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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 chewing gum.

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 :  
Sentosa Island
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.

Little India
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 1991.

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 available here.

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 park.

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.  

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