My Golden-Ager Dad Recommends Singapore

My dad used to be a travel bug. I remember looking at printed photos of his trips neatly arranged in photo albums, tucked under the living room table. And everytime he catches any of  my siblings and I flipping an album of his, he quickly jumps on the sofa to tell us the story of a particular photo which we’re currently peering on. Yes, I have heard his travel stories like a thousand times already, but each time he recounts them, it made me imagine on vacationing to those places myself.

It’s been a while since my dad went on a trip abroad though. If I remember it right, it was 10 years ago when he visited his sister in the States. So, to kickoff his golden years, I toured my dad in Singapore to celebrate his 60th birthday!

It was my dad’s first visit to the Lion City and he was super thrilled after researching about the places we would be going during the 4- full day trip in Singapore. At 60, my dad still can do long walks without any complains on having leg pains and is pretty easy to bring along trips as he loves exploring places too. I chose to bring him to Singapore because it’s an easy place to go around, even for seniors. Transportation is efficient, food is great, and  Singapore is a beautiful mix of urban and nature that my father will surely appreciate.

DAY 01
During the first day, we explored attractions at the Marina Bay side – and not missing the chance to indulge in a buffet lunch at Rise, at the lobby lounge of the iconic Marina Bay Sands. I brought my dad to Red Dot Museum first, to sight on some of newest inventions in the region, which included a fun VR showroom which he eagerly tried. Right about 1:30PM, we commenced with the Gardens by the Bay tour – going in the Flower Garden first, then the Cloud Dome and lastly the OCBC Skywalk. Right after, we then left for Sentosa where we had our dinner and reveled our eyes on the last show of the “Wings of Time” for the day.

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My dad and I looking for places to eat on Google Maps with Singapore/ One Fullerton Skyline on the background

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Dad trying out the VR tour at the Red Dot Museum

—— MORE ABOUT THE ATTRACTIONS ON OUR DAY 1 ITINERARY ———–

The Cloud Forest veiled in mist, with indoor temperature of 23-25 degrees, houses a diverse collection of vegetation and floral gems. The conservatory also has the world’s tallest indoor waterfall at 35 meters descend through the mist-filled Cloud Walk and Treetop Walk. The Cloud Forest operates from 9:00AM – 9:00PM daily.

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At the peak of the Cloud Forest

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Cloud Dome’s Tree Top Walk

The Flower Dome is the largest glass greenhouse in the world that displays flowers and plants from the Mediterranean and semi-arid regions. This conservatory has an indoor temperature of 23-25 degrees and replicates the cool and dry Mediterranean climate. The Flower Dome showcases exotic plants from 5 continents which are displayed in nine different gardens. One of my favorites in the garden are the Baobas. The Flower Dome operates from 9:00AM-9:00PM daily.
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The OCBC Skywalk is a 22-meter high, 128-meter-long aerial walkway gives a scenic view of the Gardens by The Bay and getting an up-close look of the futuristic Supertrees. We missed the free light and sound show though, which we will surely catch on our next trip to Singapore. The Garden Rhapsody Show happens daily at 7:45PM and 8:45PM. The OCBC Skywalk is open daily from 9:00AM-9:00PM.

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OCBC Skywalk

Sentosa is an island resort off Singapore’s southern coast, that features different attractions. Universal Studios, Palawan and Siloso beaches and many other points of interest can be enjoyed in this awesome island. Since my dad just wanted to just chill and relax, we just roamed around Sentosa for a little bit, had dinner and watched the last show for the day of “Wings of Time,” which was at 8:40PM. A previous show at 7:40PM is also available.

——————————–

DAY 02
My dad used to breed parakeets. He started having a pair as pets, but they just keep growing in numbers until he decided to just give some away, and freed most of them as they’re uncontrollably fast breeders. On our second day, I brought him to Jurong Bird Park for him to get to see parakeets again, and many other bird species.

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Lesser Flamingos greeted us when we entered Jurong Bird Park

Jurong Bird Park is Asia’s largest bird park with over 5,000 birds across 400 species that fly, swim and roam freely in their natural habitats, including four large free-flight aviaries. Been at the park 4 times already and Lory Loft is still my favorite part of the bird paradise. The 9-storey high enclosure offers 360 elevated view of the lush greenery, and the best part is having to meet the friendly, colorful lories. You can even feed them right out of your hand. Also, one should not miss the “High Flyers Show” where the birds get to show off their natural talents. Experience the world’s largest number of birds taking center stage at the free-flying performance that features a grand finale of colors and excitement. The High Flyers Show happens daily at 11:00AM and 3:00PM at the Pools Amphitheatre.  The Kings of the Skies also happens daily at 10:00AM and 4:00PM at he Hwak Arena where one can witness the ancient art of falconry. Schedule may change so be sure to check the show schedules on the park map when entering the vicinity. Jurong Bird Park operates daily from 8:30AM to 6:00PM.
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Lory Loft

 

DAY 03
We continued exploring the animal parks of Singapore during our third day, with Singapore Zoo and River Safari on the list. Since both are situated real close, we’ve decided to visit the two attractions in one day. The Night Safari’s also near the vicinity but I decided to skip it, just to make sure we get back to  our accommodation before 9pm so my dad can rest.

Singapore Zoo is a 26 hectare wildlife park and is home to over 300 species of mammals, birds and reptiles. The park has 11 zones, each taking you through some of the most distinctive global wildlife habitats.  The White Tiger and the elephants were a few of the animals I was so excited to see. Singapore Zoo operates daily from 8:30AM-6:00PM.

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White Rhinos

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Elephants of Asia

River Safari is a river themed zoo and aquarium built over 12 hectares, nestled between Singapore Zoo and Night Safari. The River Safari is Asia’s first and only river-themed wildlife park and is home to over 6,000 animals, including 40 threatened species. Meet the world’s largest amphibian, the giant Chinese Salamander and the endangered giant Mekong Catfish inside the park. Also don’t forget to say hello to Kai Kai and Jia Jia, the adorable giant pandas at The Giant Panda Forest.

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Arapaima

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Kai Kai The Giant Panda

DAY 04
Wrapping up the quick 4-day vacation with a city tour – which included visits to the Esplanade, the Merlion, Chinatown and Orchard. Also, dragged him to a Harry Potter themed cafe before heading back to the airport.

Esplanade is a very interesting structure. Looking on the outside, many of us will think that those durian spikes serve only an aesthetic value to the building, but it goes beyond that. One can learn about the iconic cladding, or famously known as Durian spikes, allows the building to have a transparent façade while blocking out the glare of sunlight, and much more when you join the Esplanade Walk tour.

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Esplanade

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Inside the Esplanade

Merlion Park is a major tourist attraction in Singapore located at One Fullerton. The Merlion is a mythical creature with a lion’s head and the body of a fish and has been an emblem of Singapore for years.

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Playing Around at The Merlion Park

A stop to buy pasalubong in Chinatown is a must for us Filipinos. It’s been in our culture to bring back something, at least for our families, back home after a trip. Chinatown has tons of really affordable merchandise, from bags to shirts, from keychains to pens. Also, culture lovers may immerse themselves in Buddhism’s rich art and history by visiting the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple. The temple’s interior is architecturally designed in the form of a Mandala, a central concept in Buddhist and Hindu spirituality that represents universal connection. The oldest Hindu temple in Singapore, Sri Mariamman Temple, also in the bustling Chinatown. The temple is dedicated to the goddess Mariamman, known for her power to cure illnesses and diseases.

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Dad shopping in Chinatown for Pasalubong

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Sri Mariamman Temple

Orchard Road is a shopping haven! Get your dose of retail therapy along the 2.2km boulevard. And if you miss Filipino food, head to Lucky Plaza for some adobo, or Jollibee Chickenjoy perhaps? 😉
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4 days in Singapore is quite short, but it’s an ample length of time to get a glimpse of the beautiful Lion City. My dad surely loved the trip, and brought home lots of stories which he constantly shared with his grandchildren over dinner when we got back home. The nephews and niece were even joking that their grand dad has better instagram feed than them. Yes, my dad’s pretty cool.

My dad has mentioned that Singapore was a perfect place for him to recline and unwind, and he recommends it to his friends.

 

Looking forward for my next travel with dad in 2019! And will surely blog and share about that trip too. Ending this blogpost with the itinerary we used during our recent trip to Singapore.

Singapore Itinerary
Travel Dates: 6-11 July 2018

6 July, Friday -Departure Date
5:00PM Arrive at MCIA T2
Check in for Flight 5J547
7:55PM Depart Cebu to SG
11:40PM Arrive at SG
11:55PM Hail taxi to Accommodation
7 July, Saturday – Marina Bay & Sentosa
7:00AM Wake Up
8:00AM Breakfast
8:30AM Leave for Marina Bay
10:30AM Arrive at Marina Bay Sands
11:00AM Go to red dot museum
11:30AM Go around the mall
12:00PM Lunch
1:00PM Explore Flower Garden
2:30PM Explore Cloud Garden
4:00PM Leave for Sentosa
5:30PM Arrive at Sentosa
6:00PM Buffet Dinner at Good Old Times
8:20PM Proceed to Wings of Time Show
8:40PM Start of Show
9:40PM Ride home
11:30PM Home
12:00AM Sleep
8 July, Sunday – Bird Park
8:00AM Wake Up
9:30AM Breakfast
10:30AM Ride Hop on Bus to Bird Park
12:30PM Arrive at Bird park
Lunch
1:00PM Explore Bird Park
4:30PM Hop on Bus back to City
6:30PM Dinner
8:00PM Home
9:00PM Sleep
9 July, Monday – River Safari & Singapore Zoo
7:30AM Wake Up
8:30AM Breakfast
9:30AM Ride Hop on Bus to River Safari
11:30AM Arrive at Safari
Lunch
12:00PM River Safari
2:00PM Go to Singapore Zoo
6:30PM Dinner
7:00PM Head home
10:00PM Home
10:30PM Sleep
10 July, Tuesday – City Tour
7:30AM Wake Up
8:30AM Breakfast
9:30AM Commute to esplanade
11:30AM Arrive at Esplanade
12:00PM Lunch at Makansutra
01:00PM Explore esplanade & library
02:30PM Visit the Merlion
03:00PM Go to Chinatown & Orchard
5:30PM Head back home
7:00PM Dinner
8:00PM Head to airport
9:30PM Check in for flight back to Cebu
11 July, Wednesday – Flight Back
12:25AM Take off 5J548
4:15AM Arrive at MCIA T2

 

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