|at the entrance|
It has been a long time since I last entered Singapore. More than 5 years, surely. My children haven't at all. In March this year we made our passports, but only in October we made the trip to Singapore. So near yet if feels like it's so far.
In conjunction with Marsya's birthday, I decided to bring everyone to the Singapore Zoo. It was a busy weekend with not much sleep for me personally. On Saturday I went to Melaka for Burung Hantu 2011 offroad night ride, and back home right after the event ended. Took a nap at Machap R&R for an hour before Fajr and reached home at 7-ish Sunday morning. When I reached home I cleared out the dirty clothes form the night's ride, put things back to their places and did a bit of gardening. I woke everyone up at 8.30 so that we could go early because there are a few things need to be done before we could enter Singapore and head out to the zoo. Eventually, everyone got ready and at 11.00 the car started to roll out to Stulang CIQ.
While queuing at the Woodlands checkpoint, I noticed that somebody in an mpv on my right waving to me wildly. Haha... it was my cousin from Woodlands, Abang Man. He called me up and invited me to come over his place later on after the zoo visit and I said no promises. As soon as I entered the immigration checkpoint, my phone was without network reception. I had forgotten to activate roaming access. Was unable to call him to ask for address and directions to his place. Too bad, maybe next time insyaAllah.
It was the first time I bought an autopass for the car to enter Singapore; with tips from friends and the swiftness of Singapore immigration and LTA, it was not that hard. Just fill in a few standard details in the form, queue up and pay $10. The process took less than 10 minutes. My thanks to Reza for giving me the embarkation card, too.
The Singapore Zoo is not far from Woodlands checkpoint, and there are ample signs to get us there. We reached the zoo at around 12.00, parked the car at a nice covered parking building.
The zoo entrance fee for the five of us amounted to $66. $20 for adults, and $13 for children (3 - 12y). Free for Umar. Not too bad, as the park is big and the animals in there looks healthy. The areas are clean, too.
We spent a bit more that 3 hours in the park. While deprived of sleep and my legs are still tired from the ride the night before, it was surprising that the walk in the zoo did not make me exhausted. Sleepy at times when stopped, yes, but no complains of tiredness from me. Of course the children are.
We had our lunch late, at 3.30pm in KFC. Umar needed a nappy change and so we went off. The toilets at the zoo lobby are nice, but no faucet provided except for tissue rolls.
However, the nappy change room has everything. Washbasin, nappy change counter, faucet (without hose), shower and toilet bowl.
I asked the muslim lady at KFC if there are any musolla available, but there is none except for staff only. She mentioned that people would use cardboards. As it was reaching 4pm (end of Zuhr), we decided to solat at the parking lot. Went up to the uncovered topmost floor, and found a shaded area. Parked the car to cordon us, and we perform our solat. Soon after, we went out of the parking lot.
There's a mini drama happened to me while exiting the parking lot. Apparently, foreigners have to get a 'complimentary ticket' valued at $4 from the zoo counter. So, long story short, I went back to the counter (some 500m walk), bought the ticket and went out. Thanks to Diana the parking assistant over there for guiding me.
The journey back to JB was uneventful. Smooth ride all the way, alhamdulillah. InsyaAllah, there'll be more trips after this. Perhaps a weekend over my cousins' places, and mountain biking at Bukit Timah too.
More photos here.