Fun-filled days at Singapore Zoo

Fun-filled days at Singapore Zoo

Formerly known as Singapore Zoological Gardens, but more widely referred to as either Singapore Zoo (or locally Mandai Zoo) this is one place you should definitely aim to touch down during any visit to Singapore.

Scrawled across 28 hectares by the Upper Seletar Reservoir, the zoo benefits from its proximity to Singapore's rainforest zone. There is an amazing variety of flora and fauna on display, and amongst the notable exhibits are Asian elephants, White Tigers, Orang Utans, and Hamadryas Baboons. You will find something to please all of the family, with a Critters Longhouse showcasing all manner of creatures, Cat Country devoted to friendly wild felines, a Reptile Garden, a Primate Kingdom and an area dedicated to animals from the Australian Outback.

The zoo is located at Mandai Lake Road, and is open 365 days per year from 8:30 in the morning until 6:00 in the evening, with the last ticket sale at 5:30. For the youngsters, Rainforest Kidzworld is open from 9:00 till 6:00, and its wet play area closing at 5:30.

Admission to this superb location is very reasonable, with special discounted rates for senior citizens. There are many guest services on offer (on a first-come, first-served basis). Hire strollers are available for toddlers and infants, and free wheelchairs await special needs visitors at the entrance. Another popular choice for families with toddlers are the zoo's wagons, which can be hired as a way of preventing your little animal lovers from getting too tired. The zoo also provides official guided tours, where five dollars will grant you unlimited access to tram rides (three dollars for kids).

The zoo's location is perfect for regular boat rides around its perimeter. This relaxed mode of transport enables you to get unforgettable views of the fabulous diversity of creatures. Traveling around you'll see rhinos and antelopes, zebras and giraffes, next to tropical crops and a beautiful orchid garden. After the trip you could drop into any of the land-based entertainment areas, such as the wild animal carousel, or the rainforest kidzworld ampitheatre. The resident elephants will keep the entire family amused at the ‘at work and play show'.

There are always special events organised for Singapore Zoo, including celebrations aimed at promoting the zoo's 40th anniversary. Billed as the ‘Zoo Hoo 2013 Wild Wow Birthday', there will definitely be one or two surprises waiting to be unleashed on unsuspecting visitors to this highly popular attraction.

Wildlife of Singapore

Wildlife of Singapore

Wildlife of Singapore

Singapore's wildlife is incredibly diverse, exotic and beautiful, though it took government intervention to ensure it remained so. The rapid urbanisation and growth in population of the last two centuries has threatened to curb the flora and fauna, with deforestation robbing many animals of their natural habitat. This was reflected in the nearly 100 species of bird and 20 species of fish that have gone locally extinct in the last 183 years. Yet the government have made great strides, mainly through actions like the Green Plans of 1992 and 2012, to ensure the island's diverse animal life can live and multiply. These initiatives mainly involved keeping tabs on changes in the flora and fauna levels, while placing new nature parks and reserves around the state.

This has allowed the following handsome creatures to thrive in Singapore:

Long Tailed Macaque Monkey: If you head to one of the nature reserves expect to see plenty of furry little Macaque monkeys. They have no fear of humans and so are very friendly but sometimes too friendly for the locals, who complain they sometimes enter houses to raid food.

Sunda Pangolin: This tough skinned little creature loves to climb trees, gorges ants and secretes an awful stink in self-defence.

Lesser Mousedeer: A true forest mammal, this gorgeous creature is, unfortunately, at risk of extinction. It's brilliantly clever, often following around careless-eating monkeys to find the bushes and vegetation on which it feeds without needing to search too hard.

Common Tree Shrew: This small little rodent-like mammal is only found in Southeast Asia. They are great climbers but should not be confused with squirrels, though they do resemble them closely.

Asian Toad: The most common amphibian in Singapore, the Asian Toad's tadpoles can be found in just about every drain in the city. Don't get too close if you see one though – its secretions can be poisonous.

Dos and Donts

Dos and Donts

Visiting Singapore: Dos and Don'ts

Singapore is a beautiful, welcoming, historically fascinating city, where travellers can enjoy incredible food and high class shopping by the barrelful. Yet it is also a city of rules and structures and, if you really want to enjoy your time there, you are best advised to know them before your journey. Here are some basic dos and don'ts for the visitor to Singapore.


Speak formally to new acquaintances. Singaporeans prefer to be addressed by their second names, with the the prefix of Mr, Mrs or Ms if you do not know them well. Wait for them to invite you to use their first name before you get that familiar.

Leave something on your plate. As with many Asian societies, eating everything that you have been served is a sign that your host has not provided sufficient food. Leave a bite or two to show your satisfaction and gratitude.

Take off your shoes when entering someone's home. That goes for religious buildings too.


Don't Chew gum. Gum is 100% illegal in Singapore unless it's medicinal gum.


Drop litter. Singaporeans are proudly clean and tidy people and enforce laws to ensure new arrivals are the same way.


Smoke publically. In any enclosed space smoking is against the law and dropping a cigarette butt in the street is a finable offence.


Joke about religion or politics. Due to Singapore's mixture of cultures and faiths, it is a very bad idea to make a humorous remark about religion or politics. In fact, these two subjects are best avoided in general, even with someone you get along with.


Tip. Believe it or not, tipping is actually looked down upon in Singapore!

Don't Point

Don't Point at someone. It's rude in most cultures but particularly offensive in this one.

Useful phrases for the visitor to Singapore

Useful phrases for the visitor to Singapore

Useful phrases for the visitor to Singapore

People from all over the world visit Singapore, for the beautiful sunshine, the charming culture and the calm, tranquillity of the lifestyle. If you are planning a trip to Singapore, you'll be happy to know that English is widely spoken across the majestic island. Yet it is but one of four recognised by the government, the other three being Malay, Chinese and Tamil. So, before you jet off, you would be best advised to at least pick up a few choice phrases from those three. Here are a few suggestions, rendered phonetically and a few words the languages themselves.


13% of Singaporeans speak Malayan as their main language and is a huge part of the state's tradition. In fact, the national anthem is sung in Malay.

Yes: Ya

No: Teedak

Do you speak English?: Ta hook ah ber da ha sa Ingris?

I do not understand: Sa ya tee dak fa ham

Help: To long


Spoken as the main language by most of the Chinese population, it has been popular in the island since the 20s. Though, in the past, many other Chinese languages were spoken on the island, since the 70s there has been a drive to unite the Chinese populations by encouraging them all to speak Mandarin.

Hello - Nee how

Please – Ching

Thank you - Shieh shieh

Do you speak English - Nee huei jeeang Ying you ma

I don't understand - Wo ting bu don


Tamil is spoken by 2/3 of the Indian population of Singapore. Indians make up about 9.2% of the entire population.

Hello: Vanakkam I

don't understand: Puriyavillai

How much is this?: Idhu Evvalavu?

Thank you: Miga Nandri