It was 9 am. As we made our way out of Changi Airport, we embarked a bus that was awaiting us to take us to our hotel, Peninsula Excelsior. Although tired and hungry, I couldn’t stop but gaze in awe at the speckless, impeccably clean roads of Singapore, adorned by dense greens and flowers in pink, peach & white. For a second I mused, ” Are we journeying through a botanical garden?”
Checked in and tummy filled, we were excited to look around. I’ve always coveted walking as a means of exploring & it has always proved to be efficient. It gives me a vibe of the place and not to sound cynical, but the privilege of a footpath is something of a luxury in my opinion because in the traffic ridden metropolitans of India, every extra inch on the road is the right of a vehicle. It also allows me a chance to look at people, their ways and diversity in a calm that I could never experience otherwise.
We strolled past souvenir shops, along the Raffles hotel, lunched “green tea desserts” at the Raffles City Mall and finally set eyes on the beautiful Merlion. The Merlion, half fish and half lion, at the mouth of the Singapore River is an iconic structure whose head represents Singapore’s original name, Singapura or lion city. The park is replete with locals & tourists alike at midnight too. With a Starbucks in hand, friends are laughing, couples are cuddling and tourists are photographing as the merlion shimmers in white & blue.
A little earlier in the night, around 9pm, the Marina Bay Sands, which is seen bang opposite the Merlion, presents a fantastic laser show. Not be to missed for sure! More about the lavish Marina Bay Sands comin’ up soon.
If you want a quick tour of the place, a boat cruise on the waters Singapore rivers is ideal and that’s what we did. A view of the skyscapers and most of the popular attractions with some respite from the heat & humidity of Singapore.
The Clark Quay alongside the Singapore River is a vibrant strip flashing the most bright hued buildings and boasting of restaurants, shopping, nightclubs & entertainment. I guess something good came of watching 30 minutes of non-stop tourism ads in the hotel room.
Singapore Zoo – What was truly convenient was that the bus affiliated to the Zoo was there to pick us up at our hotel at 8 am sharp thereby helping us avoid the hassle of looking for the fastest public transport ( which by the way is really good in Singapore).
There are rare times in life when childhood comes running back…this was one such moment. A rush of highly prized memories occupied my mind as I entered the gates of the Singapore Zoo…It took me back to a simpler time as I remembered going to the Mysore Zoo in India with my parents, aunts & uncle. I didn’t have siblings then so obviously I was the apple of everyone’s eye;) Well, I’m a child no more so I’m not going into the intricacies of how we enjoyed the trumpets of elephants and the roars of lions. But, I will say this…I got chills when I saw a majestic, white tiger jump in all it’s might to catch hold of it’s food, my heart melted when I saw the innocent eyes of the elephant, I couldn’t help but smile when I saw the chimps swinging from branch to branch and I was more than thrilled when the sea lion gave me a peck on my cheek!
Then there’s the Night Safari which captures the African-tribal-wilderness perfectly. It’s essentially a train ride around the zoo in the darkness to catch a glimpse of the nocturnal animals.
Info – Us being vegetarians, food was a challenge except for the 2 slices of PBJ. I would suggest packing something from places in the city like a Subway sandwich maybe. (That’s what my brother did when he visited with his friends)
Jurong Bird Park- Be it, feeding parrots painted in the brightest of colours or the delicate, slender flamingos in pink or the white pelicans with their large bags underneath the mouth, it was a pleasant and somewhat a soothing experience to see these exotic creatures.
As the wreathed hornbill perched on my forearm, I couldn’t decide whether to smile for my husband’s camera or look at the beauty the bird exudes.
Marina Bay Sands – While the structure by itself is gigantic with it’s 3 high storeyed building topped off by the roof terrace, the interiors boast of swanky ceilings, over the top decor & modern art. Every corner screams of luxury and opulence. We decided to give in, regale in the extravagance and spent a full day/night here….
The sky park in the terrace hosts an infinity pool that gives an unforgettable view of Singapore and is beautiful at night. Not to worry if the pool is a little cold for your liking, they have outdoor jacuzzis too! I will admit, we paid an arm & a leg but they ensure that not a penny goes to waste. If you’re indulging you’d rather do it right, right?
Hope you enjoyed reading this post…More about our adventures in this beautiful land in the next one!
“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure.There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.”
– Jawaharlal Nehru