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Treasure hunt: Chinese Garden

Admire the beauty of nature at the Chinese and Japanese gardens, plus explore the floating wetlands and seven-storey pagoda

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Chinese Garden MRT

Red for good luck

Head out of Exit B from Chinese Garden MRT and continue straight along the paved walkway cutting through the open fields towards the gardens, which were built in 1975 and are now major components to the Jurong Lake Park system. At the end of the path, there’s a gate and bridge (auspiciously painted red) leading to the entrance Chinese Garden (daily 6am-11pm; free entry). 
Q: There’s a sign from the management before you cross the bridge listing a few things that aren’t allowed in the park (no bicycles, no fishing, no pets, etc) – how much is the fine for violating these rules?

The power of eight

Continue straight into the garden and head to the right (if you go left, you’ll eventually cross a bridge into the pretty and peaceful Japanese Garden(daily 6am-7pm; free entry), which makes for a recommended pleasant detour – but note that you’ll have to double back to complete the clues for this walk). Pass the seven-storey pagoda (daily 9am-7pm; free entry),which offers nice views of the Jurong Lake area and a cool breeze at any of the upper levels, and walk to the row of statues depicting the ‘Eight Chinese Legendary Heroes’, which were originally unveiled at the Marina City Park Sculpture Garden in 1991. They were relocated to the Chinese Garden in 2007. 
Q: Hua Mulan is the only female hero in the row, but there’s a statue of another woman here as well – who is she?

Confucius says...

After the statues, follow the signs to the large Confucius statue. The most direct route is to take the first left after the eight heroes and cross the small stream behind the main pagoda; for a longer route, continue along the outer path of the Garden, which will take you to the smaller twin pagodas on Jurong Lake. When you get to where Confucius stands, take the bridge to its left, which leads to the Live Turtle Museum. 
Q: On the left side of the bridge, there’s a statue of what in the water?

Turtle power

Continue to the Live Turtle Museum (6268 5363, www.turtle-tortoise.com; daily 9am-6pm; $5), which is home to species like the fortune turtle, the gold soft-shell turtle and the ferocious alligator turtle. Note that their gift shop is also pretty much the only place you can buy water or a quick snack along this route, so stock up if you’re thirsty. Then continue out to the Koi Pond (daily feedings at 1pm) and out the three tiered gate towards the West Entrance. Just before crossing the arched White Rainbow bridge out of the park, look at the commemorative stone at the gate. 
Q: Who commemorated the official opening of the Chinese Garden, as listed on the stone?

Fresh air, lush greenery

Exit the Chinese Garden from the West Entrance and take the path on your right along Jurong Lake trail system, which was completed in 2006. The lake itself was created by the damming of Sungei Jurong, and thanks to the efforts of the PUB (Public Utilities Board – there are numerous placards around the park to remind you), it’s probably one of the nicest waterside recreational areas in the country, great for biking or jogging, or even just a nice leisurely stroll. Walk past Water-Venture (6266 4648, www.water-venture.org.sg), which offers kayaking and dragon boating activities and continue on the path along the banks of the lake and you’ll soon reach the Lakeside Plaza pavilion. Commemorating the Rejuvenation of Jurong Lake are two calligraphy rocks. 
Q: According to the plaque next to the rocks, who is the calligraphy by?

Wetland wonderland

Head down towards the water and you’ll be able to get a closer look at some of the small ‘floating wetlands’ that dot the shore and offer a habitat for various plants and animals. There’s an overwater walkway leading to a designated fishing area, offering the perfect place for photos of the lake, with views of the pagodas at the Chinese Garden. Continue walking along the pathway on land and you’ll eventually veer towards Yuan Ching Road. Directly across the street, there’s the Yuan Ching Secondary School. 
Q: What is the height clearance of the gate into the school’s parking lot?

To get home

From there, continue along Yuan Ching Road for another five minutes and you’ll reach Lakeside MRT on the left side of the road – if you’re hungry, there are a few takeaway lunch and cake stalls, plus a 24-hour 7-Eleven outlet and a Guardian.

 

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