Saturday we had the blessing of visiting with Andrew’s friend, Jan. (Or was it Andrew’s friend visiting with us?) Anyways, Jan was in Singapore on a business trip but had time on Saturday that he graciously spent with us.
We met up at The Chinese Garden. I had never met Jan before, but I just assumed, “We’re just looking for another tall, distinctly non-asian male, yeah?” My suspicions were confirmed as we found a tall red-headed male who jumped up to greet us. Non-asian for sure. After meeting Jan – Andrew joked to me, “You’re the first person to meet one of my friends from my Japan day. Now, you can testify that they existed ;-)”
Normally the garden is free. Downside of going today, they charged $12 as it was during the lantern festival, and we went during the day so the lanterns weren’t turned on. Upside – it was virtually empty even thought it was during a Saturday.
We walked around for a while, then sat down to a picnic lunch we had brought. We took a break under some shelter while it was lightly raining to just talk and catch up. Then we got up and explored the garden some more.
During our ambling, we happened upon The Live Turtle and Tortoise Museum of Singapore. At first we weren’t going to go in, seeing as the admission charge was $5. However, the two ladies manning the entrance pleaded with us. (It seemed that they had been having a really slow day.) The head lady insisted that if we weren’t happy/impressed we could get a refund. When we relented and decided to go in, she brightened up and seemed so happy that she threw in a complimentary packet of food pellets to feed the turtles.
Boy were we rewarded! The turtles were so excited to see us. Take this turtle for example:
We figure this turtle was as happy as we were that Jan would visit us 🙂
The sheer variety of turtles and tortoises was astounding! There were smooth backed ones, others that were bumpy, small, big, long necked, etc…
Although a huge variety of the turtles were kept in tanks, that wasn’t the end of the museum. No sir-ee. There was an entire pond with turtles.
The turtles obviously knew that our presence = food. They literally swarmed around us plopping in the water to try to gain the best seat in the house (pound?) to receive some food for us.
The turtles didn’t only approach us from the water. There was a few who were determined their chances of receiving food were better if they chased us down on the bridge. I distinctly remember Andrew saying, “watch out.”
Overall we were glad we decided to go for the $5 admission fee. It was worth it. On our way out we had a bonus. The two sweet ladies showed us a batch of cute little baby turtles 2-4 weeks old. They let me hold one!
Shortly after this shot, the little guy tried to scamper out of my hands. The two ladies were quick to confiscate him and put him back in his cage where he could escape so easily. A fun way to exit the museum.
While we were walking through more of the Chinese Garden we came across these chairs. As best we could tell, someone had thought it a good idea to take the backs off of other chairs and use them as backs to these stumps.
We took some time to climb up the stairs of the tall pagoda.
After spending a good chunk of our afternoon at the Chinese Garden – we traveled to Sentosa. Now a little bit of background: Andrew & Jan came to SG for a conference 5 years ago. While here, they both visited Sentosa. Fast-forward several years, when Andrew visited Sentosa after moving here, he was shocked. It had changed so much. What was just a few short years before a jungle island with a statue, cable car, and beaches was now a major resort destination covered with big buildings. So our plan was to show Jan the island and see if he was as impressed by the transformation. He was.
Since the Merlion was one of the few items that was there several years when they had visited before, we took a picture of the two buddies there.
Satisfied with viewing the new Sentosa, we went out for sushi (an appropriate thing for two guys who lived in Japan for several years to do). Sushi was good, but in need of being topped off with dessert. We went to Suntec City and found a good ice cream place. Andrew and I had ice cream and fondue. Mmm.
It was a fantastic day and a wonderful visit with a good friend.
Come back soon Jan!