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Phespirit goes to Singapore
Singapore     February 2010

AROUND SINGAPORE

Map of Singapore

1 Singapore

It was mid-afternoon when Phespirit's flight landed at Singapore's Changi Airport, by which time the temperature was a shimmering 36°C. Daytime temperatures were into the thirties every day of his stay, and air conditioning was required to bring it down to a more tolerable 25°C at night.

The city of Singapore is attractive, clean and green, and very easy to walk around, but the heat and humidity are a constant concern. Plenty of water and occasional retreats into air conditioned malls are never a bad idea.

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2 Pulau Ubin

Pulau Ubin is situated in the Straits of Johor separating Singapore from the Malay peninsula, opposite Changi Point on the northeast coast of Singapore. It can be reached by bumboat (standard ferry) departing from the Changi Point Ferry Terminal. A single one-way trip costs two Singapore dollars and takes just ten minutes.

It is a big island - more than ten square kilometres - but has seen very little development. Thus it is best visited to watch the wildlife.

Phespirit enjoyed a full day here on foot, yet still did not have time enough to explore every corner covered by the network of roads.

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3 St. John's Island

When Phespirit visited, 'Singapore Island Cruise & Ferry Services' operating out of the Marina South Pier was the only company that served the south islands of St. John's and Kusu. A round-trip cost fifteen Singapore dollars.

Phespirit departed the Marina South Pier at 10:00am and reached St. John's thirty minutes later. Here he stayed until 2:45pm, when the next ferry appeared for the short hop around Lazarus Island to Kusu. Lazarus Island itself was closed for maintenance. Bizarre.

St. John's Island is small, and made smaller by the fact that large parts of it are fenced off for a deserted 'holiday camp' that seemed more like a stalag, and a Marine Agricultural Centre. Apart from a few workers, the place belonged to Phespirit and his brother, plus the Brahminy Kites, Oriental Pied Hornbills, Collared Kingfishers, Black-naped Orioles and monitor lizards that call it home.

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4 Kusu Island

If St. John's is small, then Kusu is tiny. Phespirit arrived at three and left at four, and really would have only needed another twenty minutes to have comfortably seen every inch of its shoreline and interior.

The Malay and Chinese temples here give Kusu two focus points, but it is best considered simply as a tropical paradise island upon which to kick back and forget the cares and concerns of city life.

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5 Sungei Buloh Wetlands Reserve

There's a car park directly in front of the Sungei Buloh reserve, but Phespirit recommends parking at, or catching a bus to, the Kranji Reservoir car park on Kranji Way, then walking north the length of the Kranji Nature Trail all the way in to the wetlands reserve.

Within the reserve there are shelters, hides, screens, boardwalks, towers, platforms, and three well-marked broad footpath routes.

It is ideally set up for observing wildlife but as it turned out, on the day of his visit, Phespirit saw less here than he did on Ubin.

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  1. Singapore
  2. Pulau Ubin
  3. St. John's Island
  4. Kusu Island
  5. Sungei Buloh Wetlands Reserve
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Singapore Pulau Ubin St. John's Island Kusu Island Sungei Buloh Wetlands Reserve