Beautiful, organized, multicultural and luxurious, this city-state is all this and more. Exploring colorful Chinatown, treating yourself with one of the luxurious restaurants, infinity pools and gardens, going on a shopping spree in the city’s many shopping malls and hopping off the nearby islands are only some of the reasons why you should visit Singapore. Read on and get inspired to travel to this pearl of East Asia.
Top 10 reasons to visit Singapore
**Guest post by Callan Wienburg from Singapore N Beyond
1. Gardens by the Bay at night
Gardens by the Bay when the light is out is pretty nice. The structure is impressive and the nature is beautiful. Yet Gardens by the Bay at night is a whole other spectacle. The Super Tree light show is spectacular. One tip is to get there just before sunset and get a seat underneath one of the Super Trees as the best place to watch the show is to lie down and look up. Pretty trippy with the lights exploding with sound.
2. Haw Par Villa to visit Singapore’s weird side
There is nothing quite like this mythological theme park. Opened in 1937, its creators wanted it to be remembered for generations to come. Even by today’s desensitized standards, Haw Par Villa and its fantastical creatures will have you looking twice. Over 100 statues and 150 dioramas portray various stories from Chinese folklore and mythology. The highlight of the visit is the ‘the Ten Courts of Hell’, recreated according to Chinese mythology.
3. Try the quaint shops on Tiong Bahru around 40 Hands
Between the new and old wonders, the low-rise neighborhood of Tiong Bahru may be the coolest hood in Singapore. Distinctive for its Art Deco style, the shophouses in this neighborhood emphasize streamline modern architecture- curving balconies, flat rooftops, and sometimes nautical characteristics. From artsy bookstore Books Actually to the instigators of the hipster coffee movement Forty Hands, Tiong Bahru has an air of relaxation mixed with a trendy atmosphere.
4. Sunrise and sunset on the rooftop of the Marina Barrage
Both Marina Barrage and the bridge spanning across to Marina East are ideal spots to witness the first and last beams of sun touching upon the island. If you are an early bird, you can include this spot to your morning run. Otherwise come here at twilight to see the beautiful colors of the Singaporean sunset.
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5. Tanjong Beach Club for Sunday DJ tunes by the beach
Sentosa is the usual tourist destination for anyone with limited time in Singapore. There’s the Aquarium, Universal Studios, and the cable car. But most visitors to Singapore won’t usually know about the Sunday beats at Tanjong Beach Club. There’s an awesome vibe at the weekly Smack My Beach Up Sundays at this beach party venue.
6. Mustafa Center
Open 24 hours, every single day of the year, the Mustafa Centre in Little India is a paradise for all those who love to shop at night and prefer to find everything in one building. The shopping centre offers quite a range of products – some of which can be quite curious like stick on pony-tails or maximum security prison gear. Midnight craving for banana or chocolate tea anyone? Yup, you’ll find it at the Mustafa, whenever it is needed.
7. Pulau Ubin
Previously called ‘Granite Stone Island’, Pulau Ubin used to be mined for granite from the mid-1800s. After the granite industry’s decline in the 70s and the last of the quarries shut down in 1999, Pulau Ubin is a glimpse into what Singapore used to look like before it became a city-state. Accessible, cheap and peaceful, Pulau Ubin is a favourite amongst many residents of Singaporean. One of the main features, visiting the Chek Jawa Wetlands, a fascinating example of Singapore’s rich ecosystems.
8. The Southern Islands
Accessible by ferry about 30 minutes from the Marina terminal, St John’s Island is relatively large and offers various picnic opportunities, some paths across the forest and a pretty crescent shaped white sand beaches. Lazarus beach, popular with day yachters from Keppel and One°15 Marina. Another of the Southern Islands is Kusu Island, accessible by the same ferry heading to St. John’s. The island is a good spot for a picnic and has a narrow beach but is interesting because of the temple on top of the few steps.
9. Walking tour of the River Boat Quay area where the Singapore heritage and story lives
This is an out-of-the-ordinary tour where you can experience a local guided tour where you will hear the history of Singapore along with personal anecdotes. I won’t give away the ending, but the story of the Singapore River is unconventional, to say the least. And the best part of a walking tour? It’s free! Something you don’t hear often in Singapore.
10. Chinatown wet market and the chicken rice food stall
Chinatown is a popular district in Singapore for its historical and cultural significance, although the original landscape has been transformed by modern additions to attract tourists. Perhaps this is why the area is known by locals as the “Official Chinatown” for visitors, while the authentic “People’s Chinatown” can be found in Geylang. The wet market is one of the most exotic in Singapore as it still maintains its authentic cultural flavor. The chicken rice stores are also some of the most authentic and tasty you’ll experience.
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