I was supposed to play tour guide for some dear cousins and their kids, from overseas, but ended up being more lost than them because it was my first visit as well. The entire park is divided into different sections with interesting names of rivers and forests, such as River Nile, Congo River and Yangtze River etc.
We were first at the Amazon Flooded Forest section. This place was like a giant aquarium (reminds me of the Underwater World) and there were many different species of fish and sea creatures for our viewing pleasure.
Some Freshwater Stingray greeted us first, laying flat like handheld paper fans, a rather interesting sight to behold, especially when these "giant fans" began moving.
This was actually the very top of the entire "aquarium", later we would be heading to the lower levels to view the deep waters from other angles.
This is actually one of the not-so-big Manatees, trust me these creatures are massive in size and weight!
The water is a serene world of its own, encased in dim-ness and beauty.
We walked down the path leading us deeper down into the "aquarium" and more exhibits along the way.
It was feeding time for the cuties. Look at the Manatees, dearies - don't they look like giant rocket missles? Anyway, the diver delved deep into the waters and fed the "water cows" (as they are called in Mandarin) with green plants / vegetables! They ate ravenously while we watched on.
Then we viewed an assortment of interesting fish - Tiger fish, Pufferfish, Conga Tetra etc - looking like a monkey with mouth open, if not its the entire school of non-moving fish, still was statues. They were all showcased in glass boxes along the dimly-lit pathways into other sections.
This fish was still as a log - the uncanny resemblance was 100%. How simply fishy, especially for the unsuspecitng.
There were also some turtles and tortoises which I did not manage to snap many pictures of. This black, long fish had a body that was so soft it was almost like paper or cloth, quavering about like cloth blowing in the wind.
We entered the tunnel and here was where the Giant River Otters were.
They were really adorable animals, swimming overhead us. They tend to twirl their bodies in circles as they move, reminding me of a giant (electrical) drill.
We found ourselves in the Squirrel Monkey Forest next - still a joke as we had thought it was an enclosed nature reserve with squirrels and monkeys. That was not to be so. All these tiny, agile little things were named Squirrel Monkeys and they were busy hoping from one tree to another, as if they were performing for their guests. But they are so adorable.
This is a black cat of sorts, ensconced alone here in this habitat.
We finally crossed over to the Panda Outdoor Viewing Gallery, which was atmosphered coolly a la the chilly climate in China, the panda's suitable living conditions. It was an interesting place with lots of bamboo plants and some bamboo-made items exhibited besides the sleepy and shy pandas.
Guess who we saw first? Yes, the very sweet-looking and cute Red Panda. It was perched on the tree looking so adorable with its tiny white face (against the flaming redness of its luscious fur) and big bushy tail. It just refused to look at anyone though, refusing to "show face", not even for a fraction of a mini-second.
Finally, we saw the Giant Pandas - okay, we only managed to see Kai Kai, and he was sleeping. We were informed that Jia Jia was more shy, so she probably hid herself. See her lovely home though, albeit its stark emptiness without her in the picture.
Kai Kai was sleeping soundly it seemed, but he was shaking his feet and we were all hoping that he would wake up from his slumber and let us watch him play, eat bamboo shoots or simply going about doing his things. Pandas are such delightful creatures, I simply adore the monochrome look!
Herein ended our 2.5 hours tour. I would say that for SGD$26.00 per adult and SGD$16.00 for a child (cheaper if purchased via online apps and using certain bank cards), it was a little overrated. I did not get to see alot of the animals listed in the map, but we'd combed every inch.
For boat ride, the tickets are sold separately, but they have designated time slots for the rides and limited seats - we did not get to take the ride!
Lastly, there is a section for Polar Bear but I did not to get to see the giant white bear at all - others had managed to catch a glimpse of it before it hid into some hold or corner for hours.
Overall, it was quite an all right trip. I believe the cousins' kids enjoyed themselves rather much.