Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Singapore Part Two: Theatre, Elephant Rides And A Bit More Shopping

Picking up form where I left off with my Singapore Part 1 post, I'm just going to dive right into it and tell you all about my second and final amazing week on holiday. So here we go.

Fresh back from sunny Indonesia, we decided to throw ourselves right back into the active lifestyle of Singapore with a day trip to Singapore Zoo. I love visits to the zoo. It's one of my absolute favourite things to do. In fact, at one point in life, I was adamant that my dream job would be as a zoo keeper. It didn't work out, but I still adore visiting. To be in a warm and sunny country, surrounded by a huge variety of tropical and amazing animals was just a dream. And it was here that I experienced the highlight of my trip. When we were in Bintan, I got hugely excited by the fact that the hotel offered elephant rides, and struggled to hide my disappointment when I was told that you needed to book at least a day in advance, and the that elephants didn't ride on Sundays. Saddened by the lost opportunity, I told myself that it was OK, it was just a sign that I'd have to return someday to enjoy this experience and all of the other wonderful adventures the resort had to offer. It turns out that I needn't have been so disappointed after all, as when I opened up the Zoo map, there it was! Elephant riding!! It might not seem that exciting to those of you that live in places like Asia, where the opportunity probably presents itself all the time (I mean, you only have to go to your local zoo!), but for me it was absolutely amazing and by far the most memorable part of my trip. The elephants were so playful, so intelligent and so beautiful! I'd never really considered how magnificent they were before, but I think they are definitely one of the most amazing animals I have ever had the pleasure of being so close to, and the trip has sparked in me a desire to learn so much more about the majestic creatures. It makes me grin just writing about the experience, it was so wonderful!
Me on a frickin' elephant! Ahh!
The cutest little meerkat you ever did see!
The following day was equally action packed. I think by this point we were aware of the end of the trip, making us determined to cram in as much as humanly possible. We journeyed over to the island of Sentosa, which is about a 5 minute monorail ride away from the Singapore coastline, and spent a fun filled day at Universal Studios. Lacking a Wizarding World of Harry Potter, this place has nothing on Orlando, although I'm kind of glad for that as I feel as though it would have taken away from the magical experience of my previous year's trip to Florida if it had been at all comparable. Despite that, this theme park is amazing in it's own way. It features some of the same attractions as it's Western counterpart, The Mummy roller coaster being a particular favourite of mine, but it also has some new elements including an entire area dedicated to Shrek, as well as a Madagascar section and a Sci-Fi City featuring a rather exciting 4D Transformers ride. It was such a fantastic day, that really made me happily nostalgic for last year's holiday (I spent a week and a half at Universal Studios Resort, Orlando, and then a week and a half visiting my aunt in Miami). 

Wednesday took us to the relatively new Gardens by the Bay. If I'm honest, I preferred the Botanic Gardens, which were free, and absolutely breath taking, but the Gardens by the Bay had their own charm. Something I found particularly interesting, and kind of weird, is that the main attractions of the Bay are two large, domed, greenhouses that are home to plants from all around the world. Now, to me, greenhouses are supposed to get hot to help the plants grow, but here, they are made colder than the outside climate in order to house exotic displays like the English country garden! Ha! I cannot tell you how odd it felt to be standing amidst rose bushes and the like, thinking about how similar it is to your own back garden, with a load of Asian people ogling at how interesting and different all of the flowers are! It's so odd to consider that what is normal, almost boring to some, is fascinating and new to others! The gardens also had these really interesting structures called the Skywalk, which looked like some kind of futuristic forest. It was really nice to be able to see the surrounding bay from atop these quirky structures.
On Wednesday evening, we went back to Sentosa, this time taking the scenic Cable Car over to the island. We got popcorn and drinks for the journey, and it was fantastic to get a birds eye view of the place. Once we arrived, we went luging, which was a really fun go kart thing, down to the seafront and had dinner on the beach. The restaurant was beautiful, the food delicious, and it was such a relaxing and enjoyable evening. I wish I could do it every night!
They had one of those cool weather signs haha!
On Thursday, I took myself on another lone shopping trip, but during the evening, I was very much in my element, as we were taken the see The Phantom of the Opera. Dressed to the nines, we head out to a cute little restaurant called Au Chocolat, which featured, you guessed it, chocolate, in all it's food. I was desperate to try out one of their many beautiful desserts, but the meals were kind of huge (see my brother's beast of a burger), and I thought it unwise, considering the impending theatre trip. Phantom was on at the Mastercard theatre, which is inside the Marina Bay Sands shopping centre. Shopping and theatre in the same building - bliss. A huge fan of everything musical theatre, it had never really been high on my must watch list, but I absolutely loved it! The music, the costumes, the story - everything was just perfect, and it was a fantastic evening out.
The Beastburger
Friday was another day for shopping. First of all, me and my Mum (not really a guys day out) went to a place called Bugis Street, which was recommended to me, and described as a bigger, better version of Chinatown. A large sheltered square littered with all kinds of market stalls, it was all a bit to claustrophobic and crowded for my liking, so we didn't stay long and decided to go and see what else Singapore had to offer. So we picked a direction and took a leisurely stroll which landed us on Arab Street, followed by Haji Lane. Now these were more my kind of places. Lined with cute little boutiques, brimming with beautiful handmade jewellery and sweet little trinkets, we whiled away the afternoon exploring all the fantastic little corners of these roads.
After a lovely days shopping, we went for dinner at the Singapore Cricket Club, and then went out for drinks at a bar called One Altitude, which perches on top of One Raffles Place and is the worlds highest outside bar. 64 floors up, the drinks are good, but the views are breathtaking. You feel like you're on top of the world, and we had the best time pointing out all of the places we had visited over the past two weeks. I  had never been to a rooftop club before, England not exactly offering the best climate for it, and I only wish that my friends had been there to enjoy it with me - they would have all loved it! Oh well, I'll just have to go back there with them, won't I?
My camera's crappy attempt at night photography
On Saturday, we spent the morning taking in the history of Singapore at the Asian Civilisations Museum. As an Ancient History graduate, I absolutely love this kind of thing, but admittedly it isn't for everyone. We then took a river cruise, and were able to get another wonderful view of the bay from the water. As we were heading home the following evening, and the boys wanted to watch the Grand Prix (yawn), we decided not to go out for the evening, instead opting for a tasty barbecue on the terrace. It was delicious, and reminded me so much of my childhood, as it was kind of traditional to have as many barbecues as possible whilst we were on holiday. The perfect end to the perfect trip. 
On our final day, I zipped out for the last of many trips to Sephora, before heading back to the apartment for another afternoon at the Botanic Gardens. There, we had a fancy lunch in the centre of the Gardens, where I had a Caesar Salad in a bowl that I could have feasibly worn as a helmet. Delicious, but huge. After a leisurely afternoon, wandering around to the places we didn't have the time to explore during our first venture, we went back to the apartment to pack and drove to the airport. I was so sad to go, but I'm sure I haven't seen the last of this magnificent island.
There is still so much that I want to do in Singapore, and I will most definitely be venturing back there, hopefully sooner rather than later. I had no idea how much I would fall in love with the beautiful city island, but it is safe to say that those two weeks were two of the best in my life. If you are ever given the opportunity to visit Singapore, grasp it with both hands! I promise, you'll have the time of your life.

Are you considering visiting Singapore? What would you be most excited to do there? Let me know!


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  1. Looks as though you had an amazing time. I would love to go see the Phantom of the Opera and of course Universal Studios. I've never been, so it's on my list. And the elephant ride would be so cool, heehee, I enjoyed this post. I'm so used to your book reviews :)
    Luv Michaela Maria x

    1. Phantom of the Opera was amazing! I'd highly recommend it! I'm glad you liked the post, it was nice to write something a little different, so I lvoe that you appreciate it =) xx

  2. I always heard good things about the zoo in Singapore. I'm so jealous you got to go! You look like you had loads of fun though :]

    xo Deborah
    Coffee, Prose and Pretty Clothes

    1. I'd never heard anything about it before I went haha, shows how cultured I am, but it is amazing and I had such a wonderful time! =) xx