The Forgotten Sultans
Trip Start Jan 28, 2013
43Trip End Mar 09, 2013
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I joined a Singapore Walks group for a three hour tour of Kampong Glam today. We visited the Sultan's Mosque, the former palace (now a museum), the royal graveyard, Malay shophouses including one selling supplies for people going on a haj, a perfume shop, and one that sells sarongs. While the Malays were the original inhabitants of Singapore, they now are only a small percentage of the population
Took the train (subway) back to Tekka Market for a delicious Malay beef curry with vegetables. The subways here are amazing. They are well-marked with numerous exits at each station and large maps in each showing the surrounding area to help you find where you are going. Everything is absolutely clean. It is packed during rush hour but everyone just proceeds in orderly fashion. Phones & mobile devices are everywhere - over half are online while waiting and during the ride, many playing games. Got back to air-conditioning by 2:00 and slept for three hours - guess the heat finally got to me.
Spent the evening at the Night Safari, a nighttime zoo featuring 1000 nocturnal animals. The zoo is located at the northern tip of the island so the bus ride through downtown, suburbs, then a small green and agricultural area was interesting. I don't think of agriculture with Singapore, but did see a road named "Dairy Farm Road" and one section that obviously had been planted with bushes/ small trees. The Night Safari started with a 40-minute tram ride through 4 ecosystems. They use subdued lighting and electric fences for almost all the animals so it looks like you are out in the rain forest. The sections with deer were on both sides of the tracks so several times the tram stopped to let deer cross over. After the tram ride there were four trails so that you could walk through viewing most of the animals again. The Malaysian section was especially interesting to me as I hadn't seen many of them before. The park was well-done, with an environmental impact flavor. Even though there were bus loads of people, on parts of the trails you could almost feel alone in the wild. The food & gift areas were Disneyland like, but easy to ignore.