Marhaba’s Singapore Travelogue, Days 3 and 4
Marhaba’s Terry Sutcliffe is back with yet another travelogue – this time from Singapore!
The trip begins at Singapore’s iconic Gardens by the Bay and explores the many ultra-modern infrastructure it has to offer. If you are planning a short city trip, Singapore surely qualifies for one.
After Day 1 and 2 of Terry’s ‘Singapore Travelogue’, here’s what he tells us about Days 3 and 4:
There are more than 60 islands in the state of Singapore and the best known among them, apart from the main island of Singapore, has to be Sentosa which is now a very popular family holiday destination. And the most exciting way of getting there is on the Cable Car, which also gives stunning views over Singapore.
Taking pride of place on the island is Resorts World Sentosa, Singapore’s first integrated resort, a collection of resorts and attractions with a plethora of fun-filled offerings for the whole family. This mega-resort, costing S$7 billion to build, is home to Southeast Asia’s first and only Universal Studios theme park and the Marine Life Park, comprising the world’s largest aquarium and Southeast Asia’s only aquatic park integrated with marine life. The Resort also boasts Singapore’s largest destination spa and six unique hotels, the most luxurious of which houses a casino.
Getting there: Qatar Airways flies daily to Singapore
The kids can plunge into splashing wet fun at the Waterpark with exhilarating watersides, journey along Adventure River, and snorkel with thousands of colourful reef fish. Then at the S.E.A. Aquarium, one of the largest in the world, you will marvel at the more than 800 species of marine wildlife including the ever-playful and lovable dolphins.
Located within the resort is Universal Studios Singapore, bringing together the best of Universal Studios theme parks in Hollywood, California, Orlando, Florida and Japan with a castle from the world of Shrek, a celebrity ogre, a live show by the infamous Universal Monsters, celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe, Betty Boop and more. Supporting the rides and attractions are 30 restaurants and food carts, as well as more than 20 retail stores and carts. The theme park boasts a collection of many world firsts: the world’s biggest single collection of DreamWorks Animation attractions; the world’s first Far Far Away Castle from the world of Shrek; the world’s first Madagascar theme park ride, the world’s first Transformers attraction and many more.
On the way to dinner, we passed by the Raffles Hotel, a still-popular throwback to colonial times where shaded verandas and high ceilings evoke the slower and calmer pace of life not too long ago. Dinner was a delicious feast of mainly Thai cuisine at the Thai Bali restaurant. Situated in a shopping mall, it proves that you don’t have to go to five-star hotel to eat really well in Singapore. After dinner, we made a bee-line for the Light and Water Spectacular at Marina Bay Sands. Every night at 8 pm and 9.30 pm, ‘Wonder Full’ is an award-winning and stunning showpiece of visual effects, with interleaving lasers, searchlights, LEDs, video projectors and giant streaming water screens. of light, music and sound. Magical!
Singapore Zoo has been set up to keep us in touch with nature and to respect and treat the animals well. Actually it is a pity to call it a zoo; no animals are caged and it is more like a safari park where the animals have plenty of space and can ‘feel at home’. At the Singapore Zoo, the Orangutans eat their breakfast at 9 am. Get there early and enjoy your breakfast there at the same time (the choice and variety is excellent – better than many hotels) and your kids will love to be photographed with the orange darlings in this the world’s first free ranging orangutan habitat.
You are now ready to explore: this is a total ecological adventure with over 2,800 animals inhabiting the lush tropical rainforest, offering over 40 animal feeding sessions, photo opportunities, shows and rides – you could be here all day! And if you think you won’t be able to manage, there are unlimited tram rides to get you around.
See the huge polar bear, the dazzling zebras, the aloof giraffes, the haughty white tiger, and the solitary leopard. Twice daily there is a ’Splash Safari’ show where you can let the zoo’s sea lion thrill and amuse you with its acrobatic dives and flips. Say ‘G’day!’ to kangaroos, emus and other Australians, check out the reptiles, or imagine you are in the Rift Valley of Ethiopia with a troop of baboons, Nubian ibexes, black-backed jackals saddle-billed storks and banded mongoose in an impressively landscaped exhibit.
And don’t miss the Elephants! It’s amazing what they can do and you see lots of the qualities of the Asian elephant in this midday show. They play with their mahouts, and with the spectators. Even though you know they are strong you will be surprised at their strength and intelligence, and you’ll be amazed at their agility: see them ‘tip-toeing’ with all four legs on a long thin log and then turn around while still keeping its balance.
Final thoughts on Singapore
Singapore gets better every time you visit. There are more attractions, more shopping options, new activities to take part in. However, the temperature remains the same most of the time, albeit with a touch of humidity, but the trains, buses and taxis are ubiquitous, frequent, cool and comfortable. Some other things haven’t changed, however, and that is the good nature of the people in this clean and efficient garden city, Whether you like to play, to shop, to relax or to discover, chances are you’ll enjoy Singapore.