I asked a friend who was born and raised in Singapore, where the best place to visit in Singapore was. She answered the Singapore Zoo. She has lived for a long time in Singapore and I hadn’t expected a tourist spot as her answer but rather another unexplored place for tourists. Of course, I had mentioned that I’d bring my father and my son before. I tried to change my questions, but she still insisted the Singapore Zoo would be the best place to go to.
When to visit
Singapore Zoo consists of four major parks, Singapore Zoo, River Safari Singapore, Night Safari and Jurong Bird Park. The Night Safari is located in a different area from the Singapore Zoo and you need to buy multi-park tickets in order to visit. The Night Safari is open from 7:15pm to 12:00am. My recommendation is to visit the Singapore Zoo in the morning, to go on the River Safari Singapore in the afternoon and to enjoy the Night Safari in early evening.
I thought it should be for only children, but the variety of animals and unique breeding methods make the Zoo spectacular. All generations can enjoy the Singapore Zoo. There are no cages or high fences, so their animals are kept in a near-natural environment. The distance is so close to animals and it was almost like I could touch them.
Near the entrance, we suddenly encountered several monkeys very near and Orangutans showed us how they avoided getting wet by using their original leaf umbrellas. The living site of the White Tiger was a wide area surrounded by greenery and also visitors can observe up close. You can easily spend more than 3 hours there, if you wish. Optional guided tours and riding trams are available, but we preferred to see around freely. If you are with babies, the tram ride would be very efficient and reliable to enjoy the Zoo.
River Safari Singapore
The River Safari Singapore is the best place to hide from strong sunshine and sudden rainfall. A pathway with a roof extends throughout the park, so you don’t need to worry about weather change. The River Safari’s various kinds of fish are amazing and you can see them from very close up. We stayed at the Manatee’s area for one hour to see their every movement.The River Safari is breeding pandas and you can see very relaxed pandas there. In Japan, when a baby Panda is born, we make a very long line to see it. The Panda in the River Safari looked so relaxed and without fear. The stress level of Pandas would be less than those in Japan.
It was really hard to take photos on the Night Safari, but it was the most exciting experience in Singapore. After visiting the Singapore Zoo and the River Safari Singapore, we ate dinner at Night Safari Restaurants which opened from 5:30pm. Walking in the dark Zoo was adventurous and thrilling. Animals in the tropics are nocturnal, so during the daytime most of them are asleep at the Zoo.
However, at the Night Safari, we could see a leopard as he jumped from a lying log and then tried to jump back up on the same log again but failed. He seemed ashamed and went away, bypassing the log. We also saw a giant flying squirrel eating foods from a hanging bucket very near to us, but we could not see him flying.
Of course, some of the animals were hiding, as is their habit, so it was not possible to see them. Riding on the tram is very popular, but I truly recommend walking around. For the first few minutes, I was scared to walk in the dark, but gradually I became accustomed to see around and could find animals easily.
How to get there
It took 30 minutes to drive the Singapore Zoo from the center of the city. My friend brought us to the Zoo. It was hard for us to come to the Singapore Zoo by public transportation in extremely hot weather. It should be reasonable to take a taxi within a group.
When we went back to our hotel, we had to wait for 20 mins making a line to take a taxi. If you lined unconsciously, you might get passed by others, but my untalkative father suddenly murmured ”cheating is not good” in Japanese and blocked them. During a trip, you might see different aspects of your family that you never noticed before.