Getting closer to Total Monkey Awareness
Trip Start May 17, 2006
20Trip End Jul 01, 2006
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
That museum is really impressive. They have a lot of interactive displays, mock-ups that look like the inside of temples, teahouses, etc., plus these flat panel TVs that have the face of someone of the ethnicity whose art is displayed in the gallery. The faces move around and sing and whatnot and you can go up and tap them to listen to what the person has to say. Kind of cool, but kind of like the moving paintings in Harry Potter, could be alarming if you are not expecting one.
After that I wandered around Little India and went back to the hotel early because I was tired.
Yesterday I did all of the best stuff to do in one day, so now my feet hurt a lot and I need to take a day off. First I went to the Singapore Zoo, where I made some serious headway on TMA. Their zoo, although not as big, is up there with San Diego's and in some ways is better. There are almost no enclosures; any animal that can be is kept in with moats, and some are free-roaming, even a few monkeys
After the zoo I went to Jurong Bird Park. They have a lot of cool birds, nice grounds, a waterfall aviary, and some other good shit, but they also had about 10,000 visitors, so I tore off (you know how much I love crowds).
Next I went to Haw Par Villa, probably the weirdest tourist sight in the world
Finally I went to the Night Safari, which is the best zoo experience ever. You take a tram ride through this zoo that is lit kind of like moonlight and there are animals on both sides. When you go to the swamp zone, the tram goes through water and you think you are in a swamp. I saw leopards, tapirs, CAPYBARAS (my favorite animal), porcupines, bears, rhinos, giraffes, tarsiers (cute!), elephants, and some fruit bats in a walk-through aviary. There were tiki torches everywhere, Bornean tribal dance demonstrations, bars to sit at and drink Singapore Slings, and even a "gourmet safari" tram where you can eat while you go through the park. The tram ride was kind of funny because the announcer used this silly voice that sounded like a cross between the guy that narrates movie trailers ("one man..
Some observations about Singapore: There is no translation problem, so although the signs all make sense, they are kind of silly anyway. Some common phrases are "experience a world of difference" and anything with the word "lifestyle" or "indulgence." There are about a million condom stores in town. Not dirty movies, not anything weird, just thousands of condoms. They love rainbows. Even the police station, in an old colonial building, has rainbow shutters. Flat panel TVs must be free because they are EVERYWHERE, even when they don't show anything but a static picture. Cab drivers love to tell you how safe Singapore is and how totally fucked Malaysia is in comparison. One even told me that I should not take my wallet out when paying for things in Malaysia. Uh, that should be difficult. (Don't worry, anyone. Malaysia's crime rate is lower than ours.) No one does ANYTHING by themselves. The only people you see doing so are foreigners or expats. All in all, this is the most orderly and well-run city I've ever been to (including any in Japan or the US, or Europe). Everything is electronic and easy, everything is convenient, they even have 24-hour malls. I can get anything here I could get at home (excpet maybe Taco Bell) because they have all of the chains we do for clothes, food, etc. Plus, everyone speaks English and all the signs are in English. Imagine Honolulu with 10 million people, no crime, everyone dressed nice, 1/3 of the price, etc. Actually, the only thing they would have in common is the plants all over the place, and Singapore has way more plants.
Although I was happy to see the zoo monkeys, I am excited to be leaving here today for Borneo where I can really kick off my quest for TMA.