Recently, Singapore always takes a place on top-listed destinations around the globe. Every year, tourism industry accounts for a considerable part in Singapore’s economy. The reasons for this are:
Where cultures meet
Singapore is a cultural microcosm, with Chinese, Indian and Malay heritage embedded all over the island. Take the MRT to Little India first thing, for a traditional Thali set and wander around Tekka Market. In the afternoon, travel to Chinatown – see temples lit up in full scarlet glory, the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple being a particularly impressive sight. In the evening, head to the Malay district, Kampong Glam; wander around the traditional shop houses and walk in reverence next to the Sultan Mosque. Then, stop at a street side café for a glass of teh tarik, a milky, frothy tea before soaking up the atmosphere as people smoke shisha and take to the bars and restaurants.
Make time to makan
You should allow yourself ample time to explore Singapore’s food scene. The best way to sample the breadth of the food here is to head to a hawker centre. These food courts are lined with stalls serving all kinds of treats, with tables and chairs in the center. Maxwell Food Centre is a worthy contender; with Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice one of the best loved stalls in Singapore. It’s not just the traditional food that is of the highest quality though; Singapore hosts some of the best restaurants in Asia. Visit the Marina Bay Sands complex to try Waku Ghin, a contemporary Japanese and European fusion restaurant.
While every district of Singapore seems to have its own mall, the best area to shop in is the infamous Orchard Road. Visit ION Orchard for designer brands, or 313@Somerset for mid-range high street retailers. Shopping centers like the Far East Plaza cater for a younger crowd, filled with small units of independent shops and tattoo parlors. If you tire of malls, visit one of Singapore’s markets, the largest of its kind being Bugis Street Market in Kampong Glam. Alternatively, visit a district filled with independent shops and boutiques, like Haji Lane, Holland Village and the Club Street area.
A melting pot of architecture
Singapore gathers the old and the new in fascinating ways, and this is most apparent in its architectural makeup. You can be attracted by the city first grew from, and where contemporary city planners have returned to develop. As a result, pale colonial buildings stand sturdily next to colorful restored shophouses and innovative modern architecture. Walk a little further afield too, and you can find intricately ornate Hindu temples, scarlet hued Buddhist temples and the curvy tops of cream-coloured mosques.