Indonesia – Singapore – Indonesia

Back to Singapore. This is not a hardship for us. You may remember our fondness for the place.

It turns out to be simpler to get an Indonesian visa here rather than go through the rigmarole of dealing with the bureaucracy in Indonesia itself. A big shout-out to Max and Jade from the Krui Surf Camp for providing step-by-step instructions. Merci, Max and Jade! We stay at the recommended Chinatown hotel, too. It’s great.

We use our one full day in town to visit the zoo. We normally don’t go to zoos in non-Western countries because they’re usually concrete monstrosities full of sad, neglected creatures.

Needless to say, this is not the case in Singapore. It’s one of the world’s best.

Back to Singapore
Horsing around is a serious business

All of the environments are spacious and well-planned.

Back to Singapore
Happy rhinos

We think it’s significant that the info about rhinos is prominently displayed in Mandarin as well as English. Where the text says ‘some people’, what they mean is ‘Chinese people’. Very timely, as the Chinese seem to view any creature precious and rare and on the absolute cusp of being snuffed out as a handy source of ‘traditional medicine’.

Back to Singapore
Paws off the horn

Strangely, this doesn’t apply to pandas. We wonder why not? We’re sure if you tried draining the bile ducts of pandas, you’d have a sure-fire cure for baldness.

Back to Singapore
This plump panda, ripe for a bile-duct draining, looks like a sports fan snacking in front of a TV.

The zoo has both Borneo orangutans and Sumatra orangutans, of which there are fewer than 5,000 left.

Back to Singapore
(Rapidly disappearing) Man of the Forest
Back to Singapore
‘…if you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss also gazes into you.’

This handsome fellow is a channel-billed toucan, from South America.

Back to Singapore
¡Hola, gringo!

As with many creatures here, he doesn’t mind being close to people.

A pair of pelicans groom themselves.

Back to Singapore

We marvel at the good behaviour of Singapore school groups.

Back to Singapore
Sugar and spice

Elsewhere in Asia, kids are absolute hellions in public places, where they scream like banshees in echo-ey museums and race around without interference from indifferent staff or their own indulgent parents.

The zoo has an impressive reptile house.

Back to Singapore
Back to Singapore
Residents race for the food trough in the tortoise enclosure

The zoo has several examples of animals in unenclosed spaces. Like this gibbon.

Back to Singapore
Upside-down gibbon

And this cotton-top tamarin.

Back to Singapore
Albert Einstein called. He wants his hairstyle back.

The next day, 2-month Indonesian visas freshly stamped, we fly to Jakarta with Lion Air. This is our 16th flight in six months. (19th, if you include the flights from Ottawa to Bangkok.)

Somewhere over Sumatra

We stay in the Kota Tuas area, the site of the original Dutch city of Batavia.

Fatahillah Square, formerly the Stadhuisplein

The square is popular with young Jakartans as a meeting place.

Shadow puppet museum

Sight or Insight of the Day – Back to Singapore

We mentioned that at the Singapore Zoo, many creatures don’t mind being close to people.

This includes the wilder creatures. We come across this snake dropping from a bush on a quiet side path.

Back to Singapore
Snake crossing

Afterwards, we try looking up what it may be. No luck. Hope it wasn’t poisonous.

Back to Singapore
Best. Zoo. Ever.