Singapore Zoo – Breakfast with the Orangutans

An alarm call at 7.00 a.m. plus an excitable text from my monkey loving daughter who was just going to bed heralded the beginning of our visit to Singapore Zoo and breakfast with the orangutans!!

We arrived by taxi and were immediately shown to the restaurant and invited to help ourselves to breakfast – and what a breakfast it was. Everything from prettily prepared fruits to cereals, toast, cheeses and many dishes full of the contents of an English breakfast – the choice was ours!!

Liz chose the fruit and I had toast and cheese – not very adventurous but it was a very humid day and the thought of a big breakfast was not a pleasant one – it didn’t stop Mark and Lisa though – they had a big plateful!!!

We had been told that the elephants would be fed just before the orangutans came out – so we went across the courtyard to watch this…

They were really friendly and were quite happy to be fed by any of the early risers attending that morning..

Then it was back to the restaurant for more coffee and the orangutans!!

The whole family were brought out at the side of the restaurant and while they were feeding a commentary was taking place – telling us about their diet, their natural habitat and their lifestyle at Singapore Zoo.

It was absolutely fascinating,

and they seemed quite happy to be up close and personal with us humans…

even the babies…

But, of course Mum was watching….

Those eyes followed us everywhere…

Hmmm – quite a scary moment – but it had to be done!!!

It was soon over but I really recommend this visit to anyone visiting Singapore – this is an amazing Zoo with something for everyone – shows, information on every animal, plant and bird with Zoo staff who were happy to explain anything.

I have many more photos of the zoo but thought the breakfast with the orangutans deserved a post all to itself – so there will be more animals soon.

Malaysia

Or the Malacca tour to be precise!

 

The alarm went off at 5.30 a.m. but only because the hotel one is not easy to set and we got it wrong!

 

I wasn’t feeling too good, I had been bitten by something small, insect shaped and hopefully now deceased. My leg was swollen and throbbing and my temperature was going up and down. My doctor had prescribed anti-biotics before I left (just in case) and I had started to take them – but I was feeling quite woozy.

We decided to get breakfast before we left so went over to MacDonald’s at 7.00 a.m. then got ready to meet Mark and Lisa for ‘The Malacca Tour’.

We got on the bus at the hotel and were given forms to fill in for the Malaysian and Singapore borders.

 

It wasn’t too far to the 1 kilometre bridge that separates the countries but we had to get out of the bus twice – once to leave Singapore and get our passports stamped accordingly then back on the bus and off again for Malaysian passport control.

The difference between the two countries was apparent immediately, buildings, streets and cars were unkempt and it was obvious that the two countries are worlds apart.

 

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Our guide got on the bus in Malaysia – he introduced himself as ‘J.D’ and he kept up a running commentary as we travelled along.

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We visited a pewter factory – one of Malaysia’s exports – it was just a small place but we were shown how the metal is melted and made – there was a gift shop too. It was interesting to see but there was nothing I really wanted to buy. mark had been telling us about the poverty here – so it was good to see some industry.

We got back on the coach and carried on our way for 2 hours until stopping for lunch at an hotel in the centre of Malacca.

And, what a lunch – beautifully set out in huge tureens were starters and mains with a whole one side of the room devoted to puddings, sweets and fruit.

I had sliced Malaysian chicken and beef stuffed with spinach then braised. It was gorgeous and served with beautifully prepared vegetables, followed by a tiny fruit tart and a little apple crumble with vanilla sauce….. delicious.

After lunch JD took us to a Buddhist Temple, while we looked around he told us the story of the Buddha

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Then we were let loose in Jonker Street – where the shops are:

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It was a fascinating place – the festival of Qing Ming was due to take place in just a few days time. This is when the people visit their ancestors graves and clean them up. They then leave gifts of houses, cars, mobile phones, shoes, household effects and money to keep their ancestors wealthy in the after life..

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All these gifts are made of paper and there are replicas of everything you can think of.. These are taken to the ancestor’s graves and burnt!

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The street here was quite narrow but very busy ..

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Then we were taken to the Fortress which would have been demolished if Stamford Raffles hadn’t intervened:

It was a long way up

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And I really couldn’t face the walk so I sat beside the cannon and let the others climb all those steps.

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Liz bought two paintings

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And they waved to me sitting with the cannon!!!!

Next – more shops and sightseeing –

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What really friendly people they are…

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When they are awake!!!

I bought a few souvenirs, fridge magnets for my aunt and a light box for me..

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Isn’t it pretty?

Then we went back to the hotel for a drink and waited for the bus to take us back to Singapore…

More hours spent on the bumpiest bus ever and passport and customs control later – we arrived back at the The Meritus Mandarin hotel where Mark and Lisa left us. Liz and I showered and went went out for dinner to a little Italian Trattoria – I think the pills were starting to work because I really enjoyed that meal.

 

Then it was home for an early night – it was our zoo trip and breakfast with the monkeys the next day.

China Town

 

China Town – Take the MRT from Somerset to Dhobi Ghaut Interchange, then change lines and its two stations on– first Clarke Quay and then Chinatown!

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Very busy and bustling with people.

We checked out a huge store – Lisa called at an Emporium, it was full of very expensive things,way out of our price range!

So we moved on to the street of shop-houses, very old buildings that have, so far, escaped demolition, but it won’t be too long I fear..

 

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We had a look at many of the shop houses but it was so crowded it was hard to see what was there..

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A gap in the crowd!!

I found a shop where they were selling hand made chinese painted scrolls with names on painted in Chinese characters – they were really special and I thought they would be lovely presents for my children’s homes.

The man who was painting them to order was fascinating – he sat me down and introduced his art.

His name was Yip Shu Shan, and originally he came from Hong Kong.

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I chose my scrolls and painting style plus the symbol that I wanted to give ‘Happiness’ for my daughter and her partner and ‘Love’ for my son and his wife.

They were beautifully made and took time to dry…

 

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Fortunately my friends found me – they loved the art work so much that Mark had one made for his Mum – it was very pretty too!

Afterwards we looked around more of the shops

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Look at these fans!!!  

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Then we tried the China Town hawker stalls for dinner… its very different there, touristy and not like we have been used to…. they close a whole road and put tables down the centre of it.

I didn’t think the food was as nice– quite oily but looking around it was a place where the locals don’t normally dine! It was full of tourists, just like me!!!

Well an early night was in order so we went back to the hotel to get ready for an early start the next morning…Malaysia here we come!!!!