Singapore Travel Journal
Last month my mum came to visit Hong Kong. It was her second time visiting so she had already seen all the major tourist attractions around here. I wanted to take her to Singapore because it's one of the most beautiful cities in Asia and as a fellow plant lover, I knew she was going to love the greenery of the city.
THINGS TO DO
Despite its small size, there are a lot of things to see and do around the city. On the first day we walked along the Singapore River bank towards the Marina Bay waterfront. We passed by many restaurants as well as beautiful parks and massive ancient trees close to the river. We spotted a large number of people exercising energetically - despite the heat! -, riding bicycles or zooming past in electric scooters. We arrived at the Merlion park in time to enjoy the sunset.
Next in the agenda was a visit to the Singapore Botanic Gardens. As I mentioned before, both my mum and I are crazy plant ladies. We can spend hours looking at all the different leaves' shapes, sizes and colours without feeling the time passing by. The park is big and it has and incredible amount of plants and flowers; we enjoyed spotting all the different kinds of orchids and colourful flowers as well as birds, squirrels and insects.
One of my favourite things to do in Singapore is to have breakfast with the orangutans* at the zoo**. I wanted to share this experience with my mum so very early in the morning we embarked on the long journey on metro and taxi to have great food and catch a glimpse of these beautiful creatures. As always, the food was amazing - both western and asian options available - and we were very lucky because 4 furry orangutans decided to join us, including a mum and a tiny gorgeous baby. I took several pictures of the baby and mum interacting, they looked so cute! but I won't bore you with them and I'll show you just one.
After the breakfast we visited all the other animals and snapped many more pictures; my mum's favourite animal was the giraffe and mine, besides the orangutan, the chimp.
Last but not least was a visit to the Gardens by the Bay. I think they are one of the most beautiful urban interventions and recreational spaces open to the public free of charge - the Hong Kong government should take note -. The main feature of the park is the tree-like structures covered with thousands of plants and flowers that attract several species of animals to feed. It's so beautiful and relaxing, I can't recommend it enough. Also, there's a light show every night where the trees light up a the rhythm of classical music. It's an absolute joy to watch - the trees look like fireworks - and the best part is that it's absolutely free.
MY FAVOURITE PART
Both the Gardens by the Bay and the Zoo are my favourite bits. When I go there I can relax completely, I feel lighter and more connected with nature. Being close to the animals fills me with wonder and happiness, and the smell of plants and flowers clears my mind of stress and negativity.
There were many places we didn't have time to visit: China town, little India, the Arab quarter, Palau Ubin and many more. I'm sure we'll have a chance to do so next time we go, my mum would absolutely love to visit again.
If you haven't been to Singapore yet, I really hope you can visit some day. If you have, isn't it wonderful?
Many thanks for reading this post. If you have any comments of questions, please leave them below in the comment section.
* The orangutans are eating fruits and seeds in a special section a little away from the tourists and they only come if they want to because they are free to roam around within in the Zoo. Also people are not allowed to touch them.
** I believe wild animals should live free in their natural environment, however this particular zoo has very good living conditions for the animals including big natural enclosures - no metal bars or barbed wire, etc -, plenty of shade and hiding places and most importantly, they look healthy and happy.
All images © Gina Maldonado