Getting Eaten at the Singapore Zoo, Fauna at the Singapore Botanical Gardens and Hawker Stalls at Newton Circus, Singapore


Singapore has it’s fair share of tourist attractions, but whenever I come, I always try to visit some of the more attractions that local Singapore residents visit. Spending time here as a youth growing up, I always appreciated visiting the Singapore Zoo, the Singapore Botanical Gardens and a tasty meal at the Newton Circus Hawker food stalls.

This post is one chapter on our trip to Bali and Singapore. This trip was redeemed through Lifemiles, AAdvantage and through Starwood Preferred Guest (Marriott Bonvoy) loyalty programs. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.

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Activity: Getting Eaten at the Singapore Zoo, Fauna at the Singapore Botanical Gardens and Singapore Hawker Stalls at Newton Circus, Singapore

“Our Local Experiences in Singapore included the Singapore Zoo, a street festival and the Singapore Motorcycle Cart Ice Cream Sandwiches”

Visiting the Singapore Zoo:

On our next day, we headed over to the world class Singapore Zoo. The Singapore Zoo features all the usual suspects, with trenches that separate the viewing areas from the visitors. We passed by some housing flats on the way, that all were displaying Singapore flags in honour of the SG 50 celebrations.

Singapore Central Housing Flats with Singapore “50” Celebration Signs

Of course, it wouldn’t be Singapore without some entertaining signs.

Is this a Police Matter?

On arrival to the Singapore Zoo, all the usual zoo suspects were here today. What was most interesting, was that it was feeding time for the snakes. The snake keeper was in the process of feeding the snakes a full animal. In a scene that my son won’t forget for quite a while, we watched the snake devour a small animal! The snake consumed it’s prey in slow motion. It was more proof that life on the road is more interesting than at the office!

Colorful Zebra’s at the Singapore Zoo
Feeding Time for Snakes
Devouring a Small Animal!
Tearing Apart a Furry Creature

Dining at Newton Circus

Singapore Hawker Food Stalls:

As I had mentioned earlier, MrsWT73 had to head back earlier than the rest of us for work commitments. We were able to have a great last evening dinner at Newton Circus prior to her leaving. Although Newton Circus is among the most touristy of the Singapore Hawker Centres, and was featured in the film “Crazy Rich Asians” it’s still my favourite. It’s close to the family house in the Tanglin neighbourhood and eating Singapore food is a terrific experience when you are able to go with someone who knows what to order!

The Newton Circus food stall is a twenty four hour operation, with outdoor seating.

Newton Circus Hawker Food Center Seating
Newton Circus Hawker Food Stalls

We had a massive feast, featuring the always scrumptious Singapore satay.

Singapore Satay with traditional accompaniments and spicy peanut sauce
WT73 Jr capturing an extended family photo after feasting

All in all, MrsWT73 got in what she needed for her quick visit. She left the boys in good shape to tackle the rest of the visit with some adventures, new and old.


Visiting the Singapore Botanical Gardens:

The next day, we left the house for a walk to Singapore’s Botanical Gardens. It’s a close walk from the house, and it’s one of my favourite things to do whenever I visit Singapore. It’s one of the most serene places on the island, as it’s free of cars and has a soothing quality to it. It’s not normally on the tourist route, but it remains a must see whenever I come to the island.

A quick walk through Merryn Road, with some deluxe and probably very expensive homes beyond my budget. While I appreciated the homes, WT73Jr took some interest in the landscaping bamboo, which was different than the fir trees back home in the Pacific Northwest.

Luxury Homes in the Tanglin Neighbourhood
Bamboo Shoots mark the landscaping here.

After about ten minutes walk, we were at the Singapore Botanical Gardens Park. The park contained several gardens and ponds where you can feed the koi fish.

Peaceful Park Ponds
Landscaped Park Walkways
Gorgeous Leafy Fauna
Tropical Flowers

There is also a four sided clock in the center of the park. I always find it entertaining the the clock face that represents the Pacific Standard Time zone is represented by the city of Vancouver, and not Los Angeles, Seattle or San Franciso.

The Worldwide Clock at the Singapore Botanical Gardens

The Singapore Airlines Paper Airplane Flying Contest:

That evening, we the Singapore Orchard Road Business Association was having one of their monthly street parties. Once a month, they completely close down Orchard Road to promote business and gatherings in a street party environment. It also happened to time along with the Singapore Fifty Year Anniversary (SG50) celebrations for Singapore’s fiftieth anniversary celebration of independence. I’ve visited Orchard Road several times, but I’ve never seen it this empty!

Singapore Airlines Jubilee Celebrations
A Deserted Orchard Road

There was a Mazda car display set up at Shaw Centre by the movie theatres. As some may know, Singapore has the most expensive cars in the world. This is thanks to the rate of taxation on vehicles and the insurance premiums (COE). Most vehicles advertised here in the newspapers do not contain a posting of the listed prices. Unusually, this Mazda 6 was sign posted with a price. It was selling for almost $130,000 SGD. That’s a price of $91,888 USD converted at today’s rates without insurance. Sheer lunacy! I would be taking the bus. Thankfully, Singapore has a great transit system of busses and subway.

Expensive Cars on Display in Singapore

A highlight for me, was that across town at the stadium by the Marina Bay Sands, they were also practicing their SG50 event celebration in 6 days time. This included an awesome fly-past of Singapore fighter jets. The fighter jets were flying in an acrobatic “50” formation. There was no mistaking the sound, you could hear these guys flying from miles away.

Looking up at Singapore’s Air Force
Singapore Airforce F15 and F16 Over Flights

In other family oriented events, we came across a very clever marketing promotion; a Paper Airplane throwing contest sponsored by Singapore Airlines. The grand prize was two tickets for two Singapore Airlines flights from Singapore to Melbourne in Economy class (err – no thanks!) or two tickets to the Singapore Grand Prix (err- yes please!). In all things Singaporean, the event was exceptionally well organized and run. Registration was taken, speeds were recorded using speed guns, and judges were present to monitor. WT73Jr did really well in the speed competition, but not so great in the distance competition.

A Branded Tent
Getting Instructions on the Competition
Going for Gold in Flight
Paper Airplane Challenge Leaderboard

He actually did so well, when we had returned back to Canada, there was an email waiting for me from Singapore Airlines, inviting him back to compete in the semi – finals.

Singapore’s Ice Cream Motorcycle Carts:

I also managed to locate one of the few remaining Ice Cream Motorcycle carts. Locals and Singapore residents and regulars will know of the carts that offer ice cream sandwiches; ice cream blocks cut off the carton sandwiched between two pieces of sweet bread. The ice cream is cut immediately out of the ice cream square block usually using a Chinese Butcher knife and often you’re given a small piece of plastic wrap for convenience. It’s a wonderful Singapore experience and a great deal at the bargain price of $1 SGD.

Singapore’s Motorcycle Ice Cream Carts
Tasty Ice Cream Goodness for 1 SGD

My Thoughts About Life in Singapore:

The day to day live in Singapore doesn’t always feature the top tourist attractions. Instead, the island offers some more authentic local experiences. The Singapore Zoo, the Singapore Botanical Gardens and a local Ice Cream Sandwich are just some of the uniquely local things to do and see when you happen to be here on a longer stay.

If you’ve tasted a Singapore Motorcycle Ice Cream Sandwich, does it make you come back for more?

2 Comments on “Getting Eaten at the Singapore Zoo, Fauna at the Singapore Botanical Gardens and Hawker Stalls at Newton Circus, Singapore

  1. A brilliant post, I love to get a look at a destination behind the well polished, highly promoted tourist sites. There’s a place for those, of course, they can be fun but time spent finding the day-to-day things is a lovely way to get to know a destination.

    I’d love to visit Singapore, it would be a dream trip for me. Must get saving to make it happen!


    • Thanks for your support ThingsHelenLoves.

      There’s certainly something behind the regular tourist attractions and doing things that form part of a families life living in a foreign country. The Singapore Zoo holds a special place in my heart having visited several times growing up as a youngster.

      In addition to the saving, make sure you save some appetite for the wonderful food stalls.


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