Find out what happens when culture and modernization collide.
Singapore. What the heck is there to do in a country only three times larger than Washington D.C.? Well, the answer is, “Everything!” Couples, solo travelers and even families can have a great time in Singapore! Truth be told, you probably do not need more than a weekend to cover all your bases, but overall, this incredible city-state is a place worthy of your full fledged attention.
Even its airport is impressive. Widely known as “the airport with the most number of awards”, Singapore’s Changi Airport has over 420 awards under its belt, the latest of which is Skytrax’s esteemed World’s Best Airport 2013. With a butterfly park, movie theatre, sunflower garden, endless shopping and ample Luton airport parking, I recommend that you arrive a couple of hours earlier than you usually would to catch your outbound flight.
Photo By: Kumawo
A trip to Singapore is incomplete without a trip to the Merlion. This 8.6-meter tall statue has the head of a lion and body of a fish. Legend has it that a Prince who landed on the island saw a lion by the sea hence it’s name Singapura, which is Sanskrit for Lion (Singa) and City (Pura). He must have been smoking some really good stuff because lions are not native to South East Asia.
Overlooking the Merlion is the iconic Marina Bay Sands. The world’s most expensive hotel-casino-museum-mall-expo hub-theatre is to Singapore what the Eiffel Tower is to France. The best time to check out the view is at night as Marina Bay Sands hosts an incredible laser light show that includes music, video, water jets and bubbles. That’s right. Bubbles. Also don’t hesitate to head to the viewing platform on the 57th floor for majestic city-sea vistas.
Right by it is Gardens by the Bay. This massive park is home to 50-meter high man-made trees, giant horticultural domes and over half a million species of plants. Talk about epic modernization.
On the other hand, Kampong Glam, Little India and Chinatown will offer you a taste of Singapore’s eclectic cultural mix of Malay, Indian and Chinese heritage. From kitschy souvenir shopping to spicy chili crabs to pre-war temples to handwoven silk scarves, these traditional hotspots are not to be missed. Bring along your handy iPhone because the architecture, people and food are pictures you definitely want to Instagram.
Singapore is nothing if not a food haven. Char kuay teow (fried rice noodles), laksa (noodles in a curry-based coconut soup), and carrot cake must be devoured. Contrary to its name, carrot cake does not contain any carrots, but radish instead. Where it got its name from, I’ve no freaking idea, but it sure is yummy!
Singapore’s unique look and feel can be accredited to the fact that it is caught between the throes of all too quick modernization and an old-school cultural mentality. The result is a gorgeous kaleidoscope of things to see, do, eat and learn. So why not check it out for yourself? Just remember to set aside extra time for the airport.
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