Friday, January 4, 2008

Chapter 3: The Trip (Day 1 - Night Safari Park)

Had a quick breakfast, stepped in our room and had a splendid view of some high rises and down below was the swimming pool and boys, this is a BONUS, trust me on this one too..Room was neat and had all the basic facilities. Water is not cheap and we were advised you could consume tap water, coz its potable.

Me and my new friends (father-daughter duo) decided to head out for the Night Safari to the Singapore Zoo. I’ll include a separate sheet on what the package included and where we went on our own at a later time. The choice of Night Safari was natural since we all need some sleep during the day after the transit ordeal.

We got ready and boarded a cab and headed out to the Zoo, now this cab was not over the top and these are operated by private owners but prices are governed by the govt. Now I could see the traffic and pedestrians and their civic sense in its full glory. No heckling, speeding, lane-cutting, overtaking without the obvious. Highlight was the smoking rules on the street, nothing doing in bus stops etc…but the one that caught my eye was the restaurants that had tables laid out on the side-walk, they were inside yellow squares and it seems only if you sit in this section, you can smoke. Hmm intresting.

Oh yea how can I forget the joke of the day, the taxi driver tells us traffic is bad on Fridays and I asked him how long will it take from the hotel to the zoo with that kind of traffic, he said..30 Mins  Imagine how long it would take on non-traffic days. Mind you the distance as I checked on Google maps was quite considerable but the roads, they make it look like cakewalk.

Arrived at the zoo, we were starving (no Lunch in our package), got in to a KFC (yea they got every US fast food joint) and headed to the ticket counter. Now point to be noted, it was so damn humid and the Weekend crowd of tourists and locals made it even worse. Singapore in December is HOT. Period. Wear something really light, just apply some cream on your body to not attract insects, flies, mosquitoes. Today I saw some of the most amazing kaleidoscope of people from around the world. Also, I have never been surrounded by so many of the most alluring ladies. It was a delight even before the Safari started

Now I suggest you buy what they call a Park Hopper Ticket, its $ 30 SGP for Adults. That gives you access to the Night Safari Trip and also a regular Day Trip to the Zoo, yes both are different. You get a choice of Tram ride or Walk Trail inside the Zoo, I got the Tram ride and suggest you do too. The ride was through a rainforest type of setting, all natural and the animals looked fabulous from close encounters in their wild habitat.

Then we headed to their famous “Creatures of the Night Show”. By the way, you can take pictures with some animals there for $ 5 SGP. The show was a sell-out, they had an additional show that night. There multiple shows starting from 7:30 PM. Show is for approx. 45 Minutes. The highlight besides the animals doing their thing is their host, her name was “Gini”, she was an Asian. Man was she a wisecrack or what, she took a jab (in good humor) at anyone she could find in the audience. She can keep talking about animals all day (and I keep watching her all day ;)) The show was both educational and entertaining, kids will love it. The only minus point (and thats in the animals best interest) is no photography of animals with flash on and so most of the pictures (taken in the night) will turn out darker than usual. You can however take pictures of friends and families with flash on, no hassles.

Headed to their Food Court, Indians can head straight to a place called Indian Tandoor, again everything you can relate too in the menu. You can relish on Chinese and Singapore delicacies too. Boarded a cab and retired for the night. Now let me tell you how much I blew on the first day itself, hold on to your chairs, $ 200 SGP (approx. 5800 INR), for what, heres the list…anybody still has a doubt if this place is not-expensive can give me a call and I’ll express my true feelings

Cab To-Fro to the Zoo $ 30
Safari Tickets $ 60
2 GB Memory Card $ 60
Food in KFC and Zoo $ 50

Anyways, next few trips we are planning to experience the MSRT (Mass Rapid Transit Systems). These are public transport systems here. Also, on my second day it is SOTC sponsored tour of the city. I look forward to it. Enjoy the pictures on my Albums. Have a good weekend ahead.

Pictures of Day 1:

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