Any list of things to do in Singapore includes the Singapore Night Safari. $32 SGD ($26 USD) includes 1.) 30-minute Creatures of the Night Show 2.) Thumbuakar Performance in the entrance plaza right as you walk in 3.) hop-on / hop-off tram ride throughout the zoo 4.) four walking trails (my favorite part).
The short story: Eat before you go, as food there is expensive and mediocre. Very kid-friendly and geared toward families/children, especially the Creatures of the Night Show. Allow yourself at least an hour to get there and 3-4 hours to wander around and see everything.
My story: It took me forever to get there. By leaving Rob’s around 5p (Monday), I thought I’d beat the rush hour people. Took me an hour just to get to the subway stop, where I then had to take a bus. (But somehow caught the wrong bus and ended up in a cab.)
The Creatures of the Night Show was a half-hour comedy-type show in the open-air amphitheater. A soft spotlight followed whatever coyote/badger/wolf as it hit its mark and was (I assume) rewarded with a treat. The first 5 rows saw the most action as various animals – a huge python and a furry biting thing (I forget what) – were paraded through closely enough for people to touch. The show was a bit silly, but engaging and even asked for a (child) volunteer a time or two. Despite the hostess asking the audience in 4 languages to not use flash photography, several people throughout the audience did it anyway.
The tram is a long, sectional golf cart-type thing that narrates as you weave through the zoo for about 45 minutes. For me, the best parts were the walking paths. I was alone on most of the dimly-lit walkways as loud frog-sounding critters nearly croaked me deaf. I was taken aback at one point when I very-clearly saw a lion cross my path ahead. Only when I got closer did I see that he was behind security glass and my path turned left just before his enclosure. Here he is just a few feet in front of me. (Sorry about the quality. It really is dark out there.)
Here are some flamingoes, part of the bat exhibit and some elephants that came out ok:
The main entrance area is incredibly touristy with numerous gift shops full of Night Safari-branded items I would never spend money on. In addition to $12 Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, you can also get a fish pedicure! I’m still undecided about this practice. I don’t know if reports like this one from ABC news are just American-style hypochondria or if those fishies really are icky. I’d certainly try it but I’ll wait until it’s cheaper than $10/5minutes, $25/15 minutes.