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Yunnan Garden The Most Underrated Park in Singapore [Find out why!]

Yunnan Garden: The Most Underrated Park in Singapore [Find out why!]

Among Singapore’s long list of gardens and parks, my favorite place to visit is the Yunnan Garden on the far west side of the city. This beautiful Chinese garden will give you true peace and tranquility through the sight of its divine structures and landscape. 

Unlike other well-known gardens in Singapore, Yunnan managed to become a hidden gem mostly because it only officially opened its doors to visitors on February 13, 2020. It is slowly rising in popularity but is still otherwise uncrowded – even on weekends 

This same garden is known as the birthplace of Nanyang Technological University and it houses countless historical monuments on its grounds. This 9-hectare heritage precinct emulates a unique Chinese landscape design and architecture. 

To give you an overview of Yunnan as one of the most beautiful gardens in Singapore, I will show you all the information you need to know about the place including the fees, how to get here, what to do, and what tips you can use to enjoy your visit. 

Description of Yunnan Garden

Description of Yunnan Garden

If there are two words I can use to describe Yunnan Garden, it would be beautiful and tranquil. This place in the far west side of Singapore is the perfect picture of the city’s history as a country largely dominated by Chinese ethnic groups. 

Throughout the garden, you will find Chinese pavilions, monuments, and arches. Additionally, you will see over 80 different species of trees in this park. 

Not only is the landscape breathtaking, but the garden also has a picturesque waterfall that is connected to the Nanyang Lake. There is also a garden playground where your kids can have fun and play while you enjoy the view. 

Yunnan Garden History 

Yunnan Garden History

The Yunnan Garden was first constructed in 1955 right at the center of Nanyang Technological University (NTU). It was built on the campus grounds to act as a recreational space for students to visit and relax while they study. 

For a long time until February 2020, Yunnan Garden remained a landmark of NTU, which is known as the only private university that offers classes conducted in Chinese. The Chinese heritage of the garden is clearly seen in its design and cultural facade. 

Even after the park opened its doors to the public, it still remained a popular spot for NTU students, residents, and staff since the garden is adjacent to the main walkways and roads along the university. 

Some of the oldest and most iconic monuments in this garden are the Jurong West Nantah arch and the red Chinese pavilions. People also love to visit the waterfalls, which feature a spectacular view of large stones and colorful fishes.  

How to Go to Yunnan Garden

How to Go to Yunnan Garden

You can get to Yunnan Garden either on foot, from Jurong West, by car using your GPS, or by public transport through the green line MRT and bus 179. 

The Yunnan Garden is located near the entrance of Nanyang Technological University so it would be hard to miss. Here’s a detailed guide that will help you get there. 

On Foot 

If you want to get to Yunnan Garden on foot, you can start walking alongside Jurong West until you get to the overhead bridge at block 910. After that, cross over to the pan island expressway to head straight to the university garden. 

By Car 

If you are visiting the garden by car, you just need to type in the park’s address: Yunnan Garden @ NTU, 12 Nanyang Drive, Singapore 637721. You will find the parking spots on the opposite side of the garden. 

By Public Transport 

For public transport, you can either take the bus or the MRT. if you are interested in taking the bus, all you have to do is to wait for bus 179 since this ride stops directly at the front of Yunnan Garden. 

As for MRT, you need to either board the train from Boon Lay or Pioneer Station to NTU. These stations are all on the Green line, which means you should be on the east-west MRT.  

Yunnan Garden Admission Fees and Park Details 

Yunnan Garden Admission Fees and Park Details
Name LocationOpening HoursFeesAttractions
Yunnan Garden 12 Nanyang Dr, Singapore 637721 Open 24 hours Free Nineteen trails
Chinese pavilions 
Chinese arches
Food court

Yunnan Garden is open to the public and free for you to explore. It is also available 24/7 so you can visit anytime you want. 

Despite being open for 24 hours, we recommend visiting the park while the sun is still high up in the sky so you can enjoy an uninterrupted view of the garden’s beautiful landscape and structures. 

The park has nineteen trails that you can explore either by walking, jogging, or cycling. It is a popular place to visit for bikers who want to enjoy the view of nature and a breath of fresh air while they cycle around the garden. 

There are also plenty of ponds within the area and each pond has an abundance of colorful fish that you can feed. If you feel hungry, you can also explore the Food Paradise at 41 Student Walk or visit the Yunnan Garden restaurant. 

Things to Do in Yunnan Garden

Things to Do in Yunnan Garden

It might not look like it at first, but there is plenty of fun and exciting thing you can do in Yunnan Garden. 

Check out the section below for a detailed itinerary. 

1. Get caught in the symmetry. 

Yunnan Garden has one of the most symmetrical landscapes in Singapore since it is inspired by Chinese traditional gardens. The main garden of the park features a series of geometric patterns and loops that creates a captivating viewing experience. 

2. Take a walk along the boardwalks and explore Nanyang Lake. 

The walkways in Yunnan Garden are easy to follow and well-maintained so you will surely enjoy taking a stroll around the park. Every walkway in this garden is also wheelchair and stroller-friendly. 

Aside from the lovely arrangement of floras in the garden, you will also find a lovely waterfall made of stones. The water from the falls leads to an artificial wetland full of koi fish and lily pads. 

The water feature of this garden brings a peaceful and breathtaking vibe to the place. Not only that, the water used in the pond is designed to help in the stormwater management system to avoid flood in the city. 

Near the walkways, you will also find pavilions and decks where you can rest. Along with these, there are also information kiosks so you can know exactly where you are in the garden. 

3. Take pictures of the heritage monuments and pavilions.

Most of the monuments and pavilions are located in the main garden. Among the popular monuments are the Grand Nantah Arch, red-roofed pavilions, and the Nanyang University Memorial. 

The Chinese structures create the perfect backdrop for photos so plenty of visitors don’t miss out on snapping a picture or two when exploring the garden. The tranquil and blissful atmosphere of Yunnan can also bring you peace when you are stressed. 

4. Appreciate the plants. 

As a plant-lover, I never miss out on the opportunity to appreciate the different species of floras in any garden that I visit. It just so happens that Yunnan has plenty of flowers and trees for me to admire. 

I recommend looking over the plants around the area and finding things such as orchids, pitcher plants, herbs, and even the national flower Vanta Miss Joaquim in the garden. You will find information about the plants in the kiosk placed near the walkways. 

Among my favorite places to appreciate the plants in Yunnan is the lily garden and butterfly garden. The lilies in full bloom are a sight straight out of fairytales.   

5. Have fun in the playground. 

If you have a child with you, they will appreciate visiting the playground in Yunnan Garden. The playground is an inclusive space that everyone can enjoy and thus, no matter your age, you will find an activity for you to do here. 

The adults can use the gym equipment while the kids can have an adventure with the slides, swings, and climbing nets. If you want to cool off, you can also play by the water play fountain next to the Chinese Heritage Center.  

Food and Amenities at Yunnan Garden

Food and Amenities at Yunnan Garden

There aren’t a lot of food and amenities options in Yunnan Garden but the limited restaurants it has can still be satisfying with their unique cuisine and dishes. 

Below are some of your options to dine in Yunnan Garden. 

Yunnan Garden Restaurant 

Restaurant Location Opening Hours 
Yunnan Garden Restaurant 1 Fusionopolis Pl, #02-02 Galaxis, Singapore 13852211:00 AM to 8:30 PM

The Yunnan Garden Restaurant is popular for its delicious Chinese and Singaporean dishes. The price for each meal is also reasonable, so there are plenty of guests visiting this restaurant. 

The food served in the restaurant is inspired by Chinese and Singaporean cuisine so you will find plenty of local delicacies here. As for the taste, I can say that it is well worth the price since the food is prepared by actual chefs. 

As one of the few restaurant options around Yunnan Garden, you can expect this place to be a little crowded, especially during peak season. The food, however, is worth the wait and would make your visit to the park even more memorable. 

Food Paradise 

Restaurant Location Opening Hours 
Food Paradise 50 Nanyang Ave, block N3.1, Singapore 63979810:00 AM to 9:30 PM

The Food Paradise serves as the canteen of NTU. Since it is made to cater to students, you can expect the food to be cheap here. 

You will find all sorts of cuisines in this food court including Malay, Indian, Chinese, and Western dishes. There are even coffee shops that offer all sorts of drinks from fancy-looking frappes to a simple macchiato. 

Visiting the Food Paradise is certainly a low-budget way to dine and it gives you plenty of options, so I can recommend visiting this food court whenever you drop by Yunnan Garden. 

Tips for Visiting Yunnan Garden

Tips for Visiting Yunnan Garden

Yunnan Garden is newly renovated so there aren’t a lot of huge trees that will provide shade for you. To protect you from the harsh heat of the sun, I recommend wearing sunglasses, applying sunscreen, and drinking lots of water. 

If the sunscreen isn’t providing enough protection, you can also bring an umbrella on your trip. 

In addition to these, I encourage you to wear comfortable clothes since exploring this garden involves plenty of walking. Make sure that you’re wearing shoes that will not hurt your feet after a couple of hours of strolling around in the garden. 

If you can, I highly advise bringing snacks for a nice picnic under the pavilions. As I mentioned before, there are limited options for food in this area, so bringing your own food might save you the trouble of finding restaurants to dine at.  

Singapore is known worldwide as the Garden City, so it’s no surprise that it has plenty of amazing parks and gardens that you can explore. While there are a lot of gardens that can offer loads of fun activities, the simple ones are not to be ignored. 

Yunnan doesn’t seem like it has lots to offer at first glance but the deeper you explore it, the more you will learn about its beauty. It has so many hidden wonders like waterfalls, landscapes, and structures. 

This place might not have the advanced architectures and design that other parks like the Garden by the Bay have to offer but it has the beauty of simplicity reflected through the tranquil atmosphere it emulates.