Singapore is a truly stunning destination. When you think of the typical modern skyline, you’ll probably think of a wealth of skyscrapers in all sizes and shapes, lit up in a range of colours. Singapore epitomises this image as well as anywhere else in the world, a thriving city-country with a wealth of fascinating places to explore, some of which I’m detailing here to give you an insight into this popular Asian cruise port.
Singapore was a part of a number of different empires, including the British Empire, before declaring independence in the 20th century. Then a part of Malaysia, it separated in 1965 to become a country within its own right. It is a very diverse country, with citizens coming from a variety of nations and religious backgrounds, leading to a fascinating friendly atmosphere that remains to some degree conservative.
Today English is the most common language despite Malay being the official language as part of the Constitution, and the contemporary city has an excellent public transport system, so English-speaking visitors can easily navigate their way around and find what they are looking for.
Something that Singapore is really known for is its shopping. From markets filled with intricate ornaments to lively food stalls and sprawling malls filled with boutiques, there’s something for every taste in the city and it’s hard to resist coming back without your arms laden with shopping bags.
If, on the other hand, you’ve more of an interest in the historical, cultural side of the city you may find the Hindu Temples of Thian Hock Keng and Sri Mariamman more to your liking. These 19th century temples are the most popular as they are the oldest.
The Singapore Zoo is one of the best in the world, while there is also the Jurong Bird Park and Botanic Gardens if you want to get back to nature amongst this sprawling metropolis. Or if you want to see more of the city from a rather more unique perspective, take a river cruise around the quays.
The nightlife of Singapore is certainly interesting, with a vast array of bars and restaurants available to suit your own preferences, so whether it’s a relaxed meal or a more exciting night you’ve got planned, if you’ve the time to visit you won’t be short of options.
The city also has beaches where you can relax, particularly on Sentosa, an island just off the southern coast of the main island which has a long sheltered beach that provides the perfect place to unwind. It’s easily accessible via monorail.
Whether you’re in the city for a few hours or you bag yourself a longer visit, you’ll be amazed at the wealth of options available for things you can do and places to see during your trip to Singapore.
By Ian Lewis