Friday, April 22, 2011

Singapore : Night safari

We left for Singapore by our air conditioned bus at around 9 am.We had breakfast at the hotel, where we stayed in Kaula Lampur .The breakfast was toast with
butter,jam,ketchup,upma ( which always was half cooked -this was my feeling ),meusli ( a Swiss breakfast option ).It consists of oats,cornflakes ,wheat bran,etc which can be mixed with yoghurt or milk & honey,or fruits of one's choice.Cornflakes & seasonal fruits were also there regularly for breakfast & sometimes for dinner as an option for  dessert.Tea , coffee,two to three options to choose for fresh fruit juices are also available. After a harried breakfast,we boarded the bus, when my hubby discovered, that he had left his sunglasses.He went back to our room, which we had just vacated & retirieved them.Finally,the bus started on its journey.

En route,we could spot palm oil plantations & greenery on both sides of the highway.We stopped after two hours for a tea break.We spotted many vendors selling local, fruits like jack fruit,dragon fruits,mangoes,jambul,etal.We brought some diced ,seedless gauvas packed in a plastic box.Before handing over,we were asked," Do you want masalas ?"That was so much like India !

We resumed our journey & reached Malaysian border where our passports were stamped meaning that we had left Malayisia.Our next stop was Singapore check post, wherein, we had to show our passports & visas for getting enteries stamped in them.We were tense, as  Singapore is a "fine" country meaning for every trangression from rules,one has to pay a hefty fine.Stamping over,we got into the bus & resumed our journey .We could see Singapore skyline & the tidiness around on the roads .The greenery & the well designed roads,buildings,traffic signal,et - in fact, everything is just overwhelming !

We arrived in Little India, in Singapore, by lunch time.Little India is a place, wherein, many Indians stay & one can buy all Indian things - masalas,Indian clothes,jewellery,food stuff etc .Our luggage was carried away by a tempo to our hotel .As the check in time is three in the afternoon,we were taken for lunch to a tandoor restaurant.We had lunch which consisted of tandoori rotis,pulao,paneer veggies,dal,kheer,salad,etc.After lunch,we went to our hotel booked by our travel group.Nearly half an hour later,we were allotted our rooms.The card which was given to us for entering our room was to be used in lift also, to stop at the  floor where our room is located ! Singapore is so very high -tech ! We entered our room & saw that it was smaller than the one at the Kaula Lampur hotel.It had a small refrigerator which had two bottles of coke & two bottles of mineral water.My daughter consumed the coke & then we saw the list near the electric kettle which stated the prices of the coke & the mineral water.We decided to pay for it when we would vacate our room.We had been instructed to use tap water for drinking as water all over Singapore is fit enough to be drunk without any fear of getting infected.We watched the news on the idiot box & then freshened up.We were to go for the night safari at six.

We prepared tea with the aid of the electric kettle & tea bags.Then we assembled down with our group.We boarded the bus wherein a Singapore tour guide briefed us about the night safari.We reached the zoo where we were to witness the night safari.

The story behind the concept of night safari is very interesting.The Prime Minister of Singapore was invited to the zoo.He was able to schedule his visit only towards the evening .He stated that many people can visit the zoo in the evenings after their office hours.This prompted the authorities at the zoo to come up with the idea of night safari.In this ,the nocturnal habits of animals in a jungle can be observed.

Our guide got tickets for us & we queued up for getting into the tram for the night safari journey.We were instructed by the staff that we should not use the flash  to click snaps.The tram having seated our group & many others slowly wound its way through the jungle.We were looking sometimes, on the right & at other times, on the left to observe various animals like the lion,the tiger,the hippos,the rhinos,deers,& many others.We had to strain our eyes as it had become dark,the Sun having set.Moreover, many animals are shy ( flash or no flash ) & hide behind the thick vegetation of the equatorial rain forests.A running commentary about the various animals that we spotted was being given by the guide on board the tram.The tram goes very slowly so that we can observe & it is a feast to our eyes.The fences which run across the length & breath of the forest is so unobtrusive that animals only learn about it when they try to cross them.

After the night safari,a show on animals awaited us at an open auditorium.The lady who was to conduct it was a linguist.She started the show by welcoming all the audience.Then she greeted us in Hindi,Malay,Chinese,Japanese etal .Then, she called out to many animals who were trained to come on the stage accompanied by their trainers.There was a huge commotion when she & a trainer unearthed a python from under one of the seats in the auditorium. The show educated us about some more animals.After the show ended,our group assembled & we boarded our bus.We had dinner at another tandoor restaurant with a repeat menu .We were informed about the following day's tour programme which was the visit to Universal Studios.After dinner,we headed back to our hotel to retire for the night.

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