Today I am going to talk about being a tourist in the same country where I live. There is a new tourist attraction called River Safari Singapore, Asia’s first and only river-themed wildlife park. Unfortunately since it’s so new, the river part (where you get to ride a boat on the river, how cool is that?) is not actually open yet, so the ticket prices are discounted at S$25.
So without the river part, what is there to see, then? Why, the pandas which were imported from China late last year! And when my friends Chi and Punch, a couple who call themselves the pandas, announced that they were coming here again this year, I knew they were the perfect ones to go see the real pandas with.
On the day of, we were off to a late start. When we got to the Ang Mo Kio bus interchange at almost 4pm, I saw that there was a sign saying the pandas were available for viewing only until 5pm. Drats. Luckily the bus ride (bus 138) took less than the hour projected on the internet, so we arrived at the place with some time to spare. Turns out River Safari is right beside the Singapore Zoo (which I’ve been to before with my mom).
We decided to head straight for the pandas because we were pressed for time. Turns out their habitat is at the end, so we had to pass a lot of aquariums along the way. There were so many fishes and turtles and other animals which we wanted to look at but said we’d come back for later, like this pretty turtle.
But the moment I stepped into the enclosure, the words “OH MY GOD!” escaped my lips, after which I hurriedly mouthed “Sorry!” when everyone turned to look at me. I couldn’t help it! I was so overcome by the cuteness of these red pandas!!!!! ✳️ dies ✳️
She was worried about the wrong thing, she should have been more concerned that I would be the one to jump over the fence to get my hands on them!
This enclosure was not at our level, however, but way below, probably because big pandas are more dangerous.
We arrived just in time to see Kai Kai dining on bamboo shoots. Yes, this panda has an official name given to him, I didn’t just make it up.
Outside the canteen I found a cute mural of the pandas and insisted on taking a picture. Based on this, I am the red panda! LOL. From now on, call me Mozzie.
We asked someone where to go if we wanted to explore more and was told to walk on a bridge across the river to get to the manatee place. This is the view of the river we had to pass. So beautiful, right? Imagine when boats are finally available to ride on this. It would certainly be a treat!
It took us a while to find the manatees. We passed the squirrel monkeys forest (but didn’t go in), several glass cages full of bright colored birds, even a giant snake reminiscent of Harry Potter (shudder), and tanks of dangerous aquatic creatures like this:
I know, those fish look so harmless, right? Those are actually piranha.
We finally did get to the manatees aquarium though. It was huge.
It looked as big as the aquarium at MEMA (Maritime Experiential Museum and Aquarium).
Unlike in MEMA, though, the sea creatures here were fewer and they moved about so slowly. Watching them drift about gracefully coupled with the soft music and dancing soft light caused by the waves made the whole place so relaxing. It was like being under the sea or in a spa, and I just wanted to sit or lie down there and get a massage, you know?
And those manatees!
Honestly they’re not much to look at (sorry!) and I always wondered how they could possibly have inspired the mermaid myths, but seeing how gracefully they moved about, I suddenly understood. Their graceful movement made them look beautiful!
After watching them for a while, I suddenly blurted out: “Can I be a manatee???” to which Chi replied in song: “I wanna be a manatee so freakin’ bad…”
But seriously. They lead such idle lives and I want that even for like a week or something!
We had to drag ourselves away from our newest favorite animals on earth after a while, and we had a chance to go back to those animals we rushed through the first time.
Our last stop was the tank with mallards and beavers in them. There was a video that explained that the beavers were named Justin and Selena. I was so slow because I didn’t immediately realize that this pertained to Justin Bieber and his ex girlfriend Selena Gomez. Justin Beaver… get it? LOL!
We had some Ben and Jerry’s ice cream before boarding bus 168 again. Then we headed to Newton Circus hawker to have a delicious dinner with Gelle and Joey. It was a very enjoyable day indeed! 😀