, Gardens by the Bay, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Orchids, Photography, Singapore, Travel .

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Flower Dome, Flowers, Gardens by the Bay, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Orchids, Photography, Singapore, Travel .

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National Orchid Garden

18 January 2018, National Orchid Garden, Singapore Botanic Gardens, Singapore

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Flowers, Landscape, Macro, National Orchid Garden, Nature, Orchids, Photography, Singapore, Singapore Botanic Gardens, Travel

We arrived in Singapore in the afternoon and headed for the National Orchid Garden in Singapore Botanic Gardens.  The Orchid Garden is open until 7pm daily though the Botanic Gardens stay open until midnight.

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Flowers, Landscape, Macro, National Orchid Garden, Nature, Orchids, Photography, Singapore, Singapore Botanic Gardens, Travel

Singapore has an efficient underground system called the MRT but there is currently no station near the Orchid Garden end of the Botanic Gardens so we caught taxis.

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Flowers, Landscape, Macro, National Orchid Garden, Nature, Orchids, Photography, Singapore, Singapore Botanic Gardens, Travel

I’m not sure whether the orchids had name tags but if so I didn’t photograph those to record the names.

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Flowers, Landscape, Macro, National Orchid Garden, Nature, Orchids, Photography, Singapore, Singapore Botanic Gardens, Travel

Earlier, the taxi driver from the airport to the hotel told us that the ownership of cars in Singapore was tightly controlled and that it costs $S15,000 to own one ($A15,000 or $US11,500).

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Flowers, Landscape, Macro, National Orchid Garden, Nature, Orchids, Photography, Singapore, Singapore Botanic Gardens, Travel

Unlike most of the other countries in Asia, Singapore is definitely a developed country and lists on Wikipedia as 11th in the world for national income per capita.  When that list is calculated at purxhasing power parity, it rises to second, behind Macao.

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Flowers, Landscape, Macro, National Orchid Garden, Nature, Orchids, Photography, Singapore, Singapore Botanic Gardens, Travel

Singapore has a tropical climate with lots of rain.  Orchids like these would not grow outside so readily in Canberra.

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Flowers, Landscape, Macro, National Orchid Garden, Nature, Orchids, Photography, Singapore, Singapore Botanic Gardens, Travel .

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Flowers, Landscape, Macro, National Orchid Garden, Nature, Orchids, Photography, Singapore, Singapore Botanic Gardens, Travel .

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Flowers, Landscape, Macro, National Orchid Garden, Nature, Orchids, Photography, Singapore, Singapore Botanic Gardens, Travel .

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Flowers, Landscape, Macro, National Orchid Garden, Nature, Orchids, Photography, Singapore, Singapore Botanic Gardens, Travel

Though we were heading for dry Ladakh, we packed umbrellas specifically for Singapore.  And we needed them.  A section of the gardens during a brief downpour.

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Flowers, Landscape, Macro, National Orchid Garden, Nature, Orchids, Photography, Singapore, Singapore Botanic Gardens, Travel .

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Flowers, Landscape, Macro, National Orchid Garden, Nature, Orchids, Photography, Singapore, Singapore Botanic Gardens, Travel .

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Flowers, Landscape, Macro, National Orchid Garden, Nature, Orchids, Photography, Singapore, Singapore Botanic Gardens, Travel .

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