In summer 2015, two significant events occurred. Firstly, Singapore celebrated its 50th birthday, a year-long event marked by celebrations, speeches and much international publicity. Secondly, in July, UNESCO announced that the Botanic Gardens would officially become Singapore’s first World Heritage Site – only the third botanical garden in the world to obtain that designation (after Kew Gardens, London, UK and Padua Gardens, Italy). The Botanic Gardens are one of Singapore’s premier tourist attractions, featuring a ‘national orchid garden’ containing rare, vibrant orchids named for various visiting celebrities and dignitaries, such as Queen Elizabeth II. Originally established by the colonizing British powers during Victorian times, the gardens feature native and non-native tropical flora, meandering pathways through palm groves, ponds, and a scattering of restaurants, cafes and event venues such as a symphony bandstand.