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Singapore Travel Blog

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In the flying fox pen at the Night Safari.

My close friends have been on a couple of big trips together without me, as I’ve always spent my money on my own travelling agenda and never had enough left over for their plans. In other words, they have a lot of stories that I can’t join in on because I wasn’t there. That’s why I was so determined to be involved when the suggestion for a group trip to Phuket came up. Before long, we 6 guys (and another couple who joined us later) were setting off for what was to become a very memorable holiday.

First up was a stopover in Singapore. I’d spent a few days in Singapore with my girlfriend before but it was certainly a different atmosphere with the guys. Also, we stayed in Little India this time, which is quite different to the rest of the city. It’s a bit dirtier and more crowded, but it’s still a long way from anything you could call a slum. After taking a detour to who-knows-where (we told the taxi driver to take us to PRAK ST, when the hostel was actually on PERAK ST – our mistake), we arrived at Footprints Hostel which was better than most and had some very helpful staff. Over the next day or two Little India provided us with some awesome food (though it was maybe a bit spicy for some of our stomachs, and we had to pay the price later), and I really enjoyed walking down the main market streets with each stall/shop assaulting your senses with a new sight and scent (but very little hassling from the locals).

It was kind of surreal being in an overseas country I’d already visited, and our visits to Sentosa and the Night Safari brought on a real sense of déjà vu. Sentosa doesn’t hold up to a second visit terribly well, though taking the cable car across helped make it a bit different (I took the monorail on my previous visit). The scenery from the cars is spectacular, and once you’ve done it you can save money on the other “aerial view” attractions which give you almost the same view. Up there you get a real perspective of what an incredibly busy port it is, with anchored ships scattered along every visible patch of sea. It was also fun to watch one of my friends almost jump out of his chair every time the doors on the cable car closed or opened with a loud cracking noise.

The Night Safari however, was just as worth the money this time as the first visit. The place is just so well set up, and you get so close to the animals without ever feeling like they’re being exploited or not cared for. We took some different walking trails to my first visit and spent a lot of time in the flying squirrel and fruit bat enclosures, which we must have missed previously but were highlights this time. And although crazy taxi driver stories are a dime a dozen, I have to mention our maxi-taxi driver to and from the zoo. He scared the hell out of us a couple of times, but he seemed to make an art out of being able to tail gate everyone on the road and brake just quickly enough to avoid an accident. To save myself a heart attack I decided to just stop looking out the front windscreen after a while.

On our last day in Singapore, half of us made the trip to Snow City. We originally thought it was a massive indoor slope where we could snowboard, which got me a bit excited as I’ve never done that before. I’ll never forget the look the hostel receptionist gave me when I asked him how to get to the snowboarding place. The guy must have thought I was a crazy tourist who’d got lost on the way to the Swiss Alps.

Snow City!
Unfortunately Snow City was more of tilted ice rink than a proper slope, and was only suitable for sliding down on rubber tyres. Still, we had a lot of fun and there was a real novelty in walking out of the humid 30oC+ weather into -7oC (though it wasn’t good for our immune systems and at least one of us caught a cold shortly after). It was also great to get there early and have the whole place to ourselves. And as an added bonus we were given tickets to the science centre next door, which was obviously aimed at kids, but being oversized 20-something year-old children ourselves – we still got a fair bit of enjoyment out of it.

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In the flying fox pen at the Night…
In the flying fox pen at the Nigh…
Leopard sleeping.
Leopard sleeping.
Snow City!
Snow City!
Biggest ferris wheel in the world.
Biggest ferris wheel in the world.
Little India.
Little India.