Time difference: GMT +8 hours
Currency: Singapore Dollar
Flight time: 13 hours
Singapore is no longer just a stopover city, but a destination in itself. No longer just a route to pass through on your way to and from the Far East, Singapore has enjoyed a renaissance of late and is just waiting to be explore. Consistently high temperatures, sunshine and refreshing tropical showers make it ideal for year-round travel and, despite what we’ve just said, it is an ideal destination to break up a journey to the Far East or Australasia. Visitors wax lyrical about how the city blends east and west. It’s a curious mix of Malay, European and Chinese cultures with a sprinkle of India thrown in for good measure. There’s nowhere better to see this in action than in the city’s many different neighbourhoods.
The best way to do this is to tour the fabulous food scene. Signapore has become famous for its street eats and fine dining of all different flavours. Sample the hawker markets and high-end restaurants; often you’ll find them side by side. The city’s bazaars are lined with steaming street food stalls serving spicy laksa soups, sticky rendang and shredded chicken, or bowls piled with Haianese curry rice. Singapore’s Peranakan cuisine is melded from China, Malaysia and India, but the city is also home to a thriving Japanese population, so delicate sushi and pickled vegetables are never far away.
These contrasts are replicated all across the city, where incense-wreathed temples sit in the shadow of high-rise glass skyscrapers, sleek apartment blocks back onto acres of tangled jungle and old-school Singapore bumps up against its modern counterpart on a daily basis. Little India feels just like the backstreets of Mumbai, while the wet markets of Chinatown could be in Hong Kong. There are miles of malls, rows of shophouses filled with traditional stores or perhaps secret cocktail dens and mythical half-lion, half-fish monuments round each corner: it’s up to you to discover them. Sights you can’t miss include the entertainment complexes of Sentosa Island; the soaring ‘ship’ and its observation deck at the Marina Bay Sands complex or the stunning botanical gardens. Finish of your day with a Singapore Sling at the iconic Raffles Hotel and you’ve got Singapore style sorted.