The new town of Jurong was created out of swampy terrain in the 1960s, amid great scepticism about its chances of success. Today it and neighbouring Tuas boast a diverse portfolio of industries, including pharmaceuticals and oil refining – in which Singapore is a world leader despite having nary a drop of black gold of its own – and Jurong’s centre is being remodelled with new leisure facilities in mind. As far as sights are concerned, Jurong’s Bird Park is presently the only must-see, though the Singapore Science Centre is ahead of the curve as far as science museums go, and is not to be missed if you’ve got kids to entertain. More pertinent to grown-ups are tours of the Tiger Brewery, though note that these have to be booked in advance.
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Jurong Bird Park
Jurong Bird ParkLining Jalan Ahmad Ibrahim, the Jurong Bird Park is home to one of the world’s biggest bird collections, with nearly four hundred species. You’ll need at least a couple of hours to have a good look around the grounds, though you can save a little time using the park’s tram rides.
Besides the four huge walk-in aviaries, the park also has a number of worthwhile smaller enclosures, such as the hugely popular Penguin Coast. Just inside the entrance, it juxtaposes half a dozen penguin species against the backdrop of a mock Portuguese galleon, meant to evoke the sighting of penguins by explorers such as Vasco da Gama. Utterly different is World of Darkness, a fascinating owl showcase that uses special lighting to swap day for night.