Thursday, August 11, 2016

The River is Calling: Checking Out River Safari

This is a super belated post. I meant to blog about our family holiday to River Safari in Singapore last year; however due to 1001 reasons, this post has yet to see the light in my blog until now. 

In September last year we went to Singapore with my parents and in-laws for sightseeing. On the first day of our trip, we checked out Singapore's awe-inspiring Gardens by the Bay. After exploring this award-winning horticultural attraction, I was simply dog-tired to do anything else in Singapore because 3 y/o Naomi then was too hyperactive and very difficult to handle. I even let go my desire to stuff my face with a huge bowl of Singapore Dry Yong Tau Foo with Bee Hoon which I craved for years. Furthermore, her stroller was left at home which caused unnecessary extra stress to the supposedly relaxing holiday. As such, right after we had our late lunch in one of Gardens by the Bay's restaurants, we decided to go back to Johor Bahru (JB) for dinner. As staying in a hotel in JB is much cheaper and it's quite convenient to travel from JB to Singapore by car and vice versa, we booked our hotel in JB. You can use HotelsCombined to compare and get the best hotel deals from all the top travel sites.

On the next morning, after having our breakfast in JB, we headed back to Singapore for our next little adventure in River Safari. I remember that morning I had body aches from running around and carrying a very active Energizer Bunny in Gardens by the Bay. I really think on top of keeping a packet of wet wipes, we should also throw Counterpain or Salonpas into our handbag when holidaying with a toddler.


OTW to Singapore again.

We arrived at Singapore's River Safari at around 11am. Although River Safari is nestled in between the famous Singapore Zoo and Night Safari, I purposely didn't buy the multi-park tickets because I knew I would be exhausted after just visiting this river-themed wildlife park with Naomi. Singapore Zoo and Night Safari - next time OK


Hello again, Singapore!

Thank God, River Safari provides nice and sturdy strollers for rent at SGD 9 each. The stroller rental fee was rather expensive for us indeed (if you convert SGD to RM) but we rented one anyway. The stroller we rented was truly our lifesaver of the day. What would we do without you, dearest stroller? 


Little tourist.

River Safari is one of the world's largest repositories of river dwelling animals. Not only visitors can experience close encounters with aquatic inhabitants from iconic rivers around the world, we could also discover the terrestrial animals surrounding these rivers.

Our journey in River Safari began with Mississippi River's walk-through exhibits which house the unusual spatula-snouted Mississippi paddlefish and the alligator gar.


Let's start!

Fun Fact #1: Alligator gar is a prehistoric-looking river monster that has been around for 100 million years. 


The ancient fish: Alligator Gar.

Then, we continued our walk to see some of the Mekong River's largest fish. 


Sweating Naomi was sweating.

Fun Fact #2: Do you know that the giant freshwater stingray was thought to be a myth until two decades ago? No? Me neither.. Until I read about it in River Safari's brochure. 

After checking out the unique collections from this river-themed zoo, we said "Ni Hao!" to Singapore's very own giant pandas in the Giant Panda Forest. We literally took our sweet time here because we were too engrossed viewing the pandas and taking photos with them. Also, we purposely chilled around the Pandas' exhibit because the area is air-conditioned. It's so shiok to relax in an air-conditioned space on a very hot day.


Not sure this was Kai Kai or Jia Jia.

Fun Fact #3: Pandas can live up to 30 years in safe places like zoos.

To me, this zone is more like a place where the main characters of Kung Fu Panda came into life. We briefly met Po and Master Shifu look-alikes here. 


Master Shifu? Is it you?

Fun Fact #4: Red Panda is more closely related to raccoon and weasel rather than giant panda.


When my Panda eyes were not so severe.

Next, we saw a locally-born polar bear swimming in his exhibit that's built to resemble the Arctic Habitat.


Inuka, the star of the Frozen Tundra.

Done feasting our eyes with some of the World's colorful, endangered and largest river creatures, we took a delightful cruise along the Upper Seletar Reservoir to spot some wildlife animals like giraffe, elephants and many more.


Me and my Dad: While waiting for our boat ride.

The guided cruise was a 15 minutes boat ride and somehow I enjoyed it very much. Naomi was too young to be interested or recognize many animals by name then. Needless to say, she was not too amused with the boat ride. But we were! In fact, my Mom took quite a number of photos when we were on the cruise. 


I love cruising on a boat.

I actually also planned to take the boat ride for the Amazon River Quest but last year Naomi was too short to take the ride so we had to scrap this idea and just enjoyed the River Safari Cruise. 


Giraffe spotted.

Before we called it a day, we spent nearly half an hour observing manatees and other enormous fish such as the giant catfish and arapaima swimming inside the World's largest freshwater aquarium. 


The graceful swimmer.

There's something about manatees that was so captivating to us. My Dad, who normally just admires captive animals in less than a minute, stood in front of this huge aquarium maybe for five minutes mesmerizing the manatees. As expected, Naomi could not care less with these marine mammals, desperately wanted to get out of her stroller then got real busy running around in front of the massive fish tank.


 I used to believe they were mermaids. LOL.

Fun Fact #5: Manatees are herbivores and like to graze on the sea floor and feed on sea grass. Hence, they are sometimes called sea cows.

Just before we left River Safari I remember passing by the giant river otters but was too tired by that time so I didn't take any proper photos of them.


Cute magnet souvenirs that my husband bought.

That's all about our day trip to River Safari. Overall, we had a good time in River Safari and I definitely recommend you to visit this place with your kids if you have the chance. Going forward, I aim to bring my kids to visit Singapore Zoo and Night Safari when Baby #3 is older.

Singapore's River Safari
Address: 80 Mandai Lake Road, Singapore 729826
Single Ticket Rate: SGD 30 (adult) and SGD 20 (child)
Opening Hours:10am - 7pm daily

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