A tourist in my own home, part 3

Hi all!

This is the last part to my series of posts for “a tourist in my own home”. In this post, we’ll be going to Universal Studios Singapore and River Safari. At USS, I’ll be recommending some rides which I find are good. The rest of the rides there are okay but nothing terribly exciting to rave about. However, I’ll not comment on the ride: canopy flyer (located at lost world) since I’ve never experience it before. The first time I was at USS, the ride was not yet opened to public. The second time, well, I’m quite reluctant to wait 45 minutes for a ride.

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First up, the Transformers ride from Sci-Fic city! It is definitely one of the best 4D experience I’ve had. The effects are good, the storyline for the ride was well thought out and the duration for the ride was just nice. There’s definitely nothing not to love about this ride, unless you suffer from motion sickness then it’s best to steer clear.

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Next, is the Revenge of the Mummy ride from ancient Egypt. This ride is definitely the best ride at USS in my opinion. It’s thrilling as the ride ventures into the unknown since it occurs in total darkness. I suppose if Battlestar Galactica was open, it would overtake this ride as the best.  Pretty sad about this since the first time i went to USS, the ride was still not opened. Then this time, the ride has shut down after its momentary opening. Sigh.

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Following that is the Water World. The actors and actress there were funny and engaging with the audience. The water show had a plot that felt relatively complete even if the ending was quite cheesy. It was action-packed with shooting, speed boats and explosions. Definitely a must visit attraction.

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Next would be the show: Lights, Camera, Action hosted by Steven Spielberg. The show demonstrates how special effects are used in movies. In this case, it is used to showcase a Category 5 hurricane about to hit New York City. No photography was allowed during the show and even if it was, I’m not sure if I would capable of snapping any. I was too enraptured to do anything other then to stand mouth agape at the stage. It is not a show that gives you an adrenaline rush. In fact, if I were to watch it behind the TV, it would more closely resemble a documentary or even a news recording. But there’s something about standing there watching the different special effects that leaves me mind-blown as I exit out of the theatre.

The last of my recommendation would be the Shrek 4D adventure at the castle in far, far away land. The show is more suited for younger kids then the Transformers ride but nevertheless, the 4D show is still an interesting one to watch no matter your age.

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With that, I’ll conclude my recommendation list for USS as we leave far, far away land and venture into the River Safari. In case you’re wondering, the picture of Anubis and the castle was taken 4 years back when I was at USS. I didn’t take much pictures this time round as I was acting in the capacity of an adult and it didn’t feel quite right to go around taking pictures when I was supposed to take care of my cousin.

I have to say prior to the opening of the River Safari, I was expecting quite a lot from the attraction. After all, the Singapore Zoo is really quite good. However, when I went there, I was pretty damn disappointed. At S$25 per person, it was really not worth the value. No doubt, there are some animals that are not available at the Zoo or the S.E.A aquarium, but they’re few and far in between. Most of the animals there were fishes and let’s face it, at the end of the day, most of us don’t remember what kind of fish we have just seen. There are just fishes to us common folks. Mammals have more distinct features that allow us to distinguish between them much more easily.

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It pretty much felt like I was paying to see the Giant Pandas only. Which I’ve to admit, I really like the open enclosure concept for these Pandas. I’ve been to see Giant Pandas at Taipei Zoo before and it was a huge disappointment. The pandas were separated from us with a mirror and you constantly have to move along with the crowd as there are park attendants guiding the crowd to move forward along the queue. You don’t really get much time to fully enjoy the experience of seeing the Pandas, if you’re even lucky enough to catch a glimpse of them.

But back to the point, unless you have additional time to spare, you could give this attraction a miss and stick to the Singapore Zoo. Conversely, if you only have say 2 hours to spare, you might want to give this attraction a chance. At the end of the day, at least you’ve gone home with seeing the Giant Panda.

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We were pretty lucky that day as we were in time for the feeding session of the stingrays, squirrel monkey and the manatees.

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I’ve definitely snapped a ton of pictures of Kai Kai (the name of this Panda) tumbling and rolling about on the floor. IMG_7554

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I would have to say at an additional $5 to the River Safari entrance ticket, it is rather reasonable for the Amazon River Quest. You get to see some terrestrial animals rather than just aquatic life at the Safari. Of course, that is if the animals have not decided to be playful and hide away from you during the ride. I did managed to see most of them but my only pet peeve is that at certain points along the ride, the boat was definitely moving too fast. By the time we were asked to turn our heads from a pre-recorded voice to view a certain animal, we were already some distance away from the site.

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For those who wish to snap some pictures of the animals along the ride, my advice is to be very fast at pressing the shutter button and hope for the best. You’ll not have much (if any) time to check on the pictures and re-snap them if they turned out blur.

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And this is definitely the first time I’ve managed to capture a more awake-looking cheetah. Most of the time, the cheetahs at the zoo looked too sleepy as the hide from the afternoon sun or they’re hidden behind the foliage in their enclosure. Never have I managed to capture or even see a full-on frontal shot of their face so I’m absolutely pleased with this picture! 🙂

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These cute little squirrel monkeys were snatching their loot from the feeding session as they seek to settle somewhere to enjoy their meal in peace.

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There were 10 manatees (from what we have managed to count) at the aquarium and I’ve never seen so many of them at one place before. It was quite a surreal experience when I realised the manatees were “vegan” during their feeding session where they were fed cabbage (or was it lettuce?). I’ve always had the notion that these graceful mermaids were fed small fishes as part of their diet.  IMG_7670

Here’s a cute little otter trying to get onto the log for a sun-tanning session to end the post, that’s all and bye!IMG_7689

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