Just earlier this month, I had the chance to go on a short weekend getaway to Kuching, courtesy of Sarawak Tourism Board. I arrived around 9.30am and was warmly welcomed by Deckson from STB and Billy from Borneo Exploration at the airport who will be our tour guides for the next 3D2N in Kuching. We waited for another 40 mins till Alyssa arrived since she flew in from Miri with a different flight. Then, off we go to the Orchid Park before heading for lunch.
Nestled in vicinity of the historical Astana and Fort Margherita the Astana is the Kuching Orchid Park that serves as an icon of Kuching and also one of the city's major tourist attractions, offering both horticultural and botanical interests. It was actually my first time at the Orchid Park so I was pretty excited to see what it has got to offer. Little did I know that it is also located across the Sarawak River, so you can actually take a wooden boat known as the 'Penambang' from the Kuching Waterfront (costs only 50 cents per way!) and take a 10 mins walk to get to the garden.
|This is the first Orchid hybrid made in Sarawak called Vanda Taib, named after the former Chief Minister of Sarawak.|
|Alyssa and I :D|
The Orchid Park is divided into two major areas, made up of the nursery and the display area, which accomodate a magnificent collection of 75,000 plants comprising of 82 genera and 700 varieties. The main attractions at the Orchid Park is the Sarawak's very own State Flower, the Normah Orchid (Phalaenopsis Bellina) and some other famous Bornean species orchids namely the Lady's Slipper, Coelogyne Pandurata - the green and black flowered orchid, Bulbophyllum Beccarii - the flower with stinking smell and the Vandal Dearei - a fragrant flowered orchid.
|The waterfall feature.|
|And we even spotted a rainbow halo in the sky (':|
|And from where I stood, I can clearly see the grand new Sarawak State Legislative Assembly building.|
And we saw more orchids of different colours and sizes along the way;
|Such a lovely sight of this blooming water lily (:|
Since it was scorching hot outside, we went into the Cool House to enjoy some cold air to whilst checking out more unique orchids species and some native plants.
|In the Cool House, you will be basically surrounded with lush greenery complimented beautifully with bold-coloured and striking blooms.|
|And this my friend, is the Tiger Orchids.|
Overall, it was a great experience immersing myself in the orchid paradise filled despite sweating buckets throughout the visit, well I was wearing a cardigan on a sunny day anyway. Most of the areas are semi-shaded but still be prepared with a hat or mini electronic fan if you're planning to visit in the afternoon. I was impressed at how the park is pretty well maintained and clean; I guess you can even have a picnic in the park. It would be better if they have more information and specific labels for the different species of orchids. And hopefully, there will be more flowers planted in the years to come. If you are a flower lover (orchids enthusiasts especially) and photographer, this hidden gem is certainly a must visit. Entrance to the garden is free and the park opens from 9.30am to 6.00pm from Tuesdays to Sundays and even on public holidays; closed on Mondays.
Till then, happy midweek, guys!