The zoos, the gardens, the fusion of big city with nature: Singapore proves it's no mere stopover but a family holiday destination that can absolutely delight.
We are making our way to a 9am appointment at Ah Meng Restaurant... breakfast with five of the zoo's resident orang-utans. We’re going under the pretence that it's for my freshly turned four-year-old's birthday but, really, I also want to have breakfast with the orang-utans.
That's the thing about Singapore: its sites and attractions appeal to all members of the family.
And it's that appeal that saw us enchanted by Singapore's zoos, its national treasure in the National Orchid Garden, and the image synonymous with the city — the futuristic trees at Gardens by the Bay.
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The Travel Club Show : Japan for first-timers
The first-time visitor to Japan arrives with a lot of baggage, including the cultural variety. All those preconceptions we have about a place like Japan which, from a distance, can seem intense yet calm, modern yet traditional, compact yet spacious.
Maybe it's all these. Just think: Boys Love Manga and woodblock prints. Maid cafes and geisha tea houses. Anime and kabuki. Bullet trains and rickshaws. Crowded cities and serene villages. Hamburgers and sushi.
But the biggest thing confronting the first-time visitor is the unknown...