Luxury Holidays to Singapore
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.
Singapore AdventureYes, ‘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 LocalsCome 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 OutSingaporeans 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.
Family HolidaysSingapore 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.
Singapore’s multi-cultural heritage is an assurance of a busy events diary for the city – with religious and, cultural festivities and sporting challenges often competing simultaneously for attention. Some of the major occasions shown below will give you the flavour!
January/MarchSingapore''s Chinese New Year celebrations are the highlight of the year, with all the Chinese districts lit up – and cultural performances, a Chinese bazaar and spectacular fireworks, not forgetting the great Chingay Parade of floats and performers down Orchard Road. Chinese New Year itself is on 18 February.
MarchThis month’s OSIM Singapore Golf Masters is one of Asia''s richest international tournaments. The Singapore Fashion Festival features glamorous fashion shows in Singapore''s major malls and small designer shows in chic city boutiques.
AprilThe Singapore International Film Festival features over 200 films celebrating the best in Asian and world cinema.
MayAttracting a top international field to Kranji Racecourse, the Singapore Airlines International Cup is one of the world''s richest horse races. The Singapore Arts Festival is the hottest ticket for performing arts in the Far East, juxtaposing top names of Asian and western dance, theatre and music. Vesak Day at the end of the month is a major date on the Buddhist calendar and commemorates Lord Buddha''s entry into Nirvana with prayers, ceremonies and candlelit procession.
JuneThe Singapore Street Festival, inspired by popular culture, takes place on and around Orchard Road. The Dumpling Festival sees Singapore racing dragon boats and consuming thousands of dumplings at this bizarre and colourful festival.
JulyThe Singapore Dance Theatre brings Ballet UnderThe Stars to Fort Canning Park in one of Singapore''s most popular outdoor arts events. Gourmets may prefer the Singapore Food Festival, a month-long epicurean extravaganza, featuring themed weekends, international chefs and a plethora of cooking demonstrations.
AugustSingaporeans celebrate their National Day of Independence with fireworks, a military parade and imaginative cultural displays. From traditional tunes to fusion rhythms and the dance of ancient cultures, WOMAD is the last word on festivals of music and dance from around the world.
September/OctoberThe Mid-Autumn Moon Cake Festival commemorates China''s freedom from Mongolian rule. Rejoicing resonates throughout Singapore with grand parades, extravagant performances, moon cakes and lanterns to light the way. Deepvali, the Hindu Festival of Lights, celebrates the symbolic victory of Good over Evil and brings in the New Year for Hindus. Little India is ablaze with diyas (clay pots), fairy lights and garlands for several weeks.
OctoberThe end of Ramadan sees the Muslim festival of Hari Raya Puasa (Aidil Fitr) when the streets of the Geylang Serai area sport lights and fantastic decorations.
NovemberThe Singapore River comes alive during the spectacular annual dragon boat racing regatta, with over 2,000 participants and 100 teams. The Singapore Open on Sentosa Island is Asia''s richest golf tournament, when Asia’s best players and selected top international golfers display their skills. During the Singapore River Buskers'' Festival talented street performers from around the world gather for one of Asia’s largest street entertainment festivals.
DecemberDecember sees Hari Raya Haji (Eid al-Adha), an important date in the Muslim religious calendar, marking the pilgrimage to Mecca.
Singapore has long been a name synonymous with energy, enterprise and skill. Today this island city-state has become a commercial power-house and a tourist mecca. Whether your stay is long or short, you’ll be impressed by Singapore’s vibrant fusion of past and future. There’s far more to today’s Singapore than its reputation as a clean, safe, sophisticated destination! You’ll find serene manicured gardens overlooked by glittering skyscrapers; state-of-the-art transportation and world-class cultural programmes; shopping fantasies fulfilled in street markets and designer malls; mouth-watering culinary delights from local street stalls to international fine dining – all infused with an unmistakable eastern flavour.