What to Look and What to Pass in Singapore

Source:   —  April 03, 2016, at 0:56 AM

Latest year only marked its fiftieth anniversary as an independent country. Its star, though, is rising quickly, as it attracts a growing no of international travelers with a booming economy, an eclectic cultural scene and a welcoming vibe.

What to Look and What to Pass in Singapore

Singapore is young. Latest year only marked its fiftieth anniversary as an independent country.

Its star, though, is rising quickly, as it attracts a growing no of international travelers with a booming economy, an eclectic cultural scene and a welcoming vibe. If Singapore is on your to-do list, here are a few special activities that'll enhance any itinerary.

NY City native Rhiannon Brenenbaum has been living in Singapore for three years. That’s longer than she and her family originally planned, thanks in large portion to “the grand mix of cultures and languages and, of course, food!” She points visitors to Singapore’s various ethnic neighborhoods, love Chinatown and Tiny India, “which are really fascinating places to walk around.” Chinatown is teeming with Str vendors and is residence to a temple and museum that houses a tooth allegedly belonging to Buddha, himself. Tiny India features colorful architecture and a bevy of souvenir and jewelry shops. The Kampong Glam neighborhood is a living portrait of Singapore’s Arabian influences. Fascinating fact: there are four official languages in Singapore -- Malay, Tamil, Mandarin and English.

The cultural variety here may be best showcased in the food. Hawker centers are open-air marketplaces where culinary variety and abundance reign supreme, and they’ve been regulated and upgraded in recent years so that they’re dependably hygienic. “They’re love outdoor buffets with tiny stalls that serve a specific cuisine or just one or two dishes, and they’re such excellent value,” Brenenbaum says. “And if you don't know what to obtain or can't decide, just connect the stall with a long queue, point to a picture and smile!” Frequenting hawkers (and discovering foods love BBQ stingray, rice dumplings, fried carrot cake and local fruits love longan and mangosteen) has actually helped her kids widen their palates in a huge way, Brenenbaum adds. “But they’re not prepared for the stinky Durian yet!”

For more food adventures, Ashley Yeo, a travel deal expert in Travelzoo’s Southeast Asia’s Singapore, raves about the Tiong Bahru enclave. “It’s one of my favorite café-hopping areas in Singapore,” she tells me. “It has many hipster cafes, bars and restaurants, even a tiny bookstore. Most shops are renovated from elderly housing – a really kind area just to spend the afternoon.”

Shopping – many call it retail therapy – is also a draw here. Orchard Road is an attractive one.5-mile-long Blvd packed with designer names and flagship stores. Luxury labels abound at The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, and VivoCity Singapore’s largest mall. Travelzoo’s Yeo, though, likes Mustafa Center, particularly when she can’t sleep. “It’s a twenty-four-hour shopping mall which is really cheap, and they sell everything from groceries to branded goods. It'south quite incredible but not an upscale shopping centre,” she says. “Many tourists from the W like to frequent this area as it's really excellent Indian food as well.”

The product of increasing land reclamation, Singapore is residence to dozens of natural islands that proposal unique visitor experiences. Yeo really likes park-like Coney Island, which opened to the public just latest year. “Convenient and clean, it’s grand for picnics, cycling and just a day out in the Sunday on the beach,” she says. Kusu Island, an hour-long ferry ride S of Singapore, is residence to swimming lagoons and a turtle sanctuary, as well as various sacred sites. Also to the south, St. John’s, Lazarus and Seringat are linked and, from plush white sand beaches, offers striking views of the mainland. Sentosa, once a British fortress, is one of Singapore’s most favorite islands; golf courses, museums, Universal Studios Singapore, a mile-long sheltered shore and more than a dozen hotels create this is a veritable playground.

When you think theme park, you may not think Chinese mythology. But that’s the huge draw at Haw Par Villa, which brings folklore and legends to life – from Journey to the W to Madame White Snake -- through more than one thousand statues and dozens of oversize dioramas. Opt for the guided tour. Haw Par Villa is open daily and admission is free. The ten Courts of Hell exhibit, with its very graphic images, may require parental supervision.

Although a modern cosmopolitan flair is inescapable here, Singapore is also a refuge of pretty parks, forest trails and lush reserves. Singapore Botanic Gardens is a 200-acre tropical wonderland –- and a brand new UNESCO World Heritage Site; residence to an array of plants, including the National Orchid Garden, as well as a rainforest. Gardens by the Bay is an even larger oasis, a green zone with plant conservatories and futuristic Supertrees that reach more than one hundred fifty feet to the sky. The Southern Ridges is a six-mile route that links several iconic parks; when it’s lit up at night, the pedestrian bridge known as Henderson Waves is a marvelous sight. To the east, the Changi Point Coastal Walk is favorite with budding fishermen while the Riverine Loop, to the northeast, is a scenic route that’s simple for avid bikers to traverse in just a few hours.

The Singapore Zoo is number secret; rainforest-themed, it’s well-known for housing near to three.000 animals, many of whom itinerate freely in open and natural habitats. Animal lovers will also discover thrills at Jurong Bird Park, where Pelican Cove and daily shows are a large draw, and River Safari, where boat rides bring the Amazon to life and where pandas flourish in a forest sanctuary. Night Safari is additional cool -– it’s the world’s first nocturnal zoo, and residence to two thousand five hundred animals; The Leopard Trace and the Wallaby Trace are walkable, while the favorite tram ride takes you through seven geographical zones. Don’t wish to miss a thing? Ask about the ParkHopper, which allows you to visit all four parks for the price of two.

These days, Singapore Airlines may be your best bet to create the 18-hour flight W from L. A. or San Francisco; they’re the only ones that do it nonstop, and at prices that rival the one- and two-stop alternatives. What’s more, the carrier gets consistently high marks. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Today’s Road Warriors panel of frequent flyers just picked it as their favorite international airline and TravelSkill’s top blogger, Chris McGinnis, recently raved about its new entertainment app, which allows travelers to choose from hundreds of movies, TV shows and music options well before departure. But competition, and the inevitable fare fights that follow, are on the way: when United Airlines launches its nonstop service to Singapore out of SFO in June, it’ll be the longest Dreamliner flight in the world.

Singapore’s Changi Airport consistently tops best-airports-in-the-world lists, and the array of attractions and activities has a lot to do with it. The rooftop garden in Terminal 1 features 100-plus species of succulents while T2 houses gardens teeming with colorful sunflowers and orchids. The Butterfly Garden in T3 features more than 1.000 tropical butterflies and a 20-foot waterfall. The theaters in T2 and T3 screen new movies and are open 24 hours a day, and you can sharpen your Xbox360 skills at the Entertainment Deck in T2; they’re all free. Then get the kids to The Slide in T3; at fortieth feet, it’s the tallest slide in all of Singapore, and you can obtain a free ride for every $10 you spend at the airport’s many restaurants and duty-free shops. Just passing through? If you’re connecting at Changi with five or more hours to spare, sign up for a Free Singapore Tour; offered daily out of Terminals two and 3, and lasting two-1/2 hours, it’ll give you a fast but memorable snapshot of this vibrant city.

Gabe Saglie is Senior Editor for Travelzoo, which features exclusive deals to Singapore at Travelzoo.

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