Solid As A Rock.

I'm in Thailand right now and Google knows it: ประเทศไทย.

6.20.11 Singapore
We woke up early and walked to Little India for breakfast at Komala Vilas, the oldest Indian restaurant in Singapore.  That same honor is attached to many proud restaurants in the neighborhood, but this particular one is strictly vegetarian. As much as I love Indian food, I have never eaten it for breakfast.  Tim takes care of ordering by pointing at the menu and our waiter pretends to understand.  Starting a summer's day in Singapore with a greasy sweaty spicy meal of samosas and dosas is something that I hope not to repeat.

Today we are attempting to see the entire city, a perfectly unattainable but not undeniable desire. On our way to the Botanic Gardens, we discover the Singapore School of the Arts, a magnificent homage to the rainforest through urban architecture.  We have permission to walk around the first three floors, take some photos, and move on.

Even though we took the train part of the way, it's still a far walk to the gardens.  Hey, did you know that 7 Eleven is the new Starbucks? Oh, and that there is a California Pizza Kitchen here? And a Toys 'R Us? And giant shopping centers filled with a million other stores you know.

We only had time to cover half of the Botanic Gardens, walking directly through and with only one stop:
"Look! Koi!" Tim leans forward to look at the fish.
Then: "TTTTTIIIIIMMMMMM!!!" I yelled, while hitting him on the shoulder.  He jumped, startled by my shout, and nearly crushed the beautiful turtle that was sunning on the concrete.  I couldn't help it, I was excited.

Continuing with an animal themed day, our next stop was Jurong Bird Park, the largest bird park in the world [Kuala Lumpur also claims this about their bird park].  We did a fast loop of the park and spent most of our time with the penguins. Because I said so.

If you ever find yourself in Singapore, you must MUST go to the Night Safari.  This was easily one of the most fun and scary and unique and fascinating things I have ever done.  The Night Safari is a smallish-scale zoo of mostly nocturnal animals that creep out from their dark habitats and into your face before your eyes have a chance to adjust to the night.

Since we arrived right as the park opened, we decided to walk the trail around the park as we saw everyone else board the tram.  This meant that we were by ourselves, walking a dimly lit pathway overgrown with thick foliage, masking the often paltry fences that separated us from them.  Because of the dark, winding trail, it was difficult to see what animal we were about to meet next.  Instead of cages, the park uses moats/trenches to keep the animals from escaping.  Sometimes, these trenches did not seem large enough.  At all.

Oh, are those spotted hyenas tearing apart a slab of meat just across the dinner table? Yes, they were and we were that close. I was a little disappointed I didn't get to see a Tarsier [couldn't spot him in the dark], my new favorite animal, but I was about one inche from a lazy tiger so that kind of made my life. Also, the Night Safari has two interactive "cages" that you can walk through while fruit bats swoop in your face [Dangerous? The sign said no but, uh, it was kind of terrifying] and another with giant flying squirrels hanging from the trees. I could go on.


 Flamingos @ Jurong Bird Park, Singapore

 
Penguins @ Jurong Bird Park, Singapore

  It's a bad picture but look! TIGER! Night Safari, Singapore

 KTM Ekspres Train pollution, Singapore to Kuala Lumpur

 Kuala Lumpur from the train. 

 Mommy monkey does not like me.  Lake Gardens, Kuala Lumpur

Lunchtime for monkeys. Lake Gardens, Kuala Lumpur

 Pink dragonfly + pink flower.  Lake Gardens, Kuala Lumpur

 I spy a butterfly.  Butterfly Park, Kuala Lumpur

 Dance party.  Butterfly Park, Kuala Lumpur