Tuesday 20 October 2009

The Botanic Gardens, Singapore

This photo shows my brother, Alan, my mum and me in the Botanic Gardens in Singapore in 1965. It also shows our lovely Triumph Herald! The gardens were full of monkeys at the time and I think that's one of the main reasons that we went. I don't remember any of the plants! There used to be banana sellers outside the main gates and there were many people happy to buy them to feed the monkeys. I loved seeing the monkeys but have to admit I was scared stiff of them! You'd have a bunch of bananas behind your back and before you knew it, they would be snatched and you'd just see the monkey running off with them! The bananas were nothing like you get nowadays. They were short and very sweet. I think that I told the story in my book of the time we left the windows down on the car. It was so hot, it was the only way to cool it down. When we came back, the car was full of monkeys, one even looked like he was trying to drive. My dad scared them off and was just about to sit down in the driver's seat when my mum noticed that one of the monkeys had pooped there. She caught him just in time. We all laughed about it at the time. When I went to Singapore in 1990, one of the things that I was really looking forward to was visiting the gardens and taking the monkeys some bananas. I was disappointed to discover that they had all been moved on. I really hope that they weren't all killed and I hope they were relocated elsewhere but I have my doubts. I really missed them and think that they were a huge tourist attraction. Perhaps the locals saw them as pests though. I think that they used to take sunglasses as well! I've heard the ones in the Botanic Gardens in Penang are still there and I've seen movies on YouTube of them. They certainly gave us a lot of pleasure and I'm sure lots of people have funny and fond memories of them.


  1. David Ian Robbins20 October 2009 at 19:59

    I spent many hours in the gardens, a short walk from Kinloss, quite often in '65 in fact. The monkeys were a trip. They were cool to watch but could get vicious and often ganged up on those with bananas or a newspaper cone of peanuts that were also sold at the gate. I remember there was a stall that sold ground ice soaked with a choice of different brightly coloured, very sweet 'juice'. Standing under a tree to try stay dry in a rain shower and having my legs swarmed by those tiny ants that were everywhere.

  2. We lived almost across the street in 1957-58 at #2 Dalvey Rd. I loved the gardens, so beautiful, and yes, the monkeys were a trip!