night safari at singapore
It was to be our very first travel outside the Philippines, and to say we were so excited was an understatement. There were eight of us travelling to Singapore and Malaysia. All of us would be first time travellers to both countries and the excitement of discovering the best of what the two countries could offer far outweigh our collective apprehension of the unknown. We would be flying to Singapore, and then take a coach to Kuala Lumpur, then from there, back to Manila.
There were people who asked us, is it possible to do that? We didn’t know, but we try. Intrepid travellers, yes we are! Naïve? That too! But sometimes, you just need the right amount of naivety and fearlessness to pull everything off.
We arrived night time in Singapore. We were dazzled by the colourful lights of the city state; we passed by Orchard Road then the Marina as we were heading to Geylang area as our hotel was located there. After freshening up, we went out and began searching for a place to eat. We settled with a nearby restaurant that promised the best chilli crab experience ever.
They brought peanuts and hot towel first. We were so hungry that the peanuts were gone after just a few minutes, and we were saying that we liked the restaurant because they were providing free peanuts and hot towels, that indeed it’s a fine place. We ordered for the chilli crab and it lived up to its claim, we don’t actually know if it’s the best chilli crab ever since it was the first time we were tasting it but we loved the taste. When it was time to pay, we saw in our bill, that peanuts were like 3 Singapore dollars and the hot towel was for 2 Singapore dollars each. We started laughing because it was then that it dawned on us that we were not getting any freebies at all.
The next day, we set out to explore Singapore via the City Buzz. It was a bus that tours almost the whole of Singapore. You could get a one day pass, and use it to explore the three routes of the bus and you would be able to see the major attraction in this city state. We saw the Raffles Hotel with the turbaned door man, and we just had to have our picture taken with him. He asked us from where are we, and when he learned we were from Philippines, he said that he had a picture taken with one of our former president. We visited various temples and churches, like the Sri Mariamman Temple, which is the largest Hindu Temple in Singapore. We ate the wafer ice cream and visited the iconic Merlion. We went to the Esplanade, Theatres on the Bay as well and marvelled at the architectural delight of it. It reminded us of a local fruit, the durian, with its spiky, dark, shiny dome. We visited the shops at Orchard Road again, like Wistma Astria, Lucky Plaza and Ngee Ann City. We also went to Clark Quay, then we had lunch at Hooters and after that we strolled along and scream to our heart’s delight in front of the G-Max bungee. We had dinner at one of the Hawker’s centre.
Next day, we went to Sentosa. There are several ways of reaching Sentosa, but for us, we chose to go there via the cable car. We also choose the cable car with glass panel all around to better see the view. We were there for a whole day. We explored the different places of interest inside Sentosa like the museum, the sky ride, the Merlion show, and many others.
On our 3rd day, we went to the zoo and the night safari. We immensely enjoyed the night safari because we were able to see The Big Five up close within the relative comfort and safety of the moving tram. We also enjoyed the animal night show. We also went back to the same restaurant, the one that offers the best chilli crab, but this time, we came prepared. We told the server we are not ordering peanuts, thank you very much. We were thinking that’s more or less 4 Singapore dollars off the total bill.
Final Destination…Kuala Lumpur
We are going to Kuala Lumpur via a chartered luxury coach. We set out early to avoid any hassle as we observed that in Singapore, time is of the essence.
It takes about 25 to 30 minutes from our hotel to the city. When we were at the designated place for the coach, one of my friends discovered her luggage was not there. We called the hotel to find out if the luggage was still there, and yes, the porter was not able to bring it down to the cab. Two of my friend had to go back, I waited for them at the terminal but the coach had to leave us behind because the driver said he could not wait for us. Our five other friends had to go on ahead of us so that not everyone would miss the coach trip experience. We were worried how we are going to arrived in Kuala Lumpur as we do not know the place. But sheer bravura and presence of mind helped us on that day. We were not afraid to ask for direction. It took us about three bus changes before we could arrive in Johor Bahru, and from then, we could take a bus going to Kuala Lumpur. You can imagine our exhilaration when we did make it to Kuala Lumpur. That same night, we explored the night market..i think the name of that place is Petaling Stree and the Petronas Towers. We just stood outside the Petronas Towers and enjoyed the dazzling array of light.We were enthralled by the spectacular array of light that surrounded the towers. The very next day, very early, we set out to visit the inside of the Petronas Towers and the KL Tower. We set out to do the most “touristy” thing to do…and what else??? Take pictires, hahahah! I think we’ve documented every inch permissible to have a picture taken. In the afternoon, we went to our city tour. Mr. David was our tour guide and he was a very experienced guide. We learned so many things from him. We went to Batu Cave. I think it is a Hindu temple, and you have to climb 200 plus steps. It was actually tiring to go that far especially for lazy gals like myself, hahahahaah! When I reached the top, I was just excited albeit tired! And when it was time to go down, I had this strange sensation of just jumping down, don’t worry, I didn’t…or couldn’t ..or wouldn’t…I guest it was the exhilaration on top that was just pushing all those strange feelings. Next stop for us was the pewter factory. We saw a lot of magnificient products that we could take back home as souvenirs for our family and friends. We also went to PutraJaya and saw their magnificent structure there like the National Mosque, the Parliament, and the National Treasury. These are just a few of the beautiful buildings we saw inside. We also visited their old railway station and a chocolate factory.
The next day is our trip back to Manila. We were sorry to see the end of our fun filled journey, but we know we would always have the good memories of these two places to bind us forever. It is the discovery of the places with my friends that made it extra special. Somehow I know that I wouldn’t have enjoyed this trip if not for the insights, the laughter, the tears, the terror, the uncertainty, the challenge and the very presence of every one there.