JURONG BIRDPARK, ASIA PACIFIC BREWERIES, RAFFLES MARINA & HOLLAND VILLAGE
You don't need know anything about birds to enjoy the Jurong BirdPark. With 8,000 exotic and colourful birds from 600 species, this 20.2 hectare open-concept park is a world-class attraction. You'll be impressed by the lush greenery, the huge walk-in aviary, and how close you can get to the birds.
The bird park is open from 8.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. daily, and the bird shows start from 9.30 a.m. onwards. Admission is S$12, plus an extra S$3 if you want to ride the panorail, but my recommendation is to skip the ride and walk instead.
The bird park is located at 2 Jurong Hill. To get there, take the MRT to Boon Lay MRT Station, then transfer to Bus No. 194 or 251 at the bus interchange.
You'll find yourself in the good company of birds for a good part of the morning and a little of the afternoon, so bring your lunch along.
ASIA PACIFIC BREWERIES
After a hot and humid morning at the BirdPark, there's no better place to cool down than Asia Pacific Breweries, home of the ice-cold, award winning Tiger Beer. Asia Pacific Breweries also brews Anchor Beer, Heineken Beer, Baron's Strong Brew, and ABC Stout.
Join a 1 ½ hour tour of the brewery. You'll have to book the tour at least 2 weeks in advance. Contact the Public Relations Department of the brewery at (65) 6860 3007. The tour is conducted from Mondays to Fridays (except public holidays) at 9.30 a.m., 11.00 a.m. and 2.30 p.m. Make sure you depart from the BirdPark with ample time to get to the brewery for the tour.
From the BirdPark, take Bus No. 194 from the bus-stop outside the BirdPark to the bus interchange next to Boon Lay MRT Station. At the bus interchange, board either Bus No. 182 or 182X. After you spot the Carnaud Metalbox Building on your left, you should press the buzzer and prepare to alight. Asia Pacific Breweries is next to the bus-stop after the Carnaud Metalbox Building. The address is 459 Jalan Ahmad Ibrahim.
Spend the rest of the afternoon at the nearby Raffles Marina. Of all the marinas in Singapore, Raffles Marina is easily the most charming. Luxurious yachts belonging to the rich in Singapore and visiting yachtsmen are docked here. Some of the yachts are as large as 150 feet. It's beautiful spot to watch a sunset.
Although Raffles Marina is a members' club, non-members are welcome to patronize the food and drinks outlets there. There are 2 restaurants and a pub there - Marina Bistro, Captain's Table and Discovery Pub.
At Marina Bistro, you can dine in the breezy outdoors by the pool. The restaurant serves a mix of local and western fare. The restaurant is open from 8.00 a.m. to 10.00 p.m. daily and a meal here will cost about S$15 per person.
Captain's Table is located on the second floor, just above the Marina Bistro. It's a restaurant which specializes in dishes from different provinces in China, namely, Shanghai, Yunnan, Guangzhou, Chaozhou and Szechuan. Often, the Captain's Table has very good value promotions like eat-all-you-can a la carte buffets for about S$20 per person or crabs at S$1 apiece. The quality of the food at this restaurant is very good. Check the marina's website for the various promotions. The restaurant is open from 12.00 p.m. to 3.00 p.m. for lunch and from 6.00 p.m. to 10.00 p.m. for dinner.
At Discovery Pub, there's a live band performing nightly, except Sundays and public holidays. Sundays are reserved for karaoke singing. Discovery Pub is open from 11.30 a.m. to 1.00 a.m. daily. It is usually not crowded.
To get to Raffles Marina from Asia Pacific Breweries, take Bus No. 182 or 182X from outside the brewery. Alight 4 stops down at the bus-stop opposite the marina.
HOLLAND VILLAGE ("HOLLAND V')
As an alternative to having dinner at Raffles Marina, hop onto Bus No. 182 or 182X at the bus-stop outside Raffles Marina before dinnertime. The bus will take you to the bus interchange next to Boon Lay MRT Station. Take the MRT to Buona Vista MRT Station, 6 stops away. From there, take Bus No. 200 to Holland Village (popularly known as "Holland V"). It's just 3 bus stops away and the bus fare costs S$0.80.
Holland V is one of the favourite haunts for locals and expats in Singapore. Located at Holland Road, with Lorong Liput and Lorong Mambong in-between, Holland V is filled with stores selling Asian arts, crafts, antiques and other decorative pieces of the home, and eating places offering affordable hawker fare to fine dining. The variety available at Holland V is fascinating and you'll be spoilt for choice!
Most of the shops and eating places in Holland V are located in 2-storey shophouses. There is only one multi-storey shopping centre in Holland V. The first floor houses Cold Storage, a supermarket. The shops on the second and third floor are a joy to browse. The shops here close between 7 to 9 p.m. daily, so it'll be prudent to stop by before dinner. Grab some light hunger-stoppers at one of many snack kiosks as you explore Holland V. On the fourth floor of the shopping centre is a restaurant on the roof terrace.
Opposite Holland V is Chip Bee, which has a row of al fresco eateries, serving mainly pizza, pasta and other Italian fare. It's quieter on this side of the road which is ideal if you're looking for a romantic spot.
After your walking tour of Holland V, you'll have a good idea of where you should stop for dinner.
The cheap eats are located in the kopitiam (coffee shop) in the heart of Holland V, and the row of shophouses next to it. In that row of shophouses, you'll find a noodle house, a branch of Katong Laksa, and a stall selling minced meat noodles. Opposite that row of shophouses is a food court, serving affordable hawker fare as well.
For nocturnal activities, you've got pubs (like Wala-Wala), wine bars, coffee and dessert joints. Wala-Wala is located at No. 31 Lorong Mambong and it opens from 4.00 p.m. to 1.00 a.m. from Sundays to Thursdays, and from 4.00 p.m. to 2.00 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
~ Happy Touring ~
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