Monday, May 26, 2014

River Safari: Singapore’s river-themed attraction

My family and I visit River Safari: Singapore’s river-themed attraction and one of Singapore’s newest places of attraction. River Safari to me, before my visit, is as famous as its mascots: the two pandas, Kai Kai and Jia Jia. And before the visit, I also heard that the place of River Safari is also not as big as the zoo, but I decided to check this newest place of attraction out anyway. River Safari is not like most of the older places of wild life attractions in Singapore. The whole place of attraction seems to be encompassed in wooden tree houses which sit on long wooden pillars that are “fixed” into the soil of the forested areas. These tree houses encircle a scenic reservoir. Thus the whole experience at River Safari is like a guided tour cum slow walk of few kilometres; visitors are guided naturally from one place of attraction to the other by proceeding in one direction via this “wooden house concept”.

There are lots and lots of fishes in River Safari though the centrepiece of River Safari is nonetheless the Giant Pandas Jia Jia and Kai Kai. In our visit, we only see one panda (the male panda, I suppose it is Kai Kai) as the female panda, according to one signpost, says that it is shy and one can only see it only via a CCTV located nearby the pandas exhibit. There were just too many visitors looking on the one panda biting bamboo leaves, crowded in one place. The area for visitors to look at the panda is not generous, unlike that of Ocean Park in Hong Kong.

River Safari is modelled after the many rivers and animals of the rivers in Asia such as the Mekong River and the Yangtze River. The only eatery inside River Safari is the Panda restaurant after the Panda exhibit. We did not have our lunch there at the restaurant as I thought it was expensive.

We are pleasantly surprised to see that the attractions of River Safari do not culminate in the Panda restaurant though it may not be surprising that many would think so. There is one more major piece of attraction in River Safari which soon unveiled to us and that is none the giant and relaxing glass wall featuring many fishes and seacows! If you have been to Sea Aquarium in Sentosa, the glass wall is almost similar to it. This is the first time I see a sea cow and I think that the sea cows are very cute creatures.

River Safari sits on top of a scenic Mandai lake and though the weather is hot and humid, it is relaxing to admire the beautiful scenary.  

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