27 March 2018
Singapore is a dream long haul destination. It boasts an intriguing blend of modern marvels, lush natural spaces and cultural attractions, making it like nowhere else on earth for intrepid travellers who want something different. Here’s our snapshot of Singapore as a holiday destination.
Singapore is a cosmopolitan city-state composed of 63 islands in south-east Asia. The area has been occupied by many different peoples over the centuries, creating a robust and unique culture for you to explore. You will see just how unique Singapore is when you speak to a local; the language here is ‘Singlish’. This is a hybrid version of English which includes slang and phrases from the other languages such as Cantonese and Tamil, reflecting its status as one of the world’s most intriguing melting pots. To visit Singapore is to holiday all around the world!
The city-state developed a strong economy over time, which made Singapore rich. Singapore evolved into a post-modern city, dotted with futuristic structures for you to tour on holiday including the Tiger Sky Tower, which boasts a revolving cabin providing 360-degree views of the city. Singapore is a contradiction; effortlessly modern but one of the greenest cities on earth with numerous green spaces. One of its best natural attractions is the ‘Gardens by the Bay’ which features greenhouses, 101 hectares of garden and solar power-producing ‘super tree’ structures.
One popular reason to fly to Singapore is that it’s a prominent shopping destination. The duty free is famously cheap, allowing you to purchase everything from designer cosmetics to premium alcohol at great value for money. The currency here is the Singapore Dollar (SGD), and one British Pound equals around SGD1.80, so you get a real bang for your buck. A great place to shop is Orchard Road, which features malls where you can buy everything from designer clothes to electronics. At one mall alone, the Paragon Shopping Centre, you’ll find labels including Nike, Gucci, Prada and M&S.
For an exciting family holiday, Singapore is the place to be. Embark on an adventure at the Wild Wild Wet water park which features rides like the high-speed ‘Water Works’ flume. Spend the day at Universal Studios Singapore on Sentosa Island, known among thrill seekers for its immersive 3D ‘TRANSFORMERS: The Ride’ attraction. Enjoy family fun at Palawan Beach nearby, which has rope swing bridges and a pirate-ship shaped water playground. To complete your itinerary, take your kids to Jurong Bird Park so they can meet over 600 species including flamingos and king penguins!
This is an exciting destination for cultural enthusiasts, as this melting pot boasts various culturally distinct districts for you to visit. The Chinatown is fascinating; weave your way past Peranakan shop-houses, colourful markets and historic landmarks such as Hokkien temple Thian Hock Keng as you explore. Another place to visit is Little India, a thriving area lined with Hindu temples, stalls overflowing with brightly-patterned saris and flower garland vendors. Head to the Kampong Glam enclave to experience Malay culture, including the sampling of delicacies such as Malay kuih (cakes).
This remote city-state is home to some of the most fashionable districts on earth. Enjoy luxury in Marina Bay, home to opulent resorts and glittering skyscrapers. If you like to live in the fast lane come here in August, when the annual F1 night race – a competition pioneered by Singapore – takes place at the Marina Bay Street Circuit. For good times head to Clarke Quay, which features exciting concept restaurants, chic drinking spots such as Bar Opiume known for its bespoke cocktails and buzzing nightclubs like the multi-floored Attica which as a champagne bar. Alternatively get away from heavy foot traffic in the art-deco Tiong Bahru area, where you can lounge in small cafes.
Our top recommendation for what to do in Singapore is the Night Safari. In this botanical oasis you can see free-roaming animals and naturalistic enclosures. You can even take a 40-minute open-air tram ride after dark and catch a glimpse of nocturnal animals in authentically created habitats such as Himalayan bharals, Indian gir lions, Nile hippos and cape giraffes!