Having returned from my first visit to Singapore, I certainly did tick a few things off my travel to-do list which is great. Unfortunately it was a short stay but that means there’s plenty more things to do when I next visit.
Price wise, Singapore seems to be pretty on par with Sydney. I was lucky in that for part of my visit I stayed with friends in their apartment Amber Gardens which would have saved me a whole lotta cash. Thanks, pals!
Staying with friends also meant I was able to hit the supermarket and buy fresh fruit for morning fruit salads. Good thing I did as breakfast doesn’t seem to be a thing there – most cafes and shops don’t open until later in the day. SAY WHAT?!
Hanging out with Mick the cat wasn’t my only animal encounter – we went to the Night Safari and it was a lot of fun. I had heard that Singapore Zoo is really good but with limited time, I didn’t have a whole day to spend getting close to nature.
We went on a week night and as the park closes at midnight we went out for dinner first which turned out to be quite smart as it wasn’t too busy when we arrived. There are several walking tracks and the park gives you the genuine feeling that you’re in the jungle. There is a tram that takes you all around the park, past enclosures where the animals are eating. You get quite close to them and surprisingly most don’t seem fussed by the noise of the tram.
Shortly after we arrived there was a 20 minute Creatures of the Night show which was a bit naff – this is really tailored to the little ones. I really liked the ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ message that was promoted throughout the show – apparently Singapore isn’t as big on recycling as we are in Australia so with luck this message will sink in with the locals.
The best part was getting up close with two leopards. We took one of the walking trails and came to a viewing window for Sri Lankan leopards. We crouched against the glass and watched them for a while, and then the big guy came straight over to the window and lay on the rock, with his strong, muscley body resting against the glass and his big head looking right at us. It wasn’t at all scary, it was fascinating. A few minutes later his partner – a lot leaner so we guessed she was the female – lovingly plonked herself on / next to him. It was incredible having the two of them so close and being able to watch them so intently as we wondered if they could see us or if the glass had a one way view.
Apparently one of the must-do things in Singapore is shopping on Orchard Road. Perhaps that advice should be targeted to the rich and famous because most of the shops on this street are super expensive / exclusive / have guards at the door. I must admit, I thought some of the window displays looked totally gaudy and over the top. It was interesting to check out but made me wonder, who the heck shops in these stores?!
On the night we went for a cheap and cheerful dinner in Little India, by coincidence the Thaipusam parade was on (the traffic was chaos!) We were on the other side of the road so this shot isn’t great – it was a procession of Hindu devotees carrying large and highly decorated frames, surrounded by their singing, dancing and drum-beating loved ones. It also looked like some had hooks and piercings in their faces and tongues. Impressive to watch but OUCH.
On my last day in Singapore I went to see a Leonardo da Vinci exhibition at the ArtScience Museum. The exhibition featured pages from Da Vinci’s largest notebook and was divided into five sections covering the different themes of his work – maths, natural science, architecture, technology and music. This was a really interesting way to spend an afternoon and I highly recommend it. What a fascinating and intelligent fellow!
Coming up: I share some of my Singapore eats, a fantastic vegan cafe, a local cuisine cooking class and a stay in a swanky iconic hotel.
- Singapore eats – Part 1
- Singapore eats – Part 2
- Loving Hut, Singapore
- Singapore home cooking class
- Marina Bay Sands, Singapore
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