A Travellerspoint blog

Longest Day

I've never been shy in voicing my dislike of zoos. However quite a few people had told me that Singapore zoo was really very good and not like other zoos, they didn't have the animals caged up like other places. Anyway I decided I'd give it a go. It's been almost 20 years since I went to one and things might have changed a lot since then. We had a whole day booked out. Starting with bathing elephants and breakfast with the orangutans. This was very good, no cages just loads of orangutans swing through the trees or hanging around oh hammocks. Zoo01.jpgZoo03.jpgZoo04.jpgZoo02.jpgZoo05.jpg
So far so good. We walked around for a while and there is also a tram you can jump on and off if you don't feel like walking.
As we made our way round the zoo there were indeed many animals that wandered freely or were not caged but kept separate by moats.
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It wasn't the same for all animals though. The big cats were behinds either bars of glass and worst of all a polar bear. I cannot phathom why we would move an animal that belongs in the frozen wildernesses to the hot humid country of Singapore. It is beyond my comprehension. Yes they are magnificent animals and it's wonderful to be able to see them, but at what cost to the animal for our entertainment?
Next to the zoo is the River Safari. They have recreated the worlds major river environments and there are a couple of boat rides that take you 'down the Amazon' and cruising along the river. The environment itself was lovely. Zoo08.jpgZoo0.jpgZoo21.jpgZoo20.jpgZoo18.jpgZoo17.jpgZoo16.jpgZoo13.jpg
We had a couple of hours to spare before our next booked tour so went back to the zoo to finish looking round.
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We'd planned to do the night safari and booked a private tour. Our tour guide was a lovely guy called Nor. He took us around on a private buggy, we hand fed the elephants and as it got dark he took us around to see the nocturnal animals. We spent all day at the zoo (8am to 10:30pm) There were definitely some good things about the zoo, their conservation work and anti poaching campaigns, but there is still a long way to go before I could justify keeping the animals in captivity. In the 1800's people would pay to look at the insane locked up in Bedlam, it was a form of entertainment, to me that is what we are doing with animals now. If you want to see an animal go and see them in their natural habitat and if you can't afford that, rent a National Geographic dvd. As beautiful as they are there's no fun in watching a wild animal pace around a cage.

Posted by RUMissingUsYet 13:35 Comments (2)

Happy Birthday Dear Miss Wendy

It was indeed a very Happy Birthday. All the staff at Raffles called us Miss Susan and Miss Wendy, no matter how many times we told them to just call us Susan and Wendy. No it had to be 'Miss'.
My birthday started with breakfast in the Tiffin Room at Raffles. It was a buffet but you also ordered the hot food off the menu so it was cooked fresh.
The morning was spent sightseeing on a hop on, hope off bus. The company owner walked us to his office so we could buy our tickets, which last for two days. When we told him we had booked to spend the following day at the zoo he extended our ticket to three days, free of charge.
The weather was stiflingly hot and humid, but we sat upstairs in the open, so as the bus moved along we got a nice breeze. Birthday0.jpgBirthday01.jpgBirthday02.jpg
We didn't do a lot of hopping on and off, in fact we basically just hopped on and stayed on. Saw many of the sights, all be it briefly as the bus went past. But it gave us a good idea of where everything was and helped us decide which places we would go back to.
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We got off the bus back at Raffles early afternoon, as our butler, Alvero had booked Susan into the spa for a facial. I made my way to the Writers bar and relaxed with a few G&Ts, soaking up the atmosphere and chatting to the barman. Susan joined me after her spa visit for a Singapore Sling and we then went up to our suite as we had booked to have afternoon tea on our balcony.
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We stayed at the hotel for dinner, which was pure indulgence.
Susan had crab cakes followed by a whole lobster and I had French onion soup and steak. We shared a lovely bottle of St Jean Chateauneuf du Pape and could hardly move by the end of it.
The waiters then appeared around our table and presented me with a cake and sang Happy Birthday Dear Miss Wendy. There was no way we could eat it so they contacted Alvero to collect it and deliver it to our suite.
We rounded the night off by returning to our suite and drinking a bottle of champagne.
It was an absolutely wonderful birthday!

Posted by RUMissingUsYet 01:02 Comments (2)

Departure and Arrival

sunny 34 °C

Welcome everyone to the first instalment of 'Wendy Does Dallas' Oops sorry wrong website. This is more like 'Two Potter around Singapore'
Everything went well on the flight, no last minute upgrades to business class but we were given two seats each so we could spread out, which is better that a slap in the face with a wet fish - although...... Sorry that's the other website again. I watched The Railway Man during the flight even though Nicole Kidman was in it, I do have a soft spot for Colin Firth. I can't tell you where said soft spot is as again that is something for the other website. It took about 2 mins to get through customs and about 20 to get our bags. Our chauffeur was waiting for us with the Bentley and we had a very enjoyable ride to Raffles. Chilled towels and icy cold water waiting for us in the car. As we passed places of interest Susan turned into a squealing school girl (without the uniform) When we arrived at Raffles we were shown to two big armchairs in the magnificent lobby and given Singapore slings whilst someone else did all the check-in formalities on our behalf. Our butler for the duration of our stay introduced himself as Alvero and insisted we call him anytime day or night should we need/want anything. He then proceeded to show us to our suite. Our suite has a private balcony that overlooks the fountain in the Palm Court below. We decided to explore the hotel and the shops/bars in the adjoining public areas. We inexplicably found ourselves in the Long Bar. We were shown to our table and given a big sack of peanuts. We'll, I know I'm fat but I've never actually been mistaken for an elephant before! It seems everyone had the peanuts, so I quelled my outrage and set about ordering a couple more Singapore Slings. The rule is you throw all the shells onto the floor, something I could manage all too we'll. we ordered a couple of bar snacks and stayed for another drink, this time a Spring Sling which was a delish concoction of Apple vodka, apple sours and a few other bits and pieces and a Mango Collins, which I found a little too sweet. We headed back to the main hotel which is residents only and had a nightcap in the Writers Bar. The bar is wonderful, very sedate, big comfy chairs, big wooden bookcases filled with old books and someone tinkling away on a grand piano. A double gin and tonic for me and another Singapore Sling for Susan. Her verdict in the Sling stakes was the Writers Bar was nicer than the ones in the Long Bar. When the barman brought my gin over he brought the whole bottle and asked if I wanted him to lave the bottle - me thinks my reputation has made it here before me! We went up to our suite to find the bed turned down, slippers laid out either side of the bed and a card from Alvero letting us know he had booked Susan a facial for the next day. The bed was very big and very comfy. The staff have all been wonderfully helpful, friendly and funny - it's been a great start to the holiday. I have been taking photos and will update them onto here once we get to London and I have some more time. Raffles_05.jpgRaffles04.jpgRaffles01.jpgRaffles03.jpgRaffles0.jpg

Posted by RUMissingUsYet 22:06 Comments (2)

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