With the flora and fauna

With the flora and fauna

I visited Singapore along with my wife to stay with my son and daughter-in-law for a few days.

Since it was my first visit there, I was flabbergasted by the city — there can be no other city in the world as green and clean as Singapore. The skyline is a captivating sight of modernity with interesting architecture and attractive skyscrapers.

Although it is a world centre for trade, it is much more than that, it is a cultural melting pot. There is China Town at one end and at the other end, one can sense the Arabic flavours in Arab Street District. In between, there is Little India where one can enjoy Indian delicacies.

The timing of our visit coincided with the celebration of the Chinese Lunar New Year. The  whole city was abuzz with  festivities. Many places were decorated with cloth and lamp shades in red. As a part of the celebration, the traditional lion dance had been arranged in some homes and shopping malls. It was a delight to watch the performance where an actor with  the mask of a lion danced to the tune of drums.

We started our sight-seeing with a visit to the Mer Lion Park. Mer Lion — the head of the lion and the body of a fish with prominent  scales — is the icon of Singapore. Opposite the icon, on the other bank of the beach, is Marina Bay, a gigantic  cricket wicket-shaped structure.

One can go up to the 50th floor by lift and enjoy an aerial view of the city. From there, one can fly with the Super Heroes on cable cars. Flying by cable car is a thrilling experience!

We also visited the picturesque ‘Gardens By the Bay’ that features the best of horticultural sustainability and architectural design. It is filled with wonders from every continent except Antarctica! It houses over 5,00,000 plants. We also went on a thrilling ocean adventure.

A dazzling variety of marine life provided fun and entertainment. In a one-of-a-kind experience at Dolphin Lagoon, we enjoyed the stunning display of fun-loving marine creatures. The frisky fur seals amazed us with their  strength and agility as they walked on flippers. In the same pond, we met charming and captivating pink dolphins.

It is gratifying to note that about half of 720 square kilometers of Singapore is covered with plants, trees and parks.  Singapore’s botanical garden is claimed to be the most visited botanical garden in the world.

The River Safari is a wildlife  haven themed after iconic rivers like Amazon, Yangtze, Mississippi, Mekong, Ganges, Nile and Congo. In the Giant Panda Forest, we saw cute and playful pandas eating carrots and apples. There were also red pandas and golden pheasants.

Close to the river safari we went on is the zoo. The most notable feature of the zoo is that the actual forest has been recreated to conserve wildlife.

The star attractions are elephants of Asia, orangutans and kangaroos. But the most enchanting  of all is the polar bear housed in a giant cage in shivering cold weather. It was a memorable trip, indeed!  

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