Kai Kai softly rested his head on his arms and looked nonchalantly at the throngs of tourists visiting his enclosure while Jia Jia, at the other side of the pen, made rounds in her area oblivious to the cameras snapping away above her. Meet two of Singapore’s newest stars, the Giant Pandas of the River Safari.
The beat of the drum greeted the morning as we marched towards the entrance of the Singapore Zoo. Our goal for the day; spend fifteen minutes with the black and white cuties currently making waves across Singapore.
The giant pandas are housed in a spacious pen at the River Safari which is set to fully accomodate visitors this year. But no worries though, the panda pen is opened in advance for those wanting a close encounter with the animals. A makeshift entrance is made through the Singapore Zoo, visitors however have to cough up an additional $5.00 to the zoo entrance.
A snaking queue of people waiting their turn to see the pandas surprised us. We didn’t expect a long line since it was so early in the morning. It was good that AirAsiaGo managed to book us in advance so we wouldn’t have to get in line to buy our tickets.
We eventually made it inside and within seconds our eyes and cameras were glued to an adorable red panda playfully skittering through her pen. To be honest, I really didn’t know there were other kinds of pandas besides the black and white ones.
We quickly moved on as we only got fifteen minutes before we were escorted outside. A few steps from where we were standing was the first panda pen. And where was the panda? There! Resting on his stomach, seemingly without a care in the world!
The boy panda Kai Kai, which means victorious, eats up to 15 kilos of bamboo every single day. His favorite past time is to take a nap after chowing down mounds of bamboos. But besides those, he also has a thing for apples.
The girl panda Jia Jia, which translated means to Beautiful, eats five kilos more of bamboo than her neighbor. She is more playful and affectionate than Kai Kai and can be often seen climbing trees. She also loves carrots when tired of eating bamboos.
Both pandas are on a 10-year loan from the Chinese Government. They were shipped by plane from China all the way to Singapore on a four and half hour and half hours of flight time. The pandas made such a scene in the country that 2,000 tickets were quickly sold on their opening debut.
Only a hundred and fifty visitors are allowed to be inside the panda areas per fifteen-minute sessions and although it may sound like such a short period of time, most people, including me, are quite satisfied after viewing the pandas.
But for those who still cannot get enough of these cugly creatures, a boutique selling panda souvenirs is set up just outside the exit door. I can tell that most kids really can’t get enough of the pandamonium sweeping the country judging the by the crowd of children crammed inside the store.
It was my first time see a panda and I loved every minute of it. I only see these cute guys on documentaries and kung fu movies (har har) and I didn’t even believe that I would actually see a real one, just a few feet away from me, with my very own eyes.
River Safari’s Giant Panda Forest
Address: 80 Mandai Lake Road 729825, Singapore
Telephone: (+65) 6269-3411
Open Hours: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM Daily
Rates: 5 SGD Adults | 3 SGD Kids
GPS Coordinates: 1.403835,103.787112
View Location on Google Maps: Click Here
THIS SINGAPORE TRIP IS MADE POSSIBLE BY:
AIRASIA PHILIPPINES – NOW FLYING DIRECTLY TO SINGAPORE
HOTEL AND TRAVEL PACKAGE BY AIRASIAGO
SINGAPORE TOURISM BOARD
THREE DAYS IN SINGAPORE TRIP ITINERARY & SUMMARY
MANILA – CLARK – SINGAPORE | PERANAKAN LUNCH AT BLUE GINGER RESTAURANT | THE FLOWER DOME AT GARDENS BY THE BAY
ABOVE AND BELOW GARDENS BY THE BAY’S CLOUD FOREST | FLYING HIGH AT THE SINGAPORE FLYER
A NOCTURNAL RIDE AT THE NIGHT SAFARI | NIGHTS AT THE ROYAL PLAZA ON SCOTTS HOTEL
AN ENCOUNTER WITH THE RIVER SAFARI’S GIANT PANDAS | LUNCH AT SENTOSA’S TASTES OF ASIA
AN EVENING WALK AT THE ORCHARD ROAD | ELECTRIC NIGHTS AT THE MARINA BAY | HAWKERS HUNT FOR A FREEZING BOWL OF CHENDOL
STARBUCKS GLOBAL ICON CITY MUG PLUS A FEW MORE | SINGAPORE – CLARK