It was our 10th marriage anniversary year. Our kids had also grown old enough to take care of themselves. Hence we decided to tread on the path of taking vacations a little step further. We decided to test the waters of a new place and zeroed into Singapore. We planned to go during winter vacations so that the weather remains pleasant for us to visit places.
After all the requisitions and formalities were completed we were set for the trip. On the day of our departure, we called a cab to reach the airport. When we were halfway through, there was a glitch in the driver’s GPS device and he took us on a wrong road. The road he took us was in the opposite direction of the airport. Thankfully my husband knew the roads well and guided the cab guy immediately on the right path. We were losing time and were almost convinced that we will miss the flight. I kept my fingers crossed and prayed relentlessly till we reached the terminal. Dashing out of the taxi, we quickly rushed towards the entrance gate and then ran towards Boarding pass counter. The lady was in the process of closing when we reached. She told us to hurry after issuing the passes. Rushing through the security check-in, we went towards the terminal for international flights. It was huge and due to stress, we were just not able to find our way. Just at that moment, there came a guy on his electrical cart and offered us a ride to reach the required gate for our flight. He must have surely been an angel in disguise who appeared before us just when we were about to give up.
We reached and boarded the plane on time after a stressful nerve-racking start. The Singapore Airport was decorated in Christmas theme. It was so pleasant and beautiful to see the festive spirit around. Reaching our hotel, we found their lobby having a huge Christmas Tree sparkling. My kids were so excited to see such festivities around.
After a quick break and little rest, we went to visit the Orchard Street which is famous for its decoration and lights during this time. The atmosphere there was phenomenal. People were on the streets walking. There were sparkling reindeers, Christmas trees and all sorts of decoration possible. Songs were floating in the air, Malls were decked up from top to bottom. The whole area was crackling with energy. We returned to our hotel late at night happy and satisfied to bring a perfect end to the struggled beginning.
Next day, we all were up and ready at the proper time. We had decided to travel through their MRT. Their metro transit is highly recommended. It is so simple and such a time saver with no hassles. One gets a hang of it within a day. Many buses are also connected with their MRT which connects all the main points of Singapore easily with each other.
We reached River Safari at the time when their gates were opened. There are an innumerable variety of fishes and sea creature displayed in the huge aquariums all around. But their main attraction is the Giant Pandas who are at the end of the River Safari. We decided to visit them first as I had found out that with the passing of the day, the pandas become sleepy and then it is hard to see them properly. And, our decision was fruitful. We found them eating and moving around under the morning sun. My kids were so excited to see these cute pandas all active. After having some time spent there we came to the other side of the path which shares its common wall with the Singapore Zoo.
To our delight, we found a glass wall just next to the exit of Giant Pandas section. Through that glass wall, we were surprised to see a Polar bear swimming in the water. The Polar Bear was a zoo property and it was playing in the water during the morning time. It was so exciting to get such clear shots of the Polar Bear. Our day was turning out well. We then went ahead to see the otters playing in their glass aquarium and basking under the sun. My younger one was more into fishes and didn’t want to miss one fish also. After an hour and a half, we were out of the river safari. (We didn’t go for the Boat Ride because my younger kid didn’t pass through their height specifications)
Next to the River Safari is the Singapore Zoo. As tickets were all pre-booked, we were on the premises in no time. With the help of a map (I recommend taking a map of every place you visit), we went to various animal sections. As the heat was increasing we decided to board the tram which helped to easily cover various sections spread around. The best attractions are the various animal shows which are held from time to time in different areas. They are awesome and we were lucky to watch two of those shows. One involved various animals and birds doing various tricks which was so much fun to watch. The other involved a seal playing all sorts of games. My elder was the happiest one coming out of the show as she was chosen to feed the seal. She couldn’t believe that she was the one chosen among all.
Coming out of the zoo we had a light dinner and then winded our way towards the Night Safari. All these three places are right next to each other and if properly timed you can easily finish them along with enjoying them. There was a huge crowd for the night safari but the wait was worth. The tram on which you are traveling just takes you in the middle of all the animals. They instruct you to be quite and switch off the flash of the camera. The animals return the call when these staff members call them out in the night. It is such a surreal feeling. As we came out there was a bus waiting to take us back to the MRT station and within minutes we were back to our hotel. Day one had ended on a good note.
The second day was to the Sentosa island. It is literally a paradise for children for sure. The Sea Aquarium was such a wonderful place with enormous aquariums all over and tube passages for the visitors to walk through them. In one of the cylindrical aquarium, a staff diver was feeding the fishes wearing Santa suit. The sea creatures were also celebrating Christmas. It was a great experience.
After finishing the Sea Aquarium we visited the most enchanting place in Singapore – The Universal Studios. The whole place was in Red Green and White colors. Huge wreaths and mistletoes were hanging from the top. There was a place to meet with Santa and next to it the acrobats and various dancers were performing. Such a merry sight!!!
Keeping our kids as the priority we visited those theme parks first which they could relate easily with. There was happiness all around. People were elated and excited all around. It is contagious I tell you. We were immediately perked up looking at their cheerful faces. Going on rides and watching wonderful shows, we completed the rides. In the evening there is a show by the best stuntmen known as ‘The Waterworld Show’. It is something which shouldn’t be missed. We were just filled with awe by the hard work of those guys who put up such a wonderful show.
In the evening the studios were lit up with sparkling lights and stars. There was a musical dance show at the main junction and then the snow started falling from the huge fan like machines installed above. It looked like a page from a Fairy-tale book. With such lovely images locked in our heart, we returned to our place. And that is how we ended our second day.
Next day was dedicated to Marina Bay and the area around. We went to the Botanical gardens via MRT. The Botanical Gardens were also enveloped with Christmas spirit. Walking through the Gardens by the bay and the beautiful parks in the garden made our day. Thereafter, we moved to take a stroll towards Marina Bay. A little away there was the Singapore Flyer looming over us. Crossing the ‘Helix Bridge’ we went to board the Flyer. As the evening turned into night the city came alive with lights. It was a view which could only be enjoyed when you were on the Flyer. It was worth every minute spent there. After the dinner, we returned to re-energize ourselves for the next day.
Next day we went to Jumong Bird Park. Never had I seen such a beautiful ensemble. There were majestic Eagles and lovable Lorries; talkative Cockatoos and magnificent Flamingoes; alluring Swans and marvelous Peacocks. The bird shows were equally amazing. We covered the Bird Park by noon and took the MRT towards Sentosa. Instead of taking the monorail to the island, we decided to walk towards Sentosa through the bridge. While visiting Sentosa, if there is time to spare, one should enjoy that walk on that bridge. The view from the ‘Boardwalk’ is splendid.
We had booked tickets for a light show held on the Sentosa beach called the ‘Wings of Time’. The weather was pleasant in the evening and we really enjoyed the show. After the show, we went around the Sentosa to look at many other beautiful sights on the island.
The next day was the day of our departure from this beautiful city. Since our flight was in the evening, we went to visit the famous ‘Merlion Statue’ of Singapore. The rest of the day went exploring the famous markets of Singapore. The street markets were amazing. My kids couldn’t get enough of the trinkets displayed in those shops. Coming to our hotel, we checked out and took MRT for the very last time straight to the Changi Airport.
This trip was a first family overseas trip with my kids and I was so glad that it turned out so well. The festive spirit around added to the splendor. A truly cherishable memory of our lives.
This blog post is part of #A2ZChallenge. My theme for the year 2018 is Memories. This post is for letter ‘Z’.