Saturday, 28 September 2013

Mid-Autumn Festival at Gardens by the Bay

Supertrees at night
Since my visit to the Gardens by the Bay back in June 2012, I have made numerous trips to the same destination. The latest being during the Mid-Autumn festival period where fascinating and captivating lanterns of various themes were displayed.

Lovely-Dovey Birds Lanterns
Cartoon Characters' Lanterns
This event used to be held at Clark Quay. The lanterns would be mounted on boats which floated on the edge of the iconic Singapore River. This year, it has shifted "in land" to the Gardens by the Bay. I must say I was impressed by the bigger scale displays, more creative themes, massive firework, deletable food available and mostly importantly the blending into the Gardens. The themes were adored by children as they were captivated by the lanterns display at the 'Dragonfly Lake', 'Jurassic Park', 'Birds and Insects Paradise' and 'World of Fairy Tales'. There was also a section where one could take picture with your star lantern and also your fortune foretold.

Nice Reflection in the Lake
Jurassic Park

 We went to the Gardens by the Bay in the evening. Many people were already there for the same event. Families with their little ones, romancing couples,bewildered tourists  were among those in the crowd, savouring the atmosphere of the Mid-Autumn Festival in the garden. Photographers with their comprehensive gears, were capturing unique moments and scenes. I brought my camera too, not to miss out collecting photos of ourselves in this once in a year event.

Majestic India Lanterns
Little Monks Lanterns
The Three Little Pigs Lanterns
The moon was especially round on that night, as if the fabled Chang' e, the Moon Goddess of Immortality was doing her part to commemorate the celebration. On the humour side, it also reminded us on the many moon cakes we have consumed uncontrollably for the past few days ;-).

Full Moon at the Bay

Family Caption
My family and I have thoroughly enjoyed the event. A BIG thanks to the organizers, we will be back next year :-)

Related Posts: Gardens by The Bay

Charlotte with Oriental Face Mask Lantern

Myself with my Star Lantern-Pisces

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Trip to River Safari, Singapore

Red Panda
I was thrilled when the news reported about two years ago that Singapore was building River Safari- a river-themed wild life park that showcases river dwelling animals. The stars of the new park are the two Giant Pandas-Kai Kai and Jia Jia,loaned to Singapore from China for a period of 10 years. Other exotic creatures include the Red Pandas, Chinese Giant Salamanders, Sturgeons, Mekong Giant Catfish, Mississippi Paddlefish, Alligator Gars, Manatees and many others. The new park is an addition to the main Zoo (The Singapore Zoo) and The Night Safari which is great news for animals' enthusiasts like us. It is sometimes deem a wonder to think that such a small country like Singapore can house three Zoos at one time.

Elated children hugging "Kai Kai"
Rivers of the World signage
Alligator Gars

Courtesy of the free park entrance tickets from my Company, I brought my family to the River Safari. The route in the park is very orderly as it led us through Mississippi River-Congo River-River Nil--Ganges River-Mekong River-Murray River and Yangtze River where the Giant Pandas are housed in an air-conditioned enclosure. A long bridge across a river brought us to Wild Amazonia which includes the Amazon River Quest, Squirrel Monkey Forest and the Amazon Flooded Forest. The Amazon River Quest at Wild Amazonia was not ready at my time of visit. It is supposedly to bring visitors in a boat ride experience to the river-dwelling animals at their natural habitats and behavior. I was very much anticipating this ride and can't wait for it to be ready by end of the year.

Mekong River with Giant Catfish Display
Lesser Adjutant Stork

Unlike many others, the highlight of my visit was not the Pandas. I have seen them many times at the Hong Kong Ocean Park. They are adorable but lazy and not very active. It was no surprise that you often saw the same Panda lazing at the same spot in the same position on different visits. What is not to be missed at the River Safari is surely the Amazon Flooded Forest. Here is where you can see the malicious man-eating Red-bellied Piranhas , dangerous high voltage Electric Eel and the industrial Giant Otters. It also housed the largest fresh water aquarium tank in the world. Manatees (aka Dugong or Sea Cows), Arapaimas (largest fresh water fish) and other exotic species are the residents of the big tank. We could never get tired of admiring the water creatures dancing and gliding gracefully in the enormous tank. Unless you dive into the Amazon River(and brave the hungry Piranhas), there is simply no chance in our life time that we can witness the underwater scene that beheld us at the Amazon Flooded Forest. 

Chinese Giant Salamander
Squirrel Monkey
Arapaima at Amazon Flooded Forest
My family, young and elderly alike, has enjoyed our day at Singapore new attraction. We will be back when the Wild Amazonia's boat ride is ready. If you are interested, this is River Safari official website. 

Related Posts: The Singapore Zoo
Red-bellied Piranha
Lazing Panda-Kai Kai
Enjoying their visit. My daughter (1st from right) with cousins Amanda and Dave
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