Home /Far East / Singapore
The city-state of Singapore in South Asia is one of the most bustling cities on the tourist circuit. And why not! From bumbling local to high end markets, street food hawkers dishing out some fantastic snacks and meals, efficient transport system that makes traveling across the city no big deal as well as, the concerted effort to make it a more greener state, Singapore is both a tourist destination on its own and also a perfect launch pad place for exploring other countries.
An important port during the British colonial era, Singapore broke off from Malaysia and gained independence as recently as 1965. Lee Kuan Yew the then prime minister is also called the founding father of the nation, and he took diligent steps to ensure that Singapore became one of the leading economies of the world.
The island nation of Singapore is easily explored due to its size as well as its well-connected transport system. The Riverside district which is Singapore’s colonial hub is fraught with museums, statues, restaurants and clubs.
The Jurong district is popular for the Singapore Bird Park and the Singapore Science and Discovery Centre.
Sentosa is perhaps Singapore’s best known tourist attraction, which is an island resort connected to the main land by road, cable car, monorail and walkway. The Tiger Sky Tower gives breathtaking views that stretch to as far as Indonesia. The Fort Siloso, Merlion, Skyride and Underwater world are some of the other attractions in Sentosa. However, the Tanjong Beach is a quieter and peaceful abode within the complex.
The Botanical Gardens is an UNESCO World Heritage Site and an important and much needed green cover for the urbanized city. The National Orchid Garden within the Botanical Gardens is a colorful bloom and also a pioneer in cultivating hybrids.
Singapore has some distinct districts that reflect the culture of its inhabitants. This is manifested in its food stalls and restaurants, its language, its shopping and so on. Chinatown has historically an ethnic Chinese population and the famous Buddha Tooth Relic Temple said to keep a tooth of Buddha stands elegantly in red and gold décor. Other attractions include the Sri Mariamman Temple, Trengganu Street famous for its shopping, Smith Street for shopping and food centers and more.
Little India another cultural enclave within the city is where the Abdul Gafoor Mosque, Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple, Leong San See Temple, as well as, shopping centers such as, Tekka Mall, Little India Arcade and more are found.
Singapore is the world’s shopping destination. The Orchard Road a 2.2 km stretch of road is dedicated to shops littered with products of all kinds. The Marina Bay is another leading shopping district within the city and home to the Gardens by the Bay, a nature park known for the Flower Dome (featuring plants from Mediterranean and semi-arid tropical regions) and the Cloud Forest (replicates the moist conditions in tropical mountains). Bugis and Kampong Glam the old Malay districts are today shopping hubs and unsurprisingly you can shop from branded products, discount outlets or lesser neighborhood markets products ranging from clothes, accessories, electronics, Persian carpets to even saris.
Food is an important part of Singapore tourism, with high rated restaurants serving expensive yet delectable foods, as well as, cheap roadside stalls and hawkers fanning out with their delicacies that are a treat for all. The diversity of the cuisine and the influence of differing tastes from Malay, India, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, China and so on make Singapore a perfect destination for gobblers and food connoisseurs all over the world. Hawker centers, coffee shops and food courts cater snacks and meals that are not too heavy on the pocket yet offer some of the best foods that one remembers for long. The satay, roti prata, Hokkien noodles, fried kway tiao as well as desserts such as, the ice kachang, grass jelly and chendol are some of the must try dishes when in Singapore.
Singapore though small in size, teaches the world how to prosper economically, work hard and at the same time adopt the green approach to descale the downsides of rapid urbanization. However, what stands out most is its warmth and open heartedness towards communities of all cultures and religion, which make it a truly secular and culturally diverse melting pot.