Our holiday was almost coming to an end . Today we visited Jurong Birdpark ... one last place before heading back to UAE. The journey to Jurong Birdpark was a pretty long one. We used the train and bus to get there. Public transport is the best way to get around Singapore. It so much more cheaper than using a taxi. Just buy the EZ-Link card at the station and charge it as you go.
Once we reached the park, we got our tickets scanned and entered. If you intend to visit many parks like how we did, its always a good idea to buy the park hopper tickets online. It saves time and its cheaper.
As the name suggests, Jurong Birdpark is famous for birds ... all kinds of birds. Birds of prey, penguins, night birds, birds of wetlands, flightless birds and so much more! The feeling you get when you see all these beautiful birds around you and hear those chirps can be compared to no other.
We saw some big birds too. These were flightless birds and believed to be ancestors of the dinosaur like the double wattled cassowary and ostrich.
Jurong Birdpark isn't as big as Singapore Zoo. We finished it within 3 hours. However, the ups and downs while walking around can be quite tiring. If you're not comfortable walking around, you can use the tram for a small fee.
Do not miss out on the High Flyers show ... where you can see birds perform various acts. I still remember a lovely parrot sing to us. We didn't want to leave the park until we saw the show. If I'm not mistaken, they have 2 shows daily. Plan accordingly!
Some of my faves at the park were the pelican cove, parrot paradise and the penguin cove. Gosh, the number of different types of parrots at parrot paradise were unimaginable. You also have an option of dining with the parrots and penguins. We never tried that out though.
But ... we did feed some parrots!
And for the first time in my life, I saw black swans too.
I highly recommend a visit to Jurong birdpark. This was my second visit here. Too bad Mr. D missed it!
It was yet another beautiful day in Singapore. I had mixed feelings about today. Why? Because Mr. D would be leaving me in Singapore and heading back to the sandpit. How come? This trip was planned well in advance ... when he suddenly scored a new job ... and as a newbie he couldn't get many days off. Thank God for the rest of my family being around. If they hadn't joined us on this trip, I would have been touring Singapore solo!
Today, we were going to visit Singapore Zoo & River Safari which were right next to each other. Although the easiest way to reach there would be using a taxi, we used public transport. Click here to know how to get around. We reached the zoo around 10am and intended to leave by 3pm, so that Mr. D could reach the airport on time.
Singapore Zoo is not just another zoo. First of all, its huge! Do not be deceived by that map they give you. It makes the zoo look so small! I got lost twice. There are a lot of shows all through the day. We managed to see one show ... i.e "Rainforest Fights Back ", however we got lost trying to find our way to the other shows. Another thing we saw was the zookeeper feeding the tigers. I happened to see many animals that I've never seen in my life like a zebra (yes, I hadn't seen one until then), polar bear, Orangutan, kaola and more. For those who do not prefer to walk around the zoo, there's a tram.
It was almost 1.30 pm when we decided to have lunch. By the way, you have to try this delicious chocolate filled panda bun available at the food court. After lunch, we crossed over to the other side and headed to the River Safari.
The first thing we saw here were the pandas. They were so adorable ... like a bunch of teletubbies. This was the first time any of us had seen a panda.
Then, we went for the Amazon River Quest ride. We purchased our tickets for this ride online and in advance. You have to be there on time, or you'll miss your turn. In this ride, a little boat takes you along a river and you get to witness some amazing wildlife present in the world's largest tropical rainforest. P.S. If you are sitting in front, there are chances that you might get completely wet! Poor Mr. D & my cousin!
We also explored the Amazon Flooded Forest, aquarium and the rest of the place stopping at this little fruit sorbet stand on the way. Again, this is something that you shouldn't miss. They serve the sorbet in actual fruit shells/peels.
By the time we finished, it was 3.30pm ... just in time for Mr. D to bid goodbye to Singapore. We headed to the hotel, wished him a safe trip and proceeded to the shopping area of Singapore - Orchard Road.
Orchard Road is considered to be the entertainment hub of Singapore ... filled with a number of shopping malls. If you're looking for high-end or budget shopping, its here. We walked around sipping on fresh juices and other edible stuff on our way. After a walk that never seemed to end, we ended up somewhere near the area where I had stayed in when I first visited Singapore. Sure I didn't recognize the place, but I remember the name of the hotel .. and a chain of restaurants right next to it. We had dinner at one of these restaurants and proceeded for a foot message at a Chinese massage parlour nearby. Gosh ... everyone needed this after all that walking!
It was now Day 3 of our Singapore holiday. Today, we decided to visit Universal Studios. That meant heading back to Sentosa Island yet again.
We have been to a couple of Universal Studios around the word ... but can never seem to get bored of it. So, we followed yesterday's sequence of events, which was taking a underground train to VivoCity mall and then Sentosa Express to Universal Studios. We got down at Waterfront Station.
You can purchase the the entry ticket to Universal Studios online or at the venue. We decided to purchase it online as we didn't know what the situation would be like there. No one wants to waste time standing in a line. Oh, and we even got an Universal Express Pass. With this pass, you have a separate line for all the attractions. That means you finish everything quickly. Note that, this pass gives you access to all the attractions just once. However, if you get an Universal Unlimited Express Pass,you can access the attractions any number of times. Its entirely upto you. We wanted to try out everything once and leave Sentosa Island.
Universal Studios has a little something for everyone. It doesn't matter if you're a chicken like me or a brave-heart like Mr. D ... you can still have fun. Hats of to Mr D and my cousins for accompanying me on some of the kiddy rides. Some of my favourite shows were Lights Camera Action! and Waterworld. Check out the show timings in advance so that you don't miss out on them.
Some of the rides that we enjoyed were - Battlestar Galactica, Accelerator, Revenge of the Mummy, Treasure Hunters and Canopy Flyer, King Julien's Beach Part Go Round. We left Universal Studios around 5pm for our next stop - Bugis Street.
Bugis Street is Singapore's budget shopping heaven filled with a scores of shops all crammed under one roof. There's everything from clothing to handbags, accessories to souvenirs, makeup etc. They do not have trial rooms ... so you've to just analyze a dress and see if it fits you. If you are not as skinny as most of the Singaporeans ... there are chances that you might not find an outfit ( I had a bit of trouble finding something for myself ). Bugis Street also has are a number of eateries. Bubble tea fans will love it here! Do not miss out on the Chocolate Origin Lava cake at Bugis Junction.
After were done with all the activities in Imbiah Lookout, we took the Sentosa Express and headed towards the Waterfront Station. To access some of the popular attractions like Universal Studios or S.E.A Aquarium, this is your stop. However, our intention was not to visit any of these places. I, being our group's "tour guide" had something totally different in mind. We have been to Universal Studios in almost every country in the world and I didn't intend on going to one again. Instead, I chose to go to the Trick Eye Museum ... a place not many have heard of. We grabbed lunch at one of the nearby restaurants and were well on our way.
The Trick Eye Museum is known for its popular artworks. Just so you know, these are no ordinary works of art ... like the ones you stare at in a museum. They are 2D images that can give you an optical illusion of a 3D image. Next to each work of art, is an instruction sheet on where to stand and how to pose. I know this may sound a wee bit confusing, but just have a look and see what we got upto here. We spent nearly 3 hours here!
After taking all those crazy pictures, we took the Sentosa Express yet again and headed back to Sentosa Station. Then, we caught the underground train to go to our next stop which was Gardens By the Bay. In case you are using the metro, the closest stop would be the Bayfront MRT Station.
Once we got out of the station, the first thing we saw was the Marina Bay Sands hotel. A building that I had seen only in pictures and which wasnt there during my last visit. It looked so much more bigger and taller in reality. What followed was a bunch of ridiculous pictures!
We then visited the gardens. Gardens by the bay is a plant lover's paradise. We walked and walked through rows of beautiful plants until we saw these gigantic trees (Supertree Groove). I was captivated by the unique design of these trees. By then, it was almost evening. Our intention was to visit two more places in the garden before the sun set - Flower Dome and Cloudforest Dome. While the entrance to the gardens by the bay is free, you have to pay a fee to visit the other attractions within this area.
The Flower Dome, as the name suggests is a Dome shaped indoor area filled with varieties of flowers from all over the world. This area is temperature controlled ... so you get a feel how these flowers grow in its natural habitat. It was so beautiful. I couldn't help but admire all the colourful flowers around me, especially the flower sculptures.
We were so engrossed in this flower paradise that by the time we reached the Cloud Forest Dome it was already dark. Nevertheless it looked beautiful. The first thing we saw when we entered was this tall waterfall. It took us some time to gain the courage to get to the other side of the waterfall as it was so damn cold. Unlike the Flower Dome, the Cloud Forest Dome is filled with mist. Here, they've created an environment to show how plants grow in mountainous regions. Hence the mist and the cool temperature. They have two walkways to get to the top so you get a feel of walking on a mountain, and as you come down you can admire the beauty from the top. There's an elevator for those who do not prefer to walk.
After we finished visiting both these domes, we were back in the gardens. And now that it looked more beautiful then ever. At night, the Supertrees are transformed into a beautiful display of light and sound. There's a walkway connecting all the trees, where you have an option of walking among the trees. However, we didn't try it out. After enjoying this spectacular show we left for dinner.
P.S. I visited Singapore before I started this blog. The pictures may be blurry.
On the 2nd day of our Singapore holiday, we decided to visit Sentosa Island. I remember going to Sentosa Island years ago with my parents but I couldn't remember much, except that we took a cable car to reach there. Things had changed 14 years later. We now had 3 options to reach Sentosa Island : by foot using the Sentosa Boardwalk, by cable car or by the Sentosa Express Tram. We opted to use the tram. This is probably the cheapest and most convenient option. All you have to do is head to VivoCity mall and catch the tram from there.
The tram stops at 3 stations in Sentosa Island, besides the one that you're starting from. What you intend on doing there is entirely upto you. To get an idea on the kind of activities Sentosa Island has to offer, click here.
We got off at the Imbiah Station ... when it starting pouring. None of us had any umbrellas or raincoats on us so we had to buy one from a shop nearby. There are a number of attractions in the Imbiah area. Nature, adventure, art .... there's something for everyone. We had 3 places in mind - Sentosa Merlion, Butterfly Park & Insect Kingdom and Skyline Luge.
The first thing we visited was the Merlion. Unlike those happy, sunny day photos that you usually see in front of this giant Merlion ... ours was grey and covered in raincoats. Booo... thanks to the rain. But atleast we smiled!
We then moved over to the Skyline Luge. If you prefer something unique with a bit of a thrill, the Luge is a must. Basically, you sit on this tiny car and explore two trails - Dragon Trail and Jungle Trail. We chose to explore both because we wanted to try the Skyride as well. Once you complete the first trail, you use the Skyride to get back to the starting point. While you're on the Skyride, you get a beautiful view of Sentosa. When your reach the starting point, you proceed with the second trail. This was so much fun. My aunt didn't want to try this out and we forced her too. And she loved it. Don't miss out on the Luge unless you have a really serious medical issue. Click here to know more.
Finally, we headed to the Butterfly Park & Insect Kingdom. Here, we got to see and interact with beautiful parrots and other creatures too. Sorry guys, no pictures of creepy crawlies here.
What we did next in Sentosa Island will be shared in the next post.
(P.S. I visited Singapore even before I had any intention of starting a blog. You will not find many pictures and even if you do, they might not be the best)
During the Eid holidays of October 2014, we decided to visit Singapore. It wasn't my first visit to Singapore, the last time being just 14 years ago with my parents. Pretty long eh? This time I was excited to travel with my husband and show him around ... that is if I remembered anything.
We reached Singapore around 4 p.m. and checked into our lovely hotel - Holiday Inn Express Clarke Quay. We chose this hotel for its central location and express breakfast. The rooms weren't too shabby either. We couldn't really book any day tour that day as we'd already reached late. However, we did explore a bit of the city before heading out for a night tour. Singapore has a wonderful public transport system which connects most of the places of interest.
The first place we visited was Little India. Its exactly what you'd expect if you were in India - hawker food, ethnic shops, weird smells, chaos and a bit dirty. Singapore on the whole is a very clean city, but this place was not. There were times when people would just stare at us and it made us feel awkward. This place is okay if you just want to have a look around and get a feel of India. Be careful with what you eat though. We were all dying of hunger and had to stop by a restaurant to have dosa and filter coffee. Our first meal in Singapore didn't start off with a bang!
The next place we hit was Chinatown. An area that is home to majority of the ethnic Chinese population. There's a Chinatown in almost every country that we've visited, and Singapore was no exception. If you're looking for souvenirs, clothing and restaurants at a steal, this is your place! Even the hotel accommodation is supposedly cheaper here. Personally, I liked this area. With a line of hanging lanterns and colourful stalls, it definitely stood out.
Now for the first tour of our trip - Night Safari. I would suggest buying your park-hopper tickets from here as it works out cheaper. I did this tour 14 years ago, but I barely remembered anything ... except that there was a snake involved. It took us about 40 minutes to get there using public transport. Night Safari is basically a zoo ... nocturnal zoo to be be precise, where animals are kept in their natural habitat. You can either choose to walk around by yourself or opt for a guided tram tour. We chose the tram. After all that travelling, we could barely walk. Thankfully we came this far. I do not have many pictures as it was too dark and we didn't want to disturb the animals. Make sure you're back at the starting point just in time for the "Creatures of the Night" show. And prepared to be amazed!
Dinner that night was at Clarke Quay, an area filled with nightclubs and restaurants. We started of with a light meal at Hooters. We went to Hooters for all the obvious reasons ... thanks to Mr. D!
And the heavier and possibly the best meal that we had during our entire Singapore holiday was at Jumbo's Seafood. By the way, reservations are highly recommended here. We waited for almost 2 hours and were lucky enough to get a place. But trust me, the wait was all worth it! We tried out the famous Singapore Chilli Crab and Pepper Crab with steamed buns. I was ready to get myself all messy just for the crab! That gigantic Pepper Crab was probably the best crab that I've tasted till date. At the end of it all, we were drenched in sweat thanks to Singapore's humidity and all that crab-attacking. The weight of our bellies just added to our already weary feet as we dragged ourselves to our hotel! Thankfully it was pretty close.
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