Gardens & Feathered Friends

Singapore Travel Blog

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Pagoda in the Chinese Gardens.

Had an outdoors day today!  Started off with a visit to the Chinese Gardens, which are at the Boon Lay end of the EW MRT system.  Because of the mid-Autum lantern festival, the gardens were technically closed but if you bought a ticket to the Turtle Museum (S$5) which is in the centre of the gardens, you could actually wander around to your heart's content! In the end, it was great, because there were hardly any people around and the displays were pretty well complete with massive silk lantern exhibits on a sea-life theme.  The lake in the middle had a display of massive silk statues of the 8 deities of Taoism (I think that's what they're called).  There are also several pagodas which you can climb up to get a great view over the gardens.

Example of the lanterns being prepared in the Chinese Garden for the Mid-Autumn Festival.
  The next-door Japanese Gardens were also closed and a closed gate meant you couldn't actually get in, so missed those.

The Turtle/Tortoise Museum was interesting - the pond in the middle is swarming with the little fellas and when you throw in some food, they appear on mass.  We got a bit worried at one point they might all jump out and eat us instead, but they turned out to be very friendly.  There are some interesting turtles that the owners have rescued, such as the two that they found on a restaurant dining table in Kuala Lumpur, about to become lunch.  The owners were not impressed, and paid the chef S$40 so that they could take the turtles away.  They are now living very happily in the museum.

We then got back on the MRT to the very end (Boon Lay), took a short bus trip, and ended up at the Jurong Bird Park.

Melissa with the good luck turtle at the Turtle Museum, Chinese Garden.
  We spent almost 4 hours here, and it was really enjoyable.  We paid a little bit extra so that we could go on the Panorail, a monorail that goes in a circle around the park, so got a tree-top view of the whole thing before we started walking.  The park is really well set out and you are given a walking map which shows all the different enclosures and lakes.  There is a man-made waterfall in one area, within a huge canopied area which houses various starlings, bee-eaters and the like.  Also big ponds with flamingos and other water birds, South-East Asian enclosures, toucans, talking birds, birds of prey - pretty well every type of bird you can imagine (along with some rather large lizards we found in the rainforest section!).
A curious onlooker at the Jurong Bird Park.
  We saw the penguin feeding and also the Birds of Prey presenation, both of which were pretty good.  Entry to the Park, including Panorail, is S$22 pp but considering we spent all afternoon there, it was good value.

We diversified with dinner tonight and had it at the Ponggol Nasi Lemak Coffee Shop across from our hostel.  The beer was cheap but the food a bit pricier than the market across near the MRT.  However, Noel had claypot frog, so it was a bit more exotic - you pay for diversity!  It was a bit unnerving, though, seeing the live frogs sitting in a fish tank next to the woks!  Also got some great fried hokkien noodles with seafood and chilli sauce for S$3 - can't argue with that.

Another great day today, Singapore is proving to be most enjoyable, certainly more than just a one or two day shopping stopover destination - if you've got the time.

glennisnz says:
I also enjoyed Jurong Bird park, so much to see, if you like birds.
I couldn't eat claypot frog, specially if the frogs mates were watching the cooking!!!! Yukkie. Did you enjoy it?
Posted on: Feb 15, 2008
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Pagoda in the Chinese Gardens.
Pagoda in the Chinese Gardens.
Example of the lanterns being prep…
Example of the lanterns being pre…
Melissa with the good luck turtle …
Melissa with the good luck turtle…
A curious onlooker at the Jurong B…
A curious onlooker at the Jurong …
Noel and friend at the Jurong Bird…
Noel and friend at the Jurong Bir…
Pink flamingos at Jurong Bird Park.
Pink flamingos at Jurong Bird Park.