We began today with a period of masterly inactivity, happy to relax in a haven of peace and tranquillity (and air conditioning) high above the bustling streets of Singapore. With the prospect of the night safari this evening we decided to make a very late start whilst enjoying the facilities of the building. Thus before lunch we had a leisurely swim in the extensive open air pool. Lunchtime gave us the opportunity to skype Annabel on her birthday. Having already sent an insurance video message from Malacca we still wanted to see the birthday girl on her big day. The 7 hour time difference does make things a little tricky, but Annabel is nothing if not an early riser so we successfully contacted Annabel, Andy and Lucy and were able to offer our version of ‘Happy Birthday’ live as Annabel opened her card from us.
Having been cheered by this family contact we left the apartment to do battle with Singapore’s heat and humidity. Becky had told us that no-one just goes out for a walk and within 100 yards we understood why. We had been lulled into a partial false sense of security in KL in terms of the effects of the climate but here we realised we had to be even more careful and take things slower.
We headed along River Valley Road to Fort Canning Park and hauled ourselves to the top to admire the fort gate set amongst the foliage. We descended the far side to stroll through the spice garden, with a myriad examples of the basis of the spice trade, including the nutmeg tree. From here we reached the National Museum and spent 2 hours in the fascinating and cool History gallery. The wealth of information presented as part of an immersive audio-visual guide was very impressive. The building itself was worth a visit, especially the rotunda.
From here we managed to find a passing cab willing to take us to the night safari and despite the rush hour traffic we arrived in good time to buy tickets from the obvious ticket booth, which Eric just breezed straight past. We ensured that we enjoyed all the benefits of the experience by partaking of a Bongo burger whilst watching the fire eating display before the gates opened. On Becky’s advice we headed to the amphitheatre to watch the ‘creatures of the night show’ first. This was a very well presented showcase of nocturnal animals with an entertaining script, well received by the audience, especially the large number of vociferous school children.
Having enjoyed this show we followed the crowd to the trams and with only a short wait embarked on our journey through the night time jungle, with its myriad denizens. The experience was a delight, with so many animal close at hand and easy to observe, accompanied by a lively commentary. On our return to the tram stop we decided to take advantage of some of the walking trails, allowing us to view other nocturnal creatures. The highlights were the fishing cats and the various leopards, as well as a very active set of otters.
At the end of the leopard trail we found ourselves at an intermediate tram stop and very cheekily we rejoined a tram and enjoyed a second trip around ¾ of the circuit, which allowed Joyce to see the tiger again . Once this had finished it was approaching 10.30pm and, concerned about getting back to the apartment, we headed out of the park. Thankfully as we reached the road a taxi arrived, available for hire, so we jumped in and were swiftly returned to Becky’s.