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Singapore may be an island nation, but it is also a fantastic city to explore. One of the most unique aspects of life in this city is that there is always something new to find.
With an extensive network of trails that connect the city’s parks and lots of retail therapy available, you’ll find this destination to be an active holiday experience.
The first thing you should do is enjoy the local culinary scene. Confectionary shops are common in Singapore and they make some fantastic tarts and cakes. Get in line early because most shops sell out before lunch.
Side-street ice cream is another delight that you’ll find in Singapore. These carts are found in the busier districts, such as Marina Bay, and the pricing is fantastic. Imagine a waffle biscuit filled with ice cream on rainbow bread and that’s what is waiting for you.
The nightlife in Singapore is thriving and lively to the extent that the city sometimes closes the streets around the busiest districts. Make your way to Holland Village or Club Street for the most opportunities. There are secret bars and underground pubs to find in the city as well.
Then make your way to the Rail Corridor. Reclaimed from a railroad, you’ll find 24 kilometers of green space where you’re completed surrounded by nature. It is a quiet refuge from the hustle and bustle of regular city life.
One of the most unique places to visit is the Gardens By the Bay, which is a public garden that is situated on reclaimed land. There is a Universal Studios theme park to enjoy or you can head to Sentosa to take advantage of a long boardwalk and a resort-like atmosphere.
One unique opportunity Singapore offers is a night safari. This zoo is designed for animals that prefer to be nocturnal. You’ll board a tram or take on a walking trail in a rainforest environment to see leopards, tigers, and elephants. If darkness isn’t your thing, then the Singapore Zoo offers a world-class experience as well.
The beaches around Singapore are beautiful and warm – and many of them are also manmade. Try Changi Beach if you want something that feels less like a resort. You’ll find cycling lanes, running trails, and a family-friendly environment that encourages a barbecue and some camping. You can also hop onto a ferry and enjoy the outer islands, where it feels more like an isolated tropical resort.
You can enjoy rooftop swimming pools, stunning gardens, and a world-class resort atmosphere. What makes Singapore special is that you can also become a local from your first day there.
Remeber to visit Thian Hock Keng
One of the most important Singapore attractions is the temple Thian Hock Keng, referred to as the Temple of Heavenly Bliss. Thian Hock Keng is an ancient Chinese worship site, initially built in tribute to Ma Po Cho, the patron goddess of sailors, also known as the Mother of the Heavenly Sages. The entrance inside the temple is guarded by the statues of two imposing lions, symbols of strength and fertility in Asian culture. At the temple gates, “door gods” provide further protection against evil spirits, purifying temple visitors from malignant energies. In front of the altar is the statue of Ma Po Cho, flanked by statues of the Protector of Life and the God of War.
The Muslim centre of Singapore
The Muslim centre of Singapore is a traditional textile district, full of batiks from Indonesia, silks, sarongs and shirts. Add to this mix rosaries, flower essences, hajj caps, songkok hats, basketware and rattan goods, and you have a fair idea of the products haggled over in this part of the city.
The grand Sultan Mosque is the biggest and liveliest mosque in Singapore, but the tiny Malabar Muslim Jama-ath Mosque is the most beautiful. There’s fine food along nearby North Bridge Rd and the foodstalls on Bussorah St are especially atmospheric at dusk during Ramadan.
Shopping in Singapore – try Orchard Road
For shopping, Orchard Road is the ideal place to spend a day there. The bustling shopping centres sells everything from the most fashionable and outrageous shoes and clothes to precious gems, eyewear and accessories. And when the shopping gets a little exhausting, revitalize yourself at one of the many restaurants and eating outlets.
Singapore for history buffs
To understand Singapore you need to realize that it is the extension of one man’s intelligence, dream and drive. And that man is Lee Kuan Yew, the original prime minister of the Republic of Singapore.
Yes, it is true he was aided in his task by the people of Singapore. It is interesting to ponder on what would have happened to Singapore if Lee Kuan Yew, one of the remarkable men of his century, had not been present.
Lee Kuan Yew is a nonya. That is he can claim both Malay and Chinese heritage. He was born in 1923 and was prime minister of Singapore from 1959 to 1990. And during his rule, as a simple statement of fact, Singapore went from being something of a backwater to becoming the most prosperous nation in Southeast Asia.
Lee Kuan Yew went to Cambridge University where he got a double starred first which is not something that is given out with the rations. He became a lawyer and was admitted to the English bar but returned to Singapore to work, as a committed socialist, with the unions.
In 1963 Lee took Singapore into the newly created Federation of Malaysia. This created all sorts of problems. In Singapore 75 percent of the members of the PAP were Chinese and there was much tension between Chinese and Malays. There was communal rioting in Singapore and in 1965 Lee Kuan Yew was told by his Malaysian colleagues in the federal government that Singapore must leave the federation.
Singapore had to secede and it then became a sovereign state with Lee Kuan Yew as its first prime minister. It is fair to say that in return for a mildly authoritarian style of government that sometimes infringed on civil liberties Lee Kuan Yew brought Singapore honest and efficient administration and spectacular prosperity. Lee Kuan Yew resigned the office of prime minister in November 1990.