A small City-State on the strait of Malacca, Singapore is nonetheless an Asian giant.
Only 50 years after its independence, the city has grown on the resources of its huge commercial harbor and, more recently, tourism activity. The government is strict but has managed to rank Singapore in a race for futurism with other cities like Dubai , Hong Kong or Shanghai. You will also discover a sensational cultural and religious diversity in Singapore. Chinese, Indians and westerners mix here in a climate of tolerance and order.
The major and spectacular landmarks lay around Marina Bay, where strollers meander on immaculate sidewalks. You will find the Merlion statue, a fountain lion, and the Singapore Flyer, the highest Ferris wheel in the world. Gardens by the Bay and its gigantic iron trees are a creative combination of urban environment and nature, and has also given Singapore the nickname ‘garden city’. The most impressive realization is Marina Bay Sands. The hotel’s roof contains an outdoor swimming pool 650 feet above the ground with breath taking scenery of the surrounding buildings.
“Singapore’s food culture (…) embodies the memory and the history of a city so desperately geared towards its future”
Head then to Chinatown, a hot touristic spot in town. Visit the Hindu temple of Sri Mariamman as well as Buddha Tooth and Relic Temple. Chinatown Heritage Center tells the thrilling story of the Chinese community in Singapore. Keep going and reach Little India to shop and admire the stalls of Tekka Center. Not far, you will be propelled to the Middle East on Arab Street, where you can visit the beautiful Sultan Mosque.
Singapore’s food culture is rich with these cultural influences. It embodies the memory and the history of a city so desperately geared towards its future. To have a taste of the best meals, go to a Hawker Center, where a hungry crowd rushes to reach their favorite restaurant, in a square room all dedicated to food. Tian Tian, at Maxwell Center, is THE restaurant to enjoy the specialty, the famous, simple and tender chicken rice. You must also try Bak Kut Teh, boiled pork ribs, at Chinatown’s Hawker.
Have a stroll at the end of the day on Orchard road, a busy boulevard where mall Ion and Wisma Atria shelters the most popular international brands. For an aerial dinner, take a cable car to the Jewel Box, that sits on the hills overlooking the city. Otherwise, keep some height and cultivate your style while drinking a glass of wine in one of the famous roof bars in the city center, such as Lantern, Fullerton Bay Hotel’s bar.
Dream: Raffles Hotel is a luxury hotel of colonial style. If you do not sleep there, have a drink at the bar. It is so beautiful it is an attraction on its own.
Design: On Sentosa Island, Sentosa Resort & Spa is a design hotel with a garden and a spa, far away from the city’s hustle and bustle.
Good Deal: Big Hotel offers an interesting price/quality ratio with modern rooms and a central location.
A figure: Lee-Kuan Yew, the founding father of the City-State in 1965. An authoritarian but dynamic leader, he has favored Singapore’s economic boom. When he died in March 2015, Barack Obama called him a ‘visionary’.
A color: the purple sky of Singapore by night. Futurist.
A movie: Saint Jack produced by Peter Bogdanovich. An American pimp tries his luck and opens a brothel in the booming Singapore of the 70’s.
A symbol: The Merlion, this lion with the body of a fish is the emblematic statue of the city.