Saturday, July 1, 2017

First Days in Singapore

After a 15.5 hour flight on Singapore Air, non-stop from San Francisco to Singapore we arrived at our hotel, The Park Hotel Alexandra, and almost immediately went to bed.  We have a family suite…my sister and I have a room with two beds that connect to our parent's room.
Our first day we woke up and went down to breakfast. I got pancakes and bacon.  Yeah!  They have American breakfasts here…and all you can eat!  After breakfast we packed for the big day ahead of us.  In Singapore it is hot and it is the rainy season, so we packed water, rain coats, bug spray, and more..
The first place we went to was the Singapore Botanical Gardens.  It is a UNESCO World Heritage site.  The first thing we did was go to the orchid garden for my Mom. There were all kinds of orchids…different colors, sizes, shapes. There was also statues of all kinds of animals from birds to giraffes. The orchids were really beautiful. After that we went to the learning gardens and then to the Treetops, where we walked on a high platform through the woods. There was also a pond that we saw with turtles, fish and swans.
After we left the gardens we went back to the hotel. At the hotel, we hung out at the pool and slept. Our pool was very cool…on the 7th floor of the hotel it had an infinity edge.  After a nap we woke up we went across the street to a food court here called hawkers centers or food stalls.  This is where you get cheap street food. Ally and I got juices and my Mom and Dad got Laksa. Ally and I made a joke about laksa. It was, (a guy walks up to a laksa stand.) The man says” do have any laksa.” The chief says” lak-sa what.” Lot-sa laksa!” that joke lasted 45 mins.  
That evening we went to the Marina Bay Sands area because we had a dinner reservation at the DC Comics uper Hero CafĂ©.  I had a milkshake with a bat signal dusted in chocolate on top and the Batman burger which came with a black bun with a cheese bat signal in the top.
From there we walked over to the Singapore Flyer.  This is a ferris wheel is 165m (everything over here is in the metric system) high making it Asia’s largest giant observation wheel and takes 30 minutes to go one rotation.  It was pretty as we were on it for sunset and we were actually inside large capsules which held several people.  It also looked out on the skyline of the city which has amazing architecture, including the Marina Bay Sands hotel, which looks like a ship perched atop three towers.
Day 2 we had a special treat.  Our neighbor back home works with zoos and amusement parks all over Asia.  She has a good friend at the Singapore Zoo named Poh Shan.  She has worked at the park since 1998.  We met her early in the morning for breakfast.  But this breakfast is no ordinary breakfast…we were seated front row for breakfast with 3 orang utans.  A mother, her 8 week old baby and an older son of hers.  Poh Shan was amazing...she sat and had breakfast with us, taught us a lot about the zoo, the animals, her favorites, and more about her job.  She introduced us to all the trainers, who were all very nice.  After breakfast Poh Shan walked us to the polar bear exhibit.  This polar bear named Inuka was born at the zoo and is 26 years old...that's old for a polar bear and they suspect he won't live much longer (life expectancy is 25).  He has arthritis and is really slowing down.  Our friend gave us some advice and we were were off.  My favorite part at the Zoo was Reptopia because there were lots of cool turtles.  Then we went to the River Safari, next door, and my favorite thing there was seeing the Pandas.  
We decided to head back to our hotel for a break, swim, and more street food for my parents.  That evening we went back to the Night Safari, another area.  Poh Shan could not be there (she had tickets to a Britney Spears concert), but she had lots of friends that gave us warm welcome including priority boarding on the tram (which means no waiting in a really LONG line and we got to pick from the front row or the back row).  The staff told us to pick the back, which was good as we had more time to spot the animals our guide was trying to point out in the dark.  On the tram I really liked seeing the spotted hyenas because I did a report on them in 3rd grade and they were all awake at night.  Then we went to a show…again our host took care of us and we were greeted by the staff and rushed passed the long line and seated in the front row.  We met all the trainers and after the show got to take pictures with the animals and stay after and talk to all the trainers and ask them questions.  My favorite part of the show was when an otter came and sorted the recyclables.  Oh and Dad got picked from the audience to carry in a HUGE Burmese python.
  We loved this park and their staff as they really, really care about the animals and the environment.  It was a really late night, but worth it.  And we are so grateful to Poh Shan for her kindness.




10 comments:

Ursula Ringham said...

Great blog, Alec. Looking forward to seeing where you go next. Keep up the writing!

Grandpa Steve said...

Very good job, Alec! I am glad that you all are having a great time.

Lisa Lieberman said...

I am loving reading your posts and seeing your pictures! It sounds like your trip is off to a fantastic start!

Bonnie McKim said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bonnie McKim said...

So interesting, Alec. I would love the pandas.i liked seeing the Python.."On Facebook!"

Pam Tenorio said...

What an amazing trip you're having so far! I loved the python - it was huge!!! Scary!

Steph Kent said...

Love hearing all about your travels! Great job, Alec :)

Paul Jolly said...

Alec...great job on your posts. It looks like all are having a great time.

A. Jolly said...

Thank you guys for reading my blog. I hope you guys are having an awesome summer. i will be posting another blog tonight.

Christel said...

Nice writing, great pictures. Enjoy your trip.