Singapore Zoo & Night Safari
Mid-island, 10 miles from city center
Tel: 65 6269 3411
Concierge.com's insider take:
Most Asian zoos are squalid, depressing animal prisons, but the Singapore Zoo, on the northern side of the island, is one of the best in the world—home to more than 2,500 wild creatures, most in open settings where they can roam free. Among the must-sees here are the world's largest social colony of orangutans and the ten-foot-long, prehistoric-looking Komodo dragons from Indonesia. Since most tropical animals doze during the heat of the day, the best time to come is late afternoon, when you can wander around and then head to the trails of the Night Safari Zoo next door, open 6 p.m. to midnight. The first of its kind when it opened in 1994, this twilight zoo is as close to a real jungle adventure as most of us will ever want to experience. Walking tracks and tramways crisscross a 100-acre park, giving an intimate glimpse of more than 100 species in a wild rain-forest habitat. You can trek on your own or join a guided walking or tram tour; either way, you're sure to have up-close encounters with wildlife—from Malayan tigers, rhinos, and zebras to timid mouse deer and slow lorises (www.nightsafari.com.sg).