Summer Holiday Round-Up

Now I’m back in England, after 5 weeks of revisiting old places, visiting new places and going to a new country. Of course there are things to look forward to back home: Doctor Who, a bunch of awesome films, and the return of normality.

There’s something about this holiday that I have really enjoyed. So, without further ado, here are the 10 activities I enjoyed most this holiday, in no particular order –

S.E.A. Aquarium

The first big day trip was the S.E.A. Aquarium in Sentosa. I just loved this aquarium. It was full of unique animals like hammerhead sharks and manta rays, which aren’t in any other aquariums I’ve been to. There was some history of the relationship between the people of South East Asia and the ocean, including the trading of spices, fabrics and silks.

Singapore Sentosa Aquarium Ben Williams (The Maritime Experiential Museum)

A nautilus

All Perth and Fremantle museums

All the museums in Perth and Fremantle were excellent. The Western Australian Museum had a great exhibit about the soldiers of WWI, in particular the Lost Diggers of Vignacourt. Another feature was about the conflict with the Europeans and the indigenous people. The Western Australian Maritime Museum contained many interesting boats, as well as stories about pearls and a preserved megamouth shark. The Perth Mint museum was unique as I got to see how gold was made. The Fremantle Prison tour was very fun and it was interesting learning about the past of Fremantle. It is important that people fought to preserve this historical building.

Inside Fremantle prison
Inside Fremantle prison

Rottnest Island

Home of the quokkas (!), Rottnest Island was a highlight of my Australia trip. It was full of great scenery, interestingly irritating loud ravens, and of course quokkas (!). The walk was worth it to see the island in full. There was also information about the island’s history as a prison camp, mainly for Aboriginals and British prisoners.

Rottnest quokkas

Fremantle markets

The Fremantle Markets were a highlight on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. The markets had food, music, lots of little gift shops, fresh food, and of course shameless merchandise. The markets had a very open air feel to them and they seemed like an integral part of Fremantle culture.

Fremantle market
Fremantle markets
Fremantle market
Fremantle markets

Kings Park

The humongous Kings Park was a great walk. It was full of animals, including the iconic black swan, and also beautiful natural areas. There were lots of statues of prehistoric animals and monuments about the war. The view from the park shows the vibrant city skyline in full. Heirisson Island, where I saw wild kangaroos (!),  was incredibly exciting as I was finally able to see Australia’s national animal in the wild.

Stunning view of Perth from Kings Park.
Stunning view of Perth from Kings Park.

Experiencing Australian culture

Spending two weeks in Australia was interesting to say the least. There are many conveniences of Australian life, from free buses, great train services and everything being just so relaxed. Let’s not forget about unusual news (a Stolen echidna was headline news) and the quirky shops. I don’t know whether the quirks are the same across Australia, but in terms of Perth, I feel that it is still very cosmopolitan (I honestly felt there were more Koreans than Australians) despite the fact that Perth is in between miles of ocean and miles of desert and it is closer to Indonesia and Singapore than to Sydney and Melbourne.

Perth city centre
Perth city centre

Hawker centres in Singapore

Singapore has its own quirks, like the hawker centres. These are open air markets which serve a variety of food, mostly Chinese, Japanese and Malaysian. They have a sitting area where you can eat your food, which is cooked in the open. Hawker centres tend to be very crowded, and the food is more authentic. Tourists don’t tend to visit these local eating centres, but I visited many times with my family there. Eating in a hawker centre is a traditional style of eating in Singapore, and it is also a vital part of the culture.

Marina Bay Sands

Yes, the pool was crowded, but the whole Marina Bay Sands complex is very varied and interesting. The hotel itself was good, and I saw the LKY musical in one of the theatres in the mall. Next to the hotel is Gardens by the Bay, where artificial trees, called Supertrees, would light up and “dance” to Singaporean national songs in an event called Garden Rhapsody. It really needs to be seen to be believed. The fact that Singapore’s national songs were played constantly through the media really showed the patriotism of the country. This extreme patriotism is not really something I see in the UK. It seems that Singapore is a lot more patriotic than the UK.

The lights 'danced' to the music at Gardens by the Bay.
The lights ‘danced’ to the music at Gardens by the Bay.

River Safari and Singapore Zoo

The new attraction in Singapore, River Safari, completely surprised me. It was full of unique and interesting wildlife, and the animals are incredibly varied. The Singapore Zoo was as good as always, with the polar bear being a highlight.

The Perth Zoo was also excellent.

Ubin Island

The final great thing done in the holiday was a visit to Pulau Ubin (Ubin Island), in Singapore. As I mentioned before, the island was a huge contrast to the bustling city life in Singapore. The wildlife and the traditional feeling of the island was very refreshing, and the whole island was very walkable. The trip was tiring but like everything else it was worth it.

Lovely lily pond in Ubin Island (Pulau Ubin) in Singapore.
Lovely lily pond in Ubin Island (Pulau Ubin) in Singapore.

And that concludes another summer. This trip really inspired me to explore the world more. It also taught me that Wi-Fi was sacred, as living in a house in Fremantle for 9 days without was a tough experience. I’ll be off to Belgium for a school trip this autumn and there will hopefully be many trips not just to other countries but in the UK as well. Maybe I’ll try Brighton again.

No Wi-fi in our accommodation in Fremantle.
We had no Wi-fi in our accommodation in Fremantle.

Related posts in this travel series:


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