Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Singapore: Part 1

I had an action packed weekend in Singapore. I'm planning a couple of posts to update you on the delights of Singapore.

Night Safari
On the Friday evening Jess and I went to the Night Safari. I haven't been to a zoo since mum and dad took me to London Zoo when I was still at Primary School!

The Night Safari is set up as a major tourist attraction and there were hoards of visitors waiting to see the animals. There is a tram which drives you round a 45 minute loop of the zoo and is the easiest way to see the main animals. We saw elephants, rhinos, lions, giraffes, hyppos, several types of deer and many other animals on the tour.

Some of the animals looked a bit drowsy and they were all neatly perching or grazing under the soft lighting of their habitat. For some of the animals there were no obvious enclosures or fencing preventing them walking onto the road or otherwise wandering off. I have a few nagging thoughts as to whether all the animals on display are noctunal? If there is something in their feed making them all so placid? How does the zoo conjur that they are all present and awake on demand?

I did a quick Google and I couldn't find anything damning, except a few grumbles about their live shows. Perhaps the fencing was a lot more subtle than I realised and my suspicions are completely unfounded.

In addition to the tram there are two / three walking trails where you can see some smaller animals and enclosures that are not visited by the tram. As I had agreed to meet some other friends later in the evening we only had time to do one of the walks. The zoo also had a couple of shows on each evening which we uinfortunately had to miss.

I think it was worth the visit. Unlike me I would suggest that you spend the whole evening there to view everything on offer.

Clarke Quay

After the Night Safari we headed to Clarke Quay, a central hub of bars and restaurants popular with expats, tourists and locals. I was meeting an eclectic mix of friends from JPMorgan, BarCap, New York and friends of friends who are all now living in Singapore. Artur, pictured, and I were on the grad scheme at JPM together.

We started in the Tapas Tree for some dinner and then moved onto China One. Prices are bordering on London's West End which came as a bit of a shock to this unemployed loafer who has become accustomed to the cheap prices of Bangkok!

We had a great evening in China One. There was an excellent live band who did a couple of sets of covers. Their first set was based in 1994/5 which was around the time I started getting into music and therefore great for me. Their second set was of hits from the last year or so. When the band weren't playing there was was a DJ keeping the dance floor packed.

We got chatting to a group of people at the bar next to us, one of whom told me they worked in Islamic Banking while knocking back a vodka. I assured them anonymity!

I have uploaded my photos from the weekend here.

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