Singapore

Singapore is a modern and dynamic city boasting a dizzying mix of cultures, cuisines and architecture. Tea at Raffles? Singapore noodles in Chinatown’s night market? Curried crab in Little India? Exciting dining choices are just the start in Singapore.

Singapore is well known as the commercial powerhouse of South East Asia. It is a dynamic, modern metropolis of a city and whilst many use it as a stopover for journeys to elsewhere in Asia they don’t always give it the time and attention it deserves. Renowned for its diverse cuisine and sophisticated shopping, Singapore offers an easy and enjoyable introduction to Asia if it’s new to you. Super clean, highly regulated and extremely affluent, you can comfortably have your first taste of the state’s Malay, Chinese and Indian culture in a no-hassle environment.

There’s plenty to do here those who don’t want to scour the malls for designer wear. The Arab quarter is a showcase of unique and interesting crafts and wares ranging from carpets, curios, rattan and other basket ware, in addition to one of Singapore’s iconic mosque and muslim heritage centre. Try the local delicious desserts and food of the Malay culture. Chinatown’s streets are all built at right angles. This was specified by Raffles, the founder of modern day Singapore, in the interests of uniformity. He also specified how the shop houses should be built, each house to have a verandah to provide an open space where those living in the crowded houses could have fresh air and also where food hawkers could operate. There are several remaining Chinese Temples in the area too, including Thian Hock Keng Temple, one of Singapore’s oldest Buddhist-Taoist temples.

Singapore Zoo, set in a rainforest environment, is renowned for its ‘open concept’, which offers visitors the chance to see animals living in spacious, landscaped environments, simulating that of their natural habitats. Singapore Botanic Gardens are fabulous and a definite must-see, a top attraction for residents as well as overseas visitors. Founded in 1859, it’s been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. Here you’ll find an impressive range of horticultural and botanical attractions including an outstanding collection of plants with more than 400 species on view. The National Orchid Garden Singapore’s features the country’s national flower in all its glory. There’s also Swan Lake, the Rainforest and much more.

When it comes to eating you’ll find everything you could possibly wish for in terms of range. There’s superb fine dining at one end of the scale and, at the other, tasty, spicy hawker-food from the night market. Just follow what the Singaporeans do and you’ll find the most scrumptious food in the city.

Time it well and come during one of Singapore’s many festivals. the Hong Bao Festival during Chinese New Year is one of the best, especially for children who are given red envelopes containing money and the skyline is filled with amazing fireworks at midnight. Singapore has one of the world’s most efficient public transport systems allowing you to get around all the attractions of the city in a matter of minutes.

The city-state of Singapore is a true marvel of the modern world: a highly urbanised, cosmopolitan economic powerhouse.

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