Trips to Southeast Asia will not be complete without a stop in the fascinating city-state of Singapore. Indeed, the former British colony is often the preferred gateway to the region thanks to its strategic location, impressive infrastructure, and variety of entertainment options. There is something here for everyone from the budget traveler to the most discriminating holiday-maker.
The Pull of Singapore
The country is certainly known for its affluence with a GDP per capita that ranks among the highest in the world. It has soaring skyscrapers that many of the largest multinational companies call home. Urban planning is second to none with a modern transport system that makes tours a breeze. The crime rate is among the lowest of any nation enabling foreigners can go around with confidence at any time of the day. This is certainly a good thing as there are plenty of sites to visit within this relatively small area.
English is widely spoken because of British influence. Most of the street signs, posters, and billboards are also in English so even those who are coming here for the first time should be able to navigate their way around the city just fine. Most locals have a mix of Chinese, Malay, and Indian heritage. There is also a sizeable population of expatriates from every corner of the globe making this a true melting pot.
Luxury Holidays in the Lion City
Singapore is an ideal luxury holidays destination with plenty of fine establishments ready to provide impeccable service. Unlike other tourist spots, there are no stunning beaches, magnificent mountains, or ancient temples to see here. What the city-state offers is entertainment wrapped in an ultra-modern package. This can be clearly seen in its integrated resorts that feature five-star hotels, casinos, shopping malls, convention centers, and museums. There are also theme parks that kids will surely love, as well as nature reserves, zoos, and gardens for those looking for a respite from the concrete jungle.
The area around the bay has been developed into a glitzy section that is comparable to Sydney Harbour. It even has an equivalent for the famous Opera House with the Esplanade Theaters that resemble the durian fruit. There is a futuristic garden with giant artificial trees that light up at night. The Singapore Flyer mimics the London Eye and gives passengers the chance to see the bustling metropolis from a great height. A track also hosts the annual Formula 1 Grand Prix as well as other racing events.
High rollers can check out the Marina Bay Sands Casino that is open 24 hours a day. It has 1,500 slot machines and 600 gaming tables for guests who would like to try their luck in games of chance. The now iconic Sands SkyPark lets visitors dine in restaurants 55 stories high and swim in an infinity pool with an incredible view of the city below.
This small island used to be a British fortress in World War II but it has since been converted into an enticing tourist attraction that draws locals and foreigners alike. The Resorts World complex is the busiest part of the island. It includes a casino which was the first of its kind to open in the country. It is located under the Crockfords Tower hotel and has 500 gaming tables offering traditional and Asian favorites.
The Universal Studios theme park is a family favorite with seven different themed zones. The main attraction is the Battlestar Galactica rollercoaster that has two tracks simultaneously loaded with passengers, with each track offering a different experience. Voyage de la Vie, an epic circus theater performance, can be seen at Festive Grand. There are lots of restaurants and stores for souvenirs at the nearby VivoCity mall. Locals also like to go to Sentosa to hit the beaches and take a stroll in the botanical gardens.
This Mecca of avid shoppers features a vast network of high-end shopping malls that carry almost every major brand on the market. Its name was derived from the orchards that populated the area in the 1800s. These may be long gone but the large trees that line the road provide a welcome burst of green in the busy shopping district.
Walking along the road is a treat in itself with eye-catching décor found on every storefront. As Christmas approaches, the district goes full throttle in providing shoppers with visual delights that celebrate the season. There is an endless array of restaurants to go to when hunger strikes. Remarkable museums are also nearby for lovers of art and history.