Swanky Singapore

Once in Singapore it was time for me to venture into another unknown. I was to be a ‘couch surfer’ for the very first time. I found my host on the couch surfing website and was, understandably, nervous about couch surfing as a solo female traveller. My host had numerous positive references on his profile so I felt like I was in safe hands. He lived nearer to Malaysia than Singapore but that suited me down to the ground as I only had one day in Singapore anyway. I found his place (far later than I had expected to) and met my host, Yesky. I shouldn’t have been worried. Yesky was genuine and a perfect host. He pointed me in the direction of what I wanted to do and looked after me wonderfully. I think couch surfing is an excellent thing to do but, like everything else in life, there is bound to be good and bad. Yesky was all good.

The first thing I wanted to do in Singapore was go to the zoo. I’ve only ever been to one zoo before (London zoo) and I’d been in told by a friend not to miss Singapore zoo so I didn’t. Entry was S$22 and worth every penny.

Singapore zoo is a rainforest zoo meaning that you’re walking past thick vegetation as you travel between animal enclosures rather than walking by concrete or bricks. It’s an excellent concept and Singapore zoo really pulls it off.

There’s a huge variety of animals at the zoo to see not only in their enclosures but also in performance shows. I saw the sea lion ‘Splash’ show, the elephant show and the rainforest show. For kids, and people who have never grown up, there’s a petting zoo you can go to. These shows and petting activities are all included in your entrance fee but there are paid extras on offer. You can ride an elephant, feed a giant tortoise, have your photo with a sea lion/snake (and then buy the print) or take a boat/bus ride for extra dollars. I didn’t pay anything over my entrance fee and walked around the park rather than using the bus/boats. It’s entirely possible to do this if you don’t have children (I think it’s too far for kids to walk all day) as I did the whole zoo in 5 hours.

Anyway, enough waffle. Here’s my favourite animals.

This is a gibbon who hung around like this for ages whilst visitors gleefully snapped many pictures.

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Next, we see a hamadryas baboon Mum taking advantage of the primary function of the tail on her youngster.

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The rest of the hamadryas baboons just enjoy the view of hairless weirdos staring at them.

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You should recognise the next fella, it’s a cute otter who swam and jumped around at the speed of light. I’m amazed I got a picture.

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These meerkats were on the look out for people buying overpriced insurance.

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Here’s some people indulging in an extra I was too cheap to pay for, feeding a giant tortoise.

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I think Gonzo (of Muppets fame) must have been modelled on these proboscis monkeys.

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I cannot remember the name of this snake but I think you’ll agree the colour is stunning (if you know what it is, please let me know).

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I think this is a python. It was HUGE. If it’s not a python and you know what snake it is, please let me know.

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I believe this fella is an estuarine crocodile but I’m happy to be corrected on that if I’m wrong.

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The size of these white rhinoceroses isn’t really represented because there’s nothing close by for scale but, trust me, they were big and you would not want to be anywhere near them if they took a dislike to you.

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This pygmy hippo Mum and baby were just snuggling up at home.

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As were the cheetahs.

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The white tiger was taking everything at a distinctly more relaxed pace.

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And the polar bear was Kung Fu fighting.

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I LOVED the zoo. I’d go back again. I cannot express just how many animals are there and how many lovely places you can find to sit and relax if you want to. I had a fantastic time. Tips if you go through: Take your own food and drink because it’s expensive as hell inside the zoo. Do not buy the professional photos of you with animals taken after shows (the basic price was $35!), get someone to stand at the front of the stage and take one with your camera instead. Rest often and drink plenty of water, it’s boiling hot there. Go along for the free feeding times, you get to see the animals really close up.

Once I was done with the zoo, I headed into the city proper for a good walk around. There’s tonnes of impressive, modern buildings to look at but none so much as the Marina Bay Sands building. Simply stunning on it’s three ‘legs’.

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There’s also some older buildings in Singapore. One of them is St. Andrews cathedral. There was building work going on all around it when I visited so I didn’t get very close to explore properly. It’s a stark contrast to the rest of the city’s skyline. It is possible to go inside and have a free tour but the hours each day are very limited. I suggest you check the St. Andrews website before you visit.

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The last building I couldn’t stop looking at was the Fullerton Hotel. Set right on the water, and next to a very awesome bridge, the hotel is a massive building that used to be the post office. I would think a room there is more than a pretty penny or two.

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Unfortunately I did not have time to visit any other sights in Singapore but I am assured there’s tonnes to do. I certainly got the impression there was as I passed a few museums and parks on my wanderings.

I definitely enjoyed Singapore. It’s a super clean, super modern city with super high prices for food and drink but I’d go back any day not the week without hesitation.

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