I’d been taking my time, spreading things out, going to yoga classes, just kinda generally taking it easy on the sightseeing thing. But Monday I realized I only had two days left in the country, and hadn’t really made a dent in my to see list. So Tuesday I put my tourist hat on and knocked out a bunch of things. But you can’t be a super-tourist on an empty stomach, so first, breakfast: popiah, a sort of unfried spring roll, and more carrot cake.
And then a while later I got stuck in the pouring rain, so ducked into a Toast Box for some kaya toast, the classic Singaporean snack. Kaya is an egg and coconut jam often with honey in it, and usually served on toast with butter. It was delicious and I bought some to bring home.
When the rain let up, I retraced my steps from the night before and headed back to Garden by the Bay. From the exterior, it’s not nearly as impressive during the day.
But inside, the buildings were pretty impressive. There are two conservatories: the Flower Dome and the Cloud Forest. They’re not inexpensive to visit, S$28 to see both, but sounded interesting. I went into the Flower Dome first. It’s exactly what it sounds like, a dome filled with flowers. There are sections representing all different climates/countries, a California garden, an Australian garden, an olive grove, etc. My favorites were the succulent garden and baobabs.
The Cloud Forest is a 115 ft tall mountain showcasing the different climates that occur at different heights in cloud forests. Your first view upon entering is of the world’s largest indoor waterfall, and then you take an elevator up to the top of the mountain, working your way back down.
All of the installations were pretty straightforward, with details about the plants. One exhibit was a little bit surprising though, and didn’t have a placard.
I was really glad I had my rain coat with me. It really did feel like you were in a cloud – misty and chilly. By the time I left I felt like everything I was carrying was wet.
I walked back through the Marina Bay Sands, and to the mall for some tea.
I love eggs, they’re one of my favorite things. One of my best friend and I have a running joke about how everything is better if you put an egg on it, so I was excited to find this egg-themed cafe while exploring.
The rain had passed and the sun was occasionally peeking through so I figured it was worth going on the Singapore Flyer, the world’s tallest observation wheel. It stands almost 550 feet tall and offers incredible views of the city.
Also, perhaps as a result of the questionable weather I had a capsule entirely to myself… I know I’ve talked about how traveling solo can be lonely at times, but the hardest part is getting a decent picture of yourself. I considered purchasing a selfie stick, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. But being left alone in a capsule where no one can see you, with a great backdrop? The perfect opportunity to try out my selfie skills! Apparently they leave a bit to be desired. After realizing no one wants to see that much of my pores, not even me, I switched to using the timer on my camera…
That took too a bit of practice. I don’t want to tell you how many I ended up taking trying to get a good one. Each of the capsules has a security camera. I can only hope no one was watching mine! I’ll spare you the rest of the mishaps, but finally got a decent one.
I stopped at a coffee and tea stall that looked popular, ordered a cup of tea and chose blindly among the food available. There was no menu and they were all wrapped in brown paper so I just picked one.
I had hoped to get back to the apartment before heading to my appointment at the zoo, but ran out of time. So I took my brown paper mystery meal and headed to the subway.
The zoo is made up of four parks: the zoo itself, the River Safari, the Bird Park and the Night Safari. A number of people had recommended the Night Safari so I went to check it out.
The first thing I saw was a cute show in the amphitheater, where you could really see the animals well. Then I hopped on the tram for the tour. I tried taking pictures but between the low light and the movement of the tram, they were all blurry. So you’ll just have to use your imagination to picture what elephants, lions, tigers and hyenas look like in the dark. Hint: pretty much the same as they do during the day. After the tram I walked the couple of loops which allow you to get closer to the animals. It was kinda calming.
The bat enclosure was my favorite. The bats were allowed to fly free overhead. Although I didn’t actually get to see any fly, just having them hanging so nearby was cool. One of them walked along the mesh ceiling of the enclosure, directly overhead. (Do you call it walking when it’s upside down?) It really did look like a vampire, lurching and spreading and closing its wings, eventually settling into one spot, wings wrapped tight.
While all the animals at the Night Safari are nocturnal, I am not. It was such a long day that by the time I stumbled into the apartment, sometime after 1 AM, I felt like a zombie. Luckily my plans for the next day weren’t too ambitious.