Singapore is a popular stop over location for flights in and out from Australasia and South East Asia. It's also a fantastic country with a very modern and cosmopolitan city. We had therefore decided to stay for a couple of nights to try and see what the city had to offer.
Luckily the city has an extensive and easy to use MRT or Subway system, so with our tourist day passes at hand, we spent the day hopping on and off this great form of transport.
Our first stop was to Little India a bustling little district of Indian shops and temples. The temples were impressive and decorated with lots of statues representing the various Hindu gods. We had to remove our shoes on entry, something that we would become accustomed to over the following months. It was a great way to see the older side of an incredibly modern city.
We then jumped back on the MRT and then on a bus and made our way to Singapore Zoo. Neither of us are big zoo fans and prefer to see animals in their natural habitat but the zoo had been recommended to us by lots of people. Since a trip to Borneo was out of our budget the zoo offered a great way to see the 315 different species of animal on display. The zoo itself is based in a beautiful and natural forest, the animals aren't in cages as such instead invisible barriers and moats are used to give the whole place a very natural feel. It was an exciting way of seeing so many animals up close.
The various monkeys and chimps were a particular highlight. You could walk through enclosures with them singing and swinging above you. We even ran into a couple trying to ransack a bin for food. This lead to some very up close and personal photos.
In the evening we walked across to the Night Safari Zoo. We'd never heard of this before but it turns out to be quite popular in Asia. The idea is that you go at night time and it offers a unique opportunity to see nocturnal animals in their natural surroundings. We were so pleased we made the effort! Seeing a fishing cat prowl the edge of a pond in the dark was a spine tingling experience. As he leapt into the water only to return empty handed you had to feel sorry for the little guy.
Another thrilling and surreal experience was entering the bat enclosure. A large and tree filled space with literally hundreds of different bats. Being barely centimetres from a large fruit bat as it swung upside-down was incredible. As was seeing a flying squirrel throw open it's webbed arms and soar across between two trees. The fact that it was dark as we wondered the maze of paths gave everything an eerie yet peaceful atmosphere. By 10 pm and nearly 8 hours of being at the Zoo we were ready for bed.
The next day we went down to the harbour to see a totally different side to the city. As the huge skyscrapers reached up to the heavens we wondered along the harbour wall in awe of all the modern buildings. When the sticky heat became too much we headed for the Marina Bay Sands hotel and it's cooling ice cold air con. This hotel is one of the biggest and most expensive hotels / resorts in the world. We headed to the roof and the Sky Park to take in the incredible view. Tim in particular was thrilled to see part of the track that made up the course for the Singapore Grand Prix. As we sat on the roof drinking our overpriced cocktails it was hard not to admire the sheer scale of the engineering feats all around us.
Bee had had enough of city life though, she yearned for beaches and sun, luckily Bali was our next stop on this amazing trip.