• Sahana Kulkarni

10 Best Places to Visit in Singapore

The little country often referred as red dot is a beautiful place on earth. Amalgamation of different cultures has resulted in a blend of diversity. The first thought i had about Singapore is, it is a concrete jungle but it charmed me so much that i love this place a lot now. Although everything is man made, the element of nature is present in every bit of it.

I love the country for the modernisation going hand in hand with preserving the mother nature. And yeah it is a fine country. How can i forget that. That is why it is so neat and clean.


History


Modern Singapore was founded as a trading post by the British East India Company. There was a huge demand for the labourers and people migrated from China, India. Initially known as Singapura, it was controlled by British, Japan, Johor sultanate and was also merged with Malaysia for a brief period of time. They have four official languages which are English, Malay, Mandarin Chinese and Tamil.


1. Singapore zoo



It is one of the best rainforest zoo in the world. The feeling of walking inside a dense forest with the animal sounds engulfed me as i started strolling here. Animals can be seen in close proximity and in their natural habitat. There are feeding sessions for animals and if you like to feed them, you are welcome here. Not for a moment i got the feeling that i am in a typical zoo with the animals behind the bars. There is a butterfly park and an enclosure attached to it where you can see some birds and lemurs getting close to you. I did pet a lemur for some time and it pulled my bag the very next moment.


Tips: Get your own food because there is no food available inside the zoo. The zoo is pretty big and can easily take half a day.


2. Night Safari


Night safari is right next to the zoo and you have to book the slots prior. I had booked mine before entering the zoo. Usually people start queuing up by 6.15 pm for the very first ride. Riding in an open vehicle to see the animals during the night time is a different experience. The zoo keeper would explain about the animals as in when you cross them. To be frank i liked the zoo more than the night safari.

After completing the ride there is an excellent animal show hosted by the zoo in an open amphitheatre. The primary intension of the show is to educate the crowd on the usage of plastic and recycling the waste for which i will give a thumbs up.


3. Jurong Bird Park



Have you ever seen a bird right in front of you flapping it's wings and walking fearlessly. Well I witnessed it in Jurong bird park. Environment created for the birds just looks like a natural habitat and is very well maintained. There are bird feeding sessions for 1 Singapore dollar where you can feed the parrots with the nectar. While i was walking in the bird park, in a watch tower i was stuck for half an hour because of the rain. In Singapore the rains come and go anytime, any day. Later i decided to buy an umbrella for the rest of my trip to save myself from such a situation.

There is a museum which gave me the detailed explanation and visuals of different types of birds and how the birds inspired to build an Aeroplane!! There is a Research and Breeding centre where there were birds old couple of days fed by care takers. I got goosebumps watching the scene. There were many birds bred in the centre whose mothers have left them without caring and are brought up in the facility. Overall i liked this place a lot.


4. Flower dome



This place is a very huge dome with varieties of flowering plants from all around the world. I covered this place along with the Cloud forest and the OCBC Skywalk which is situated nearby. Flowering plants were sectioned in to different zones based on the continent. Also there were carnivorous plants in a section with the warning sign. Sometimes i feel that God has created such a beautiful place called earth with different colours and somehow we miss to appreciate the beauty around.


5. Cloud forest


After exiting the flower dome i visited cloud forest whose entrance is just opposite to the flower dome. The hill like tall structure which is completely covered with the plants, all green and the man made waterfalls which is pouring down from the top with such a force created the mist around the area. For once i felt like i am in the middle of a jungle with such an amazing waterfall. But came back to the reality when i heard talking and screaming of people with the excitement when they were standing below that waterfalls for the photo ops. You can climb the stairs with some 3-4 floors to reach the top of the structure. The view of the city as you climb top is breathtaking. Helped an old couple from Australia to click their pictures and they were really happy. Their hunger to travel and see the places even when they were old like 70 plus, made me little emotional.


6. OCBC Skywalk


The hide and seek of music and lights mesmerises you to the core. It was a different experience for me and it took me to another world. This is the beauty of places in Singapore. You get lost so easily with the dreams and imagination. The first time I could not get an entry to the OCBC Skywalk as the token counter shuts off by 8 pm.


I watched the light and sound show with many other people by sitting under those super groove tress. I had to revisit this place again to get an entry and then got a chance to view the show from top of the skywalk. Amazing experience and what a lovely view.

I could relate the music during the starting of the show to the Hindi song "Main teri hoon janam Tu mera jiya.." from the movie Khoon bhari maang.


7. China town


China town is a place where in you can find everything Chinese. The old buildings with many street side shops selling food and souvenirs is a must visit place. I visited the Buddha tooth relic temple which is painted in red. For Chinese the red colour is auspicious and you can find the Chinese homes also completely painted in red.


The Buddha tooth relic temple has 3- 4 floors. It was morning time and there were many people and monks in the temple chanting the prayers. It was so peaceful and calm. The walls are decorated with lakhs of small Buddha idol and was a majestic sight.

In one of the floor there was a 3D museum with age old carvings of Buddha from different countries like India, Srilanka. It is one of its kind.

Another floor in the complex has this tooth relic temple, where the piece of Lord Buddha's tooth is placed and worshipped. Photography not allowed and the slippers had to be removed before entering the temple.

In the top floor, an open terrace with the beautiful garden welcomes you. There were many orchids of different colours. Green was standing out amongst all. In the centre of the

garden there is a huge prayer wheel. i circled along with it for 3 rounds. It is one of the biggest prayer wheels in the world.


8. Sentosa Island



This is a huge place and i reached here by cable car. This was the "first time" ride for me and i was all alone in the car which made me worrisome for some time. But the view of the Singapore shores from the cable car is so wow made me forget everything. I visited couple of attractions here, the Sea aquarium and Madame Tussauds museum. I got to touch a sea urchin and sea cucumber in the sea aquarium. yaayy!!! The Sea Aquarium has a vast collection of colourful fishes and a very huge shark tank.


9. Botanical garden and National Orchid garden


Botanical Garden is a Unesco World Heritage site with many old trees as old as 161 years. It is the only tropical garden which is honoured to be a Unesco World Heritage site. While i was walking in the garden i saw many people staring at the mobile phones and walking in the park. My curiosity levels rose when i saw some with the 3-4 phones looking at all of them at the same time. Later i got to know that they were all playing some sort of online game. Ufff the craziness redefined :)


There is an orchid garden inside this park and it has an entry fee while the entrance to the Botanical garden is free. I saw many colourful orchids here and to my surprise there were orchid plants named after the celebrities. One of them had the name of the famous Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan. I felt proud for a moment.


10. MacRitchie reservoir


MacRitchie Reservoir is a must visit place if you are a nature lover. It is most popular among the people who love trekking and hiking. I was confident of trekking in the forest initially but after walking for some time i could sense the heat from the scorching sun and the sweat coming out of my body. Nevertheless it was a nice experience to walk in the forest trail and I could complete 3km trail.


I found monitor lizard and some monkeys on the way. It is a big reservoir which is a natural reservoir surrounded by forest. It is home to many species of flora and fauna. There are many rules and regulations if you are walking in the forest. For example, no camping, no pets, no drones, no plucking of flowers etc. There is a heavy fine if people involve in such activities.



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