Did that monkey just do a backflip?

Singapore Travel Blog

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Yeah, we were pretty close to the tigers.

Taking the night train back from KL ended up being a fabulous idea as we got back at 8 a.m. on Sunday and had the whole day to walk around and explore Singapore without being too tired (as rested as we could be from sleeping in train bunks...).  There aren't many days when we aren't in class or traveling so it was a good idea to plan this extra day in.

5 of us wanted to go to the Zoo and Night Safari.  And that is what we did.  And what a zoo it was!

The Singapore Zoo was by far the best zoo I have ever been to.  This is taking into account that the only zoo's I have been to are the Jacksonville and Atlanta Zoos and I hardly remember either of them.

What makes the Singapore Zoo so special?  Well, I guess the defining characteristic is the way the animal pens are constructed.

Penguins are by far my favorite animal.
  They are basically nonexistent.  When we walked in there were monkeys on the branches right over our heads and throughout the day we saw lizards, bugs, even kangaroos just walking out in front of us on the path.

About 20 minutes after arriving (and seeing about 10 different animals...), Kevin, Patrick and I discovered the animal feeding schedule on the back of our maps and went to go watch the White Tigers be fed.  The feeding all have commentaries to go along with them and the tigers were super exciting because they are fed raw meat that is thrown at them as to make them leap in the air.  None of my photos came out too well, but it was still fun to watch.

After that, we couldn't just look at animals anymore.  We wanted to see some action.

Planet of the Apes. Or at least that is what it looked like.
  So we pretty much walked around to different enclosures based on the feeding schedule.  The next stop was the baboon enclosure.  And although expectations weren't that high, it ended up being one of the highlights of the zoo trip. 

The baboon feeding is more interactive.  You can pay a couple Sing and get a tray of bananas and other fruit to feed the monkeys by throwing it at them.  Upon first arriving at the enclosure, there were about 3 monkeys at the front.  When they realized it was feeding time, there were suddenly about 50 that had run very close up to where we were standing.  We obviously bought some food and started throwing it at the monkeys.

These monkeys were incredible.  They would leap through the air to get the fruit that was thrown at them.  Jump in front of other monkeys, step on people, anything that they could possibly do to get the fruit.  Survival of the fittest is definitely a good description.  We made a couple monkey friends that would do tricks for us in exchange for food.  One about 50 meters back kept making eye contact with Kevin, doing a backflip, and then waiting for food.  It repeated this over and over and over.  I also had a friend in the front that would just stare at me and whenver I would throw anything, this monkey would somehow catch it.  That thing was better than any hockey goalie I have ever seen.

The next feeding was the polar bear, equally as exciting.  The polar bear was fed a live fish.  Don't think goldfish.  Think 700 pound polar bear and huge fish.  The bear dove in the water to get the fish as soon as it was thrown in and promptly slammed its mangled head into the glass in front of a couple of little kids.  I think they enjoyed it.

We also saw an Elephant Show and spent quite a while in the penguin, primate and cat enclosures.  Saw birds, turtles, you name it.

The Night Safari is in the same complex as the Zoo, it is just next door.  So when the zoo closed at 6, we made our way towards the Night Safari.

What is the Night Safari?  The Night Safari is an attraction very unique to the Singapore Zoo where you travel on a tram through a very natrual habitat containing any animal you can think of -- elephants, giraffes, lions, capybaras, bats, etc.  It was interesting to see the animals at night as opposed to day.  The walking tour through the cave filled with bats was definitely not my favorite...I had a horrible dream last night that involved quite a few of my new favorite animal.

After the Safari, we went to the Creatures of the Night Show, featuring the longest python in the world which happened to be pulled out from underneath the people sitting next to us in the audience.  Pretty scary, I would say.  I am not a snake fan.

In all, pretty much perfect day.  Singapore Zoo is highly recommended.  If you ever go to Singapore, don't miss it.

Had a great day of class today.  Nothing like discussing statistical methods for improving quality in manufacturing processes.  Went to a nice dinner tonight in Little India at a place called the Banana Leaf Apollo.  Very authentic Indian food.  They served you kind of family style on banana leaves which was very unique.  I had never eaten Indian food before but I really liked what I got -- Katie recommended it, apparently it was one of the spiciest items on the menu.

Which means its time to read!  Yay!  Phuket on Thursday -- I am so excited!  We have already reserved an elephant trekking tour and are planning to snorkel and go sea-kayaking.

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Yeah, we were pretty close to the …
Yeah, we were pretty close to the…
Penguins are by far my favorite an…
Penguins are by far my favorite a…
Planet of the Apes.  Or at least t…
Planet of the Apes. Or at least …
photo by: easyjobrob