Singapore is one Asian destination that has been rising in popularity. While it is a very small country that spans an area only 12 times the size of Manhattan, the tiny island nation is packed with many interesting sights and activities. Here’s what you should do when you get to Singapore.
Stay at a Hotel with History
Visiting Singapore won’t be quite the same unless you stay at a hotel that has a rich history, as in a heritage hotel. Many of these hotels are converted structures that used to be very different establishments. There are heritage hotels that were former colony administration offices, storage warehouses for spices, clubs for expats and even an illegal brothel. When you stay at a heritage hotel, you get a better feel of the rich history of the city-state. It’s a unique experience.
Photograph the Merlions
A Singapore trip won’t be complete unless you take a picture of the city-state’s most famous icon, the Merlion statue. The Merlion is undoubtedly selfie-worthy, but after the biggest one was demolished last year, you’ll have to content yourself with the other smaller six Merlion statues.
Have a Singapore Sling
Another cultural icon of Singapore is its world-famous drink, the Singapore Sling. This gin-based cocktail was created in 1915 by a bartender named Ngiam Tom Boon at the renowned Raffles Hotel. Many have since disputed what is the Singapore sling’s real recipe, but it was originally intended to look like juice and be appealing to women. The Raffles Hotel maintains that it was designed to be “a socially acceptable punch for the ladies.” You can order a Singapore Sling at most hotel bars if you can’t have it at the Raffles Hotel.
Eat at the Hawker’s Market
Despite Singapore being a small country, it has a cuisine rich in Indian, Chinese, British, Thai and Malay influences. You must not miss having meals at one of several food centers that house hawker stalls. Hawker’s food centers include Lau Pa Sat, Newton Food Centre, Amoy Street Food Centre and other locations. Enjoy a big bowl of Singaporean Laksa, a rice-noodle soup that is a fusion of Chinese and Malay flavors and ingredients—some are water-based and others, coconut milk-based. Hainanese chicken is another patently Singaporean dish, consisting of boiled chicken with three sauces; ginger, sweet oyster sauce and chili sauce. There are many other Singaporean dishes you must enjoy, just go to a hawker centre and let your senses guide you.
Go on Safari
Singapore is home to one of the world’s best zoos. Located on a peninsula in the Upper Seletar Reservoir, this 29-hectare zoo has large enclosures that closely mimic the habitats of the featured animals. You can see Nubian Ibexes, baboons, mongooses, lions, leopards, cheetahs, giraffes, zebras and even a rare white tiger. Right beside the zoo is the Wildlife Park, which is open only during the evening for Night Safaris. You can wander the footpaths and bridges of a jungle-like setting and see fishing cats, tigers, alligators and antelope. Just don’t take any flash photography.
Singapore has much to offer to tourists. There are many more sights, sounds, dining, leisure and shopping experiences you can enjoy, so try to find a guide and allot enough time for your activities.