Listen to the abundant stereotypes on this tiny corner of Asia – the severe punishments for littering, the ban on chewing gum, and an abundance of the boringly corporate – and you’d probably dismiss Singapore off hand. You’d be wrong. Sure, the city has an notably more orderly feel to it than the vast majority of Asia's hustle-heavy metropolises, but to focus on only the dull is to miss the essence of what Singapore is all about.
With hefty influences from China, England, India and Malaysia, Singapore’s more exotic cultures incorporate fiery shadow puppet shows, and, of course, the must-drink Singapore Slings at the Raffles bar. Not so dreary, after all.
Food is an essential part of the Singapore experience: any trip should include the Sunday night Little India experience, where Hindi/ Tamil films are the be all and end all, and you can sample nearly anything you’d find on the subcontinent from a substantial selection of market stalls. Geylang Serai & Arab Street tells a different story altogether where traces of the original Malay architecture and history is almost gone. Yes, Singapore or its original name Singapura, it was once a Malay fishing village with an actual Malay Royal Palace now the palace is demolished and the area is called Istana Kampong Glam with plenty of cafes springing up offering Malay cuisines and shisha bars. China Town offers the same combo with a Chinese flavor and a side order of Chinese opera, while Singaporean fare includes traditional Nasi Lemak or Kaya Toast. You can wash it all down with a few swigs of Singapore’s most famous export, Tiger Beer, or a delicate cup of healing herbal tea.
Also you can explore the Asian Civilizations Museum, or take in a playful night out at the Night Safari located beside the Singapore Zoo, where rhinos, tigers and polar bears wallow amongst the substantial greenery. Views from the Sentosa Island cable car provide the essential nighttime cityscapes, while in the day you can cruise the temples, indulge in artistic calligraphy souvenirs, and have a street-side fortuneteller bring your future to life.
So yes, Singapore does have its overly controlled side, but if that’s all you see, your missing the highlights of what can be a lively, culturally varied city, where it's important to focus on the traditional as much as the modern, and make an effort to go beyond the corporate facade.
Above everything else, Singapore is a heaven for food lovers. Singapore's multicultural background has given rise to an endless array of exotic dishes that are certain to convert even the mos…
Sentosa, which translates to peace and tranquility in Malay, is a popular island resort in Singapore, visited by some five million people a year.
Standing tall on the island is the Merlio…
Little India is exactly what it says on the tin; the center of Singapore's Indian community and one of the most vibrant and colourful areas of the city.
As almost 2 million Indian workers …
Clarke Quay is a historical riverside quay in Singapore, located within the Singapore River Planning Area. The quay is situated upstream from the mouth of the Singapore River and Boat Quay.
Boat Quay, situated at the southern bank of the Singapore River was once the busiest port of old Singapore during the British colonial days serving as the key trading point for traders.
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Chinatown is a heritage area filled with the Chinese…
Changi Airport is an international airport located in Singapore and a major aviation hub in Asia, particularly in the Southeast Asian region.
It is ranked the seventh busiest airport by in…
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Orchard Road can be considered the a…
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