There are a couple of things that are on my travel bucket list and I am slowly checking them off! I want to swim with wild dolphins, hold a koala bear and hang out with monkeys – just to name a few! When we were planning our trip to Singapore, I always try to look for things that are off the beaten path to really experience our vacation destination to its fullest. I usually don’t plan to visit zoos but when I saw what Singapore Zoo had to offer, I put the destination on the top of my list! The Singapore Zoo offers a really neat experience called “Jungle Breakfast with Wildlife”. And the picture on their website is literally a family eating breakfast with orangutans in the back! When I saw that I could eat and hang out with monkeys at the same time, I knew I had to visit!
The zoo is very easy to get to so if you are visiting Singapore in the near future, just grab yourself a MRT pass and jump on the train/bus. All the directions are here on their website. When we visited Singapore, we got a Singapore Tourist Pass which comes with 3 days unlimited usage of all of Singapore’s public transportation and additional perks like discount on food and drinks from Changi Recommends which is an all-in-one travel concierge service. You can book everything from airport shuttles to getting a SIM card for your travels with them. Best of all, they are located right in the airport so you can get everything before you even leave. I highly recommend getting a this pass since you will be using the MRT anyway and this is the most cost effective and efficient way to get around Singapore! I am so jealous of their transit system there, you can travel all around Singapore in about an hour and everything is on time, orderly and super clean!
Now back to the Jungle Breakfast with Wildlife – the idea is that you enjoy an all you can eat buffet breakfast and then you get to see some animals up close. The star of the show was definitely the orangutans. A thing to point out is that you need to buy separate tickets to the breakfast on top of tickets to the zoo. Regular zoo tickets for adults are $35 and the Wildlife breakfast is an additional $35 per adult, so not cheap, but definitely worth it. If you are planning to do other attractions like the night safari, they have packaged deals. Go on their website and see which package works best for you.
The breakfast was held at one of the many places to eat at the zoo, Ah Meng Restaurant Terrace. If you are wondering who “Ah Meng” is, well she was a famous Orangutan at the Singapore Zoo. When I say famous, I mean famous – she has been in films, met Michael Jackson and attracted over 4000 visitors who paid their tribute to her when she passed away in 2008. All over the Singapore Zoo you can see posters about her and some eateries named after her as well. The breakfast started at 9:00am and to get a good seat, you should get there for around 8:30 am since it does take some time to walk to the restaurant from the entrance. Once you enter the restaurant, the host will seat you at tables right by where the animals will come out. You can get very close to the animals! There are no glass or gates to separate you and there are always zoo keepers around to keep both the animals and humans safe.
When I first read about this event, I was a little hesitant to eat at the zoo since most zoos around the world serve pretty low quality meals. I actually ate a small breakfast before going because I didn’t really know what to expect. But that was a mistake! The food at this buffet was AMAZING! They served both Asian style breakfast as well as a Western style breakfast! You can find everything from waffles to dim sum during this meal. Everyone dining with you will find something they like. I opted for the Asian style breakfast because how often do I get to eat dim sum, curries and dishes like pandan rice for breakfast? They also served tons of tropical fruits and freshly squeezed juices, coffee, and tea. The food quality was outstanding and I couldn’t believe I was eating such amazing food at a zoo. But then I think about how Singapore is pretty much the foodie capital of Asia and I bet if the food wasn’t good, the residents of Singapore would have an uproar!
The timing was perfect, they gave you about 30 minutes to eat your breakfast fully and then they started bringing out the animals around 9:30 am. They first brought out the family of Orangutans. The four orangutans sat on a log and a few zoo keepers fed them some fruits to keep them entertained. At this time, they invited the attendees to line up to take a picture with the orangutans. You can give them your cell phone and take a free picture or they had professional photographers on hand to take a picture for you which you can buy afterwards. I couldn’t believe how close you can get to these cuties, I was in heaven! You cannot hold or touch them which is a good thing since they are considered to be critically endangered. But they give you some time to really admire them up close. It was such an amazing experience to see these beautiful creatures up close, I will never forget it!
After everyone have taken their photos with the orangutans, they brought out a snake where you can pet and ask the zookeepers any questions. I wasn’t too overly interested in snakes, so I pet it but honestly I have nothing else to write about! (Sorry snake lovers) It would of been neat if they brought out another animal but after the snake, but the event was pretty much over. At this point, people finished their meals and started exploring the zoo.
The Singapore Zoo is unlike many zoos around the world where they keep their animals in small confined areas. The Singapore Zoo keep their animals in much more open spaces. The enclosed area for the animals are generally more open in comparison to the North American zoo design we are used to. You can get really close to animals and the animals seem to enjoy the openness much more. If you are hungry after wandering around the zoo for a few hours, there are tons of places inside the zoo to grab everything from a sandwich to the local Singaporean dish like Laksa! And best of all, the prices are not your regular tourist prices. Everything is quite reasonable, you can find dishes from $5-$10 per person and get a decent sized meal.
Overall the experience at the Singapore Zoo was outstanding! If you ever visit, I highly recommend you set aside at least half a day to explore this beautiful zoo and grab some breakfast with orangutans! Thank you to Changi Recommends for providing us with complimentary Singapore Tourist passes for our visit. And a special thank you to the Singapore Zoo for providing us media passes for our visit to the zoo! The experience was complimentary but as always, opinions are my own!