Since both Aina and Ari are having the whole December off during this end-of-year holiday, we planned to visit a few parks and places in Singapore. Our first destination was the River Safari, one of the three parts of the Singapore Zoo complex in Mandai.
This was not our first time visiting the River Safari. Aina had been here with her Kindergarten class a few years ago, and our family had also visited the park shortly after (and I’m surprised that I have never written any journal entries for that visit!). However, we had to skip the Amazon River Quest boat ride on both our visits previously, either because the queue was too long or bad weather (the ride had to be canceled due to a thunderstorm).
So this time, the main objective of the visit was to do the Amazon River Quest boat ride.
So to avoid the long queue and save time, we purchased the ticket online from the River Safari website the night before. We also received some discount vouchers to be used at food and gifts at the River Safari. So before we left home, we printed the tickets and the vouchers…
We arrived at the Singapore Zoo complex at 9:30, right at the time when it was open for business, and went straight to the River Safari entrance…
It turned out that we were right on time for the feeding time tour. Yay, how lucky are we! The zoo keepers fed the animals along the trail, and there was a guy on the mic explaining the feeding process and gave trivias regarding the animals being fed. So it was very amusing to watch different kinds of snapping turtles and crocs being fed.
Because we were there early and it was a weekday, the crowd was manageable. We really enjoyed the walk around the aquariums… And as usual, Aina always took her time to take pictures with those cardboard cutout things. And they had a few of them there, too!
We got to the Boat Plaza about 10 minutes before the Amazon River Quest opened, so we ended up first in line. Aina was very excited… As soon as the door opened, we had to tell Aina not to run. And she did this quick walking thing that’s pretty much almost as quick as a run…
We sat on a boat that goes through a water canal, with live animals roaming around on both sides. There were little monkeys, capibaras, iguanas and birds like flamigoes around us. The ride was pretty short, about 10 minutes give and take. But it was fun to try and spot the animals around.
After our mission for today was accomplished (it was very fast!), we decided to have our lunch. And to tell you the truth, the food within the River Safari was horrible. We went to Mama Panda Kitchen, near the Panda enclosure. The decor was quite cute, but the food was very expensive and tasted bland… I think next time, we will eat out on the Zoo side instead. They have better food there.
After lunch, since we were right next to the Panda enclosure, we decided to visit the Pandas. Aina is a big fan of the Red Panda… even more so than the Giant Panda. So we spent most of our time in the enclosure watching the red pandas… and lucky us (again), we were there right during the feeding time, and we could watch the cute red pandas eating. They were REALLY cute!
This was the video right before the feeding time. I think the panda was hungry, so it started to snack on the nearby leaves…
Then, the keeper came with the food. They were sooo happy!
After the pandas, we stopped by the Squirrel Monkey Forest. We got a bit nervous that the monkeys would hop on to our backs, so we left early… I guess we’re not monkey people…
Then we decided to check out the Amazon Flooded Forest aquarium… and watched the manatees swimming around and feeding themselves lettuces and leaves. It kinda reminded us of our visit to SEA Aquarium, except this one was smaller and less grand.
We were almost at the end of the River Safari trail. Our last stop was the giant otter. There were four of them in the enclosure. When we got there, it was pouring rain — a thunderstorm, in fact. The otters seemed to enjoy the rain. When the rain stopped, the ground area became muddy, and the otters took turns bathing in the mud and washed themselves up in the water. I guess that’s what they like to do?
The rain was on and off. And even thought it was like party time for the otters, for us it was a disaster. When we were done with the park, it took us a little over 1 hour to get a taxi. You know how hard it was to get a taxi during the rain (especially thunderstorms) in Singapore, right? This, on top of being in the remote area up in Mandai, made it almost impossible to get a taxi. The taxi line was sooooo long, and no one seemed to answer our GrabTaxi or Uber requests. Aina was exhausted. Toddlers and babies were crying along the queue… Everyone was desperate…
Not a good ending of a very fun day. Oh well. But we did have fun anyway 🙂
More photos of today’s adventure in River Safari 2015 photo album in Flickr.
So sad to learn that the rain came in as a spoiler. Otherwise, your trip would’ve been wonderful. Never mind, your guys did enjoy your time when the rain god was slumbering peacefully.
it was fun prior to the rain. basically, they just need a better public transportation access from the zoo area. 🙂