Day 4: 28th May, Singapore
It took me only three days to fall in love with Singapore. I was having a hard time accepting the fact that the Singapore leg of our journey was bordering to an end. However, the fact that cheered me up slightly was that for our last day the itinerary only covered the schedule until 2pm. We had more than half the day to ourselves.
The only place in the itinerary was the Jurong Bird Park. I was thrilled again, mainly because of the great experience my cousins and best friend recollected having there. We reached around 9.30 am. The first place we visited was the Penguin Coast. Jurong Bird Park is the home to 4 species – the King penguin, the Macaroni penguin, the Rockhopper and the Humboldt penguin. For a while I was confused if a few of them were statues as they were staring at us without the slightest hint of movement. Then I saw a couple of them take a dive in the water.
We moved on to the tram ride, with the help of which we got a decent idea about the exhibits in the park. We passed by the Heliconia Walk, the Hornbills & Toucans and the Window of Paradise and came to the first stop – the Lory Station. I was just amazed at the colour of the birds’ feathers. They were very vivid and bright. The birds were pretty sharp. They held the feeding cups in their talons and ate the little food that remained in them! On exploring the Lory Loft a little we caught sight of a majestic pair of peacocks strutting by.
We caught a tram to the next stop – the Waterfall Station. We passed by a quite a few exhibits on the way – the Birds of Prey, which housed a variety of Eagles, Kites. I felt that the Himalayan Griffon Vulture was majestic. I also remember passing by the Jungle Jewels. I passed by the exhibit I really wanted to see the most – the Dinosaur Descendants.
I really enjoyed seeing the Waterfall aviary. We were just in time for the morning feeding session at 10.30 am and got a chance to see many varieties of birds, with the backdrop of the world’s tallest man-made waterfall (30m high). It was a sight to remember. The Crested Guinea Fowls looked just amazing. I enjoyed seeing the crowned pigeons strut on the bridge – they looked kinda royal and were so much bigger than the pigeons we see back home.
On hearing about the High Flyers show we rushed to the Pools Amphitheatre. We reached just before the show started and hence didn’t really get the best seats. But I was thrilled to see Sassy the Sulphur Crested Cockatoo fly to a volunteer and perch on his arm. Other beauties included Amigo, a Yellow Naped Amazon, who said “Hello”, sang happy birthday and mimicked a host of sounds (including that of a telephone) and a pair of parrots, who flew through hoops. The interesting thing about the parrots was that they managed to fly through every hoop (no matter how small the size was!) with ridiculous precision. The most informative part about the show was about the hornbills – Alfred and Vicky. We learnt a great deal about their nesting habits. The grand finale was seeing more than 70 super-excited flamingos on the stage at once.
As we had covered almost every show we could, we got a little spare time, during which we decided to split up and explore in smaller groups. My sister and I decided to check stuck together and decided to explore the World of Darkness first. The World of Darkness is the home to species of owls such as the Snowy Owl, Malay Fish Owl, Eurasian Eagle Owl, Barn Owl, Great Grey Owl and the Boobook Owl. I had never seen so many species of owls at once (except at the Hogwarts owlery). They stood perfectly still, waiting for their prey. I was surprised to learn that the owls have a binocular vision and exceptionally sharp auditory sense, and that they never miss their prey.
We moved on to the Heliconia Walk and then passed by the Flamingo Lake on the path to the Dinosaur Descentants. I was amazed by the Ostrich, Rhea and Emu, but the Cassowary was the one that really caught my eye (and yeah, it gave us a really hard time while capturing on camera). The final place we visited in the park was the Bird Discovery Centre, where we learnt quite a bit about the feathers, talons and eggs.
Having the afternoon free, we decided to visit the Orchard Road. Orchard Road has a host of shops, ranging from for those on a limited budget, to those on a relatively high one. After exploring for the better part of two hours we decided to return to the hotel.
After resting for a while at the hotel we proceeded to watch Wonder Full (the Light and Sound Show) near the Marina Bay. We decided to walk from the Peninsula Excelsior to the Marina Bay, passing by the Cricket Ground and the War Memorial. The distance is about 900 meters but the walk was totally worth it. The scenery by the Marina Bay was much grander at night than it was by the day. The Singapore Flyer in particular looked really spectacular by the evening. We sat down, waiting for the show to begin and enthral us all the more.
The show began sharply at 8pm. The lasers, the searchlight and the 140-piece orchestra music just made it a lot more magical. The three years of hard work of 100 specialists became more evident by the second. Although I didn’t understand the theme of the show at that time, I was lost in its beauty. It was just picture perfect, and by far the best evening I ever had. Following the show, we returned to our hotel rooms for the last time, with a heavy heart. Our time in Singapore was coming to an end.
Here are a few tips regarding Jurong Bird Park:
- There is a lot to cover. Although the tram ride covers most of the stuff, it is advisable to go through the entire trail by foot for a better experience
- You can choose to photograph yourself with the birds at the entrance, or feed the birds at the Waterfall or the Lory Loft for a reasonable price.
- Keep a track of the show timings for the High Flyer Show and the Kings of the Skies Show. We had to miss out on the Kings of the Skies show due to time constraints
- You can see a lot many birds from up close during their feeding time. Keep a track of that
- The Bird Discovery Centre and the Breeding and Research Centre are very informative. Try visiting them if you have a chance
- You tend to save more if you visit the City Zoo, the Bird Park and the Night Safari on the same day
- Try wearing similar clothes as that of the caretakers. The birds may be more attracted to that.
For the Wonder Full Light and Sound Show, here are some tips:
- You might want to get a closer look from near the Merlion (which gets pretty crowded pretty quick), but the bridge also offers a decent view
- Although the show begins at 8.00, you might want to reach a little early to enjoy the evening and the scenery
- The show lasts about 13 minutes. Enjoy it to the fullest
- There are quite a few decent shops in the area if you are looking forward to it. The Peninsula Market is only a kilometer away.