So today we went to the world famous Singapore Zoo! Okay, so I say it is world famous but neither of us actually knew about it before we arrived here but apparently it is indeed a very famous zoo. The reason it is so famous is because it has no cages for the animals, instead the animals are kept in little areas surrounded by moats. This means that you feel like there are no barriers between you and the animals and you can get very close to them, which was a bit scary to begin with! After a long bus ride we arrived at the zoo and had to have our obligatory photo taken by the official photographer for us to buy later (why does every attraction do that these days?)
. One of the interesting things about Singapore Zoo is that, not only do they have no cages, but they also have free-range monkeys roaming about the place. We both thought that the idea of free-range monkeys was very funny, but it actually worked really well; the monkeys are trained to live within a certain cluster of trees so that they don't actually need cages or fences because they are quite happy to potter about between their little areas. The first thing that we saw as we entered the zoo was a couple of baby spider-monkeys swinging about on branches above our heads, it was brilliant to have the opportunity to get so close to them and really reminded us of how different this zoo is to every other we have ever been to. Our first stop of the day was to see the working Asian elephants show; we got the chance to see how elephants work in the jungle for logging companies and the front few rows got soaked to the skin by the elephants spurting water at them. After this we spent the rest of the day walking around the park looking at the animals and getting drenched in the tropical downpours that we got caught in (we've managed to buy a leaky umbrella from a Singaporean supermarket... yay!). My favourite animal during the day was the pygmy hippos; they were so cute and there was a little baby one which couldn't reach the bottom of the water so it spent its time bobbing along on its tiptoes. It was also the first time I had ever seen a sea cow, which was beautiful if not a little bit lazy! One of the best parts of the day was visiting the orangutan treetops walkway. Just like some of the other monkeys in the zoo, the orangutans are free to roam through their own group of trees; there is a walkway which takes you up into the tops of the their trees and we got really close to a tiny baby orangutan which was swinging through the branches with its mum.
Although we still had one more day to go in Singapore before we departed for Bali (which we spent searching for a cheap new laptop to no avail) today felt like our final day in Singapore
. We've had a really great time here and it has been a wonderful way to introduce ourselves back into Asian life. As a way of saying goodbye to Singapore we spent our last night eating in a hawker center which is only usually used by the locals; we were the only tourists there, out of about 200 people, and people reacted by either smiling at us, ignoring us or laughing at us. Either way the food was incredible and we both pushed ourselves to try something a little bit different; I had a very spicy dish of fake meat and noodles and Tom (prepare yourself) ate pig intestine soup! Which must taste pretty nice because he polished off the entire thing, even if it did have little rings of wiggly white tripe-looking-stuff floating on the top of it!
Bye bye Singapore, we'll see you again in a month!
Hurray! Tom has temporarily fixed the laptop, its amazing what that boy can do with a pen knife, some duck-tape, a handful of cables and a lot of swearing. (Only electrocuted himself twice, which is quite good going, shows persistence)