Singapore’s strategic position has helped it grow into a major center for trade, communications and tourism. The clean attractions of this very modern city are a great way to relax. Singapore is a charming, reasonably relaxed and fairly green place with colorful ethnic districts and lots of markets and food courts.
Singaporean cuisine is an example of diversity and cultural diffusion in Singapore, with fusion of Chinese, Indian, Malay and Tamil influences. Local foods are diverse, ranging from Hainanese chicken rice to satay. Singaporeans also enjoy a wide variety of seafood including crabs, clams, squid and oysters. One such dish is stingray barbecued and served on banana leaf and with a condiment called sambal or chili.
- Hainanese Chicken Rice- It is one of the most popular dishes in Singapore. The chicken is cooked in pork and chicken stock to absorb their flavors. The rice itself is also cooked in chicken stock, ginger and garlic for flavor and fragrance.
- Chili Crab- One of Singapore’s most beloved dishes, chili crabs are hard-shell crabs cooked in tomato-chili based gravy. Then, the crabs are stir-fried in a paste of chili, ketchup and eggs.
- Laksa- Laksa is a spicy coconut soup with rice noodles. This Malay and Chinese fusion dish is also served with egg, fish cakes, shrimp and chicken.
- Hokkien Prawn Mee- It is egg noodles and rice noodles stir-fried with eggs, prawns, slices of chicken or pork. The noodles are flavored with soy sauce, vinegar and chili. The dish is also served with sambal sauce and lime wedges so you can add flavor to your taste.
Singapore has a lot of attractions to offer to its visitors, from the numerous nature parks to the museums and colonial monuments and buildings. Make sure to visit landmarks such as Chinatown, Botanical Garden, National Orchid Garden and Little India. Don’t forget to get a panoramic view of the city from Mount Faber. There is so much to do in Singapore that you will never be bored.
- Marina Bay- One of Singapore’s iconic sights, Marina Bay truly represents the luxurious cosmopolitan side of Singapore. The area is filled with hotels, casinos, restaurants, shopping centers, nightlife options and museums. At night, visitors can catch a stunning view of the city including a light show an 8 o’clock night show.
- Merlion Park- The park hosts Singapore’s icon Merlion, a mythical creature with a head of a lion and body of a fish. Fish originated from Singapore’s humble beginnings as a fishing village and the lion originates from the country’s original name “Singapura”, which means lion in Malay. The park’s 8 meter 70 ton statue continuously spouts from its mouth.
- Botanic Gardens- Singapore is not all about luxury modern metropolitan buildings. The Botanic Gardens treasures a piece of Singapore’s nature. Visitors can walk through the grounds and be allured by Singapore’s eco-friendly trails.
- Gardens by the Bay-The park fuses Singapore’s eco-friendliness with its cosmopolitan designs to create a futuristic park. The park features impressive gardens, greenhouses and environmental structures. Stop by the dome to witness the world’s tallest indoor waterfall.
- Night Safari- It is not just a zoo but also a leading conservation and research center in Asia. The zoo hosts more than 59 exhibits and 1,000 animals. With its impressive array of animals, the exhibits in the zoo are sure to fascinate visitors.
In the dazzling city, you can be sure that Singapore’s nightlife will go beyond your expectations. From pubs to clubs, Singapore does not fall short in the amount of options for visitors to feel the liveliness of the city at night. The daytime is only half of Singapore’s picture. Most bars have western style happy hour, where drinks are at a sharp discount. If you are hungry after bar hopping, there are always eatery cafes and coffee shops open nearby. Visit Clarke Quay that is filled with top-notch bars and pubs. Orchard Road, Singapore’s Rodeo Drive, is also a great place to go for lavish pubs, bars and lounges. To feel the livelihood of the city, refreshing breezes and the hottest beats, visit the Marina Bay Sands filled with the best clubs and venues Singapore offers.
Singapore’s national currency is the Singapore dollar (S$), also known as the singdollar. ATMs and money changers are widely available. Credit cards are also accepted in most businesses.
Customs & Languages
In Singapore, there is only one national language: Malay. Malays are recognized as the first people of Singapore due to their language and heritage. However, on their constitution, other official languages include: English, Mandarin, Malay, and Tamil (mainly due to the ethnic groups present during this time). Singapore’s culture is a combination of both Asian and European cultures, earning the name “East meets West”. In Singapore, you are not allowed to chew gum due to urban cleanliness. Make sure you set your auto-discovery setting off for WiFi. In Singapore, it is considered close to hacking under their Computer Misuse Act. Lastly, do not tip! It is not part of their cultural practice. In addition, service charge would usually be added to your bill already.
Here are some helpful words/phrases:
- Thank you — Terima kasih
- Hello — Hello
- Please — Sila
- Excuse me — Maafkan saya
- How much? — Berapa bayak?
- Where is the restroom? — Di manakah tandas?
Go to Singapore!
Travelers have a great time in Singapore. The tropical climate, sound of Chinese traders and sweet aroma of Indian food keeps tourist coming year round.