Singapore has reinvented itself as one of the world’s best destinations. With sharp and constant contrasts all over this area you will struggle to find a more diverse and vibrant holiday experience anywhere else. The phrase ‘City in a Garden’ has been used to describe this magical location in which ancient forests and contemporary architecture blend into one. Old school jungle huts, chic cocktail bars and everything in-between, Singapore is a city of riches both natural and man-made. Singapore offers travellers so much more than just a stop-over destination, there is a wealth of culture and fun just waiting to be discovered.
With a primary rainforest in the city centre, 4 nature reserves and 300 parks, there are plenty of green spaces to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. A harmonious blend of culture, cuisine, arts and architecture, Singapore is a dynamic city that’s rich in contrast and colour. There is no better way to appreciate this than from the water where you can see old tradition against a backdrop of modern skyscrapers. Cruising in general is a great way to enjoy the beauty and diversity of South East Asia – and you would benefit from this with Singapore in particular. Bringing together the finest of both East and West you can experience a magical mix of culture in this city with a huge range of attractions on offer.
Top 6 Facts
- This is a city made up of not just one island but 63 in total! These surrounding islands include Sentosa, St John’s Island, Pulau Ubin and Sisters’ Island. More places to explore!
- Singapore is home to the world’s first night zoo. The Night Safari is a rare experience where you can explore the 35 acre park which is home to over 2,500 animals. This fantastic spot give you the opportunity to hop onto a 40 minute tram ride to see all the main attractions.
- The locals here speak Singlish which is a mix of catch phrases and casual terms used by Singaporeans. It includes a lot of additions to English which include lah and leh into sentences and the use of auntie and uncle to address older men and women.
- Singapore is one of the world’s greenest cities with over half the land area (approximately 700km) covered with lush forests.
- There are hundreds of off the beaten track neighbourhoods to explore. The historic Chinatown and Little India are both definitely worth visiting. For a more alternative scene, the Art Deco style of Tiong Bahru is full of small cafes and eateries.
- Singapore pioneered the first F1 night race which has been held annually since 2008. Boasting 23 corners, more than any other F1 circuit in the world, this floodlit magic is a remarkable sight to see.
Places to visit and experiences:
Marina Bay in Singapore has transformed from a quiet body of water at the entrance of the Singapore River to a spectacular example of how this country has become one of the world’s most luxurious travel destinations. Overlapping the Financial District and the central Civic District towards the north, Marina Bay boasts some of Singapore’s most iconic and beautiful hotels, skyscrapers, and attractions. This location is also home to the Marina Bay Sands resort too, which has many activities, sights and excursions worth a try.
Gardens by the Bay is located at Marina South and has reached 20 million visitors in just three years! This surreal area contains more than 500,000 species of plants for you to explore and discover. The Flower Dome here is definitely a must see plus there is an exciting children’s area to keep everyone happy and occupied. If you’re looking to get back to nature there is also the Singapore Botanical Gardens which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site (as of July 2015). Nature trails and TreeTop walks can be found at the MacRitchie Reservoir Reserve, a stunning place for exploration. Southern Ridges has a 10-kilometre stretch of green open spaces spanning the hills of some of Singapore’s most popular parks and gardens, connected by picturesque ridges and pathways.
Singapore River Nightlife
Nightlife in Clarke Quay is what this party hub of Singapore is most famous for. Dazzling lights, beautiful people and buzzing nightclubs – these are some of the things that imprint themselves on your mind the first time you visit Clarke Quay, Boat Quay and a kaleidoscope of concept bars and pubs along the Singapore River. A mind-boggling selection of themes and attractions round out your choice of after-sunset indulgence.
Originally a centre of commerce along the Singapore River, Clarke Quay is nowadays a labyrinth of restaurants, concept bars, retail stores and recreation outlets. Try Bar Cocoon or Bamboo Bar at The Forbidden City, Lunar Asian Fusion Bar for great shows, or Bar Opiume at the Empress Place by the riverside and then Attica or Canvas for an after-hours rave. Dempsey Hill is also a great spot for wining and dining but it is located in a quieter area surrounded by lush greenery – perfect for those who want an alternative to the busy and crowded scenes.
Chinatown, with its handful of historical attractions is the perfect place for a pleasant stroll. It is divided into four main districts; Kreta Ayer, Telok Ayer, Tanjong Pagar and Bukit Pasoh, but the centre of activities revolve around Smith and Pagoda Streets. Chinatown offers a lot more than just the wonderful restored shops and beautiful places of worship, such as the old Hokkien temple Thian Hock Keng, Sri Mariamman Hindu Temple and James Mosque, it’s also a haven for food lovers.
Singapore’s incredibly diverse range of dining options will cater to all foodies. If you appreciate a good meal, there’s a cuisine for every taste and budget. The local street fare is a delicious melting pot of Singapore’s diverse cultures, while the country’s vibrant fine dining scene has emerged as one of the world’s most exciting, featuring Michelin-starred chefs and celebrity chefs. There is also an electric night life scene with a dizzying mix of music, drink and entertainment that caters to both party animals or those who prefer a quieter night out.
Peranakan Culture is unique to Singapore. Peranakans are a rich hybrid of ethnic traditions with a touch of Portuguese, Dutch and Indonesian influences, the Peranakan (meaning ‘locally born’ in Malay) culture refers to men as ‘baba’ and women as ‘nonya’. Dress was a significant form of cultural and individual expression for the Peranakans. Apart from a whole repertoire of exquisite ornaments, jewellery and intricately beaded footwear, they are famous for their beautiful nyonya kebayas, a traditional blouse-dress combination of intricate costume embroidery. This culture boasts imaginative and creative cuisine which is infused with delicate flavours.
Full of trendy boutiques; kopitiams, corner coffee shops plus a huge range of bars and bakeries. Lined with row after row of quaint art-deco shophouses, this residential estate is jam-packed with some of the city’s hottest food and lifestyle establishments, not forgetting the heritage-rich places that offer a slice of traditional Singapore. Carve out a day here in your itinerary, and be richly rewarded with wonderful culinary treats, offbeat shopping, and a spot of culture.
Explore this amazing location which acts as both a botanical oasis and zoo on your Singapore adventure and see free roaming animals and naturalistic enclosures. Explore the jungle park on an open-air tram, catching a glimpse of nocturnal animals in authentically created habitats. Follow your guide on a walking trail to see leopards and other wildlife up-close and watch one of the amazing nightly shows.
To find out more about exploring this diverse city get in touch with your local Travel Counsellor and watch the video below!