Singapore, the stunning centrepiece of southeast Asia, is a
cultural pot pourri that leaves the unsuspecting visitor dazzled by the
containment of so many influences upon one small island. Sir Stamford
Raffles, a nineteenth-century British civil servant, brought the 'Lion
City' to world prominence after searching for a trading station to
counter the Dutch influence in the Straits of Malacca, and trade has
remained the island's mainstay.
Singapore is a happy collision of opposites - grand and expensive at the
famed Raffles Hotel, but low-key and cheap in the food markets of Bugis
Junction and Clarke Quay. City attractions include unrivalled shopping
in Orchard Road, the cultural quarters of Chinatown, Geylang Serai and
Little India with the world's first night safari. An incredibly clean
city, nothing is allowed to dull the shine - even down to the banning of
Yet the natural world is never far away, Bukit Timah Nature Reserve has
a significant area of primary rainforest within its boundaries, while
for the adventurous Sungei Buluh Nature Park offers the chance for
trekking. Check out Pulau Ubin's mangrove forest, a bumboat's ride from
Changi jetty, or Kusu site of Taoists' annual pilgrimage. Culture lovers
can enjoy the fusion of Chinese, Malay and Indian cultures, the main
ethnic groups, with museums, gardens, parks, mosques, temples and
synagogues testimony to the island's rich national heritage.
Singapore is also the starting point of some of the most popular Star
Cruise Itineraries .
The region faces rainfall throughout the year, which refresh the warm
and humid climate.
Religion: The city is a blend of varied cultures from all over
Asia but the main religion followed are Islam, Buddhism, Christianity,
Hinduism and Sikhism.
Time: +2.5 hrs (IST)
Currency : Singapore Dollars
Clothing : The people wear a casual look, light in colours due to
warm and humid climate.
Places to visit :
The largest and best known of Singapore’s offshore islands is also one
of the closest to the mainland. Sentosa is a multi-million dollar
pleasure resort girdled by a monorail and offering a wide range of
activities and attractions. These include the Underwater World and
Dolphin Lagoon, Images of Singapore, the recently upgraded Musical
Fountain Show, the Maritime Museum; and the New Food Centre.
Lovely gardens, beautiful beaches and a plethora of restaurants and
eating places all contribute to the island’s popularity with tourists
and locals alike. Many prefer to skip the theme park attractions and
head straight for Sentosa’s beaches – Siloso, Central and Tanjong –
where a wide range of watersports is available. These were built with
imported white sand and are often crowded, especially at weekends.
Singapore's "Little India" area is about as un-Singaporean as can be.
The city's old Chinatown district has largely been obliterated by
towering, sleek, office high-rises, and the traditional Muslim area
around Arab Street lingers in an advanced, if not unpleasant, state of
somnambulism. But Serangoon, or "Little India", is fabulously lively,
bustling and buoyant - a tourist's dream come true. Today, it stands out
in Singapore like a sore thumb, but a very welcome one indeed.
Predictably, tourists flock to the area in droves.
Namdapha and Kaziranga in the hill states of north-east has always held
a very special attraction for nature lovers. Travelling through remote
areas with limited tourist infra-structure. The roads are poorly
maintained, hotels and rest houses are basic.
Underwater World Singapore
Underwater World Singapore is one of Asia's most popular oceanariums. It
has more than 2,500 marine animals from 250 species. More than 18
million visitors have been won over by our exhibits since its opening in
Underwater World Singapore is a state-of-the-art leisure attraction
showcasing the rich variety of marine life to be found around the
region. Situated on Singapore's 'pleasure island' of Sentosa, it
complements the many other educational and recreational activities
At Underwater World Singapore, visitors are taken on a 'voyage to the
bottom of the sea', which begins at the sandy beaches and shallow rock
pools at the water's edge. Besides opening visitors' eyes to the
brilliance and diversity of undersea life, Underwater World Singapore
also plays an important role in education and marine conservation.
School visits are actively supported, and a number of new educational
programmes are planned. It is also a tribute to Underwater World
Singapore that many fish living here, such as the blacktip and whitetip
sharks, eagle rays and big-belly seahorses, breed quite naturally -
indicating how comfortable they are with their environment.
Jurong Bird Park
The largest bird park in all of South East Asia, The Jurong Bird Park is
one of the world's largest and most impressive aviaries with more than
8000 birds of 600 different species from all over the world. Highlights
include Waterfall Aviary, at 30m (98ft) the world's highest manmade
waterfall, and the South East Asian Bird Aviary, where a thunderstorm is
simulated every day at noon.
The new Lodge on Flamingo Lake promises food not just fit for birds.
Bird shows feature flamingos, macaws, hornbills and cockatoos and one of
the biggest attractions is the Penguin Parade, housing more than 200
penguins of five species. An air-conditioned monorail covers the entire
Take a ride on the air-conditioned Panorail for a panoramic view of the
Park and into a tropical world of jungle mists at the Waterfall Aviary.
Enjoy the spectacular Penguin Exhibit with an underwater viewing gallery
and do not miss the All Star Bird Show, reputed as world-class.