Welcome to the dynamic cosmopolitan city-state that is uniquely Singapore - rich in contrasts and colour and a seamless fusion of cultures, cuisines, arts and architecture. Consisting of a main island and over 60 nearby islets, and in the heart of Southeast Asia, Singapore is in many ways the Orient in miniature, offering a host of exciting experiences just waiting to be enjoyed. With all its shopping malls, fast-food outlets, imported fashion and glittering skyscrapers, Singapore might at first look like any other flourishing 21st century city. Don’t be deceived. Just beneath that cosmopolitan outer skin the cultural heritage of the East is deeply embedded. In super-charged Singapore’s exotic fusion of Malay, Chinese and Indian values, religions, superstitions and memories – nothing is ever quite as it seems. Those toothless rickshaw-pullers and menacing opium dens may have surrendered to high-rise and hi-tech wizardry. But you can still relive the colonial past with a gin sling under the languid ceiling fans at the Raffles Hotel.
Yes, ‘Adventure’ is something it doesn’t really ‘do’– but look out for ‘Underwater World'', an incredible oceanarium that allows you to walk under the ocean via transparent tunnels to view the 5,000 tropical marine creatures including sharks, eels and other exotic fish. No less impressive is the Night Safari nature complex, home to over 900 animals of 135 exotic species in areas re-created to simulate different geographic zones of the world.
Nightlife & Party with Locals
Come sunset, the Lion City scene transforms itself into a buzzing hive of bars and nightclubs. Pubbing and clubbing here is a must if you want to feel the night-pulse of the city. Many of the bars and clubs have a vibrant local character. You''ll find restored Chinese go-downs pumping out rap or retro, trendy bars of glass-and-steel exteriors and Buddhist temple-style interiors, historic drinking dens that will take you back to the days of the Raj. The ‘golden triangle’ of nightspots (Zouk-Mohammed Sultan-Boat Quay) is all a short taxi hop from each other.
Gourmet Cuisine & Dining Out
Singaporeans eat and drink with a passion - and Singapore is a paradise for gourmets and gourmands alike. Prominent among over 30 different cooking styles are regional Chinese and Malay cuisines, with a host of other global options on offer. One of the best ways to eat is at one of the ubiquitous street food stalls. Restaurants range from the inexpensive and informal to the decidedly posh and budget-shrinking. Fast-food outlets are everywhere (with familiar international names in evidence), as are ‘designer’ coffee places – all infused with an unmistakable eastern flavour.
Singapore has lots of family attractions, including Singapore Zoo (with Night Safari, the world''s first night-time wildlife park), and at Sentosa’s Underwater World tropical oceanarium you can swim with dolphins and even (friendly) sharks.