Friday, 21 November 2014


Although Andrew and I had both been to Singapore about 10 years ago, we easily could have spent a few more days.

We started out going to the S.E.A. Aquarium (South East Asia) on Sentosa Island. We were quite worried when we got on the monorail as it was extremely crowded (i.e. wall-to-wall people crammed in like sardines) with school kids, teachers, parents and family groups. Sentosa is WAY more touristy than it used to be! Now advertised as a "theme park." Fortunately for us, most people were NOT headed to the aquarium!

As we left the aquarium there was a torrential downpour outside but overhead canopies (presumably for both sun and rain) kept us mostly dry and by the time we finished lunch it was dry again. We took the cable car back to the main island and, although it was very cloudy, had great views of the island and the massive number of boats and cargo containers in the harbour area.
On the cable car between Sentosa Island and Faber Hill.
A very small section of Sentosa Island shows the "theme park" atmosphere.
The Singapore Zoo really is one of the most beautiful! There is so much greenery and natural looking (e.g. bamboo, vines covering wire fences) enclosures that it sometimes hardly seems like the animals are in pens. In fact, many of the monkey-types were "free range."

The large and wide open feeling definitely helped with taking photos. Amazing to get a photo of a white tiger!

We had "breakfast with the orang-utans" at the zoo. We declined getting our photos taken with them (or, more accurately, standing in front of them while they studiously concentrated on eating sunflower seeds) but I did manage to snap one reasonable shot.
A couple orang-utans we had breakfast with.
A beautiful white tiger
This "medallion" in the middle of a walkway caught my attention.
We happened to be at the giant tortoise exhibit at the right time and got to feed them.
This guy (or gal) was quite speedy and followed me, expecting food, even when Andrew had the container of carrots.
Iguana closeup
We never did get to the Jurong Bird Park, the Night Safari or the River Safari which we would have liked to.

Singapore has a lot of interesting architecture, green features, and there are art installations everywhere.

One one particularly rainy day (during which we eventually broke down and bought umbrellas), we went to the Art and Science Museum which is a work of amazing art and architecture shaped like a lotus flower.
Lotus flower
Art and Science Museum

There was an excellent DaVinci exhibit on but it was way too much! It kept me interested for the first half and then I began to wonder if it would ever end? Even Andrew, who is much more interested in DaVince-related stuff than I am, found it a bit much. There was also a photography exhibit that caught our eye because in the advertisements they profiled a photo of rhinoceros in Africa so we thought the theme would be wildlife. But that was about the only wildlife photo, the rest being sometimes strange profiles of people. 

We also saw a lot of really interesting greenery in the form of green walls and green roofs. We passed by this green wall, incredibly in the shape of a world map, on the side of either a mall or office building, on our way to the museum. 

Not surprisingly, Singapore is where the Singapore sling was invented. We went to the Long Bar at Raffles Hotel where you too can have the world's most expensive sling for a mere $28 SD (about $24.50 Cdn). Crazy, I know! But some things a tourist just has to do!  :-)
Passionfruit Sling and the Original Sling
Other very unique architecture includes the Marina Bay Sands Hotel (and shopping mall of course!) and the Skypark (or "the banana boat" as Andrew began calling it) which has a swimming pool, gardens, observation deck, shops and a couple restaurants. Although as near as we could figure out, the public only had access to one horrendously expensive restaurant.
Marina Bay Sands Hotel and the Skypark
The Helix Bridge is another very interesting piece of architecture, so named due to its connection to DNA. 

The Helix pedestrian bridge
"The Float" is used for many events but was set up as a soccer field. I wonder how many soccer balls end up in the water every year?
Floating soccer field
Lastly, the other really interesting place we visited (from the standpoint of nature, environment, conservation and architecture) was the Gardens by the Bay. Two huge conservatories (the flower dome and the cloud forest dome), the Supertrees grove, a children's garden (including water park, treehouse, trampolines, balance beams, hanging bridges), and several outdoor garden areas. Wikipedia has a good article on it. 
Outside of the flower dome conservatory.
Inside the flower dome. Cloud forest dome in background.
Christmas display inside flower dome. Or, to quote Andrew, "Christmas s**t already!"

Waterfall in the cloud forest dome.
I know another little boy who gets as excited about trains as this little boy!

Spiderman on the dome?
Or a workman?
Inside the cloud forest dome.

Double flower (Andrew didn't have his camera out for this one!)
We stayed at a nice little out-of-the-way hotel (Lloyd's Inn) which had a lovely courtyard but between days full of other activity and all the rain, we really didn't have time to enjoy it. Note to self: Next time in Singapore -- stay longer!
At Lloyd's Inn

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