Day 3 Singapore – Zoo and more

After a long and tiring Day 2, we were hoping for some good weather on Day 3. I woke up, checked the nea website, and it looked like another great day. We wanted to take advantage of the clear weather and decided to visit the Zoo. Besides watching an array of different animal species, we wanted to visit the zoo to see the shows that happen throughout the day. There were a total of 4 shows that ran in two batches. The first run was between 10:30 am and 12:30 pm in the morning and the repeat run was between 2:30 pm and 5 pm in the afternoon.

Since we wanted to get to the zoo for the morning batch of shows, there wasn’t much time to eat breakfast. We simply headed to Rochor station and grabbed some Meiji milk and a cream bun from a 7Eleven at the station. We then took the blue (downtown) line to Newton before interchanging to the red line and headed north to Khatib. It was a long journey on the red line. After alighting at Khatib station, we followed the signs to the exit and waited at the Mandai Express bus stop, which was just a few meters to the left of the station exit. The line for Mandai Express kept growing as we waited. After a few minutes, the bus showed up. They accepted EZ link cards, which was quite convenient. From Khatib station, it was an easy 20-minute ride to the zoo.

When we reached the zoo, there is a long queue for tickets. It was a Sunday after all. There were 3 different ticketing windows and the lines moved quickly. We had planned to see the zoo and the bird park during our stay in Singapore. So, instead of buying just the zoo ticket, we opted for the combo ticket (it was called 2-park combo). It allowed us to visit the zoo and bird park in a 5-day window. After buying our tickets, we got some doughnuts just outside the entrance. We were still a bit hungry without having had proper breakfast in the morning.

Singapore Zoo Entrance

                                                                            (Singapore Zoo near the entrance)

It was almost 10:30 am by the time we entered the zoo. We tried to make it to the first show of the morning, but were too late. So, we decided to simply walk through all the zones and check out the animals. The shows were left for the afternoon. There were plenty of animals from all over the world at Singapore Zoo. We saw the zones of Australia, Africa, Tundra, and Tropics. There were zebras, rhinos, multiple types of monkeys and chimpanzees, reptiles, turtles with long snake-like necks, kangaroos, birds, Komodo dragons, cheetahs, lions, tigers, and a whole bunch of other animals. Kids would most certainly have a field day at this place. Definitely get them to the zoo if you are in Singapore with your family.

White Tiger at Singapore Zoo

                                                                       (White Tiger at Singapore Zoo)

Zebra at Singapore Zoo

                                                                                  (Zebra at Singapore Zoo)

Tamarin at Singapore Zoo

                                                                         (White Tamarin at Singapore Zoo)

Orangutan at Singapore Zoo

                                                                             (Orangutans at Singapore Zoo)

Baby Kangaroos at Singapore Zoo

                                                                          (Baby Kangaroos at Singapore Zoo)

Time simply flew past as we walked through the zoo. We got lunch at around 1 pm. There was only one area in the zoo that served lunch. It was called Ah Meng restaurant (that restaurant and a cafe adjoining it). Here is a tip for you: try to go to lunch around 12 noon, because by 1-1:30 pm, the place gets packed beyond belief. Almost every visitor in the zoo will go to Ah Meng (or the cafe next to it) for lunch because there are no other options! An artificial monopoly of restaurants at the zoo destroys the quality of meals. Lunch at these food places was just horrible. It was way overpriced and poorly cooked. In the case of lasagne, the vegetables were almost raw. It would have been a better idea to get some food packed from a city restaurant in the morning. We would much rather have that cold morning food instead of eating at the zoo restaurants. There were very limited vegetarian options as well. Most of the stuff that appeared to be vegetarian had eggs in it. We ended up ordering a less-than-pleasant veg lasagne (lasagne sheets had eggs) and some very ordinary dal roti.

Putting our lunch experience behind us, we headed to the amphitheater to watch the much-anticipated shows. There were 3 main shows, Splash Safari, Elephants of Asia, and Rainforest Fights Back. First up was Rainforest Fights Back. Plenty of colourful birds were part of this show. It was excellent with audience participation as well. Next show was Elephants of Asia, which was absolutely packed with people. We were lucky to find a seat for this one. If you like elephants, then this show will not disappoint you. Try to get there a bit early and find a decent seat. We saw people getting there up to 45 mins in advance! The final show of the day was Splash Safari, which was also excellent. Audience participation was also a part of the Splash Safari. There are plenty of videos of these shows on YouTube.

Sleeping Kangaroo at Singapore Zoo

                                                                       (Sleeping Kangaroo at Singapore Zoo)

Turtle at Singapore Zoo

                                                                        (Long-neck Turtle at Singapore Zoo)

Baboons at Singapore Zoo

                                                                            (Baboons at Singapore Zoo)

Giraffe at Singapore Zoo

                                                                          (Majestic Giraffes at Singapore Zoo)

Hornbill at Singapore Zoo

                                                                       (Colorfull Hornbill at Singapore Zoo)

We were absolutely exhausted in the evening. We left the zoo at around 5:30 pm because we had to meet a friend at Tanjong Pagar. Getting back to the city from the zoo can be done either by the Mandai Express or by taking bus numbers 138, 926, or 927 to red line stations. As we were waiting for the Mandai Express, we spotted bus 138. So, we boarded that bus rather than wait for the Mandai Express. The bus took us to Ang Mo Kio station from where we took the MRT to Tanjong Pagar. At Tanjong Pagar, we decided to get dinner at a famous restaurant called Whole Earth.

Whole Earth is a vegetarian restaurant serving critically acclaimed Peranakan food. Vegetarian and meat eaters rate this restaurant highly. The menu is all vegetarian and the prices are somewhat expensive. It is an upscale restaurant located right across the office building which has Tanjong Pagar station at its basement. We went there around 7 pm on a Sunday evening and had no problems getting seated. If you go there during peak times, you might need a reservation as this place is quite well-known. The food quality was top notch and the service was great as well. A review of this restaurant is posted here. After a sumptuous dinner at Whole Earth, we headed out to Chijmes for some dessert.

The FIFA world cup of 2018 was going on and England was playing that evening. There are plenty of Englishmen in Singapore and Chijmes was packed with (mostly European) football fans. The vibes at Chijmes are excellent and the football fans enhanced it further. It was a great festive atmosphere. We walked around looking for some appealing dessert but were not too impressed with the dessert menus. Most places at Chijmes are either “fast-food” type establishments or pubs and bars. There was no bakery or an ice cream shop that we could find. So, we headed out to Millenia Walk near Suntec. Suntec was a short walk from Chijmes. The entire Suntec Mall and Millenia Walk (located next to Suntec) complex is huge. One could easily get lost in there trying to find a shop. By the time we reached Millenia Walk, it was late and most places were closing down. One place that was open was called Plentyfull. It had the vibe of a modern cafe-restaurant. They had a dessert menu and we managed to sample three of their desserts. First was the chocolate brownie topped with plenty of chocolate sauce, second was a Pandan Creme Brulee (with Gula Melaka ice-cream), and third was a cheesecake. All of them were excellent and it brought Day 3 to a sweet end. Plentyfull is very much a thumbs up for desserts in Singapore.

Chocolate Brownie at Plentyfull

                                                           (Chocolate Brownie with plenty of chocolate sauce)

Pandan and Coconut Creme Brulee at Plentyfull

(Pandan and Coconut Creme Brulee at Plentyfull)

Cheesecake at Plentyfull

                                                                              (Cheesecake at Plentyfull)

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