As an expensive destination to travel to, and having a thriving economy, Singapore can sometimes be overlooked when it comes to finalising an itinerary for a trip around Asia, but it really does deserve a place on the top of any travellers wish list.
It’s most definitely worth visiting this bustling and vibrant city-state, even if you can only afford to spend a few days there. You’ll find that there are more than enough attractions to keep you busy (you could easily spend weeks trying to experience everything there is to offer here) and you’ll probably leave feeling like you’ve had an enriching experience which has left you thirsty for more (with plenty of brilliant holiday snaps to remember the trip by too).
Asia’s a popular continent when it comes to the average backpacker’s wish list andSoutheast Asiain particular has some of the cheapest destinations you’ll come across. Singaporeseems to be an exception to this rule, but it’s likely you’ll have saved so much money on your trip through this amazing continent that you’ll be able to spend a few days living it up there.
Before we take a look at my recommended highlights of Singapore for those on a fleeting visit, let’s take a look at some interesting facts about the city: Singapore is ranked as the 4th most influential financial centre in the world, it is home to the world’s 2nd biggest casino gambling industry, has one of the busiest ports in the world and is home to more US Dollar millionaires than anywhere else on the planet (perhaps why the cost of living is so high here).
If you are lucky enough to spend some time in this marvellous place then don’t miss the following:
With a host of unique attractions, the Singapore Zoo is said to be one of the best in the world (are you starting to see the pattern with Singapore?), perhaps one of the most popular attractions of all though is the fantastic ‘Breakfast with an Orangutan’ experience which allows the masses of tourists who flock to see it a chance to get up close and personal with these amazing primates. You’ll get a tasty breakfast whilst the Orangutan’s get theirs, and there’s only a small barrier in between you and these gentle giants which makes the experience that little bit more special.
Another popular attraction is the ‘Elephants at Work & Play’ show where the caretakers of these majestic giants (known as ‘Mahouts’) show you how they would work with the elephants in a typical elephant logging camp to move logs logs from within a forest through tough terrain with only minimal damage to the surrounding forest. It’s a brilliant way to see how the mahouts interact with the elephants on a daily basis.
This fantastic island will keep you busy for some time if you want to explore everything it has to offer. From beautiful beaches to golf courses, a glitzy casino and even a Universal Studios with 7 exciting themed zones, there really is something for everyone here. You can either cross a bridge to the island or, if you’re feeling adventurous and have a head for heights, why not take the fabulous cable car across to the island and enjoy the brilliant views and spectacular photo opportunities on the way.
The Merlion Park, and the Merlion statue that resides in it, is one of Singapore’s most popular tourist attractions and many thousands of tourists flock to see it each year. The Merlion – with the head of a lion and body of a fish – is said to resemble a weird and wonderful creature once seen by a Sumatran prince in the days of legend and it represents Singapore’s ancient history as a thriving sea town.
Completed in 1972, the iconic statue weighs in excess of 40 tonnes and reaches around 26ft in height, facing the bay of Singapore and spewing forth a torrent of water from its mouth, it makes for a spectacular photo opportunity and it’s easy to see why it’s such a popular attraction with tourists visiting this magnificent city-state.
If you like the statue then make sure you head to the 120ft high version on Sentosa island which has a viewing platform in the mouth that you can climb up to, a chance to get some more brilliant photo’s to remember your trip by.
If you fancy splashing the cash for a day then the world famous Raffles Hotel is the place to visit. Built in 1899 and with its imposing colonial style architecture, the hotel is one of the most famous landmarks in Singapore and has been the haunt of the rich and famous (past and present) for some time. The hotel is also the home of the equally famous ‘Singapore Sling’ and it would be a crime to visit the city and not experience this cocktail in the place where it was originally invented (don’t forget to take part in the time honoured tradition of throwing your empty peanut shells on the floor).
Last, but by no means least, the Night Safari is a tourist attraction not to be missed, extremely popular with tourists (expect it to be busy) and an amazing experience that will give you a unique opportunity to experience how nocturnal animals act in their natural habitat.
Everything’s been designed to make it look as close to nature as possible and you won’t see any fences or glass screens between you and the animals as the electric fencing and moats are carefully hidden to make it feel like you’re in the enclosure with the animals.
You can take a tram ride through the zoo to experience everything it has to offer, and there’s a brilliant ‘creatures of the night’ show which will keep the kids happy (if you have them in tow) and appeal to all ages.
In conclusion; a visit to Singapore is definitely worth the extra expense and you’re sure to be pleased with this amazing desination. Whether you want to spend your time relaxing on an exotic beach, gambling the night away, blasting the plastic in the excellent shopping malls, simply just take in all the sights, Singapore really has it all.
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