Day 2: 26th May, Singapore
After a hearty lunch at Ananda Bhavan (Little India) our driver dropped us at Mount Faber. We took a Cable Car from there. The cable car had three stops in total – Mount Faber, Vivocity Mall and Sentosa Island, the total distance covered being about 1.65km. Each cable car can seat a maximum of eight. As we were 12 (including Elsy), we decided to split in groups of 6. Elsy was very concerned about my grandma’s comfort and did everything to ensure the same.
The ride was fun. The view was enthralling – the ground beneath must have been must be a few hundred feet away. We could see the lush greenery underneath. The view was just picture perfect. Elsy had earlier told us about the Merlion. I tried recollecting the total number of Merlions that we came across within 6 hours – two at Marina Bay (Elsy referred to them as Grandmother and Cub), one at Mount Faber, and finally the gigantic 37 meter tall Merlion we just saw through the cable car window. We stopped briefly at Vivocity and continued to Sentosa Island.
Sentosa is a leisure island and has a lot of activities, some of which are Underwater World and Dolphin Lagoon, Sentosa 4D Magix, Songs of the Sea Show, Butterfly Park and Insect Kingdom, and yeah, Universal Studios. As we had barely any time (we reached there about 3.15pm), our schedule was pretty tight. Taking a cue from my cousins who visited Singapore a few years ago we decided to visit the Underwater World, Dolphin Lagoon and the 4D show.
I loved the concept of the Underwater World. Apart from an oceanarium (which is a marvel in itself) there are pools where we can feed the marine creatures like the rays! My sister joked that quite a few characters from Finding Nemo were present – we saw the clownfish, the regal blue tang, the ray and last but not the least, the shark. We passed by the pool where we could feed the rays. The mini-exhibit showcasing the stages of shark embryo development left me intrigued, as the ‘specimens’ were very much alive.
We saw a host of other fishes and sea animals including critically endangered species of turtles, sea angel, seahorses, jellyfish and an interesting species of a crab which appeared like a spider. I found the experience very enriching as I didn’t have much of an experience with marine animals. We saw enlarged models of ammonite fossils. An interesting fact about the ammonites is that they became extinct together with dinosaurs about 70 million years ago.
We got a little more than we had planned for. We had seen a peacock while entering the Underwater World. We caught sight of a peahen and peachicks (yeah, ‘peachick is a legitimate word’). I have seen enough of peacocks and peahens. This was the first time I saw peachicks.
The next stop was the Dolphin Lagoon. This was by far the most favourite part of my day. We saw the pink dolphins (yeah, they were pink) play tricks, like jumping through hoops a few meters high in the air, synchronised swimming, imitating the trainers and tail-walking. It was absolutely a delight to see them so lively.
Accompanying the dolphins were the fur seals. The seals kept the crowd lively by clapping, bouncing and balancing balls. I was awestruck by the way the seals managed to catch every single ring the trainers threw – be it on land or in the pool. The seals have very powerful vision. A few volunteers from the audience got the opportunity to interact with the dolphins and play with the seals. I really enjoyed watching the animals have so much fun and was in no mood to leave when the performance ended.
We caught up with Elsy outside and proceeded towards Siloso Beach as we had a little time left before the next activity. Siloso beach is one of the three beaches in the area, the other being Palawan Beach and Tanjong Beach. The place was calm and serene, barring the activities for children. Our eyes followed the zipcord coming from half a kilometre away. It was one of the main attractions of the MegaZip Adventure Park, which was unfortunately not a part of our package. I was very enthusiastic about the experience as it had been described in pretty vivid detail by a classmate who had been to Singapore a year back.
The last activity planned for the day was the 4D show. We reached a little late, because of which the wait period was estimated to be about 40 minutes. The 4D movie in question was Journey 2 (the one with Dwayne Johnson), which had been shortened to about 20 minutes. I found the clip shown before the movie more interesting than the movie itself. The experience was decent for the people who were seeing the movie for the first time. As I had already seen the movie beforehand, I felt that the experience wasn’t worth waiting so long.
Thanks to Elsy, by the end of the day, my knowledge about the Chinese culture and underwater life had increased significantly. We saw a completely different side to Singapore (literally!) and enjoyed ourselves to the fullest. The only regret I have is missing out on Songs of the Sea show and the MegaZip Adventure Park, which I will hopefully cover the next time I go to Singapore.
Here are a few tips for those visiting the Sentosa Island:
- I guess I have already said this before, but let me say it again. Research about the restaurants in advance if you have special dietary needs.
- Although sneakers are comfortable, avoid wearing them if you are going to the beach or if you are interested in volunteering for a dolphin/seal activity
- The above principle also applies to your clothes. Wear clothes that dry quickly, preferably short ones.
- I came across this tip recently. If you are interested in interacting with the dolphins/seals, try wearing similar attire as that of the trainers/caretakers.