19.11.2012 - 23.11.2012
We're currently sat watching four proboscis monkeys hiding from a tropical downpour - which is exactly what we're doing! We're spending the day at the fabulous Singapore Zoo.
We arrived in Singapore on Monday night after a long journey that involved a van, ferry, taxi, plane and taxi. We're very lucky to be staying at our friend Prabha's parents' house. Prabha's parents are both away at the moment but we're being extraordinarily well looked after by their lovely housekeeper Kokila. We've had delicious meals and all our washing done and ironed!
On our first day in Singapore we went shopping on the famous Orchard Road. The shopping malls are spectacular and there is everything from designer shops to malls full of little stall-like shops. The amazing Christmas decorations rivalled New York.
Next we headed to the Gardens by the Bay, a huge new botanic gardens with gigantic tree-like steel structures covered with plants and two massive futuristic botanical domes; lit up at night they looked like the skeleton of some strange prehistoric fish. There is a treetop walkway (as high as the rainforest canopy) connecting the steel trees and we went up for spectacular views of the gardens and Singapore. Heading out of the gardens we walked through the Marina Bay Sands, a crazy building composed of three skyscraper towers with a massive surfboard shaped structure on top connecting all three.
Starving, by now, we headed to a hawker market, which are renowned as one of the best (and cheapest) places to eat in Singapore. We checked out a couple and chowed down on some Singaporean classics, Murtabak (chicken-filled Indian pancake served with a spicy potato curry) and Char Kway Teow (thick flat rice noodles with veg, Chinese sausage and clams). Delicious!
The rain hasn't stopped, it's been coming down in stair rods for about two hours, so we've had to buy two ridiculous lime green ponchos and make a dash for the exit. What we did see of the zoo was amazing, it has open enclosures so you get very close to the animals. My highlight was watching a white tiger having a bath and Jo liked the white-handed gibbon having a shouting match with a howler monkey. We also saw a mouse deer, face of a mouse, legs of a deer, size of a chihuahua!