Discover South East Asia’s Most Exciting City, Singapore
Once an intriguing stop-off for passing traffic, Singapore has now established itself as the new go-to holiday destination for savvy travellers with a taste for adventure. With a long and rich history tracing back 700 years, the relative size of this city-state compared to other Southeast Asian destinations means visitors have a chance to explore everything it has to offer in just one holiday.
Not only was Singapore recently ranked the most religiously diverse destination on the planet, it also manages to pack in everything from glittering malls and the latest cutting-edge electronics to heritage temples and dense rainforests, all within reach of world-class hotels.
‘Having transformed itself from a humble yet strategic port, Singapore is today the testament of a visionary, cosmopolitan city, offering the best of tradition and modernity where visitors can indulge in their passions,’ explains Jason Chan, Area Director Northern &Western Europe, Singapore Tourism Board.
While many long-haul holidays come packed with arduous transfers and bus rides, Singapore offers a chance to explore every corner with ease. A bustling cosmopolitan city, Singapore boasts a world-class living environment – it tops the ranks in Asia as the city with the best quality of living, ahead of Tokyo and Hong Kong – and has an ever-changing landscape populated by modern architecture, green spaces and heritage buildings.
The city’s skyline is as mesmerising as it is unique; contemporary buildings such as the staggering Marina Bay Sands hotel mix with the historical architecture of the former Supreme Court and City Hall, which now houses the National Gallery Singapore – travellers can join the Building History Tour which takes in and opens up old Singapore.
Amble through quiet, traditional neighbourhoods, where the old world meets the new exploring Chinatown, Dempsey Hill, Little India and Tiong Bahru and discovering an intricate cultural tapestry through friendly local people.
But while Singapore is unmistakably one of the world’s great metropolises, it is not known as a Garden City for nothing. You will find pockets of lush greenery everywhere, discovering hidden gardens that serve as the ultimate antidote from the hustle and bustle of city living.
Meander through the Singapore Botanic Gardens and explore this Unesco World Heritage Site on an NParks Heritage Tour. Then, stroll through Gardens by the Bay, an award-winning, 250-acre Nature Park with 50-metre-high Supertree Grove. The Cloud Forest and Flower Dome replicate different climates and feature plants from around the world. You can also hop on a Garden Cruiser tram for a guided tour of the gardens.
For something even wilder, check out MacRitchie Reservoir, home to the native long-tailed macaque, or head to wildlife conversation destinations such as the Singapore Zoo, River Safari and Night Safari. There are also running and walking trails across the island. For something spiritual, head to Soulscape Festival, where there are mass yoga sessions on the beach as the sun sets.
When it comes to food, Singapore is a city that can cater to all price points and passions. The city recently made history by being the place where one can have the cheapest Michelin-starred meal, at SGD 2.
Since the inaugural launch of the Michelin Guide Singapore, 29 eateries have been given the honour of the star, ranging from humble hawker stalls to top-notch, fine-dining establishments. Two hawkers stalls (Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodle and Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice and Noodle) made headlines by garnering one Michelin star each.
For sleeping, there is something for everyone, from quirky budget to glitzy luxury such as the world-famous Raffles Hotel Singapore. With such a wide range of things to do and experience, a holiday in Singapore truly lets you see the world without leaving the island.