Day 1 - 3
30.11.2014 - 02.12.2014 30 °C
"Mummy, I'm quitting the ipad on this trip" Oscar exclaims on seeing the huge range of entertainment options on his own personal screen (no having to share with his sister!) as soon as we board our Emirates flight to Singapore.
The flight to Singapore couldn't have been any easier. Fast tracked though immigration, priority boarding, toys and presents for the kids, more food that you can eat and, I can't believe it, a soccer game to keep Oscar entertained for hours! The kids even slept for at least 4 hours of the 7 hour journey once they had eaten and played all they could.
Arriving at 11.30pm, 2.30am Melbourne time wasn't as challenging as I expected and we arrived at our lovely friend Brooke's house ready for our adventure. And what a house it was! Situated in an old colonial 3-story building, it was like something out of a magazine!
Our first day of sight seeing, Monday, started off slow. With Brooke's wealth of advice, tourist maps and train tickets we thought we had it all sorted. However, travelling with young kids in a foreign country is not as easy as all those years I spent travelling alone, it seems! Once we worked out how to put money on the train tickets (only took us 20 minutes!) we were off on our adventure.
Stopping for a delicious lunch in a crowded food court full of locals, we made our way to the tourist isle of 'Sentosa'. What a tourist haven! After jumping through the fountains and cooling off, we finally made it to Oscar's dream destination - the SEA aquarium.
Here we wandered through the massive building full of every imaginable sea creature that would fit in a tank. Jelly fish, clown fish, starfish you can touch, all the usual species. But that's not all. They even had dolphins performing tricks but the biggest attraction for our budding marine biologist was the Manta Ray. This graceful creature danced through the HUGE tank while we just sat and watched for half an hour, enjoying the music playing and hushed dark room. It was actually relaxing!
But that wasn't the only fascinating creature we were to encounter. At the end of our walk through the aquarium, swimming over our heads as we walked through a glass tunnel, was the hammerhead shark. Incredible feeling it was to see these predators so close and watch them swim around, and around, and around.
Our fun didn't stop there. After another quick play in the fountains (gee it's hot in Singapore!) we hopped back on the free monorail to the 'skylight and luge'. Now don't ask me what on earth a luge is but it's kind of a little sled on wheels that you ride down a steep hill. Oscar was determined not to go on it, regardless of the reassurance of both his parents that he would love it. After almost forcing him onto the vehicle, we raced down the hill with excitement and both Oscar and Bella yelled "Let's do it again!" as soon as we had reached the end. So much fun for a family in such a stunning location overlooking the bay of Singapore.
Our busy day didn't stop there, as Brooke and her lovely fiance, Paul, took us to a wonderful Hawkers market overlooking the incredible triple towers (complete with boat on top!) of the Marina Sands. There we feasted on satay prawns, drank from coconuts and even ate stingray! Later that night Oscar told me 'I was a hammerhead shark tonight Mummy". As I looked at him puzzled he explained "I only ate prawns and stingray!"
Day 2 of our Singapore trip was no less exciting. We woke early to get out to the world-renowned 'Singapore zoo' for breakfast with the orang-utans! We enjoyed a delicious breakfast while watching the Orang-utans eat theirs only metres away! As we approached them for a family photo the biggest of the 'congress' (a group of orang-utans) took a liking to Bella and my 'little girl who's afraid of nothing' was petrified! The zoo keepers distracted the large animal so that we could get our photo taken quickly, before heading off to the Polar Bear feeding session.
How they keep a Polar Bear in a hot and humid country I will never understand, but this massive animal was incredible to watch. Jumping in to catch his feed (you couldn't call it 'diving' it was certainly not graceful!) you could see the power of this enormous predator just meters away. The amazing animals didn't stop there. So many species that we have never had a chance to see in real life: the komodo dragon (the kids' favourite), king cobra, wolverine, garial (a type of crocodile), the list goes on. The most enjoyable part of the zoo trip, however, was the kids zone which had a waterpark for everyone to cool off. Running through the fountains, Ciro holding us under the enormous bucket of water that tipped out every 5 minutes, squirting each other with the water canons, we could have stayed there all day. But we had to move on as the elephants were waiting for us to ride them - another incredible experience the kids enjoyed.
Again that night, Brooke and Paul took us out to another beautiful location on the river to try Singapore Chilli crab. The mess was well worth it, what a scrumptious dish! Eating until we almost burst (while Oscar watched soccer on TV quite content!), we wondered if we could ever get enough of Singapore. This clean, well organised, modern city was quite a surprise for me. I could totally understand what had kept Brooke living in this marvellous city for so many years.