We finally slept in a little bit on Friday, and enjoyed a leisurely breakfast at the hotel before heading out.
Singapore is organized into several areas or neighborhoods, just like any major city, and today we decided to explore Chinatown, which is known for its cheap souvenirs and the food court with the best chicken rice stall!
After lunch, we explored the neighborhood a little more, and came across the Chinatown Heritage Centre, a museum dedicated to the early Chinese migrant workers, many of whom were women. The museum had two levels that were recreations of living quarters back then, and it was astonishing to see the small rooms, which were often occupied by entire families!
We also saw a Buddhist temple, and we opted to enjoy the view from outside (we were allowed inside, but I would have had to cover my legs and arms up. Not happening in the hot weather).
With the temperature starting to reach a tropical 95 or so, we headed back to the hotel for a little rest. Mike went to the gym, and I took a little nap. I normally do my best to work out on vacations, but after a long running season, I decided to rest my body this trip! In hindsight, I think this was a great choice because I came back refreshed and ready to run again.
We went downstairs to the underground to find a restaurant, and ended up at a Japanese place with some delicious sushi and shabu shabu.
Then, it was time for the Night Safari! As we waited for the bus to pick us up from the hotel, Mike grabbed a soda to stay awake. He’s a die-hard fan of Diet Coke, and was disappointed to find the Asian substitute of Coke Light, which he emphatically stated did not taste the same!
The bus ride to the Night Safari zoo gave us the first true taste of Singaporean traffic. What would have taken us half an hour in no traffic took over two hours in the evening rush hour! I was nervous about not being able to see the whole zoo because we arrived at 9 PM. But while we ended up skipping the “Creatures of the Night” amphitheater show, we saw just about everything else!
The Night Safari is Singapore’s #1 attraction, and it is a zoo of nocturnal animals, open only at night. We got to see lots of cats and other nocturnal animals awake and up close, and we enjoyed the informative tram ride through the park as well! Not surprisingly, we couldn’t get good pictures of the animals, and we ended up putting the camera away for most of the night and just enjoying the animals.
The only downside was that it started pouring around 11 PM, and we ended up missing our bus back :( But there were plenty of taxis around, and it wasn’t long before we got a cab and got back to the hotel. A hot shower was just the thing after the sticky heat of the day and the layers of bug repellent we applied at the zoo. Overall, we had a great time and felt the zoo lived up to the hype!
Next week: our adventures in Phuket, Thailand!