Family fun in Singapore: The Live Turtle and Tortoise Museum
When thinking of a day of family fun in Singapore, these usual suspects are likely to come to mind; Singapore Zoo, Universal Studios Singapore, or Gardens by the Bay. But for a more unique experience with your family, give this little-known Singapore attraction a go. Nestled in the Chinese Gardens, be prepared to go on a road trip to The Live Turtle and Tortoise Museum, which is home to over 500 turtles and tortoises. With such an extensive collection, it is no wonder that it has made it into the Guinness World Record books for the largest collection of turtle and tortoise items.
This Singapore museum makes for a great place of fun as you will not only get to be up close with the reptiles, but also get to feed them (a popular one at that, especially with children). With just $1 you can purchase a bunch of green leaves and feed it to whichever turtle or tortoise you desire. However, keep in mind that only the tortoises on land can be fed, while those kept in a glass aquarium should be left alone.
Did you know, out of the 500 turtles and tortoises at the museum, only the African Spurred Tortoises are left to roam freely within the estate? The reason is because they are the only species intelligent enough to not cause a big splash in one of the numerous ponds around the museum. Not only that, they are the third largest tortoise species in the world and the maximum weight recorded thus far is a staggering 105kg! Now that’s heavier than most of us!
You may then wonder how The Live Turtle and Tortoise Museum grew its large collection of turtles and tortoises, especially since exotic animals are not allowed in Singapore given its strict laws.
This has to do with the owner, Ms Connie Tan, whom when she was younger, was not allowed to keep a dog or cat as a pet so she turned to turtles instead. She soon fell in love with these creatures due to their unusual beauty. Eventually, her turtle collection grew with the help of her father, who also shared the same passion. Majority of the turtles and tortoises housed at the museum come from her personal collection, while the rest have been given to her after they grew too big for its previous owners. These reptiles come from all over the world, including China, Madagascar, Myanmar, and South America!
So, if you are looking for interesting places to visit in Singapore, do give this museum a go. It is definitely not your conventional stuffy museum with dated pieces. Instead, expect yourselves to be surrounded by the Radiated Star Tortoise (identified by an intricate yellow star pattern on their backs), the Alligator Snapping Turtle (definitely do maintain a safe distance if you would like to keep all 20 digits), and the Red-Footed Tortoise (no prize for guessing what’s the colour of their feet ;)) amongst many others.
Despite being the only turtle and tortoise museum in the world, it is not high on the list of “Where to go in Singapore” for many tourists as well as locals, as it has been outshone by other more fanciful attractions in Singapore. However, admission fees to this museum is close to nothing ($5 for adults, $3 for children) considering the close proximity you get to be to all these exotic creatures.
So, if you and your family would like to check out this Singapore place of interest, it is a mere 5 minute-walk from the Chinese Garden MRT. It’s another story, though, if you have young children or elderly parents in tow. The easy 5-minute walk may turn into a 50-minute nightmare! To avoid such scenario and to keep everyone in high spirits to greet the reptiles, consider travelling there by getting a private hire car with a driver. The Travel141 International Car Rental service will be launching soon so do subscribe to our newsletter below in order to receive regular updates.
Address: 1 Chinese Garden Rd, Singapore 619795
Opening hours: 10am – 6pm daily
Contact No.: 6268 5363
Read more from our Singapore Travel Guide:
- Things To Do In Singapore: 5 Festivals In Singapore You Shouldn’t Miss
- 5 Rooftop Bars To Include On Your Singapore Travel Itinerary
- Singapore Travel | 5 Hiking Trails For Adventurous Travellers
- 10 Singapore Attractions To Experience Nightlife In The Lion City
- Uncover Local Gems: Things To Do In Orchard Road