Opened in 1973, Singapore Zoo uses moats and beautifully landscaped glass-fronted enclosures to house some 2800 animals. 28 hectares (69.2 acres) of land is divided into more than a dozen regions, featuring more than 200 species, including rare and endangered ones. The world's largest captive orangutan group can be found here. Two programs, Wild Breakfast and Afternoon Tea, enable visitors to interact with and learn more about six species of animals while having their meal (extra charges apply). Photographic opportunities, of course, abound. Other highlights include feeding programs, elephant and pony rides, animal shows and a tram ride.
Standing guard at the mouth of the Singapore River is the Merlion, a mythical beast that is a cross between a fish and a lion. The fish symbolizes Singapore's close association with the sea, while the lion head refers to the legendary sighting of a lion during the discovery of ancient Singapore. Created in 1972 as a tourism icon, the Merlion is especially attractive in the evenings when it is illuminated and spouts water from its mouth. Today, it has moved 120 meters (393 feet) away from its original spot, adjacent to One Fullerton. A stroll in Merlion Park yields great views of Singapore's colonial district. The souvenir shop carries Merlion T-shirts and other memorabilia.
Founded in 1859 with a mission to cultivate plants of economic potential, the 52 hectare (128.5 acre) Singapore Botanic Gardens made a historic milestone in 1877 with the cultivation of Malaysia and Indonesia's first rubber plantations. Today, with more than 600,000 plant specimens, it is clearly one of the world's largest botanical reserves. The park provides a comprehensive introduction to plants in a variety of settings, from rolling lawns and orchid gardens to a tropical jungle. Other attractions include the National Orchid Garden, Visitors Center, tea room, spice and herb gardens, and the eco-lake.
S'pore Discovery Centre takes you through Singapore's technological endeavors and achievements in an entertaining and educational setting. Loads of hands-on activities await your participation - virtual reality games, computer-simulated shooting, virtual parachute jumps and a motion simulator ride just to name a few (separate charges may apply). Be sure to strike up a conversation with Little George, an interactive robot that's a hit with the kids. A separate gallery deals with the history and progress of military technology, while military vehicles from various time periods are exhibited on the grounds. Cap your visit off with a 30-minute coach tour of the SAFTI Military Institute.
This modern resort island located south of Singapore is more than just sentosa (tranquil). Apart from the sandy beaches that extend for three kilometers (1.8 miles) and the lush tropical flora and fauna, it offers a kaleidoscope of historical enclaves, adventure parks, landscaped gardens, pubs, restaurants, spas, and a variety of museums. The Underwater World, for instance, is Asia's largest tropical fish oceanarium. With so many attractions awaiting you, it is best to come early.
Put a zoo and a national wildlife park together and you will get this enchanting Night Safari that is home to 100 exotic species, many rare and endangered. The first of its kind in the world, this 40-hectare (98.8-acre) jungle allows you to watch 1000 nocturnal animals come alive at night in their natural habitats. A tram ride lets you tour the park in comfort (extra charges apply). For more adventure, choose from one of the three walking trails and discover the wildlife from close quarters.