“The only shopping center in the UN”, “Asian Milan” and “Skyscraper Island” are just one-hundredth of the labels that have stuck to Singapore over the past 50 years. But this is enough to get an idea of this micro-state at the equator. Places to visit in Singapore.
Even the famous draconian bans, according to which there is a dollar fine with two zeros for the import of chewing gum, and 10 years in prison for oral sex, do not in any way affect the multimillion-dollar flow of the curious. After all, secretly every foreign tourist hopes: about the fines – this is still the grandmother said in two, but the future, to which Europe will live for another 100 years, can be touched for sure. Indeed, in Singapore, it is already a reality.
Read carefully! The inscription on the local souvenirs “Singapore is a fine city!” Is not only a tourist slogan but also an unequivocal warning. The word “fine” means both “fine” and “fine” to the same extent. Even for the slightest violation such as bad language, smoking in public places, or (well, you never know) cheating on exams, you will have to pay at least $ 300. And for the forbidden oral sex here, and even more – $ 8000. Or, alternatively, serve 10 years in a local prison.
Places to visit in Singapore
The Singapore Zoo Night Attachment (behind the fence) is the only way to feel like Indiana Jones in a totally landscaped metropolis. In the gloomy jungle, you can travel by tram with Japanese pensioners, but it’s better on foot – there is a chance to stumble upon a family of tigers or a crocodile rookery. Just in case, all the predators are securely fenced off, and the navigation in the park is excellent.
The most popular form of transport on this small island is bicycles. You can rent it right near the boat station – and go to travel along mangrove swamps, plantations of coconut and rubber trees, fish farms, and virgin fields. The main attraction of the island is Cape Chek Java, which was a coral reef several thousand years ago. From its tip, you can look at the various inhabitants of the underwater world: sea urchins, stingrays, stars, colorful fish, and corals. For the convenience of tourists, wooden bridges have been laid along the cape.
The Sands SkyPark Observation Deck is located on the 55th floor of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel, at a height of 200 meters. This is one of the most popular spots in glossy magazines around the world – mainly because of the pool, where you can swim with stunning views of Singapore’s high-rises. Alas, access to the pool and lush gardens next door is only open to hotel guests. But the observation deck and restaurants on it are available to everyone.
The founders of the park are the Chinese brothers How Par, who built their creation in 1935 to introduce Singaporeans to the rich Chinese traditions. The brothers created over 1000 statues that tell about ancient Chinese legends, historical facts, and the teachings of Confucius. The park turned out to be creepy: scenes of torture and bloody battles, huge monsters, and frightening grimaces. What were the almost real 10 circles of hell or the composition with the wrestler Wu Song, who fought with the tiger with his bare hands? An exact copy of the American Statue of Liberty was also installed here so that guests of the park who did not have the opportunity to get to the United States could still look at it.
In 1985, Howe Par Villa Gardens was transformed into an amusement park. Today Singaporeans call this park “China Disneyland”: hundreds of statues are collected here that move, blink, and growl with the help of modern technology. Some of the statues have changed attractions – for example, the “Tiger Car”, an antique car painted to resemble a tiger, appeared in the Gardens.
The roof of the grand Esplanade Theater on the shores of Marina Bay was constructed from 7,000 glass shells. For this reason, the locals instantly dubbed the building “durian” – a prickly tropical fruit. Inside the theater, there is a 1600-seat concert hall with unique acoustics (the Singapore Symphony Orchestra regularly performs there), another 2000-seat hall, a theater studio, exhibition spaces, as well as cafes, restaurants, and shops.-
Do not miss
The Esplanade regularly hosts free concerts and offers a 45-minute paid tour, during which you will be shown interesting technical possibilities – from the effect of being in different rooms to complete sound absorption.
by the way
You can look at other extraordinary buildings in the photo gallery “The most incredible buildings on the planet.”
This fountain, entered in 1998 in the Guinness Book of Records as the largest in the world, was designed according to all the rules of feng shui. The combination of elements is also taken into account – metal (bronze) and water in a certain proportion, and the orientation to the cardinal points, and the shape – a ring on a four-legged stand, and, of course, the direction of water – it flows from top to bottom and from outside to inside, that is, it does not allow wealth and welfare “flow away”.
There is a belief that in order to increase income and achieve success in business, you need to touch the water of the fountain. In order for everyone to have the opportunity to do this, the jets of the main fountain are turned off three times a day – only the small fountain in the center continues to work. Anyone can touch the jet and go around the fountain counterclockwise. You can wait until the fountain turns off in one of the many cafes of the Suntec City shopping and entertainment complex, part of the architectural ensemble of which the Fountain of Wealth is.
Over the past 200 years, what has never been in this place: pepper plantations, nutmeg plantations, Chinese and Jewish cemeteries, urban settlements, etc. It is not known how long this leapfrog would have continued if it had not been for the enterprising Chinese Tan Chun Keng. In the 1930s, this cunning businessman first ventured to open a store here overlooking the cemetery – TANGS (it still stands at 320 Orchard Road). Orchard Road owes its current glory to the smart Chinese as the main shopping street in Southeast Asia.
From time to time, all the main boutiques, shopping malls, and hotels of the city have been registered in the neighbors of the daredevil. Minus: The main carnage of the Grand Singapore Sale takes place here. Plus: you can hide from the crowd without leaving Orchard Road – with clubs, cafes and restaurants here it is even better than with shops.
5 main malls of Orchard Road
- ION Orchard. The most futuristic of the Orchard Road malls with Louis Vuitton, the largest megastore in Southeast Asia.
- TANGS. Orchard Road Legend: 80 Years of History and Singapore’s Best Beauty Store.
- Ngee Ann City. The Japanese enclave in the heart of Singapore is the flower of Japanese commerce under one roof.
- 313 Somerset @. Largest Zara or UNIQLO stores in Southeast Asia.
- Lucky Plaza. Singaporean relatives of the Moscow Gorbushka.
The quality local brand 77th Street is very popular with fans of youth fashion and street fashion on Orchard Road. Tangs Orchard Mall sells clothing, cosmetics, and accessories. Fans of Japanese design should take a closer look at the Takashimaya department store in the Ngee Ann City mall, where, in addition to Japanese brands, Zara, Tommy Hilfiger, and others are represented.
The futuristic ION Orchard mall with 400 stores and the pretentious Paragon with exclusive Prada and Gucci collections are opposed by the relatively budgetary Far East Plaza shopping center, which regularly holds sales. Families with children love the Forum mall with Toys “R” Us, Kids 21, and Guess Kids. Parents do not offend themselves by popping into Tsumori Chisato or Club 21b.
Be sure to check out Keepers, which has a collection of unique items from local designers. Brands such as Dzogchen, Gnome & Bow, Code Deco, Aijek are not yet well known to local fashionistas, as well as to lovers of original perfumery and gastronomy. Here you can also take part in masterclasses and performances or meet young designers.
The temple gate, which looks like a huge wedding cake, is one of the most widely replicated views of Singapore. Walking in Sri Mariamman, you can kill two birds with one stone: see the most beautiful Hindu shrine of the island and Singapore’s Chinatown (by a strange whim of the city authorities, for some reason the Indian temple was built in the heart of Chinatown). Lay on the hike for at least a couple of hours: the “cake” is decorated with a hundred figurines of blue gods, pink people, and white cows – and you will probably want to look at all of them in more detail.
A local variation of Disneyland. Tourists call it that, although in fact the attraction is made based on the films of another Hollywood studio, Universal Pictures: Jurassic Park, Shrek, Madagascar, etc. about to open. It is better to book tickets in advance.
If “Little India” was not in Singapore, it would definitely be worth investing. At least so that the urban landscape does not seem too bland. However, everything worked out by itself. In the 19th century, Indian migrant workers from pepper plantations began to settle here, and after a couple of decades, their barracks expanded into an entire Indian quarter. The area turned out to be not colorful in Singapore: with shocking holidays, the heartbreaking aroma of incense and countless jewelry workshops, etc. For 100 years, a completely new city with skyscrapers, giant shopping malls, and sterile sidewalks has grown on the island, but in Little India, everything has remained as old.
An absolutely indispensable address if you need to buy sarees, curries, or cheap gold. And also – if you are drawn to real India, but it’s scary. Singaporean India will be no worse, but much safer. At least in the sanitary and hygienic sense.
This is the best entertainment on Sentosa for young naturalists and zoologists. The fauna of the entire planet is collected on the territory of 20 hectares of the park! It is home to 300 species of butterflies and 3,000 insect species, as well as over 7,000 exotic birds. Talking macaw parrots, huge herculean beetles and scorpions, the magnificent Machaon butterfly and Atlas Peacock-eye, flamingos, penguins, and eagles – it is easy to get stuck studying the wildlife in the park for the whole day. Here you can also visit the exhibition, which tells the evolution of the origin of insects, and see how life was born in Live Pupae House.
And the most active and fearless will learn to hold scorpions in their hands and will visit Insect Safari, where they will be taught to find insects “camouflaged” under the external environment.
According to local legend, this mysterious creature – half-lion, half-fish – has long lived in Singapore waters and protects the city from all sorts of misfortunes. It will incinerate the enemy squadron with a fiery gaze, then it will calm down a terrible hurricane. In gratitude, the Singaporeans erected a statue of Merlion on the waterfront of the city, and his images have become a kind of visiting card and trademark of Singapore.
The “original” 8-meter Merlion with a stream of water erupting from its mouth stands on the Marina Bay promenade at the mouth of the Singapore River in the park of the same name. And its more modern copy, 37 meters high, was built on Sentosa Island (indicated on the map).
In the mouth and on the head of the Sentosa Merlion there are two viewing platforms from which you can view the whole of Singapore. Aquariums with fish and chests with pirate treasures are hiding in the “belly” of the monster. There are 5 “official” copies of the statue in Singapore, and another Merlion stands in California’s Silicon Valley.
Labyrinths of streets with wooden houses, antique and tea shops, “offices” of magicians and astrologers, dozens of open-air cafes – this is all Chinatown, the historical center of Singapore, the majority of whose inhabitants – if you suddenly did not know – are ethnic Chinese.
The center of Chinatown is left to the mercy of tourists: the street trade in simple, but mega-cheap souvenirs rage here around the clock, and on Club Street, you can always find the performance of some wandering artists or acrobats. And of course, wherein Chinatown is without traditional delicacies: Peking duck, steamed dumplings and a bunch of different soups from incomprehensible ingredients – no one will go hungry!
It is in Chinatown that the oldest temples in Singapore are located. Ironically, they are not Chinese at all: the very first mosque of the city stands on Mosque Street, and the world-famous Hindu temple Sri Mariamman is located on South Bridge Road.
Once upon a time, pirates lived on the island of Sentosa, then a British military base was based, and now Sentosa is a sea of greenery, good beaches, and a lot of entertainment for every taste.
The island is home to Asia’s largest Underwater World, Universal Studio, the Singapore Founders Museum, and much, much more. The surroundings of the island and Singapore itself can be viewed from the Merlion observation tower, and in the evening you can admire the “Songs of the Sea” laser show.
You can get from Singapore to Sentosa by ferry, along the embankment road, and also by cable car. However, many visitors to Singapore prefer the greenery of Sentosa to the concrete jungle of Singapore – fortunately, there are plenty of hotels here.
The embankment is named after Sir Andrew Clark, the second governor of Singapore. And quay is a dock in the bay for loading and unloading ships. Once on this embankment on the banks of the Singapore River, port life was in full swing: cargo from the holds of ships was unloaded to warehouses and docks, and in their place, new goods were loaded to be sent to distant lands.
The entire Clarke Key area in downtown Singapore has now become a respectable neighborhood. In the buildings of the former port warehouses, there are now expensive boutiques and restaurants, and in the Chinese junks moored forever, there are noisy bars and cafes.
Singaporean ex-pats consider Clarke Key the best place in the city for leisurely evening walks – firstly, there is always a cool breeze from the river here, secondly, wide pedestrian streets are a rarity for Singapore, and thirdly, the choice of bars, restaurants, and the nightlife in Clarke Key is really huge.
As you know, the British cannot live without well-groomed gardens and perfect lawns, so the first botanical garden in Singapore was founded back in 1822 by the famous founder of the city, Sir Stamford Raffles. Almost two hundred years later, the Singapore Botanic Garden is considered the world’s leading equatorial botanical garden. Practically all tropical plants known to science are collected on its vast territory; the garden’s researchers regularly go on expeditions to find new samples. And in the “garden of evolution,” you can look at plants that existed on our Earth thousands of years ago.
The crown jewel of the Singapore Botanic Gardens collection is Orchid National Park with 60,000 (imagine!) Species of these tropical flowers. The local collection of orchids is the largest in the world.
After the painstaking work of landscape designers, the botanical garden was divided into four color zones: spring (with plants with bright shades of yellow and cream), summer (red), autumn (burgundy), and winter (white and purple).
The Museum of Asian Civilizations preserves and explores the historical and cultural heritage of the peoples of Asia. The entire exposition of the museum is divided into five parts: Singapore, Southeast Asia, Western Asia, China, and South Asia. The thematic halls display national costumes, household items, jewelry, and works of art from many peoples inhabiting and inhabiting Asia.
There are many peoples in Asia, so the size of the exposition is appropriate. True, monitors with presentations and audio guides in different languages come to the aid of tourists everywhere.
One of the oldest museums in Singapore opened in 1887. It was founded by the first governor of the city, Sir Stamford Raffles. Today, the National Museum is, without exaggeration, an architectural icon of Singapore. The old neoclassical building has a modern glass and metal case.
Inside, there is an impressive exhibition dedicated mainly to the history of Singapore and its people. In recent years, several new halls have been opened here – for example, dedicated to national cuisine or cinema. On the basis of the museum, various master classes such as painting on porcelain are also regularly held, but you need to sign up for them in advance.
The museum has a cafe, restaurant, and gift shop.
The first fortification at this place on Sentosa Island was built by the British back in 1880. During World War II, the fort was supposed to defend the city from the sea: the British approached the issue thoroughly and equipped the fort with bomb shelters, fortified artillery positions, and built a real underground fortress. However, all this was not so useful: the Japanese troops captured the fort from land, which the British, apparently, did not expect.
Now in Fort Siloso, there is an interactive museum that will delight any boy, regardless of age. Installations with realistic wax figures take visitors back half a century, and a collection of cannons will do honor to any European military museum.
A special tram runs from the main gate of Sentosa Island to the fort.
The elegant colonial building of the Raffles Hotel was built on this site in 1887 by the famous dynasty of hoteliers – the Sargsyan brothers (they have a dozen more luxurious hotels opened in Georgetown, Yangon and Indonesia). At the end of the 19th century, the Armenian community was very influential, and many of the largest and most famous hotels in Singapore belonged to Armenian families. But in terms of status, luxury, the number of celebrities who stayed here, none of the hotels could compete with Raffles.
The owners named their “brainchild” in honor of Sir Thomas Stamford Bingley Raffles – the founder of Singapore, a prominent statesman of the British Empire. At the time of its opening, the hotel was one of the most modern buildings in the city – electricity was installed in all ten rooms. Today the hotel has more than a hundred apartments, each with an individual design, luxurious carpets, antiques, and expensive etchings on the walls.
One of the first guests of the hotel was the English writer Joseph Conrad, author of the novella Heart of Darkness and the novel Nostromo. Later, Rudyard Kipling and Somerset Maugham stayed in these rooms. Maugham was so in love with this place that he called it nothing more than “the fairy tale of the East.”
The hotel has 12 personalized suites named after famous guests, including Charlie Chaplin. Ryu Murakami made the hotel the protagonist of The Raffles Hotel. And it was here, at Raffles, that the film was filmed based on his book. There is a legend that at the local theater Vertinsky first performed the now forgotten, but wildly popular in the 30s of the XX century song “Tango” Magnolia “:” In banana-lemon Singapore, in a storm … “
On the ground floor of the hotel is the famous Long Bar, which was popular with Asian travel aficionados such as Ernest Hemingway and Somerset Maugham. The Singapore Sling cocktail was also invented here.
The origin of the main relic of Singaporean Buddhists – the tooth of the Buddha – has been fiercely debated for many years. According to the official version, it was brought here from Myanmar, according to another – no tooth actually exists.
According to legend, after the cremation of the Buddha, his disciples took out four teeth from the funeral pyre. One tooth is kept in the city of Kandy in Sri Lanka, one in Beijing, another one seems to have been recently discovered in Mongolia, and the fate of the fourth is shrouded in darkness.
Be that as it may, it will still not be possible to see the tooth itself – mere mortals are shown only a casket covered with jewels behind the glass. But you can get a good look at the ornate building in traditional Chinese style and wander through the local museum, which contains an interesting collection of temple utensils and Buddhist relics.
In such a tiny state as Singapore, there was still a place even for a whole reserve. True, it looks more like a park – with cobbled paths, paved steps, and equipped with all the necessary recreation areas. There are detailed maps of the paths at every intersection, and signs for the lost are hung on the trees everywhere.
While walking through the park, you can see in detail a real tropical rain forest, and if you’re lucky, even meet one of its inhabitants. Once, they say, these places were infested with tigers, but now no one threatens the safety of visitors. Bukit Tima National Park is located in the west of Singapore, and you can get there by city bus.
The Singapore Museum of Art is housed in an austere colonial building, a former boys’ school. Opened in January 1996, today it is famous for its grand collection of 20th-century Asian art, which is the most complete in the world.
The museum has close ties with many European and Asian “brothers” – the Guggenheim Museum, Shanghai and Seoul art museums. Thanks to this fact, you can see temporary exhibitions from their collections here almost all the time. Music performances are often held at the Singapore Art Museum in the evenings.
By the way, The restoration of the building has recently been carried out. Now the halls of the museum are equipped with ultra-modern climatic equipment, there is a lecture hall and a hall for events.
Five boys push each other into the water next to the bridge overlooking Saiboo Street.
The 10-meter installation called “Planet” is located on the green lawn of Gardens by the Bay and represents a sleeping boy – the son of the famous British sculptor Mark Quinn, who became the author of the work. A gigantic baby (the weight of the sculpture is 7 tons) rests on special, barely noticeable supports, and from the side, it seems that the child is suspended in the air against the background of Singapore skyscrapers.
The giant bronze sculpture is intended to become one of the new symbols of the city. According to Quinn, she demonstrates beauty, naturalness, and at the same time vulnerability of people and the planet on which we live.
Gardens by the Bay Park is one of the largest architectural and landscape projects in the world. Its construction lasted five years, starting in 2007. The park consists of greenhouses that look like huge shells, as well as lawns and outdoor areas. The main symbols of the Gardens are 18 futuristic trees from 25 to 50 meters high, connected by tunnels and bridges. Some of them have observation decks on the tops.
Every evening in the futuristic park there is a free 15-minute music and light show “Garden Rhapsody”.
Everything is possible at the Trick Eye Museum. For example, sit on the back of a giant baby, ride a mammoth, shrink to an unprecedented size, or become a circus star. There are no rules or prohibitions here at all: you can touch all the exhibits with your hands, sit and lie on them. All paintings are made in such a way that each visitor can become part of the composition and take a picture. For the convenience of guests, there are special marks on the floor to create realistic pictures.
The Science and Art Museum, designed by renowned architect Moshe Safdie, is part of the futuristic Marina Bay Sands Singapore complex. The structure is built in the form of a huge lotus flower, which in Buddhism is a symbol of purity. The building material was fiberglass, commonly used for yacht construction. Rainwater entering a special reservoir is used for water supply in the museum’s plumbing system.
Inside the museum, there are two dozen galleries dedicated to art, technology, history, architecture, world culture, and design. The permanent exhibition covering scientific discoveries that have changed the world – from Da Vinci’s flying car to nanotechnological innovations – occupies only three sections. The rest of the halls are used for temporary exhibitions. The museum is unusual in that most of the exhibits are presented in the form of multimedia art objects.
This small museum in the Arab quarter contains a huge number of toys from different eras: soldiers, big dolls, porcelain dolls, funny robots from the 70s and 80s, dollhouses, and even the first electronic games, in the style of our “Well, wait a minute.” Copies of the exhibits, as well as many other toys, can be bought at the local shop at the museum.
The hotel complex Siloso Beach Resort on Sentosa Island is built in accordance with the basic principles of eco-architecture. Firstly, during its construction, recycled and natural materials were used – recycled wood, bamboo, sea stones. Secondly, the air conditioning system has practically been abandoned here – a green roof contributes to maintaining natural coolness in the premises. To neutralize carbon dioxide emissions, the hotel employees plant dozens of new trees every year. And in order to preserve the local flora and fauna outside the complex, a whole system of artificial ponds was created, walking and cycling paths were laid along which it is convenient to walk.
The Parkroyal on Pickering skyscraper was built using the most modern eco-technologies. Its façade is surrounded by green spaces – vertical gardens that not only decorate the building but also absorb dust and carbon dioxide and generate oxygen. Countless palms, lianas, flowering shrubs occupy a vast area of 15,000 square meters. m, which is almost twice as much as in the neighboring Hong Lim Park. Inside the hotel, the most modern energy-saving technologies are also introduced: automatic light sensors, solar panels that convert energy into electricity, and a rainwater harvesting system that is used to water the garden.
The Singapore Academy of Construction or Zero Energy Building (ZEB) is perhaps the greenest building in Singapore. Thanks to the innovative eco-design, the building’s energy consumption does not exceed its production. For example, rooftop solar panels save $ 84,000 per year over conventional office buildings. Other “eco-things” also contribute to minimizing energy: energy-efficient Low-E glass, motion sensors, natural light supply, and a personalized ventilation system. Instead of air conditioning, vertical gardens are responsible for the coolness, enveloping the facade of the building with a dense wall.
St. Joseph’s Church is one of the most beautiful in Southeast Asia. It hosts not only services but also the Biennale of Contemporary Art.
This is the first Catholic church built in Singapore in 1853 – on land bought by a missionary priest with money from the Portuguese crown. Later, the building in the form of a cross was destroyed, and in 1912 it was restored. Inside the church, you can see marble statues, decorative tiles with scenes of visions of the Virgin Mary, Italian handmade stained glass windows with images of saints. Some of the ceremonies in the church are still held according to the Portuguese canons.
The National Library (founded in 1887) moved to a new modern building ten years ago. Books are stored on the first two floors, which are carefully guarded by state-of-the-art climate control systems for books. Three more floors are occupied by the Drama Theater. The library also houses bookshops and restaurants.
Helix, twisted in a DNA helix, broke another Singapore architectural record, becoming the world’s first curved bridge. The bridge was built according to all the canons of feng shui. The architects who worked on the project were inspired by the concept of yin and yang in Asian culture. The structure is believed to bring wealth, happiness, and prosperity to Marina Bay.
The spiral bridge has become an important link in the urban system of embankments and promenades. From the observation decks next to the bridge, a beautiful panorama of Singapore opens up. There are also benches on which you can admire the fireworks that are held daily over the bay.
In the middle of the last century, the Bugis area was notorious as a red-light district, and Western tourists came there to marvel at transsexuals. In the 80s, when the green lands began to be built up with shopping centers and markets, the area became a place for inexpensive shopping. Today on Bugis Street there are hundreds of small shops, kiosks and thrift stores.
BHG, Converse, Cotton On, Muji, and Kinokuniya stores can be found at Bugis Junction. Conveniently located above the Bugis metro station, the center is covered with a glass roof. The opposite is Sim Lim Square, where there is everything for lovers of gadgets and computer technology.
Tiong Baru, one of Singapore’s oldest colonial-style residential complexes, has managed to become a popular destination for hipsters. The charming local coffee shops and bookstores attract not only students but also expats and tourists like a magnet. Chiong Baru is famous for its coffee, which can be tasted at Flock, Drips, Orange Thimble, Open Door Policy, and Forty Hands.
There are about 60 figures in the collection of Madame Tussauds Singapore, from politicians to celebrities. Among them are Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, Johnny Depp, Tom Cruise, Mohammed Ali, and Madonna. Among the exhibits are also figures of Barack Obama, Elizabeth II, the first president of Singapore. All figures can be touched and photographed.
On the beach of Siloso, after sunset, the colorful Wings of Time show begins. It is the only show in the world with a seating position on the beach and a stage set right in the sea. On a huge screen, accompanied by laser and water effects, they show the story of two teenagers who help a magic bird find its way home. The show ends with a large-scale fireworks display. Beginning at 19.40 and at 20.40.
MacRitchie Park is a conservation area in the center of Singapore, which is surrounded by hiking trails for all tastes. You can go hiking in the protected jungle or walk along with the bodies of water. It is impossible to get lost in the park: signs with signs are installed everywhere. The longest 11km MacRitchie Nature Trail leads to the 250m Tree Top Walk, which sits 25m above the ground – almost at treetops. From here you can see not only the surroundings of the park but also city skyscrapers. If you are lucky, you will encounter lemurs, owls, squirrels, monitor lizards, and macaques while walking along the MacRitchie Nature Trail.
The Chinese and Japanese gardens, located on two artificially created islands, are a good place for a relaxing holiday away from the noise of the city. You can walk along well-groomed paths, Chinese-style air bridges, look into the turtle museum, which houses the largest private collection of these reptiles, and visit the charming Bonsai bonsai garden.
Mount Faber Park is one of the most picturesque and oldest in Singapore. Its territory offers a beautiful view of the city, the strait, and neighboring islands. There is also the terminal station of the cable car, from where the cabins go to the island of Sentosa. An interesting attraction of the park is the unusual 274-meter Henderson Waves Bridge, which stretches to the neighboring park. The uniqueness of this structure lies in its unusual design: seven undulating curves of steel, towering above the wooden deck, resemble giant waves or a plump python lurking on a branch. Under each wave there are small benches and niches where you can relax and admire the panorama of the city and the harbor. The bridge is especially beautiful at night when the bright lights are on.
From the gilded domes of the Saracen-style mosque of Sultan Hussein on Muscat Street, it is clear that people from the Middle East live here. This area, with its main street, Arab Street, was inhabited both before and during British colonization by Malays and Arabs. And since they were traditionally engaged in trade, you can still buy any oriental goods in local shops and shops: carpets, fabrics, hookahs, leather, and cane products. Malay shops are to be found on Kandahar Street. In the center of the quarter stands the Istana Kampong Glam Palace, built by Ali Iskander Shah, the eldest son of Sultan Hussein, who gave Singapore to the British. The sultan’s descendants left the palace long ago, and today a sports club operates in the complex.
Since ancient times, Arab merchants have traded in the Arab Street quarter. Today, Haji Lane and Kampong Glam streets remain the center of international trade, where you can find a wide variety of Oriental and Asian goods: silk, batik, and even unique jewelry in a single copy. The kingdom of handmade carpets is at Sarvan’s Carpets. Bussola Street is full of ethnic souvenir shops. The Gallery of Malay Art has a large selection of kris – asymmetrical Malaysian knives, which in the old days served not only as a cold weapon but also as a generic talisman.
Until the middle of the 20th century, a wealthy local elite lived on the seashore in this part of the city. Today, ex-pats live in private homes in Katong, and local shops sell vintage items and antiques. Joo Chiat Street is named after a wealthy landowner – once this part of Singapore was covered with coconut plantations. There are no plantations for a long time, but two-story Peranakan houses with decorative finishes and ceramic tiles have survived. They were restored, and now, walking along the shophouses, painted in pastel colors, you can see Singapore through the eyes of the inhabitants of the last century. The shops sell authentic souvenirs: beaded slippers, sarongs, and other cute things. And local restaurants offer Katong laxa, kueh chang dumplings, and other delicacies of the Peranakan cuisine.
The grandiose building of the National Gallery displays the region’s largest collection of works of art – works by famous Singaporean artists (Georgette Chen, Chen Chong Swee, Chen Wen Hsi, Cheong Soo Pieng) and the most famous works of artists from Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, and the Philippines. In total, there are more than 8000 exhibits: paintings, prints, sculptures, photographs, and video materials from the 19th century to the present day.
The permanent exhibition of the branch of the Paris Art Gallery consists of 40 masterpieces, some of which, until recently, were in private collections around the world. Among them are works by Pollock, Picasso, Modigliani and Tintoretto. Particular emphasis is placed on the art of the peoples of Southeast Asia. In the Pinakothek, you can see historical relics and artifacts, and at the same time listen to an interactive lecture on the history of the region – from the Neolithic era to the arrival of the Chinese on the island.
The 5-star Fullerton Hotel is located next to the mouth of the Singapore River, near Anderson Bridge, with a majestic Palladian façade. It is notable for the fact that it was erected on the site of the fortress of the same name, which protected the city from enemy attacks from the water. The building was inaugurated in 1928 and houses the post office, as well as the chamber of commerce and other government departments. During the Second World War, a hospital for British soldiers was located here. And in the room on the fourth floor (today it has been converted into an exclusive suite), the Governor of Singapore spoke for the first time about the decision of the British command to surrender and surrender the island to the Japanese.
In 1998-2000, the building underwent a grand renovation, turning into a hotel with 400 rooms. Much of the architectural heritage has been preserved – in particular, the Doric columns, verandas with high ceilings, and even an underground tunnel that used to transport mail to the harbor and then loaded onto ships.
The former building of the Singapore Parliament (the government sat here from 1965 to 1999) has now been converted into the House of Arts. This beautiful Victorian mansion was built in the 19th century by the Irish architect George Coleman for the Scottish merchant John Maxwell.
In the courtyard of the mansion, there is a bronze statue of an elephant – a gift from Rama V, King of Siam. Inside there are various art exhibitions. The House of Arts regularly hosts concerts, festivals, and seminars, in particular on writing.
Fort Canning on the hill was built by the British and served as a defensive fortification of the island. During the Second World War, at a depth of nine meters, there was a bunker for the command of the British troops. Today the bunker houses a museum with an interesting collection of weapons and uniforms.
The Peranakan Museum is located next to the fort, where you can learn everything about the history of the Peranakans, their way of life, and traditions (for example, a wedding gift in the form of a pork leg, which is given to newlyweds). The museum exhibits beadwork, costumes, porcelain, and furniture.
The first port and harbor of Singapore were built at the confluence of the Singapore River into the sea. It was along this river that the first streets of the city were built, so now the embankments of the Singapore River are a real historical quarter. To trace the entire history of Singapore with your own eyes in less than half an hour, it is best to dive into a small “historic” wooden boat and go on a river cruise.
Typically, the journey begins at the landing site of Sir Stamford Raffles at Clarke Quay and then passes by many colonial buildings and low, ancient bridges.
Singapore’s Underwater World Aquarium is located on Sentosa, an island a few kilometers out of town, packed with futuristic attractions. It should be noted that the neighborhood is very correct. After the roller coasters or “horror stories” of the Universal Studio amusement park, there is a direct road here. The leisurely marine life behind the thick glass panes of a mega aquarium is a great way to heal your naughty nerves.
This is the largest Ferris wheel in Asia, located in the heart of Singapore – Marina Bay. 28 state-of-the-art glass capsules are air-conditioned. At the highest point of the rise, the radio congratulates the passengers: you are at a record 165 meters! In clear weather, even Indonesia is visible from such a height, and Singapore itself can be viewed in detail: the most famous skyscrapers, the river embankment, the Merlion Park, and much more. An alternative to the Ferris wheel is the Tiger Sky Tower on Sentosa Island. The cozy booth will slowly lift you 131 meters above sea level (this is the height of a 50-story building), and at the top, it will make a few turns so that you can properly explore the surroundings.
Tiger Sky Tower is the highest observation deck in Asia. A cozy air-conditioned cabin (!), Designed for 72 people, will lift you 131 meters above sea level or the height of a 50-storey building. The miracle elevator creeps very slowly, and at the top, it also revolves around its axis. So you have the opportunity to take a good look at the surroundings: from the height of the Tiger Sky Tower, you can see not only Sentosa, but Singapore, and even Indonesia.
The main difference between the Singapore Zoo and traditional “zoological gardens” is the complete absence of cells and trellises. Visitors here change places with animals and walk through a specially fenced area. And animals, birds, and even snakes walk for their pleasure almost free.
The Singapore Zoo is home to the world’s largest orangutan colony. It is not forbidden to feed and pet animals here either, but quite the opposite. Of course, you won’t be allowed to make friends with a tiger or a lion, but treating a baby elephant with a banana and shaking its rough trunk is not forbidden at all.
The zoo has the world’s only river wildlife park, which displays the flora and fauna of the great rivers: the Nile, Ganges, Congo, Murray, Mekong, Yangtze, Mississippi, and Amazon. Here you will find a giant freshwater aquarium, adorable pandas living in the special zone “Giant Panda Forest”, and a boat trip along an artificial river that reproduces the ecosystem of the mighty Amazon.
Despite the fact that the zoo closes at 18.00, do not rush to leave it. At 19.00, another theme park opens next door – a night safari, which allows you to see animals that are exclusively nocturnal. Moving around the territory on a mini-train, you can watch the nightlife of such animals as Indian hippos, hyenas, African buffaloes, Asian fishing cats.
By the way, those who decide to start the morning (from 9.00 to 10.30) at the Singapore Zoo will find a fascinating attraction – “Jungle Breakfast With Wildlife”. Tables for visitors are served right in the middle of the rainforest, surrounded by cute orangutans.
In the largest bird park in Asia, birds live practically free. There are no cages and fences – birds fly freely in huge enclosures, and visitors visit them. Here you can see 5000 birds of more than 400 species. For example, in only one aviary with parrots, there are more than a hundred inhabitants.
Each species of bird in Jurong has painstakingly recreated its native habitat. The park has several thematic zones: “Penguin Coast”; “World of Darkness”, where night reigns, and a special lighting system allows you to observe the active life of night dwellers; Lori Loft is home to over a thousand parrots; “African and Wetlands” – home to storks and African birds; “Pavilion with Waterfalls” and “River Bay” – a system of artificial rivers and waterfalls where you can see fish, birds and other amphibians. But the most spectacular place on the territory of the reserve is a lake with a population of graceful flamingos.
do not miss
The park regularly hosts a variety of shows such as feeding parrots or demonstration flights of eagles. The spectacle is amazing. See the schedule. The park is quite large and you can spend the whole day in it.
Singapore is not only about ultra-modern skyscrapers and the heat-melting asphalt of a concrete jungle. There are quite good beaches on Sentosa Island just a couple of kilometers from the city. Of course, they are far from the ten best beaches in the world, but for a Sunday vacation, this is a perfectly acceptable option.
The largest and most famous of the Sentosa beaches is Palawan Beach. It is perfectly suited for families with children: there are shops and cafes with a children’s menu, a wide strip of clean sand, and a rather shallow lagoon, separated from the open sea by an island.
This very island next to the Palawan beach is officially considered the southernmost geographical point in Asia. You can get from the beach to the island via a suspension bridge.
Getting to the beaches of Sentosa is easy: the Sentosa Express bus stops at Beach Front station, from which special trams run to the beaches.
The Singapore Formula 1 circuit is the only circuit in the world where races take place at night. The track is equipped with a specially designed lighting system, so even the slogan of the Singapore stage was chosen as “As bright as day!”.
The first time the Grand Prix stage was held here was in 2008 and immediately became one of the most spectacular events in the world of motorsport: Singaporeans knew how to attract spectators. The cars rushing past in the light of powerful searchlights look much more advantageous and more photogenic than in the traditional “daytime” stages.
The Marina Bay track runs right along the city streets of Singapore, and its stands stand on a special floating platform right in Marina Bay.
The Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix usually takes place in September. However, it is better to take care of tickets in advance, and real esthetes generally book rooms in hotels that open onto the track six months in advance and watch the race right from their balcony.
The famous ball at the Ruffles Hotel created the Singapore Sling cocktail recipe. Having ordered a cocktail or beer at the Long Bar, you can sit endlessly, throwing peanut peels under your feet. This funny tradition is more than a century old. Waiters will serve you nuts for free until you decide to leave the establishment.
Attraction Skyline Luge Sentosa is a hybrid of go-karting and tobogganing. They say that in the whole of Southeast Asia there are no analogs of this fun. Here, passengers ride on unusual vehicles resembling sledges, but only with a steering wheel and brakes, along two tracks: “Path in the Jungle” (650 meters) and “Path of the Dragon” (688 meters). The main highlight of this attraction is the unique steering control of the sleigh, thanks to which the driver can independently adjust the speed, turning the ride either into a dizzying flight or into a smooth descent.
The MegaZip Adventure Park is a place for those craving an impressive rush of adrenaline. There is a rope town with 36 obstacles, a climbing wall with a height of 16 meters, and a very spectacular attraction – a 450-meter rope descent from the hill directly to the coastline of the Siloso beach. By the way, you can make your first parachute jump here. For this, a 15-meter tower is equipped in the park.
The Oceanarium, part of the Marine Life Park entertainment complex, is considered one of the largest in the world. Its size is really impressive: 45 million liters of seawater, ten thematic zones, and about one hundred thousand marine animals of more than 800 species. Here you can see the Nautilus pompilius clam, rare spider crabs, hammerheads, bottlenose dolphins, and stingrays. The oceanarium also has the largest panoramic panel in the world, thanks to which visitors have the illusion of being on the seabed.