A walk in Tirta Gangga garden

Situer Tirtagangga sur une carteOn each trip, I always try to spend time visiting a garden. Nothing beats a bit of relaxing time spent in the company of indigenous flora, which always says so much about the place that you are in. I like to be surrounded by a plethora of different species, and allow the quiet to surround me, while I keep my nose alert for the smallest hint of an interesting scent.

It was in Bali that I found maybe one of the most beautiful gardens I have ever seen; the splendid Tirta Gangga gardens in East Bali. Literally meaning “water of the Ganges” in homage to the sacred river, Tirta Gangga is famous for its sacred spring water, which has been spouting from the east Balinese mountains for centuries. In 1946, the last Raja of the province of Karangasem decided to honor the spring by building next to it a palace surrounded by a remarkable garden.

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Visit to an orchid farm in the Ratchaburi region

Situer Ratchaburi sur une carteOnce you move away from Bangkok, the city is slowly replaced by a quiet and stereotypical countryside. About two hours’ drive from the tumultuous capital, we head west, to discover the Ratchaburi region, to meet a true empress of the plant world: the orchid.

Undeniably associated with Thailand, the orchid flower has always been a part of the lives of the Thai people. Adorning religious offerings and embellishing culinary preparations; participating in the art of beauty and well-being rituals, and decorating many public and private places. Majestic, symbolic and subtly scented the orchid has become, due to its presence, both a symbol and a source of national pride.

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The Pak Khlong Talaat market, Bangkok

In the early hours of the day, I lost myself on the edge of Chao Phraya, on the streets of Pak Khlong Market, the largest market in Bangkok. As the first rays of sun appear, the streets slowly come alive and exciting smells begin to awaken the olfactory senses of sleepy visitors.

Buds of jasmine, lotus, tuberoses, roses and bougainvillea mingle with mountains of orchids, towers of frangipanis and baskets of carnations. As I navigate the array of flowers, soaking in their thousand perfume scents, I see a woman sitting on a small stool wearing a colorful tight-fitting apron, her hands dancing with graceful dexterity as she prepares flower necklaces, baskets and various offerings. I do not know where to turn; everything is so beautiful, everything smells so good, there is an oasis of colors, and an overpowering fragrance that only such a unique myriad of smells entwined together can create.

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Le Jardin National des Orchidées, Singapour

En Asie, une fleur est souvent emblèmatique d’un pays, par sa forme et ses couleurs elle représente les valeurs et les traditions de celui-ci. La fleur nationale de Singapour est l’Orchidée, fleur de tous les désirs, les singapouriens lui vouent une passion quasi fanatique; elle pare les costumes traditionnels, orne les timbres, décore de nombreux endroits publics… mais le plus bel hommage qu’on ait pu lui faire, c’est lui offrir un jardin qui porterait son nom et y rassemblerait ses nombreuses espèces pour ainsi faire apprécier au plus grand nombre sa diversité et sa grande beauté.

Niché au cœur de la ville, dans le vaste et splendide domaine du Jardin Botanique, se situe le Jardin National des Orchidées. Rassemblant pas moins de 1000 espèces et plus de 2000 hybrides, il est le plus grand jardin d’orchidées au monde. Le visiter lors de votre passage à Singapour est donc une obligation ou tout du moins vivement recommandé, en attendant suivez-moi je vous emmène en balade.

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