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Fabulous Singapore Sights And Sounds

SingaporeIf you have ever had the hankering to explore Asia then there can be no better starting point than the small island of Singapore. Some may describe Singapore as ‘Asia Lite’ due to the Westernized infrastructure and many expats who call it home (at least temporarily) but as an introduction to the sights and sounds of the region it has no equal.

Arriving at Changi International Airport one is immediately struck by a sense of order, everything is designed around the traveler and the experience of checking through this stunning airport is only a taste of what is to come. Taking a cab is effortless and in less than 30 minutes one is among the skyscrapers of this ultra modern city state.

From the backseat of the cab the stunning site of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel is catches ones attention almost immediately. The hotel is designed to resemble three upright stacks of cards, a salute no doubt to the casino which is only one of the attractions of this world class hotel. Venture to the roof and take in the amazing view from the rooftop bar with its infinity pool (unfortunately only for guests)and you will begin to get a sense of the excitement that is part and parcel of the Singapore experience.

The prices for accommodation at the Marina Bay Sands may not suit everyone’s pocket, however rest assured that there are plenty of other fine hotels in the city, including recognized international chains. There are also boutique hotels that may offer the adventurous traveler a slightly more authentic Singapore experience.

You are faced with numerous choices when it comes to the attractions that make Singapore world famous, however without a doubt one of the highlights of any trip to the city state must be the cuisine. Singapore is a melting pot of different cultures and this is reflected in the eclectic mix of different foods that are available from both gourmet restaurants and the numerous food courts or hawker markets as they are known that are found in almost every neighborhood.

For a sample of the delectable choice on offer look no further than Lau Pa Sat, which is right in the city center. Here you can enjoy one of the many curries on offer, including the famous fish head curry. However, for a dish that represents what is truly Singapore try the Chicken Rice, it’s justifiably renowned.

Just next door is Satay Street where every type of satay (small cubes of various types of meat on a skewer) can be had for very reasonable prices. Combined with a frosty beer this is food heaven.

However there is no need to confine your exploration of Singapore to the hawkers markets. Although this would be a perfect way to spend at least some of your time, there are plenty of other attractions.

Singapore’s Chinatown is well worth a visit, if only to pick up some mementos of your visit. Aside from the usual tourist trinkets one can also enjoy the vibrant and colorful scenery in the streets surrounding Chinatown, and obviously enjoy some excellent food from restaurants that specialize in Asian cuisine from all over the region.

If you want to experience one of the newest Singapore attractions then the S.E.A. Aquarium at Sentosa Island (don’t worry, no boat trip is needed, a monorail ride will get you where you need to go) might be just what you’re looking for. Just adjacent to the Universal Studios theme park (itself worth a visit) the aquarium is billed as the world’s largest and it delivers on excitement. You can spend an entire day taking in marine life from all over the globe at this fascinating attraction.

If you’re feeling the equatorial heat then within a 2 minutes walk from the aquarium entrance you will find Adventure Cove, which offers a brand new take on the water park experience. A day at the various attractions of Sentosa is absolutely perfect for those with young children as there s plenty to do and see, with both education and fun in equal helpings.

If you’re ready to begin exploring again and the experience of the Aquarium has left you wanting more of the nature then you are faced with a great choice. First in the list is the Singapore Zoo which s justifiably world famous. But if your day is too full then don’t despair, the Night Safari is a fantastic way to experience some of those animals that might not be active during the day. This is certainly an experience to remember.

Your second choice as far as experiencing the natural world is concerned is the Singapore Bird Park, which is again world class. This park is well worth at least an afternoon, as there are numerous attractions that you will not want to miss.

If you feel that your trip would not be complete without exploring Singapore’s fascinating past, then a trip to the Singapore National Museum should definitely be on your itinerary. Here you can experience the sights and sounds of yesteryear and find out the origins of what makes Singapore such an interesting destination.

If you’re willing to delve a little deeper you can also take a tour with a virtual guide who will lead you through a full multimedia experience of the very distant past up to present day. For those who enjoy history this is an experience that should not be missed.

One of the best things about exploring Singapore is that the public transportation system is both easy to navigate, clean and extremely efficient. Just like the rest of the city. So when you’re ready to relax you now that you will arrive at your next destination refreshed and ready for your next uniquely Singaporean experience.

At the end of the day why not seek refreshment of a different kind at the stylish and historic Raffles Hotel, a reflection of Singapore’s colonial past. While you are there make sure to order a Singapore Sling (containing a heady mix of gin, cherry brandy and pineapple juice) at the Long Bar, a relic of days gone by and a Singapore institution where the drink was first invented sometime around 1915.

When next you plan your vacation perhaps Singapore should be on the agenda. You’ll be glad you visited.

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