A Travellerspoint blog

Singapore

Day 60: Last Day on the Trip! 😢

semi-overcast 92 °F

Today was my last full day on my family's amazing trip to New Zealand, Australia, Indonesia, and Singapore. We spent the entire day as our only full day in the city-state of Singapore. I can't believe I've now been on the road for sixty days and it's nearly over!

The entire day was devoted to sightseeing with many bus, train, and tram rides, as well as a lot of walking. The public transportation was extremely fast and clean, unlike some other public transportation systems on the opposite side of the world (cough cough, Chicago's CTA). The morning was mostly comprised of trying to find our way in this sometimes confusing city, touring an Asian heritage museum, and walking. A lot of walking.

I found visiting the Anglican St. Andrew's Church very interesting. Anglican churches are beautiful in a very simple way as opposed to the intricate, ornate, and differently beautiful designs of Catholic Churches or Hindu temples. I chose not to take photographs inside of the church.

Then, we had lunch at an outdoor Mexican-themed pub while perspiring in the humid, 90+ degree heat. We tried our best to keep our attitudes positive, which pretty much worked throughout the day.

After lunch, my family and I took a myriad of different forms of transportation in order to arrive at the famous Jurong Bird Park. Since I am a birder, even though we saw an array of beautiful birds in enclosures such as parrots, ostrich, emu, cassowary, rheas, toucans, hornbills, flamingoes, pelicans, and more, I did not photograph any enclosed bird species (except for one cassowary which you can see at my family's blog--link at bottom of post). I did, however, see and photograph many wild birds at the park:

PIED IMPERIAL PIGEON (documentation photo, not for artistic purposes):
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Female ORIENTAL MAGPIE ROBIN:
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JAVAN MYNA (I'm not sure what it's doing in Singapore!):
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Female OLIVE-BACKED SUNBIRD:
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COMMON MOORHEN:
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AUSTRALIAN WHITE PELICAN. Life bird DALMATIAN PELICANS were also seen but not photographed.
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BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON resting:
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GREY HERON:
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Me posing in front of some type of captive hornbill (in the toucan family):
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Also seen but not photographed was a life bird BLACK-NAPED ORIOLE as well as a life bird HOUSE CROW.

It was a great stop, and in addition to seeing many beautiful captive birds, I managed to see wild birds, as well, and even get a few lifers!

Then, my family and I utilized public transportation in the late afternoon in order to arrive at the night zoo. Despite our dinners being consistently healthy on this trip so far, today our dinner was solely comprised of large coca colas!

In the late evening, my family and I arrived at the night zoo and we took the night tour on the zoo tram. Many animals from Asia and Africa such as lions, hyenas, hippos, and rhinoceros were seen, which was very exciting. One irritating thing was that people kept using flash photography when it was very clear that flash was not permitted.

Next, we headed to the night show at 8:30 featuring sloths that climbed on a long rope just above my mom's and my sister's heads, a giant python, and tiny otters that picked up rubbish from the ground and placed them in the proper recycling receptacles. It was quite a spectacle. Again, I was not able to take photographs because it was pitch black out and flash photography was prohibited.

Before arriving back at our rather unimpressive hotel, we traveled on a bus, two trains, and finally walked a bit more.

Overall it was an enjoyable last day of our trip. Birds-of-the-day to the life bird DALMATIAN PELICANS and BLACK-NAPED ORIOLE.

As promised, here is a link to my family's blog, which you are sure to find very humorous and informative:
http://gryphonglobetrotters.travellerspoint.com/

Stay tuned for the post about tomorrow's crazy travel day from Singapore to Chicago, which I will write Saturday night Chicago Standard Time. Then, on Sunday, I will post a wrap-up report for the trip as a whole.

Good birding,

Henry
World Life List: 645 Species (6 new life birds today)

Posted by skwclar 08:43 Archived in Singapore Comments (2)

Day 59: Bali, Indonesia to Singapore

semi-overcast 90 °F

Today was my travel day from the tranquil island of Bali, Indonesia to the city state of Singapore.

The day started by waking up to a beautiful sunrise, going for one last dip in the pool in our villa, and eating pancakes served by our wonderful, generous cook Wayan Woman.

Before leaving the villa, I took many pictures of the place so that I could remember it. If you would like to see more photos of the villa, email me at hwga380@comcast.net saying that you want to subscribe to my photo stream of the villa.

Here are two photos from the photo stream of our four staff people at the villa:

Our maid on the left who I never knew her name, and our cook and helper maid, Wayan Woman on the right. "Wayan" means first-born in Balinese:
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Our driver on the left, Made (pronounced Mar-day), and Wayan Man, our overseer and night watchman on the right. "Made" means second-born in Balinese.
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All four of our staff were extremely friendly and generous with their time for us. We observed that overall Indonesia has been the friendliest country we have ever visited, with everyone's behavior and speech being gentle, polite, and friendly. We didn't meet a single unkind soul in the entire country.

Of course, at nine in the morning, we had to leave with our driver Made for the airport. The drive was expedient and took just over an hour. Here are a couple neat Indonesian-style statues along the drive:
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At the airport, we reluctantly said our goodbyes to Made, our generous companion throughout the week. The Denpasar, Bali airport experience was very fast and luxurious because we upgraded to the airport lounge option and were guided through all of the fast lanes with a friendly airport guide. We spent a lot of time in the fancy lounge because we arrived to the terminal super early. It was really nice with free wifi, free pop, free food, and optimum plane spotting.

The flight itself was an uneventful two-and-a-half-hour flight on Air Asia. Here is the view of the South Pacific from the plane:
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The lines in the Singapore airport were tiresome as expected because Singapore is the "strictest country in the world." They announced that there was a mandatory death penalty for anyone who carried certain forbidden items through the airport!

As we drove to our hotel with our, let's say, verbose taxi driver (who talked loudly in slurred English-Chinese the entire thirty-minute ride), we observed that the city is extremely hazy and smoggy. The air quality is extremely poor which makes for trouble breathing.

The rest of the day was spent checking in to our very cramped hotel room, touring around the nearby Chinatown, and observing a beautiful Hindu temple.

It is just another big city, and definitely nothing significant compared to the island of Bali.

There were no good birds today except for one interesting LARGE-BILLED CROW I saw on the car ride to the airport in Bali, so that will be the bird-of-the-day.

Stay tuned, because tomorrow is our only full day in the city-state of Singapore and our last full day on this entire trip! Of course, I have mixed emotions ranging from sorrow to excitement.

Good birding,

Henry
World Life List: 639 Species (no new life birds today)

Posted by skwclar 06:31 Archived in Singapore Comments (0)

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