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Sentosa Island and last day in Singapore

Written on: Sunday July 22nd, 2007

A journal entry from: Elective

For our last day in Singapore, we decided that a trip to Sentosa Island was in order. We weren't sure exactly what was there, but it made an appearance in the trip information pack, and it sounded like it could be interesting, so, after a long-awaited lie-in, we took a taxi over to the island.

We were charged 2$ for entry to the island, but included in that came free transport once in the park. We were taken to Beach Point, and dropped off at the train station, free to do our own thing. A quick scout at the map revealed that a good place to start would be Imbiah Point, so we took the next train there.

The island is set up like an enormous theme park, with various areas and different activities in each place. The main, obvious attraction up at Imbiah Point, was the Merlion - a mythical creature that is half-lion, half-mermaid. The gigantic, white stone statue was impressive against the clear blue sky, and we spent quite a while attempting to capture the perfect photo. Around the lion, there was a circular walkway, embellished with cascading waterfalls, beautiful plants, and delicate music, which all came together to create a great atmosphere.

The next thing to do, was take the escalator up to the Imbiah Lookout, to sample the view over to Singapore. The hill held many attractions, including 'Images of Singapore', 'Butterfly World', a nature trail, the Carlsberg Sky Tower, and many more. As you would expect at a theme park, everything was ridiculously priced, so we had to choose the things that we really wanted to do, and give the others a miss. We rode the Sky Tower, which was a huge circular cabin, wrapped around a thick, metal centre. It rose into the sky, and turned around gradually, to give us a slow, 360 degree view of the entire area, overlooking the Malacca Straits with Malaysia just visible in the distance and then out over to Singapore as we turned.

The next attraction was the luge, which looked like great fun! The luge was a small black toboggan, that we controlled as we sped down the track, which wound it's way down the hill to the beach. We both wanted another go when we got to the bottom, but funds were quickly fading, so we just headed to the beach instead, before catching the cable cars back up to the lookout point.

We took cable cars over to Mount Faber, and walked up the hill to Faber Point to take in the view, after perusing the gift shop. We saw the amazing carved murals that surrounded the viewpoint, and yet another merlion had a place on the top of the hill.

We were getting hungry at this point, so we made our way back over to the Boat Quay on the MRT. We got lunch at a 'London Victorian' pub called the Black Penny, where I sampled the fish and chips, and decided they were nowhere near as good as those back home!

Next on our agenda was a walk to Raffles Hotel, the most famous hotel in Singapore. The original plan was to go inside, and sample a Singapore Sling in the hotel bar, but at 27$ per cocktail (9 pounds!), we decided our money would be better spent elsewhere. We did walk to the front of the hotel though, and saw some rich couples prancing out of their chauffeur-driven Rolls Royces, and swanning into the hotel foyer. Definitely not somewhere we would have fit in, but it was only an idea!

We had a look around Raffles Plaza shopping mall instead, before wolfing down a Subway sandwich and jumping back onto the MRT to get to the zoo in time for the Night Safari. I was very excited about this, as I had loved the zoo yesterday, and was more than ready for a second dose! Unfortunately, as is our luck, it started raining again, and all the shows were cancelled. We had been looking forward to the Tribal Dance show, complete with fire batons and fire-blowing, but due to the rain this would not have been possible. It was a real shame, but we just queued up for the tram tour instead and made the most of it!

We saw some amazing sights whilst on the tram ride, but couldn't get any photographs as flash photography was forbidden for the sake of the animals. Irritatingly though, some ignorant people decided that this rule did not apply to them, and still tried to capture the animals as we passed. It didn't take long before they were reprimanded, and the animals were left in peace again.

The first section of the safari was based around the Himalayas, which was nice for us as that's where our adventure started! We saw mountain goats, and many other Nepalese creatures that we were familiar with from our time there. The bullfrogs were musical again, reminding us of our time in Khao Sok, and breaking the stillness of the night.

Most of the animals were roaming free, and it was fantastic to be so close to them. Mainly deer were visible, but there were some larger animals further away from where the tram cut through the night. We saw a couple of rhinos, which were huge in the darkness, one crushing its way through long grass and small trees while another had a lazy mud bath, ignoring us.

The Malaysian tigers looked stunning, bathing in the soft light glow. We learnt that tigers only eat every 4-7 days, and they actually spend most of their time resting, hence why they look very lazy a lot of the time! We also discovered that an adult tiger is capable of leaping 10 metres to catch prey, so if you ever come across one, make sure you're always further away than that!

The next impressive animals we came across were the ever-amazing elephants. They looked better than ever in the moonlight, and seemed right at home. One elephant was in musting, and looked a little restless. Musting is when the testosterone levels are at their highest, and so he was separated from the other elephants, as at this time they can become very aggressive, and very anxious.

Once the tram ride had finished, it was still raining, so, with nothing else that we could do (well, we could have done a walking tour, but we had no torch, and didn't fancy getting lost in the rain), we went back to the Boat Quay for some final pictures before heading home to pack.