Singapore Fling: Falling in Love with Southeast Asia’s Impressive City-State

Singapore Fling: Falling in Love with Southeast Asia’s Impressive City-State

Singapore Fling: Falling in Love with Southeast Asia's Impressive City-State
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Singapore Fling: Falling in Love with Southeast Asia’s Impressive City-State

 

Sure, tourists might not be able to spit or chew gum in the streets of Singapore, but that doesn’t mean they can’t have fun. There are spectacular attractions to visit, taxis are cheap, food is delicious, shopping is great and almost everyone speaks English. It all makes Singapore one of the best destinations in the whole of Asia. We recently spent a weekend in Singapore, a quick flight down from our home in Phuket, Thailand. I was shocked at the modern state of Singapore and very impressed by the city. Changi, the airport, is consistently rated in the top airports on Earth and their public transportation system is fast, clean, efficient and affordable. So whether you are on a long layover, a business trip or a romantic weekend, Singapore leaves little be to desired and loads to be discovered.

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Singapore Fling: Falling in Love with Southeast Asia's Impressive City-State

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Just Snoozing

You’re never spoilt for somewhere to lay your head, and Singapore hotels are second to none. The city’s best-known hotel is also one of the most expensive but Raffles is worth every penny. Not only does this hotel make a mean Singapore Sling, it also keeps out the riff raff at bay by applying a strict dress code. Inside the 121 year old establishment and class oozes out of every room, with spacious parlors, rattan furniture, verandahs, and ceiling fans. For more modern digs head for the Marina Bay Sands in the heart of the city. Close to the ArtScience Museum and the Chinatown Heritage Center this 5-star hotel is also within spitting distance (but don’t actually spit!) of the Gardens by the Bay which make for a spectacular view, day or night.

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photo Singapore Fling: Falling in Love with Southeast Asia's Impressive City-State Jeff Johns Founder, Latitude 34 Travel Blog e:hello@latitudethirtyfour.com | w:http://www.latitudethirtyfour.com

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Sights for Sore Eyes

Gardens by the Bay are a multimillion-dollar eco-garden project that is fast becoming the city’s signature attraction. The gardens feature sixteen steel super-trees which act as massive trellises for a range of plants. The Gardens also feature two climate-controlled domes. This allows them to provide habitats for all kinds of vegetation from rainforest to desert plants. The Singapore Zoo is a great place to spend a day but an even better place to spend the night. The zoo offers night safaris which begin at 7:30 pm and provide visitors the chance to observe nocturnal cats as well as other wildlife. There are tram rides and trails that are lit up for night walks through the grounds which offer insights into the worlds of wildlife that come alive after dark.

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Singapore Fling: Falling in Love with Southeast Asia's Impressive City-State

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Getting Your Fill

For first time visitors, one of the very best ways to experience Singapore’s culinary culture is to head to a hawker center (an open-air market offering all varieties of cooked foods) with a few bottles of Tiger beer and a serious appetite. Adventurous eaters can sample everything from Sambal stingray to oyster omelet to fish-head curry while those with slightly less adventurous palettes can munch on chicken rice, clay-pot seafood or the Singapore staple — satay. For the satay enthusiast, no visit to Singapore is complete without a trip to Boon Tat Street. This foodie destination is closed to traffic every evening to make room for the line of satay huts and the plastic tables and chairs they set up for patrons. Hundreds — if not thousands — of satays made from all types of meats are prepared each night on Boon Tat and hand-cooked over coals. Singapore has developed a reputation among Southeast Asian destinations as being a strict and sterile compared to the vibrant and ‘developing’ cultures of Bangkok or Jakarta. In reality, Singapore is one of the most enjoyable, modern and efficient cities in the world. Go and visit if you don’t believe so!

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Images by Kiwi Flickr, Jirka Matousek, jjcb and Carrie Kellenberger used under creative commons license.

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