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Posts in ‘Things to do in Singapore’

Top 5 Things to do in Singapore

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Singapore is one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world, with four official languages, and 62 surrounding islands, the main island of Singapore (or Pulau Ujong) has been a top destination for residents and travelers alike. The city promotes itself for medical tourism (yup, plastic surgery), which surprisingly attracts more than 200,000 clients each year. Instead, I like to think that Singapore is better known as being the “Garden City” and has more than enough things to do on your holiday, without going under the knife.

Botanical Gardens
gardens As I said, Singapore isn’t called the Garden City for nothing. The famous Botanical Gardens are home to the some of the rarest and most beautiful plants. It’s open from 5am to midnight every day, so you can enjoy the gardens during sunrise, sunset, or all the time in between.

Having numerous different specialty gardens within, the one you cannot miss is the National Orchid Gardens. Housing more than 1,000 different species of orchids, visitors can appreciate these easily distinguished flowers. Even more spectacular is how the orchids are separated, which is by color. Separated into four different sections meant to portray the four different seasons. The golds, pinks, reds, and blues are all blended together expertly to show-off the flowers in a most unique way.

Because the gardens are developed on what they call a three-core system, there are other sections of the gardens all portraying and representing something different. The Tanglin core is to represent the history and the features that have been in the gardens the longest, including Swan Lake, Sun Garden, and many sculptures. The Central core is for impressing tourists with the Ginger Garden, Rainforest, Healing Garden, Evolution Garden, and of course the National Orchid Gardens. Finally, the Butik Timah core is meant to serve as an educational branch of the gardens, featuring bamboo, fruit trees, nut and beverage crops, herbs and spices, as well as the children’s garden.

With so much to see and do, it’s definitely a good thing the park hosts such long hours–you’ll need the whole day to explore!

Chinatown
Although Chinatowns are common in any major city, with the largest ethnic group in Singapore being Chinese, this Chinatown is unlike any other. The large neighborhood dedicated to showing off Chinese food, culture, shopping, and nightlife is divided into five different districts so you don’t have to feel like you’re wandering around aimlessly in a sea of chopsticks and sculptures of chinese dragons.

chinatown The five districts are called Telok Ayer, Bukit Pasoh, Tanjong Pagar, Kreta Ayer, and Ann Siang Hill. Over time they each became known for specializing in different areas. If you’re interested in unique bars, cafés and boutiques then Ann Siang Hill, and Telok Ayer have plenty. Telok Ayer is also known for housing many of the city’s old temples and mosques offering a bit of history to your excursion. Bukit Pasoh has mastered blending the old and the new with posh hotels and restaurants, but also history on many clans and cultural associations. A more residential area also sprinkled with traditional pubs, and karaoke bars is Tanjong Pagar. Finally to feel super-immersed in the culture, head over to Kreta Ayer for traditional trading and shopping (meaning you can bargain with vendors!), and the best cuisine.

If you stop by at night make sure to visit the Chinatown Night Market running through three of the major streets. In these old world shops you’ll find everything from food, to clothing, to opera masks! This area is especially busy during Christmas with extended shopping hours and ridiculously good sales, you might just need to buy another suitcase to fit all your purchases…

Singapore Flyer
This could easily be Singapore’s greatest tourist attraction. Standing at 165 meters tall gives it the title of the world’s tallest observation wheel. The views themselves could set some world records, as the 30 minute rides takes you high up in the air you get bird’s eye view of the city and can even catch glimpses of Malaysia and Indonesia on a clear day.

flyer Although the stunning views are the main attraction, the Singapore Flyer offers much more to complete your experience. The main terminal offers many food options on all three floors, from Subway to four star dining. There is also shopping available for Flyer memorabilia, and even a retail store specializing in leather and exotic skins. One of the most interesting additional parts of the Singapore Flyer are all the activities available for visitors. If you’re not quite ready to leave after your ride there is karaoke, racetrack rides, reflexology and fish spas all located in the main terminal. And to stay in the “flyer” spirit, there’s a flight simulator where you can view a flight through a pilot’s eyes.

The Singapore Flyer is an international icon of both engineering and appreciation of beauty. Appropriate for all ages and with a myriad of activities and things to see on the site as well, this proves to be Singapore’s hottest tourist spot for a reason.

The Singapore Zoo
zoo Like me, you might think that the concept of zoos are sometimes overdone, they’re a good idea and I love being able to see the animals, but why go all the way to Singapore for that? Well, besides the fact that 3,600 different animals, including rare and endangered species call Singapore Zoo their home, the zoo is set up in a nature-friendly way. That means that instead of looking through glass enclosures, or jail-like fences, the animals can be seen in open exhibits, being separated by hidden barriers, stone walls, and moats. Not only is this a more natural way to see the animals, but it creates a better living environment for them too, and who doesn’t want the animals to be happy?

Speaking of animals, theres tons of different areas to see all different types of mammals, reptiles, birds, and fish. From Cat Country to the Australian Outback, to the Rainforest Kidzone, there’s something for everybody. If you’re feeling brave you can go see the world’s largest snake, which can grow up to 10 meters! The Singapore Zoo is also known for housing orangoutangs, which are highly at risk of extinction, luckily they’re kept safe and sound in their new home.

Shows at the zoo are definitely one of the highlights, and with Singapore’s conservation attempts, the Rainforest Fights Back show can help you learn about the little things you can do to help, which make big differences. If you’re looking for a little more action, there’s the show with the jackass penguins, but I promise, they’re not as bad as they sound.

Finally, what would a tourist spot be without some food and shopping? The Singapore Zoo has food from snack stands, to pizza and ice cream, to even dining with the animals at a Jungle Breakfast! Don’t leave without checking out the gift shop, for adorable stuffed animals or even educational gifts. With such a wide variety of animals, shows, and ways to explore the park, Singapore Zoo is a must-see for animal lovers.

DUKw Tours
To ease up any confusion, I’ll tell you right now that it’s pronounced “duck”. Maybe it was just me who couldn’t figure out the pronunciation, but however you say it, DUKw tours are not something to miss. Originally used in World War II as a means of transporting goods and troops over land and water, this vehicle is unique in its amphibious functions.

dukw Now remove the troops, weapons, and fighting, and what would you do with the vehicle? Well of course make a one-of-a-kind tour bus! Unlike the mainstream hop-on/hop-off, or coach bus tours, switch it up and see Singapore by land and sea. Perusing through the city you can pass by all the major buildings and monuments like the new and old Parliament Houses, and City Hall. Then you can make a splash in Marina Bay and cruise through the water for even more sights of Singapore.

Whoever thought to turn a military transportation system into a fun tour bus certainly understood the benefits of recycling. So if you’re in Singapore and want an unconventional way to tour the city, DUKw Tours are both entertaining and educational.

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What to see in Singapore.

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Singapore is obviously extremely diverse when compared with countries in Western regions. It is crammed with culture from clashing eastern and western influences, with endless things to discover, so much so that Singapore sightseeing can be a little overwhelming. Just what are the best places to visit and the must do activities? Fear not, Singapore sightseeing isn’t as daunting as it may sound.

Singapore’s history. continue reading

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Discover the genius of Da Vinci in Singapore

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People planning Singapore tours this summer will have the opportunity to visit an exhibition in the city exploring the genius of Leonardo da Vinci.

The Science Centre Singapore will host this travelling show, which is thought to be one of the most comprehensive touring exhibitions ever created on Da Vinci, from May 15th to August 16th.

Da Vinci can be considered the quintessential Renaissance genius, creating such iconic works of art as the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper and dabbling in everything from mathematics and engineering to music and writing.

Highlights of the exhibition, entitled Da Vinci – The Genius, include a display exploring the times in which he lived, a section dedicated to his machine inventions and a showcase of his sketches and drawings.

The Science Centre Singapore is home to many other exhibits and sights that will interest people of all ages and tastes, with more than 1,000 interactive displays exploring various fields of science.

Singapore – Enjoy the wonderful shops or explore Singapore’s colonial history, whatever you do end the day with a Singapore sling at Raffles.ADNFCR-1652-ID-19136850-ADNFCR

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The Singapore Flyer “Towers” Above the Eye

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I’ve been in London for nearly three weeks and I’m finally ready to dig into some of the more touristy adventures that the city has to offer! But as I’m preparing to board the world-famous London Eye, I find out that its already been beaten! That’s right, London’s not the only place to import tons upon tons of steel and glass in order to reconstruct a huge, spinning wheel that flies (slowly) skyward…sure, I’ll stand in the winding queue of tourists waiting for an unbelievable view of the city, and, sure, it will be beautiful and majestic, but what about its rival? The Eye is unbelievably tall, but the Singapore Flyer, pardon my pun, just flies a little higher.

The Singapore Flyer

I must admit that ever since watching Anthony Bourdain’s episode on Singapore, I’ve been dying to go! Yes, I just admitted to loving both the Travel Channel and Anthony Bourdain, but don’t knock ’til you’ve tried..er…watched it! Bourdain does an amazing job of discovering the local cultural and culinary hot-spots of each city he visits, and Singapore’s no exception. Not only does the Republic of Singapore provide a rich combination of Chinese, Indian, and Malaysian cuisines, but also a huge variety of tours, activities, and sites to keep even the pickiest tourist (like myself) entertained! continue reading

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Singapore Botanic Gardens turns 150

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People travelling in south-east Asia this year will be able to visit the Botanic Gardens during Singapore tours as the attraction celebrates its 150th anniversary.

The Singapore Botanic Gardens (SBG) was founded in 1859 and has developed into one of the city-state’s most popular tourist sites, attracting more than three million visitors every year.

It will open an exhibition dedicated to the evolutionary scientists Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace as part of its anniversary celebrations in July, followed by a photographic display exploring the world’s rainforests in December.

Permanent attractions at the Botanic Gardens include a tract of primeval forest, a herbarium, Asia’s largest collection of rare palms and an orchid culture that is thought to be the most comprehensive in the world.

Divya Panickar, a spokesperson for the Singapore Tourism Board, said: "The 150th anniversary of the founding of the SBG is truly a milestone event in the city’s history.

"Like Singapore itself, the SBG keeps evolving to ensure it remains a vital and integral part in the lives of the city’s residents and a highlight on any visitor’s itinerary."

The Singapore Night Safari is another popular natural attraction in the Asian city state, along with the city zoo and the Bukit Timah reserve.

Singapore – Enjoy the wonderful shops or explore Singapore’s colonial history, whatever you do end the day with a Singapore sling at Raffles.ADNFCR-1652-ID-19116800-ADNFCR

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Experience the Sundown Marathon on Singapore tours

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Active travellers taking Singapore tours in May will be able to combine a fun and energetic pursuit with some of the destination’s most impressive night-time sights.

The Adidas Sundown Marathon will take place on May 30th this year, setting off from Changi Point at 20:00 local time.

This unusual event is described as a "unique experience for runners", taking participants on a varied route designed to "challenge the mind, body and soul".

Runners will pass through the nature parks in the eastern and north-eastern parts of Singapore, as well as a host of city sights and attractions that will appear all the more stunning after the sun has set.

If taking part in the marathon sounds like too much hard work, visitors to Singapore can take up positions on the sidelines to cheer on the runners as they pass.

Also taking place in the south-east Asian city-state this year is the Great Singapore Sale, which will see huge discounts offered at the retail outlets of Orchard Road, Marina Bay and other central areas from May 29th to July 26th.

Singapore – Enjoy the wonderful shops or explore Singapore’s colonial history, whatever you do end the day with a Singapore sling at Raffles.ADNFCR-1652-ID-19109481-ADNFCR

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Explore the new Orchard Road on Singapore tours

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Travellers planning a Singapore city tour this year will be able to visit the all-new Orchard Road, which was recently reopened following a major redevelopment.

Some S$40 million (£19 million) was spent on the rejuvenation of Orchard Road, a scheme which has reaffirmed Singapore’s status as "one of Asia’s most popular cities for shopping, dining and entertainment", according to the local tourist board.

New features in the area include atmospheric up-lighting, new facades on shopping malls and outdoor ‘green rooms’ for street events.

The Orchard Road development is part of a wider urban renewal plan in Singapore that will see three new malls open this year, followed by a 218-metre-tall skyscraper with a 360-degree observation deck.

Singapore Tourism Board (STB) spokesperson Divya Panickar said: "More than ever, Orchard Road is a vibrant, trendy and exciting destination in its own right offering a diverse range of shopping options with activities and events to suit everyone."

During their visit to Singapore, travellers can also enjoy experiences such as the Night Safari tour, which offers a fascinating introduction to the city-state’s wildlife.

Singapore – Enjoy the wonderful shops or explore Singapore’s colonial history, whatever you do end the day with a Singapore sling at Raffles.ADNFCR-1652-ID-19079907-ADNFCR

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Boost for Singapore in world tourism rankings

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Singapore was one of a number of countries to see a year-on-year improvement in its ranking in the World Economic Forum Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report for 2009.

The country was rated first in Asia and tenth overall in this year’s study, which uses various business and regulatory factors to measure the growth potential in tourism industries around the world.

Europe dominated the top of the list, with Switzerland, Austria and Germany reportedly offering the most attractive environments for development in the sector.

Singapore, along with France, Canada and Sweden, was one of four nations in the top ten to improve on its 2008 ranking this year.

John Gregory Conceicao, the Singapore Tourism Board’s director of strategic planning, said: "We are pleased to have improved our ranking in the World Economic Forum’s Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2009 to be among the top ten countries globally and the only Asian country in the top ten out of 133 countries.

"This is an indication of Singapore’s strengths in its tourism management and infrastructure. It will in turn strengthen our efforts to ride out the current downturn and position ourselves for future growth."

Singapore tours could become an increasingly appealing option for travellers over the coming years as new attractions such as the River Safari wildlife and activity park are opened.

Singapore – Enjoy the wonderful shops or explore Singapore’s colonial history, whatever you do end the day with a Singapore sling at Raffles.ADNFCR-1652-ID-19072789-ADNFCR

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Singapore’s Creatures and Cultures

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Singapore – an exceptional blend of eastern and western culture, Singapore offers once in a life-time experiences in a safe and family-friendly environment. Whether going on a night safari or viewing the city from 165m up, on the Singapore Flyer, travellers can experience jaw-dropping sights.

Who can refuse the chance to sip Chinese medicinal herbs before watching the night lights give the colourful city a new life after dusk?

Try one of these exciting tours to experience the real Singapore:

FunVee Night Safari Shuttle Tour - For a once in a life-time experience explore the jungle under the glow of the moon. This all-inclusive tour takes you on a tram ride through habitats of some of the most elusive creatures of the night.  As the world’s first night safari, participants will have a tale for home none of their friends can top! continue reading

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New river attraction to open in Singapore

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A new aquatic safari park that is thought to be the first of its kind in Asia will open in Singapore in 2011.

The Singapore Tourism Board announced that River Safari, which is expected to attract some 750,000 visitors a year, will be based within the 89-hectare Singapore Zoo and Night Safari compound.

Visitors on Singapore tours will be able to enjoy a range of recreational water-based activities at the new attraction and also see the variety of wildlife that will be brought into the habitat.

The announcement of River Safari follows the recent completion of two other natural attractions in Singapore – the Southern Ridges walking network connecting four of the city-state’s parks and the Marina Barrage and Reservoir.

Divya Panickar of the Singapore Tourism Board said: "The River Safari, Marina Barrage and Southern Ridges developments join an already impressive list of nature attractions in Singapore.

"Apart from the enduringly popular Botanic Gardens, other ‘must-see’ natural habitats include the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve and the Singapore Zoo and Night Safari, to name a few."

The south-east Asian destination enjoyed a major boost in its appeal to tourists last year with the opening of the Singapore Flyer, the world’s largest observation wheel.

Singapore – Enjoy the wonderful shops or explore Singapore’s colonial history, whatever you do end the day with a Singapore sling at Raffles.ADNFCR-1652-ID-19070546-ADNFCR

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