A fun New Year!

Okay this is about our New Year holiday fun at Singapore / Johor Bahru, finally! Haha dah masuk bulan February pun. Well, this is going to be a quite lengthy entry with pictures, bear with me. It was a great rejuvenating holiday, alhamdulilah. We slept over at JB and went to Singapore during the day. It is just more cost efficient, plus we have friends in JB. We didn’t go to USS this time, as we don’t think it is cost-beneficial for AE and it is no fun to ride along (while one of us babysit him).

On the first day there, we went to the Singapore Science Centre. It was very near the 2nd link. There is a Dinosaur show at that time, so AE was quite excited. There were all kind of dinosaur species, but hubby said the one in Malaysia’s science center has better skin texture. I’m like…errr….texture? okay…haha… There also have this sand area for kids to dig bones like an archaeologist. AE loved it at first, before he cried coz he wanted me to join. Well, sorry munchkin…it clearly stated that the digging is only for kids age 9 and below, and I’m not going to disobey rule at Singapore 😉. Oh yeah, they also have this fun water play outside, AE insisted to go there first but I manage to persuaded him to go inside first.

Check the pamphlet as there are a few interesting shows there. We manage to watch the fire show and it was quite cool, though I think hubby liked it more than AE haha. Surprisingly, the thing that AE loved the most there is this big kinetic machine with a few balls rolling up and down. He was really mesmerized by it; he can just sit there for hours if we let him! I think he even likes it more than the dinosaurs. It shows that you can’t really tell what the kids’ interests are, but what you can do is give them space to discover and explore.

this is the thing that AE really like:)

okay can't remember what species is this...

young archaeologists

the fun water play outside science centre

Next day we went to the zoo. Knowing how much people have praised about Singapore Zoo, I’ve always wanted to bring AE there as he’s really into animals. Well, the zoo actually exceeded our expectation. It is located in the middle of greenery land. Once we entered the zoo, we were already quite excited to see monkeys and birds everywhere, cage-free (one main thing that is very different with Malaysia).

If you reach there early, catch the elephant bathing session

no fence around the monkeys area

Although Malaysia’s zoo has more animals but I think the Singapore Zoo uses its resources more efficiently. Each area is designed with attractions and information. For example, the hippo’s area has underneath pool so you can see what happening below. It is interesting not to AE but also to us (haha I never see hippo swimming from that point of view).

watching hippo swimming from side view

The shows were also excellent, entertaining and educational. I already studied the zoo website prior our holiday so we already arranged the whole day so that we won’t miss any show. At first I’m worried AE might get bored with some of it, but he loves all of it. There’s elephant show, sea lion (a bit like Malaysia’s but you will get wet with the splashing), animals’ friends show (cats and dogs) and rainforest show which basically involves animals like raccoon and squirrel, but still quite interesting to the kids. Again, the use of resources I guess.

my two heroes:)

getting ready for the last splash:)

Another big attraction there is the water play. Oh yeah, AE’s favorite! It’s like a bonus. There is a kid’s theme park right inside the zoo, where there’s fun water play and other games like carousel (my favorite! hehe). It’s good if you manage your time so that you can reach this place at the end of the day for a cooler weather, plus parents can relax a bit and kids can let out their extra energy haha…

fun water park right inside the zoo!

Okay moving on to the Bird Park. It was not actually part of the plan but since we have an extra day (and extra money in auto pass haha) we thought why not since it is located quite near with the 2nd link. We thought we can finish the place in half day coz it’s only birds right? How big can it be…But oh well, we underestimated the place!

dah sampai:)

Similar like zoo (well, they are operated under the same management), they have great attractions/shows as well. You are greeted at the entrance with all kind of penguins, quiet big one. Not that regular small ones at the zoo. I really like their Lorry Loft, where you can feed the bird at very high platform, so you are at the same level with trees. I also like the pelican’s area, where you can see how it scooped fish underneath the water. By the way, AE called pelicans “mine mine” based on the Finding Nemo movie haha…

feeding at the lorry loft

outside the penguin coast, I'm a bit taller than the penguin?

There’s also this King of the Skies show, which I think hubby really likes. It’s about all those predator birds (eagle, owl, vultures, falcon). Well, actually I can’t remember which one is which one anymore…The Birds and Buddies show is also interesting; its parrot can sing the full rasa sayang and happy birthday songs and counted 1 to 10. AE loves it:). The only place I think he didn’t really like is the Owl House, coz it’s super-dark and it’s hard for him to see things. But it made sense for the owl to live there, though.

King of the Skies show

emm..vulture or falcon? en. hubby tolong jawab...hehe

we saw an Iguana at the bird park, AE loves it!

Notably, there’s also water play at the Bird Park, very similar like the zoo. Isn’t that great! But it was closed for maintenance the day we went, you may call first to check that. Since this was our last day, legs got tired much faster so we skip a few areas and headed home at 3pm. Well, I hope we will go there again:). Do you realize all parks there have water play? I think they can read the kids’ minds haha…

On another day, we went around the city, riding MRT and just strolling around. Alhamdulilah the weather was wonderfully pleasant. As Singapore is well known of, it is a very clean city. We couldn’t even find a bin at this one MRT station that hubby had to keep the ice-cream wrap in his pocket haha…Oh yeah and if you need cheap souvenirs, there are small row of shops at Arab Street behind mosque selling it. We also went to Orchard Road but I didn’t shop at all haha… sangat baik kan saya.

AE riding MRT for the first time

in the middle of the city:)

It was not that hard to drive there but just make sure you obey the traffic rules. (Thank you so much Rozek and Nana for being our faithful tourist guides, I think we might get lost without their help! ). You just need to know your destination so you can decide whether you want to use the Causeway or the 2nd link. For instance, the Zoo is near the Causeway. The 2nd link has less cars, but more pricey. You can also check the traffic condition at Causeway via this one apps, I can’t remember what it called but it is efficient indeed.

Get your passport ready and it’s also good to have the white form ready. Or else, be prepare with the passport details to fill it in the car (and waited for the car in front of you filling it). The trick is to que behind the Singapore car hehe..

Next you need Auto Pass for the car. You can buy it when at the Singapore Custom. The pass is specific for each car, cannot be use with other car. It is like a touch-n-go thingy, where you use it to pay tolls and parking. But please ensure the auto pass has enough balance before you exit or else you will get fined (we did $S10!). You can top up at their 7-Eleven or Cheers (there’s one at the zoo). Interestingly, most attractions there charge you lower during public holidays.

The Auto Pass will also deduct a vehicle entry permit (VEP) fees of S$20 per day. But now they have 10 VEP free days to encourage tourism so we didn’t get charge on that. You can just check Singapore’s Land Transport Authority website where it can give you estimates on the cost of transportation.

Well, I guess that’s it on our fun New Year holiday. Since we still have balance on our Auto Pass, we might go there again one day. Jom! InsyaAllah.

Happy New Year 2012!

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