Lions, Tigers and Dolphins. Oh My!
Singapore Travel Blog› entry 13 of 15 › view all entries
For those who don't know alot about Singapore, it's an island/city off the coast of Malaysia that's probably around the same size as the Perth Metro area but also happens to be an entire country. The downside of this for tourists is that it has it's own currency ... and the exchange rate doesn't work in your favour as much as it does in Malaysia. So that's why we (myself and Debbie) found ourselves touching down in Johor Baru, the town across the Malaysia/Singapore border (cheap flights!).
We touched down without hassle (ok so maybe AirAsia doesn't suck that much) and took a taxi across the border. It never ceases to fascinate me to see guards with huge guns standing around (it's not something we see too often in Australia), but almost as jaw-dropping was the enormous line of guys on motorbikes waiting to get across to the other side.
There's a definite contrast as soon as you step across the border. Basically Singapore is a lot, well ... cleaner. It's a good thing, but the people there are a bit more uptight and the whole place is very shopping/tourist oriented so I did feel like it had a little less ... soul?
Anyway, on arriving to our hostel (yes we actually roughed a bit and didn't stay at a hotel for once!) we were too eary to check in so we took a walk around. We had enough time to grab some bad Macca's (somehow it tastes even worse over here), and try our drumming/DJing at a nearby video arcade (we were embarassingly bad).
Later on we used the awesome subway train system to visit the Night Safari at the local Zoo. It's pretty much the only oppurtunity to see zoo animals at night like that, and besides the annoying tourists who kept using flash photography when they'd been asked not to (I swear the guide looked like she was about to feed them to the tigers) it was a great experience. The first part of our visit was on a tram, and then we took a walk around for ourselves. The animals seem much more active during the night, and they'll look right at you the whole time (this is especially freaky with the hyenas). During the tram ride some of the animals would come so close to you that we had to be warned not to reach out and touch them!
The next day we ventured over to Sentosa, which is like the island version of Genting but without the casino (for the moment that is - they're building one right now). Once again it's a bit cheesy, but a good place to spend a day or two. The dolphin show and "Songs of the Sea" show (involving pyrotechnics, fireworks, fountains and images/lasers projected onto sheets of water) were highlights.
I also have to mention the shopping malls here ... they're like small cities in themselves! (worth seeing, but I'm glad we didn't spend too much time in them).