Most people are planning to stay in Singapore just for one or two days during a stop-over before getting to another destination. If you take some time to read up on Singapore you will notice that it is an amazing country and has so much to offer, that you won’t want to leave at all…
Singapore was always highly ranked on my travel bucket list just like Japan. So I really had big expectations for my journey to this city. My anticipation was even higher this time, because I had my personal guide with me who knows Singapore very well and who wanted to show me the city like local people know it.
Some basic information about Singapore:
- Singapore is one of the smallest countries in the world. To be exact it is a sovereign island city-state in Southeast Asia
- There are four official languages of Singapore: English, Malay, Chinese and Tamil
- Singapore is a highly developed country, it was ranked the most expensive city to live in from 2013 to 2019 but also is placed highly in key social indicators like healthcare, quality of life, education, personal safety and housing
- It is home to 5.6 million people of whom 39% are foreign nationals
- Despite its small size, Singapore has a diversity of languages, religions, and cultures
Singapore has a tropical rainforest climate (high humidity and abundant rainfall)
Things not to miss in Singapore:
If you want to feel the real spirit of the city you need to eat like the locals… The best place to do that is at one of Singapore’s many Hawker centres. These food courts are offering all kind of multicultural cuisines and you can enjoy your food together with local peoples. It is totally delicious, inexpensive and you can try a lot of new dishes (like Malaysian or Indian) all located at one place. There is also a great selection of fresh fruit juices.
Asian Civilisations Museum
I hardly recommend you to visit The Asian Civilization Museum, where you can learn more about the rich culture and heritage of Asia. The museum concentrate on specific areas which are the material history of China, Southeast Asia, South Asia and West Asia. The thematically organised galleries include: galleries on the first level will tell you about the story of trade. On the second level you will get to know more about the systems of Faith and Belief. A third level with a gallery about materials and design will open soon. Certain gallery rooms are also used for temporary exhibitions. The current exhibition is called Living with Ink: The Collection of Dr Tan Tsze Chor. The exhibition includes paintings by modern Chinese masters like Ren Bonian, Xu Beihong, and Qi Baishi, as well as works made by artists in Singapore in the 1930s until the 1980s.
Masterpieces of sculpture, painting, and ritual objects can be found in Ancient Religions Gallery.
Gardens by the Bay
Where the sea was a few decades ago, you can now find the most known garden in the world. The Gardens by the Bay are one of the most popular tourist attractions in Singapore. Even though most of the time it is overrun by tourists, you still shouldn’t miss out on it. You can find there so many things to see like: Gardens by the Bay’s Supertrees, the 22-metre-high OCBC Skyway, Art Sculptures, Cloud Forest, Dragonfly Lake and outdoors gardens. It is a place where everybody can find something for themselves.
The Marina Bay Sands
The Marina Bay Sands Hotel is one of best-known hotels in the world. Its unique shape makes it to one of Singapores icons. There is a shopping mall as well as a casino located in the building. On the rooftop is an infinity pool and a bar with the best view on Singapore. However I didn’t went up there, so I still have a valid reason to visit Singapore another time.
Even though Singapore is obviously located in Asia, you will notice that it has been influenced by the west a lot. If you want to experience real Chinese culture, you should definitely visit Chinatown. Chinatown offers a lot of places where you can buy perfect souvenirs and all kind of other stuff.
In Chinatown you can find The Buddah Tooth Relic Temple. This temple is not only astonishing from the outside, but also spangled with golden ornaments, Buddah figures and beautiful flowers inside. It is important to cover your knees and arms with some long scarf, but dont worry, you can borrow some in front of the entrance.
This is another district of Singapore that you definitely can’t miss out on during your journey to this country. With its colorful buildings, its exotic smells and its temples located in the middle of all the bazaar like shops it is a marvelous place. Some of these shops like the Mustafa Shopping Centre are opened 24/7 and you can really find everything you need or not need there.
The Merlion is the main icon of Singapore for nearly half a century. With its lion head and its fish tail it embodies Singapore’s roots together with an old myth about its discovery. According to this myth a young Malayan prince sailed across the sea and discovered a small fish town. While exploring the jungle a majestic lion crossed his path, which inspired the young prince to name the country “Singapura” which is Sanskrit for “Lion City”. Based on this legend the Merlion was created as the landmark for Singapore. The place itself is definitely overrun by tourists, however you shouldn’t miss out on it while doing your sightseeing in Singapore.
Orchard Road & Shaw theatre Lido
The Orchard Road is known for all its shopping malls. But you can also find nice restaurants, bars and cinemas there. Eventhough shopping and sight-seeing is always exciting but can also be very exhausting at the same time. So I thought why not take a rest and still enjoy something new and not totally overrun by other tourists? Therefore I decided to go to the cinema (Shaw theatre Lido) to watch a movie and give my stressed legs a short brake. I choose a typical Chinese kung fu movie in its original version, which means Mandarin language. Yes, my mandarin is pretty limited, but luckily it had English subtitles. It was an interesting experience and it was the perfect combination of resting and still not having the unpleasant feeling of missing out to something. However if you decide to go to the cinema in Singapore, don’t forget to bring a sweater with you as theater rooms are air-conditioned. Otherwise you will feel like Leonardo Dicaprio must have felt while swimming in the cold water after the Titanic sank.
So this is all for today. I hope you enjoyed the pictures of Singapore and got inspired to explore the city on your own.