Singapore: Day 7 – 2.4.2015:
After a not precisely lavish breakfast at the Keong Saik Hotel (toast, marmalade, beans) we walked to the nearby Outram Park MRT Station and drove to Boon Lay MRT Station, which took a while. Our first destination for the day would be the Jurong Bird Park, which is a bit outside the city. From the Boon Lay MRT Station, we followed the signs through a shopping mall to the huge bus terminal. The bus 251 was just boarding, and so we went in, using our Three-Day-Pass for the trains and buses in Singapore.
We didn’t really know when to exit the bus, so my friend tracked our bus ride with our map, and it was just a few stations to the bus stop in the Jln Ahmad Ibrahim. When we entered the Bird Park, the staff told us, that a bird show will just begin, so we walked there first and found ourselves in a vast arena, when the “High Flyers”-Show started, featuring parrots flying through rings. They actually have several shows, including the “King of the Skies”-Show featuring eagles, which we missed.
The park is enormous, and after the show, we walked along a lot of aviaries and took the shuttle-bus to what I liked most – the rainforest-themed Waterfall Aviary, where the birds, including Crested Guineafowls, ran and flew around in an area, that included a substantial artificial waterfall. Later at the Flamingo Pool, we also stumbled upon a Green Iguana.
The Jurong Bird Park was fun and exciting, as they have many different sections and a lot of information on the birds. Originally we had planned to go from there to the Singapore Botanic Gardens, but we also wanted to visit Sentosa Island. It seemed like there’s not enough time for both, so we skipped the gardens and took the bus 251 back to Boon Lay MRT Station and took the MRT to Harbour Front MRT Station. There we came to Vivo City, a vast shopping mall and had lunch at their food court, which featured many Indian, Chinese and even Filipino meals.
We read that there’s a Monorail from Vivo City to Sentosa Island, so we started looking. The weather had changed for the worse, from burning hot to cloudburst and thunderstorm. It took a while (including an unwilling excursion to the cinema area inside Vivo City) until we found the Monorail (“Sentosa Express”) entrance among the abundance of stores and floors. Despite the weather, we decided to buy a ticket and off we went with the Monorail through the thunderstorm across the ocean to Sentosa Island.
Sentosa Island is primarily a tourist island with expensive hotels and huge and also costly attractions like the Universal Studios, a waterpark and the world’s largest aquarium. We just wanted to take a look at the island and visit the free or cheaper attractions like the beach and Fort Siloso. We first stopped at the Imbiah Lookout Station, where several attractions are located, like a Butterfly Park and Madame Tussauds Singapore. However – the rain was still heavily pouring, and we stopped walking around when the thunderstorm and the rain seemed to get worse. So we basically just got a glimpse of the big Merlion statue, which appeared to be as big as the one we saw the day before at Marina Bay.
I was not ready for defeat against the weather and needed to go to my personal must-see, the Palawan Beach. Coming from the original Palawan, Philippines, I, of course, had to take a look at Singapore’s Palawan. So we decided to ride the Monorail to the Beach Station and from there, a free shuttle. Due to the weather, however, we just could make a quick photo stop, and then we gave up and returned to the hotel, as the rain wouldn’t let up. We were getting totally drenched even in the shuttle. The beach was okay, but of course, nothing beats the real deal, like the beach in my hometown of Araceli, where I spent some time last year.
Back at the hotel, we rested, and I had planned to meet a friend, which unfortunately didn’t work out. So my companion and I just walked for dinner to Chinatown where we had another delicious meal in the “food street” Pagoda Street, including dessert, consisting of fried banana. We later also stopped by the Maxwell Food Center again to get more of their delicious mixed fruit drinks. Then we already had to pack, as we had to leave the next early morning to the airport, for our next destination, Taiwan.
All said Singapore was an excellent stop for few days with interesting cultural attractions, especially the different city quarters, great food, tropical climate and many tourist attractions like the Gardens by the Bay. We haven’t seen half of it – next time I hope we can see the Botanical Garden, the Night Safari, the River Safari and the MacRitchie Reservoir Park. And I really wish I get the chance to come back.