Singapore – A Tourists Guide
Have you ever considered visiting Singapore as a holiday destination? There are many reasons to visit Singapore, especially now that the world has become much more accessible to tourists. Airlines now charter flights to countries that were once too expensive to travel to. Places like Singapore were up until recent years only accessible to the very rich or business traveller.
Where is Singapore?
Singapore is located on the continent of Asia and is an island-city state just off Malaysia. The capital of Singapore is Singapore and the state is made up of 63 islands, the largest of which is Pulau Ujong.
Singapore has the climate similar to that of a tropical rainforest. Although there are no distinct seasons, the monsoon season occurs November to January. The country experiences high levels of humidity and temperatures range between 22-35`C
You can fly to Singapore from the UK via Singapore Airlines or British Airways, to name a couple. The average flight time is 13 hours and it is possible to fly direct.
Once you have arrived in Singapore the public transport is very fast and efficient. Singapore has a fast and convenient train service called MRT (mass rapid transit). It is possible to buy tourist passes which will conveniently transport you to all the tourist sights using their extensive network of stations. You can also use your tourist pass on bus services. The trains are clean, fast and accessible for everyone, including wheelchair users, people with mobility problems and parents with pushchairs.
There are also numerous taxi stands situated at the tourist sights and shopping areas. It would be a good idea to agree on a price for the journey before you embark, to avoid any confusion and surprises.
The Singapore dollar – SGD is the currency in Singapore. Singapore although tiny has a well developed and stable banking system. Singapore is also a major financial hub, so you will have no problems obtaining currency or exchanging money to SGD. There are many ATM’s in Singapore and major credit cards are widely accepted.
Singapore has the reputation of being one of the most expensive areas in Asia. However, with research you can make your money go further by using the very efficient public transport system and staying in budget hotels.
Where to stay
There are so many choices of places to stay in Singapore ranging from budget hotels to glitzy luxury hotels. You could also consider renting a Service Apartment which offers the convenience of self-catering during your stay. A serviced apartment would be ideal for long stay business trips.
Most visitors choose to stay in one of the central areas of Singapore, which allow easy access to tourist hotspots. The main areas include Chinatown, Marina Bay, Clarke Quay, Sentosa and little India. Each offers its own individual vibe and charm.
The Chinatown area retains an authentic oriental feel, reminiscent of the fact that this is the area that Chinese immigrants settled. The area is now an important business centre and boasts the famous Chinatown night market.
Marina Bay has the reputation as being the most desirable place to stay in Singapore. The skyline is dominated by skyscrapers and luxury hotels. All of Singapore’s attractions are within easy reach and there is an abundance of upmarket bars, restaurants and nightclubs. There are not many budget hotels to choose from, so you will need deep pockets, but the views are amazing!
Clarke Quay is where the majority of Singapore’s nightlife is situated. Its waterside location really comes alive as the sunsets. There is an abundance of bars, nightclubs and restaurants and is still within easy access to tourist attractions.
Sentosa is a fabulously fun island in Singapore to stay on, especially if you are holidaying as a family with children. There are stunning beaches, man-made from sand imported from Malaysia. Attractions include Universal Studios, Underwater World and Skyride.
What to do
Singapore has appeal for tourists of all tastes and ages. There are plenty of cultural and historical sights to visit, jungles to trek, food to taste and nightlife to sample.
The following are top tourist attractions in Singapore:-
Gardens by the Bay
Singapore’s Botanical Gardens by the Bay is a “must see”. It cost around S$1billion to create and features futuristic bio-domes, each replicating different climates. The gardens also feature “supertree” structures that are linked together by a Skyway. At night the gardens come alive with twinkling lights within the trees as the fabulous Garden Rhapsody Show is performed.
Gardens by the bay is a suitable attraction for all the family and children will love the children’s garden, complete with a water playground, gigantic treehouse and adventure playground.
Singapore Zoo has been a tourist attraction for over forty years. There are over 2800 animals which roam freely through natural habitats. The zoo is set in a rainforest environment and its “open concept” allows visitors the opportunity to really get up close to endangered animals, such as the orangutan.
The zoo prides itself on its conservation effort and 26% of its animals are on the endangered list. Another of the zoo’s focus is on education and it offers learning opportunities and behind the scene tours.
National Gallery Singapore
National Gallery Singapore is an institute of visual arts. The gallery boasts the largest collection of modern art in Southeast Asia. This gallery has an active exhibit focus and exhibits change regularly. The gallery won a number of awards in 2016 relating to its popularity as a major tourist attraction.
Asian Civilisations Museum
The Asian Civilisations Museum explores the artistic heritage of Asia, in particular, the ancestors of Singaporeans. The museum is housed in what used to be the colonial government offices. There are many artefacts showcased including a bronze Chinese mirror considered to be more than 1000 years old.
What to eat
Singapore is considered to be one of the top food capitals in Asia, possibly the world! Singaporeans have a tendency to be a little food-obsessed, which has facilitated the country to be a foodie’s idea of heaven. Food outlets range from amazing street food to gastronomic delights more than worthy of the Michelin stars awarded to them.
It is worth researching the restaurants in the area in which you are staying, you will discover a startling array of different cuisines including Chinese, Indian, Italian, Lebanese, Thai, Nepalese, Turkish and more.
Similar to food, shopping for Singaporeans is a favourite pastime, there are literally hundreds of shopping malls and Singapore could be considered to be one of the world’s top destinations for shopping, due to the number of malls packed into a square mile!
The shopping malls offer a good mix of high street stores and designer shops. If you prefer to shop away from the commercialism of the malls there are many bustling markets to visit.
To conclude Singapore really is a destination to cater for all tastes and age groups, as there is something to keep everyone happy. Singapore also caters for all budgets and is popular with student backpackers on a tight budget, families and people with lots of disposable cash to spend on luxury boutique hotels. Singapore manages to blend the old with the new, ancient buildings happily residing against futuristic skyscrapers. The climate ensures that Singapore retains its greenery so that there are lots of parks to visit and relax in.
Hopefully, this article has highlighted some of the charms Singapore has to offer the tourist, there are many more. Perhaps you should consider a visit in the near future?