The Giant Pandas At The Singapore River Safari

During the weekend, I made a trip to the River Safari Singapore to celebrate the first anniversary and birthday of the two giant pandas from China, Kai Kai and Jia Jia.

The giant panda forest.

The giant panda forest.

The pandas arrived from China one year ago. This year, the female panda Jia Jia celebrated her fifth birthday on the 5th of September, while her male counterpart Kai Kai has his sixth on the 14th of the same month. So this is indeed one week of massive celebrations at the River Safari.

I was particularly looking forward to seeing the two pandas too at the River Safari Singapore, as I had not managed to pay them a visit since they arrived in Singapore.

Visiting our Two Black-and-White Celebrities

The moment I stepped into the Giant Panda exhibit at the River Safari, the first thing that struck me was how cold the place actually was. I am aware that pandas like cold climates, but the chilly atmosphere still was a bit of a shock to my body.

Kai Kai

Kai Kai

Kai Kai

The first panda that greeted me was the male panda Kai Kai. When I first saw him, I was struck by just how cute, huge and furry he was. At the time, he was simply sunbathing on the grass – without a single care in the world.

When he was done sunbathing though, he uprooted the small trees. Then he started gnawing on them and throwing them aside. I was impressed by his sheer strength and this behaviour made him appear like a little child having tantrums, though!

Jia Jia

Jia Jia

Jia Jia

At first, when I reached her exhibit, I was quite disappointed because Jia Jia was inside her cave, all curled up and sleeping – as I could see from the CCTV camera that had been installed inside her private living area. So I thought that I would not get to see her live at all.

But when I returned, I was lucky, because I had managed to catch her eating bamboo. Perhaps the sleeping beauty had finally woken up and was feeling a little peckish! I thought she was really cute, munching on the bamboo and getting little bits all over her furry coat. A pretty messy but adorable girl, I must say!

Panda Themed Activities

There are plenty of activities at the River Safari to entertain both the young and old.

The Giant Panda Forest Guided Tour

These free tours are on a first-come-first-serve basis and they will help you to find out more about giant pandas and the habitat that they live in. The tours take place at 11am, 1pm, 2pm and 3pm. I missed out on the tours myself, but I am sure that they must be quite informative.

Panda Awareness Booth

Panda poop smells like green tea.

Panda poop smells like green tea.

This is a small booth stationed outside the Giant Panda exhibit that teaches you interesting nuggets of information about giant pandas that you may not have been aware of before.

For example, did you know that panda poop literally smells like green tea? I certainly didn’t but I received a pleasant surprise at this interesting revelation. I had previously thought that it would be rather smelly, but come to think of it, this interesting finding is probably because of their heavy bamboo diet.

Or do you know what the jaws of a panda looks like? You can find out here and compare it to a human jaw too. You may be quite surprised at how different they actually look.

You will also find out how to protect the pandas, which are an endangered species – making these cute furry black-and-white creatures even more precious.

Panda Face Art

A girl gets a panda painted on her face.

A girl gets a panda painted on her face.

I saw a couple of children getting their faces painted in panda colours at this booth and they certainly looked as though they were having a blast. While I may not have tried this activity myself, young children will be sure to enjoy mimicking Singapore’s famous black-and-white celebrities.

The booth is located at the entrance to the Giant Panda exhibit at the River Safari Singapore.

Panda Themed Cakes

Panda themed chocolate cupcakes.

Panda themed chocolate cupcakes.

A birthday celebration must come with treats and goodies. In this case, there was a vanilla sponge birthday cake that you can choose with every set meal. To find out more about this cake and how I found the taste, check out this blog post.

In addition to the birthday cake, there were also chocolate cupcakes as well as cookies, pineapple tarts and a chocolate custard flavoured Panda Pau.

I thought that the cupcakes were pretty looking and I liked the panda decoration on the top, but they were a little dry for my liking – I have tasted better cupcakes before.

I didn’t get to try the other goodies though, as I wasn’t very hungry. But the panda cookies and the special chocolate custard Panda Pau was definitely a change from the usual traditional Pau flavours of tau sar, red bean and lotus.

To read about the cafe at the River Safari, Mama Panda’s Kitchen, click here.

Discounts on Panda Themed Items

These panda toys are on discount this week.

These panda toys are on discount this week.

At the House of Jia Jia and Kai Kai, you can also get some really cute panda souvenirs at discounted prices.

For example, a pair of pandas dressed up in costumes cost $50 instead of $75. I thought these toys were adorable and I found myself taking lots of pictures of them.

Other souvenirs include tote bags and limited edition bath towels. Stuffed toys of pandas eating bamboo are also available.

The panda birthday celebration is held at the River Safari, located at the Singapore Zoo. While some of the celebrations were actually in September, you can still catch the tail end of the festivities if you hurry down sometime this week. Festivities end completely on the 15th of September.

Entry fees to the River Safari at the Singapore Zoo are $25 per adult, $16 per child (aged between 3 to 12) and $12.50 for senior citizens (aged 60 and above).

To read about the cafe at the River Safari, Mama Panda’s Kitchen, click here.

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