Search Results for: label/zoo

Hot and Hungover at St Louis Zoo

For some reason, I took very few photos during my time in St Louis.

I was having too much of a good time. I was also too lazy.

So when I came home and looked through my camera slideshow I was surprised to see several photographs from my trip to the St Louis zoo, of all places, some of which I don’t even remember taking. You see, I had been very hungover when I took them. And it was a very hot day, so I blame the heat fatigue. And what else do you do when you are hot and hungover in St Louis? Go to the zoo, of course!

st louis zoo
“How did I end up in the smallest swimming pool in the world?”

Before I get ahead of myself, I’ll go back to the beginning. I had first read about the zoo in a travel blog about the city, well before I had even booked my plane tickets. I had read that considering it was free entrance, the zoo was considered one of the most impressive in the US. Now I’m a sucker for a good zoo and a few cute animals so I was already planning a visit. Added to that the fact that it was free (well, most of us are budget travellers here, after all) and I was determined to get a few hours in at the zoo at some point during my long weekend visit.

“20 sit-ups a day gives me abs of steel”

Unfortunately my planning wasn’t too great. I had planned to go on the Saturday morning and spend a while there before heading to the air conditioned haven of the shopping mall. But the impromptu all-day drinking session the day before (Friday) wasn’t really the best preparation for spending the morning surrounded by excitedly screaming children and smelly mammals.

A Day at Ocean Park Hong Kong

Remember when I told you that I had a slight obsession with monkeys at Batu Caves? Well, that kind of applies to pandas too. In fact, if I’m being honest, it applies to most animals of all shapes and sizes.

I make no secret of the fact that I love a good zoo. So when I found out that a popular theme park in Hong Kong – Ocean Park – combined rides with a zoo which housed a family of pandas, it was immediately top of my itinerary. I mean seriously…a zoo AND a theme park? Together, in the same place?? Mind. Blown.

After almost an hour in a small, noisy bus through the traffic-logged streets of Hong Kong Island, we arrived to a grand entrance complete with unusual sculptures of sea creatures. I must hasten to add here that the main attraction of the zoo used to be a sea life show with a sea lion called Whiskers, but honestly, who has the time for sea lions when there are pandas to be seen?

As with many theme parks, Ocean Park Hong Kong is split into different sections revolving around different themes. My favourite of these actually didn’t contain any rides at all, but was a street reminiscent of old Hong Kong, with street sellers serving traditional dishes, old-style Chinese music and photo opportunities aplenty.

Hey, Hey, We’re The Monkeys

batu caves

When most people think of the Batu Caves in Malaysia, they think of the tall golden Hindu statue which guards the entrance. I think of monkeys.

I have always had a love (read fascination) of our primate counterparts. They always seem to be the most entertaining part of the zoo (mainly because a lot of the other animals, as cute as they may be, often don’t do a lot. Monkeys swing around, throw poo and generally cause a riot). I had read about monkeys hanging around (pardon the pun) at several Malaysia tourist sites, in particular the hugely famous Batu Caves – situated around half an hour outside of Kuala Lumpur city by train – and was excited to see these cheeky little creatures up close with my own eyes. Hell, I thought, maybe one might even jump on my shoulder a la Ross and Marcel from Friends and I could strike a pose for the camera. (This actually did happen to me one time with a small green monkey at a zoo in Tenerife and it was less “picture postcard” than “scared out of my wits”, so maybe this wasn’t such a good idea after all).

It was a hot day, a very hot day, and like all sane people I had waited until midday, the hottest part of the day, to arrive at the caves – only to discover I had to climb 272 steps to get inside them. Also, there were no monkeys in sight. Had I paid any money to enter, I would have been asking for it back right about then. But unlike most other tourist attractions in Malaysia, this one was actually free, so I had nothing to complain about. Like the trooper that I am, I set off up the steps, sweating and panting and thinking to myself that leggings had been a bad choice.

My 18 Year Relationship with NYC

Next week I’m going to New York for the fourth time in my life. Not as a tourist, but to attend a wedding in the city.

When I tell most people that this will be my fourth visit they are surprised. Especially because they then assume that it must surely be my favourite city in the world. It isn’t. You’ll always be my Number 1, Las Vegas *gives a cheeky wink and mouths “call me”*.

So I thought I would reflect back on my last three visits to the Big Apple and how I came to visit the City That Never Sleeps so many times. And try and dispel the myth that it never sleeps (it does, but the rats don’t, as we discovered on trip number 2).

My First Trip – Aged 9

I think the Minnie Mouse purse adds a certain je ne sais quoi