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.
All of the environments are spacious and well-planned.
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’.
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.
The zoo has both Borneo orangutans and Sumatra orangutans, of which there are fewer than 5,000 left.
This handsome fellow is a channel-billed toucan, from South America.
As with many creatures here, he doesn’t mind being close to people.
A pair of pelicans groom themselves.
We marvel at the good behaviour of Singapore school groups.
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.
The zoo has several examples of animals in unenclosed spaces. Like this gibbon.
And this cotton-top tamarin.
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.)
We stay in the Kota Tuas area, the site of the original Dutch city of Batavia.
The square is popular with young Jakartans as a meeting place.
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.
Afterwards, we try looking up what it may be. No luck. Hope it wasn’t poisonous.