Mandai Wildlife Reserve River Wonders

River Wonders amazing first birthday Le Le panda

The character ‘Le (叻)’ comes from ‘Shi Le Po’ (石叻坡), which was the ancient Chinese name for Singapore.

Who’s Le Le? Le Le is one of Singapore’s newest and cutest residents. He’s ONE YEAR OLD and healthy as can be. 

My mom and I get to go to PANDA-STIC PARTY.  I can’t wait!! Mama can’t wait! 

Mx C is four years older than Le Le and a frequent visitor to the Singapore Zoo, but this is the first time visiting the newly-named and upgraded, River Wonders in Mandai, pleasantly tucked between the Singapore Zoo and the Nightlife Safari. 

Yeah, and there is all kinds of fun stuff happening at the celebration that doesn’t usually happen at the zoo. I love going to the zoo! I’ve been practising saying, “Panda-stic” for days. Now, I’ve got it, ready for our visit to wish Le Le a Panda-stic birthday. 

From 5 August to 11 September visitors are invited to join in the celebration with Le Le who will be enjoying the fun behind a safe, clear glass enclosure where he can (between bamboo snacks) watch the world go by. In turn, the world can watch Le Le eating, rolling around, scratching, and more eating. 

Mandai Wildlife Reserve River Wonders
Happy Kiddo!

Oh, My, Le Le loves to eat. Le Le likes bamboo and ONLY bamboo. My mom and I enjoy a lot of different foods. They have great snacks at River Wonders. No bamboo, though. That’s OK with me. I don’t think I like bamboo. Never tried it. Don’t want to! Le Le loves it!

In River Wonders, we found a bunch of fun stuff to watch and do. Because we were there for a birthday party, many of the activities were special JUST FOR LE LE’S FRIENDS – LIKE US!

  • Giant Panda Family Playtime. We found out what Le Le and his family like to do for fun. Of cos, eating bamboo is a fav, but they also like to do learning stuff. You’ll find out a lot about these cuties here.
  • Panda Mascot Meet & Greet. These big pandas roam all around River Wonders. They’re called “mascots”, Mama says. They are REALLY big and you can hug them and take a photo. Ready for a selfie, the parents and their kid …er …CUB are really friendly. They like to cub around. Specially for SILLY SELFIES (I used my Spiderman pose). I invited them to my house for a snack sometime.
  • Discover Your Panda Personality There’s a little tiny house – ‘It’s called a “booth” Mama says – when you come in. You answer some questions and find out what kind of panda you are. Which was I? A Giant Panda just like Le Le.
  • Pen-a-Wish for Le Le This is fun and I could practice some of the letters that my Kiddie garter teacher told me. After writing, you get to pull on a tag and see what your wish is. Mie’s a secret – sorry!
  • Amazing Encounters with River Stars Of cos, there are LOTS of animals besides pandas at River Wonders. I don’t remember all the names (Mama wrote them down in my journal), but they were all friendly and funny-looking. And you can touch some of them and even give them a snack.

Another part of the birthday fun is Panda-stic Photo Party where an after-dark experience awaits the intrepid party-ers:

Mandai Wildlife Reserve River Wonders
  • Spark-tacular Bamboo Cake – It’s sort of like a great big cake made of paper – cool! When they light it up, sparklers and fireworks go wild. It’s noisy, too. We thought it was real special to be there at night.
  • Captivating Light Art Installations – Art school kids – OK, BIG KIDS – have made some really, really bright and amazing displays. I’d like to have one next to my bed at home!
  • Bamboo Forest & Lantern Tunnel – from a viewing deck, we saw some amazing LED lights all around the forest and water. I took a lot of pictures and sent some to my grandma and friends.
  • Panda-stic Shadow Trail – You gotta try this! All along the boardwalk trail are bright coloured cones. Follow them to find a prize at the end and find out plenty more about pandas.

No strangers to the zoo, Mx C and I have seen just about every corner of the zoo. River Wonders, however, is a whole new treat. Focusing on the marine fauna and flora of Southeast Asia, the attraction ties all biomes together in a clearly explained manner that is relevant to all ages. It’s an educational experience for all and, quite simply – A GREAT PLACE FOR KIDS. Mx C loved it!


Mandai Wildlife Reserve’s Friends of Wildlife membership has been refreshed and members can look forward to more perks as well as exclusively curated experiences, starting with a 50% discount to Panda-stic Party’s night event and a 20% off on craft activities for members only!

Research and writing help from JKJ

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