Published: November 20th 2008November 12th 2008
9th October 2008 - ARRIVAL, LITTLE INDIA & ORCHARD ROAD
We arrived early on 9th October. The train journey had been ok although I had been forced to listen to music all night as the lady below me caused an earthquake every time she snored! I kid you not...the whole train shook and I thought there was some kind of bulldozer outside until I realised it was her. Luckily, after putting my music on full blast I was able to get through it!!
When we arrived at the hostel (98SG) it was about 9.30am. Whilst she was getting the rooms ready we wondered out for breakfast. This sounds like a simple task as all we wanted was a bit of toast maybe with an egg on or some kind of cereal! Impossible!! We walked around for 2 hours and every time I asked anyone for toast or something English I just got laughed at or looked at like I was absurd!! The only kind of breakfasts served were noodles, rice dishes or frog porridge all of which none of us could stomach so early in the morning! Eventually we found a place where the guy offered to do us some
toast and a fried egg.....sounded good until we saw it!!! The toast was covered in some kind of bright orange sweet syrup like nothing I have ever tasted and the egg was definitely fried but must have been fried around 2 days ago as it was stone cold and all congealed!!! I managed to force the toast in for what had to be my worst breakfast so far but I wasn't touching the egg...not for all the tea in China!!
After 'breakfast' we went to the hostel and settled into our first shared dorm (6 bed mixed). Basically 3 bunk beds in a room, one of which was mine and Nats. We luckily had some nice people to share with who all spoke English but the main problem was changing and the bathroom area as that was shared between the whole floor and was 'cosy' to say the least. The hostel grew on me though as there were also communal areas so it was nice to sit and chat to other travellers and get to know people better.
We eventually set out at around 2.30ish. We caught the tube (such a cheap way to get around) to Little
India and did the tour walk following the map. Once again, it was full of Indian restaurants and Indian shops and Indians. Good for a look though and all the streets were decorated as it's their festival of light at the moment I think. From there we headed to Orchard Road as this was supposed to be the main area of Singapore City. Along the way we were accompanied by an Old Guy from India who stared talking about how the world was going to end and how we would all be equal again. This lasted for 20 minutes and I had to avoid eye contact with Nat as we would have both collapsed with laughter!!
Eventually we lost the guy and got to Orchard Road. The road was packed with shopping centers and eateries. The city was nice too...very clean, spacious despite a few sky scrapers and not as polluted as some of the other cities we have visited. I had a good feeling about Singapore. After stopping for a drink and having a good wonder around we headed back towards the station and found an Aussie Bar along the way for food - Mad Jacks!! The main
meal was nice and we also treat ourselves to an amazing dessert each before heading back to the Hostel around 10pm!! Once in the hostel we sat in the communal area chatting for a while before heading off to bed.
10th November 2008 - RAINY DAY & THE CITY AT NIGHT!!!
Our plan for today was to go to the zoo. The plan wasn't meant to be as the rain was torrential and not even our trusty rain macs would have kept us dry!! We hung around the hostel all morning with some Swedish Girls before deciding that the rain wasn't going to ease and deciding to all go into town to watch the new James Bond. We stocked up on goodies at the 7/11 first and then headed on the tube to the flicks. The film was awesome and for a second I thought I was back at home sat in the cinema. I highly recommend the film and think the 'stationary' line was quality!!!
From that we all headed back to the hostel, chilled out there chatting and watching films for a while before heading out to get a rice dish take out from the local
eatery nearby. Very cheap and surprisingly nice. After food we got changed and headed out with the Swedish girls again to see the city at night and have a famous Singapore Sling Cocktail. Luckily the rain had stopped and it was so nice to walk around the Quay and see all the bridges and bars lit up on the waterfront. Looked so different and pretty on a night time. We also went on a quest to find the Merlion which was supposed to be massive and amazing. It was ok, not as big as expected but cool to see. The best part was the crazy Japanese lady taking photos of us and asking us to jump up on three for the camera.
I had a really good night that night with the Swedish girls. Really nice to meet some other travellers and mix a little. The drinks were good too although they went down a little too easily!! The worst part of the night was the taxi ride!!! I ended up in the bloody front and ended up edging further and further towards the door as the driver spoke and gestured with his hands. Asking if I were married,
telling us about the prostitutes and asking if we wanted to earn money here or if we were good girls and going home to bed. I don't think he meant earn money as a waitress either!!! Safe to say we didn't get dropped off right outside our hostel!!
11th November 2008 - ZOO & NIGHT SAFARI
After a fairly lazy morning around the hostel we decided to head to Singapore Zoo at around 12pm. We were cheap skates and bought sandwiches and drinks before we got there to save money....felt like on a proper school trip with a packed lunch.
The zoo was awesome and all the animals had their own section but were not caged or fenced in. It was like walking through a normal jungle or forest without bars and cages and big fences!! Very Natural!
We started out having our photo took with Captain Jack Sparrow's parrot.....shame Captain Jack was missing!!! Our next stop was the otters all gathered together in a group making a whining noise (a little like the lunchroom at work!!!). From there we saw the Proboscis Monkeys which were weird to say the least! They had very long noses and
looked sort of half human, half monkey!! We then stumbled upon the Gibbons (different type of monkey), Maned Wolves & Guanacos being fed! This was cool to watch especially the wolves which looked more like foxes. They were shy and wouldn't go for the food until all the people had stopped watching!!
Our next stop was the Orang-Utans.....my favourite by far!!! They were so clever and kept hiding their faces when I tried to take a photo - cheeky!!! Then when it started to rain they grabbed some branches from the trees and sheltered under them. I would have loved to have got to the zoo earlier and had breakfast with them as they were brilliant. Much cleverer than a lot of humans I know and probably more common sense than me!!!
We then went to the Splash Amphitheatre for a show! The show was cool.....and all the animals performed to music! The penguins got fed and dived in and around for food. One mischievous one climbed out and went straight to the trainer....he was a fatty too and no wonder as he wasn't willing to work for his food!! We then saw the Mantee get fed (huge
creatures that move really slowly) and then on to the star act...the Sea Lion!! The sea lion performed loads of tricks and was on tip top form!! I liked him and at the end of the show I queued up for a kiss which he planted on my cheek!! Very wet and very fishy!!! I was gutted that they wouldn't take a photo with my camera for me so I stored it in the memory bank instead!!
We then headed to another show called 'Elephants of Asia'. We watched as elephants showed their strength and trickery although this didn't flow quite as well as the splash show but then I am not sure Elephants are supposed to perform. Still interesting though.
We then made our way to Ethiopia to look at the Baboons (reminded me of a few people at home....I won't say who...haha!!!) and to Australia to look at the Kangaroos, Warthogs and Pygmy Hippos. The Kangaroos were ace and we were able to feed them from our hands! I felt so guilty that I had once eaten some kangaroo but I tried to hide my guilt just in case they realised I had eaten one of
Sea Lion Show!!!
I got a kiss of this guy...ace!!!
their relatives and turned on me!! It was a case of 'Don't bite the hand that eats you' rather than 'Don't bite the hand that feeds you'!!! I also tried singing 'Acunamatada' to the Warthog but he didn't join in!! I guess he wasn't the same one from the Lion King unless he was just being shy!!!
We then walked the path passed the white tigers chilling out on a rock, the Barbirusa and the Tapir before going to watch the might polar bears be fed!! The polar bears were brilliant and so so big!! It was awesome to see them diving down in the water for food with their huge bums and paws in the air. We also saw one swim and catch a fish at lightening speed! I wouldn't like to be too close to one of those when its hungry!!
We then followed the trail and passed through Wild Africa where we saw Cheetahs, Zebras, Giraffes, Ostrich and the King of the Jungle himself...the African Lion!! I tried roaring to get him to roar back but no such luck. I guessed he must have either been friendly and not into conflict or scared because my
roar was so powerful!!! Who knows!
The last part of the Zoo took us past the Chimpanzees, snakes, Giant Turtles, Crocodiles and a Sun Bear. The bear was less sunny and more growly though despite being the smallest bear in the world!! It was just coming up to closing time as we finished and we had just one hour to kill before the Night Safari opened further up the road.
The night Safari kicked off with a Tribal Dance which was brilliant!! The men were all dressed up and were chanting, dancing, doing acrobatics and breathing fire to rhythmical music representing 4 tribes of the rain forest! They even got a guy on stage to join in at one stage and the poor guy ended up setting his own chest hair on fire...pretty funny!!
After the tribal dance we moved on to the Creatures of the night show where we saw Hyenas, bears, raccoons, bats and snakes. For part of the show all the lights came on and the guides and show people looked concerned as they said an animal had gone missing. Turns out they had planted a huge snake under a guys chair. He moved
at the speed of light when he saw it and though I laughed at him I was damn glad it wasn't my chair!!
From there we took a tram ride in the shadowy half light across the landscape which changed from the Himalayan foothills to the Jungles of Southeast Asia and Africa. We saw Rhinos, elephants, tigers, lions, deer and birds amongst other nocturnal animals. It was a totally different experience seeing the animals at night and well worth it. The tram ride was pretty spooky too in the dark and felt a little like we were in Jurassic Park. It was a real shame that flash photography was banned to protect the animals eyes. The only downside to the tram ride was the lady doing the commentary as she tried far too hard and needed shooting in the back of the head!! She lowered her voice and slowed down and emphasized some words to create an atmosphere that was a little spooky and dangerous but she did it at really inappropriate times and too much which not only killed the atmosphere but stamped all over it as well!!! Otherwise an amazing one off experience!!
Following the tram
ride we walked a couple of short trails in the dark to have a closer look at the animals by which time we were all animaled out and headed on the bus back to the hostel!! Such an awesome but tiring day!!
12th November 2008 - LAST DAY IN SINGAPORE
Our final day in Singapore was spent packing, looking around Chinatown and chilling at the hostel. I could have been cleaning up horse manure and I wouldn't have been bothered though as I was more excited than a kid in a sweetshop about flying to Australia that night!! I felt like the warm up leg had finished and we were now moving to the main part of our trip!!!
When I saw Singapore Airport I thought 'Strewth' (getting into the Aussie Lingo already). It was huge!!! Our flight was later than planned too so we killed time watching Rambo at the free cinema, playing on the x-box consoles for free and using the free internet!!! I could holiday in this airport!!! Seriously!!!
We boarded the flight at around 11.30pm!!! It's off to Australia now.......I was stoked as Alf stewart would say!!!!
There are more photos below