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Published: August 28th 2009
Sorry it's been a little long since my last entry. I have been running around like crazy for the last couple of weeks doing all kinds of fun stuff. Some of that stuff was going to East Coast Park (a beach in Singapore), taking a trip to the Singapore Zoo, and last weekend I went to Batam, Indonesia to go cable skiing.
EAST COAST PARK:
The park is located on the East side of the island. It is approximately 4 km long (2.5 mi.) and it is decoarated with lovely palm trees, quiet ponds, and biking/rollerblading paths. It takes about 1 hr to get there using the public transportation, the MRT (the train) and then a quick bus. When we got there we walked to the water and the first thing that you notice is the overwhelming presence of HUGE tankers in the water. It was a tremendous testimony to why Singapore's economy is doing so well; Singapore has the 2nd largest port in the world, second only to Shanghai, China. The boats were clustered across the entire shore line and were very impressive. After working with a logisitics company for half the summer, I couldn't help thinking about
unbelievable headache it must be to try and keep track of what ship goes where, when, and for how long. Eitherway, as cool as it is to see all the boats, there is a serious negative effect due to their presence, the water is unfortunately not the cleanest. Granted, there is no oil floating on top of the water or anything like that, however it's not crystal blue like you would expect any beach on the equator to look like. We knew it was going to be like this going into the trip however, so it did not ruin our expectations or anything. Singapore is not known for it's beaches.
Either way, we had a good time. Walked by a cable ski park, which was probably one of the coolest things I have ever seen. The cable skiing is an attempt to simulate being pulled in the water by a boat. The only thing they don't have is wake. In order to compensate, they provide jumps and ramps which, if you have good balance and have had some practice, allow you to do some pretty awesome stuff. I got a great video of one guy doin this crazy
This one was for hyundai.
spin, and he didn't even use a jump (hopefully the internet will let me upload it). When we got to the beach, nobody was in the mood to swim, so we climbed up some rock concrete structures that are gates to rainwater. Then we played some volleyball without a net, and just kinda hung out. I was the only person that totally submerged myself in the water. It was the warmest swimming water I have ever felt in my entire life. If it was a nicer day and other people swam with me, I would have stayed in it all day. After experiencing the water here, I cannot wait to go to the beaches in Malaysia and Thailand.
Other things I saw at the beach include weird trees, some turtles chillin in a pond, and tons of stray cats. This was my first time ever seeing them. Since then I have even seen some around on campus. They seem pretty chill, they just lie around and do their thing, they are neither scared or overly fond of people. I just think it is interesting because there are a ton of them. The park I suppose is an ideal
The trees were all spread out, but they cast a perfect blanket of shadow.
place for them to hang out though, get some food and chill in the shade...that's what we did, and we loved it.
I was unaware that the zoo is internationally known, but after visiting I can totally understand why. When we first walked in, we saw a few small monkeys climbing around (not caged) in a small cluster of trees. The cluster was in the middle of the walkways and I was able to get with inches (that's right inches) of being able to just pick one of them up. However I figured this was discouraged so I just looked and took mad pictures like everyone else. The next thing we saw were some crocodiles getting fed, which was sooo cool. We were walking above them on a catwalk, probably 20 ft. of the surface of the river they were in. They were being fed whole chickens, like the ones you put on a rotisserie. We were amazed by two seemingly big ones just goin at it swallowing these chickens. Then a monster, at least 5-7 feet longer than the other two swam up and took his part in the meal. That set us up for
They had hilarious cartoons for water safety.
the remainder of the visit.
We saw a few more animals get fed which was exciting. The highlight of the visit however were definatley seeing the orangutans (and the rest of the monkeys for that matter) climbing around their free range habitat; free range meaning they were directly above us and if they so desired they could have come down and shook our hands. We were able to get within 3 inches of some of the smaller monkeys. We saw one run into a trash can and grab a half finished coke and run away in his tree with it, we then sat around viewed the chase that ensued. Another notable part was seeing people feed a giraffe and get their pictures taken with it. Of course my camera's battery crapped out on me half way through the zoo, so of course I have no pictures of that at all. Despite this somewhat tragic circumstance, it was another succesful outing.
The most recent trip, involved taking a ferry over to Batam, Indonesia to go cable skiing. By cable skiing I mean that you hold onto a cable and it pulls you around on either
water skis, a kneeboard, or a wakeboard. It was fantastic. It was also one of the hardest things to do; I am a fairly coordinated person but it took me FOREVER to figure out how to stand up on the d@mn wakeboard. Once I got up though, it was very easy to stay up and let the cable drag you around. Something that would seemingly be a pain is to have to walk back if you fall off fromthe other side of the small pong. Fortunately the staff had taken that into account, and they had a pickup service where these guys with small 125 cc bikes would drive around and pick you up, it was great. I went with a few students from NTU, but we also met up a lot of other exchange students from National University of Singapore (NUS) which was good because I got to meet a lot of new exchange kids. We took a 40 min. ferry from Singapore to the island and then proceded to just have a ball. There was an artificial pond that we skied on, next to which was a comfortable lounge type area where you could relax, stay out of
the sun, and enjoy either food or beverage. Speaking of which, once you go through immigration in Singapore, just before you get onto the ferry, there is a Duty Free shop (duty free means tax free). So being the cool and fun loving college kids that we all are, we bought some seriously discounted liquor for our trip, which included but was not limited to some Chivas Regal whiskey and also some Mango Absolut vodka. Needless to say, we enjoyed ourselves 😊.
It was a great time. The island itself was also quite beautiful. There were mountains in the distance, probably 1-3 km, and the treeline was just....exotic. The trees there, the patterns they make together, the style with which they come together is really like nothing I have ever seen before. It was the epitome of jungle and I just wanted to get out there and see it so bad. Unfortunately there was no time for that, however it rekindled my plans to go to Borneo which I have heard is a place on earth totally unmarked by man. This trip was without a doubt the most rewarding trip so far. Seeing places outside of Singapore, and not even
that far out, has gotten me so excited for all my travels and adventures in the future.
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