Category Archives: Far East

5 of the Most Beautiful Archaeological Sites in Bali

Along with beautiful beaches and rich cultural traditions, Bali is popular for its ancient archaeological sites reflecting traces of the old Hindu civilisation.

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If you are holidaying in Bali and would like to take a break from the beaches and astonish the history buff in you, you can explore these prominent, ancient archaeological sites:

Gunung Kawi

Snuggled amidst the picturesque, natural landscape of Tampaksiring, Gunung Kawi is a lovely temple and funerary complex built in 11th century. Consisting of 10 rock-cut shrines, it is where the local Hindus visit and pay homage to their gods and ancestors. It overlooks the Pakerisan River and to reach it, you will pass through beautiful rice terraces and lush foliage. Portraying the mystique of ancient legends and long lost tales of the forgotten Balinese kings, this archaeological site attracts many history buffs from all corners of the world.

Goa Gajah

Also known as Elephant Cave, Goa Gajah was built in the 9th century as a meditation site near Ubud. One of the major attractions of Ubud, it is where you can learn about the history of the region and explore distinctive, appealing sites. The relic-filled courtyard, central meditation cave, rock-wall carvings and a pool are all terrific attractions to explore in Goa Gajah.

Ulun Danu Beratan

Situated on the shores of Lake Bratan in the mountains close to Bedugul, Ulun Danu Beratan is a floating temple and a popular scenic landmark. Built in 1633, the place saw offering ceremonies to the Balinese lake, water and river goddess Dewi Danu. Dedicated to Lord Shiva and his consort Goddess Parvathi, the 11-storey pelinggih meru is a sight to behold in the temple.

Pura Kebo Edan

Famed as the “Temple of the Crazy Buffalo”, Pura Kebo Edan is situated in Pejeng Village of Tampaksiring. This temple is popular among tourists as well as locals for its 3m-high statue called the “Giant of Pejeng”. It got its name from one of the most legendary ancient local figures, Kebo Edan, and attracts visitors with a number of century-old statues including the most prominent Ciwa Bhairawa statue that features the shape of a male human body, and is considered a true portrayal of God Shiva.

Yeh Pulu

With the stunning natural setting of Batulumbang village in Bedulu, Yeh Pulu is a fascinating archaeological site housing the longest sequence of rock relief panels in Bali. The 25m-long range of carvings imprinted into a rock face are a treat for the explorers whereas the fresh air and green paddies make it an ideal relaxing spot for all. A walk through a lush forest trail, freshwater springs and rice fields takes you to this site. The carvings, representing the Hindu gods and the mythological wayang or shadow puppet characters, appeal to all.

Visit Vietnam and Explore Some of its Charming Villages

vietnam

While the beaches, rivers, bustling cities and the Buddhist pagodas make Vietnam one of the best tourist destinations in Asia, the small villages across the nation surprise you with their exquisite old-world charm and tranquil beauty. Take a look at some of them and explore them during your next trip to Vietnam:

Duong Lam Ancient Village (Hanoi)

Loved for its architectural beauty, Duong Lam Ancient Village is situated 45kms west of the centre of Hanoi. With the original structure boasting banyan tree, communal house, water well, and rice fields, the village is home to many typical Vietnamese traditional houses, reflecting the best of the country’s history and culture. Enjoy one-day walking tour through the village and take in the mesmerising beauty of the place.

Vung Vieng Fishing Village (Halong Bay)

Lying in the heart of Bai Tu Long Bay, Vung Vieng Fishing Village is one of the four fishing villages in Halong Bay. It is a peaceful haven where you can explore the cultural life of the fishermen and learn the art of sailing and casting fish nets. The enchanting views of the boats, simple and hospitable fishermen, the pretty houses with hanging nets and the smiling faces of the children are some of the endearing highlights of the place.

Lat Village/ Chicken Village (Da Lat)

Named after a 15-feet tall chicken statue it houses, Chicken Village lies about 10 miles outside Dalat City Centre. Also called the Lat Village, it is home to the Lat ethnic minority, presenting a true glimpse into the life of the locals. The tribes here love to practise traditional silk weaving and textiling; you can purchase some of their best crafts to take back home as souvenirs. Moreover, the location of the village at the foot of Langbiang Mountain makes it a perfect relaxing haven for the nature lovers visiting Vietnam.

Cam Thanh Eco Village (Hoi An)

Lying between Hoi An town and Cua Dai Beach, Cam Thanh Eco Village is a tranquil oasis hidden amidst picturesque coconut forest. You can relax peacefully in the lap of nature, ride a bike and explore the daily life of locals. Besides, you can choose to discover the palm-flanked waterways on a round fishing boat!

Pom Coong Village (Mai Chau)

Nestled in the mountains of northern Vietnam, Pom Coong Village is a small village with a lush landscape and relaxing atmosphere in Mai Chau, a 4-hour drive from Hanoi. Inhabited mostly by the Thais, most houses in this village are open for home stays for the tourists. Spend a day here and enjoy traditional music performances, buy souvenirs, and enjoy regional specialities.

Top Kid-friendly Tourist Attractions in Singapore

Singapore

Singapore is a beautiful, kid-friendly destination where you can enjoy several amazing experiences with your little ones. Read on to learn about few of them!

Night Safari

This could be an exciting experience for your kids! The night safari in Singapore is a great opportunity for visitors to spot nocturnal animals in their natural habitat. It would not only mean entertainment but also education.  As many as 2,500 animals from over 130 species can be spotted here. Surely, you are going to create memories of a lifetime here.

Sentosa Island

This is a man-made island where fun never stops. Resorts World, Universal Studios Singapore, Tiger Sky Tower, Singapore Butterfly & Insect Kingdom are some of the attractions here, promising you and your kids a delightful time in Singapore. SEA Aquarium, one of the largest collections of aquatic animals in the world, is another terrific attraction that’s much loved by families.

Jurong Bird Park

How about having a relaxing time, just sitting in a park and watching birds? The Jurong Bird Park is the perfect place to spot birds of different species from across the world. The children will definitely love it. Some of the major attractions of this place are Southeast Asian Birds Aviary, African Waterfall Aviary, and Bird Discovery Centre and so on.

Ethnic Quarters

This is another Singaporean offering that you and your kids can enjoy together. China Town, Little India and Kampong Glam are some of the places you can visit, try different local delicacies and street food, and become a part of art performances on the streets as well as shopping. From windup toy phones to aromatic spices, there is so much to experience here; it will be like a fair for the children, you must not miss it!

Battlebox

The Battlebox is one of the major tourist attractions in Singapore! It is a huge bunker located 9 meters below ground in Fort Canning Park and features 2 entrances, 27 rooms and a cat ladder escape hatch. Entrance to the Battlebox is via a guided tour only. This historical place will definitely intrigue the kids and give them something to talk about after the holiday is over and they are back to school.

Botanical gardens

Singapore is one of the greenest, most eco friendly places in Asia, and there are several beautiful botanical gardens in the city you can visit with your kids. Admire the beauty of the nature, with countless types of plants and flowers. Also, there are mesmerizing fish ponds where the kids can feed the fish. Imagine a serene escape from the madness of your busy life, enjoying a quiet time with your friends and family.

The Beautiful Bali Promises Many Delightful Experiences

The most popular place to visit in Indonesia, Bali is known all over the world, for being the perfect holiday destination. People visit here from all parts of the world to witness the beautiful landscapes and to enjoy the warm hospitality that includes of luxury stays, terrific spa treatments and exotic food and drinks. Here, have a look at some of the best things you can do in Bali.

Uluwatu Temple

Uluwatu-Temple

Situated 250 feet above the Indian Ocean, this temple is one of the most spectacular places you will ever visit. It literally means the rock on the top. Devotees and tourists visit here from all over, to admire the artistic architecture and historical value of the place. The walk up to the temple is tricky and one needs to be really careful where they step. It is a hike in itself and visitors can have a great time here.

Kintamani and Mount Batur

One of the highpoints of your trip to Bali is going to be the live volcano sighting. It is a popular trek and people from across the world become a part of this once in a lifetime experience. The road downhill will lead you to naturally occurring hot springs which are a famous highlight of this area as well. There are three main villages in the locality namely Batur, Kintamani and Penelokan. Batur Caldera Lake is an amazing place to spend some time with friends and family.

Bali Marine Park and Safari

This is the perfect day out activity with your friends and family. Exploring the wildlife on the island in the best way possible, you can try the safari that takes you through dense 60-acre forests where you witness a host of animals in their natural habitat such as Himalayan bears, African Hippos, Indian White Tigers, ostriches, baboons, zebras, camels and so on. Similarly you will also be able to witness aquatic animals.

Ubud Art Market

Indonesia is famous for its art and handicrafts and you shouldn’t leave without admiring some of them and maybe even taking some home. The Ubud Art Market is known to have an amazing display of local paintings, wall hangings, jewellery, silk scarves and bags. Apart from being a proud owner of such fine work of local artists, you can also help spread the word about them to the world.

Goa Gajah

This beautiful archaeological site remains the must visit site here. It is a meditational cave, with fountains and bathing pools here. The sculptures in the cave and the inscriptions on the walls are majestic and people visit from all over the world to appreciate them.

Top 5 Traditional Festivals You Must Be Part of in Vietnam

vietnam

Vietnam is fast emerging as an interesting and popular travel destination in Asia, inviting an increasing number of nature lovers, pilgrims and history buffs every year. While bustling cities, beaches, rivers and Buddhist pagodas are all major lures for the tourists, some of the festivals, reflecting the rich history and culture of the country, are inviting too.

Hoi An Full Moon Festival

Hoi An Full Moon Festival is held on every 14th day of the lunar month in Hoi An’s ancient town, a UNESCO World Heritage site on Vietnam’s central coast. During the festival, the town bans the road traffic and turns into a huge performance venue with the streets illuminated with plenty of colourful lanterns. This festival aims to preserve traditions that were practised during the Nguyen Dynasty and it amazes visitors with many cultural events, old-fashioned games and performances for a week.

Lim Festival

Held in Lim village, few kilometres from Hanoi, Lim Festival takes place on 13th day of the first lunar month, every year. The festival amazes you with a number of exquisite dance performances by Quan Ho, a UNESCO recognised tribe; the traditional costumes and dragon boats are a treat to watch during the celebrations. Besides, visitors can enjoy playing games such as tug-of-war, cockfighting, wrestling, human chess, and Danh du (bamboo swings).

Perfume Pagoda Festival

The most popular Buddhist pilgrimage site in Hanoi, Perfume Pagoda is a group of sacred caves where hundreds of thousands of pilgrims visit every year to welcome a happy and prosperous year. The Perfume Pagoda Festival begins from the 6th day of the first month and lasts till the end of third month of the lunar calendar. It is a place that not just welcomes pilgrims but also nature lovers all throughout the year who come to take delight in its terrific landscape.

Thay Pagoda Festival

A joint festival of four villages, Thay Pagoda festival is celebrated in Thay Village located at the foot of Sai Son Mountain. It takes place on the 5th-7th days of the 3rd lunar month and is celebrated to worship a Buddhist monk who became a popular king. The festival begins with a religious performance supported by traditional music, and amazes with its famous water puppet show and numerous games played here.

Mid-Autumn Festival

Also called Moon Festival, Lantern Festival, Reunion Festival and Children’s Festival, Mid-Autumn Festival is one of the biggest holidays in Vietnam. It is held in the eighth lunar month and is famed for various activities such as lion dances, children carrying paper lanterns and food booths selling sticky rice, fruits, moon cakes and various other sweets. The festival draws families from all corners of the world.

Singapore Food Festival 2018: A Celebration of Culinary Goodness of the Country

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When the British decided to transform Singapore into a trading post for the East India Company in 1819, they couldn’t have foreseen that they were also turning the tiny island into a hotbed of culinary miracles. With immigrants from China, Malaysia, India, Indonesia, Europe, America and the Middle East flocking to the island, it wasn’t just the trade that was benefiting, the Singaporean cuisine also gained in heaps. Today, the country takes great pride in its diverse and rich food culture that finds brilliant representation at hawker stalls, open-air food courts as much as it does at the country’s very best hotels helmed in their kitchens by renowned international chefs.

Initiated in 1994, the Singapore Food Festival is not only an attempt to celebrate the country’s food history; it is also an outlet to showcase the prominent position food takes in an average Singaporean’s life. Attending the festival is the one of the best ways to figure out how food is the glue that ties the country together as well as with the rest of the world that comes knocking at its door to get a taste from its abundant cuisine.

Here are top events planned for Singapore Food Festival 2018, being held from 13th July 2018 to 29th July 2018:

STREAT

The marquee event of the festival, STREAT will feature celebrity chefs Emmanuel Stroobant from one Michelin-starred Saint Pierre, and Haikal Johari from one Michelin-starred Alma. Together the two celebrity chefs will be rolling out dishes such as beef short rib with black pepper, ginger and buah keluak and Canadian scallops with coconut, turmeric and laksa leaf oil for guests at Empress Lawn on 13 July and 14 July. Additionally, popular establishments including Old Bibik Peranakan Kitchen (halal), Gayatri Restaurant, Sinar Pagi Nasi Padang (halal), Fishball Story, CreatureS, Quarters and Xiao Ya Tou will also set up stalls at the event.

Sentosa Grillfest

The Sentosa Grillfest will return this year as well and will feature more than 30 F&B kiosks run by innovative and young hawkers. Delectable dishes from varying cultures, including BBQ items, Jumbo Hokkien Noodles, Traditional Naan Platter, old school calamasi with sour plum, will be served at the beach in the backdrop of live-music performances and other family-friendly activities. OLA Beach Club, FOC Sentosa, Wave House Sentosa, AJ Hackett Sentosa, Brewerkz & Fries and Fat Belly are some of the participating booths this year. The event is scheduled to be held every Friday-Sunday from 13th July-29th July.

Curry Day 2018

An Indian influence on the country’s cuisine means that curries are huge in Singapore. The Curry Day 2018 by Old Chang Kee to be held at Velocity@Novena Square Indoor Atrium on 27 to 28 July 2018 will see curry lovers flocking to taste delectable, spicy and comforting curries from the curry-themed menu. Curry puffs, curry buns and curry chicken will be in demand and visitors can choose from amongst a range of fun, family activities such as curry cooking demonstrations for adults and spice art lessons for children.

LoveSG at Changi Airport

The passengers arriving, departing or halting at Changi Airport can benefit from a range of activities and special promotions as part of the Singapore Food Festival 2018. Popular food stores, including Krispy Kreme, Paradise Dynasty, The World is Flat, TWG Tea boutique, Asia Favourites, Black Barista Coffee World, will come up with special menus around the time of the festival in addition to offering heavy discounts all through the festival.

The 50 Cents Fest: Colonial Singapore

Chinatown Food Street will come alive with hawker stalls offering sumptuous colonial era dishes that are hard to find in today’s time at budget prices. Kerabu beehoon (tossed rice vercimelli), fish moilee (lightly spiced fish curry) and kopi gu you (black coffee with butter) are some of the popular dishes from 1930s that you should keep a definite eye for. There will also be a performance by Taxi Girl and a traditional opera for the amusement of guests.

McDonald’s Love Local Campaign, Park Bench Deli Collaborations, A Samsui Love Story: A Food & Dance Affair and Balik Kampong Heritage Dinner x Time Out are amongst other events that are creating a buzz.

Visit Chiang Mai and Explore the Best of Northern Thailand

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Known as “the Rose of the North”, Chiang Mai is the cultural capital of Thailand, calling tourists in to enjoy the pleasant Thai way of life amidst nature’s bliss. Steeped in history and surrounded by incredible architecture, this city strikes a fine balance between the traditional and the contemporary.

Check out the fabulous attractions of Chiang Mai that must be in your itinerary for your next trip to Thailand.

Wat Phra That Doi Suthep

A sacred site for the Thais, Wat Phra That Doi Suthep is a mountainous temple in the city. Tourists can reach this temple by hiking up the Doi Suthep Mountain, hopping into a songthaew or renting a motorbike. The major highlight of the temple is seven-headed serpent statues lining up the stairs to the temple and a much-revered seated Buddha at the central shrine.

Elephant Nature Park

While Thailand has several elephant camps, Chiang Mai is home to the largest number of domesticated elephants. Situated north of the city, Elephant Nature Park is an elephant rescue and rehabilitation centre where visitors can enjoy sighting the large animal from close by. It was founded in 1995 and is home to more than 35 elephants, most of which have been saved from the illegal logging industries. You can either visit the premises during the day and can either have an overnight stay at its newly renovated accommodation.

Night Bazaar

Chiang Mai is a shopper’s heaven and the city’s famous Night Bazaar is an ideal shopping spot for all the bargain lovers. This bazaar is home to numerous stalls spreading all across the street and selling everything you can think of, from clothes, jewellery and footwear to carvings, furniture and houseware. The handmade Thai silk clothes are perhaps the major highlight of this bustling and colourful market.

Doi Pui

A Hmong tribal village, situated in Doi Suthep-Pui National Park, Doi Pui offers tourists an insight into the lifestyle of Thai tribes. Lying at the top of Doi Suthep, a 1676 metre high mountain, it is an ideal spot for trekking and revelling in the picturesque beauty of nature. Here, tourists can explore incredible wildlife, a beautiful garden, an ancient museum and many tribal houses. Besides, they can enjoy lunch at one of many small restaurants, and shop for hand-made jewellery, hand-woven textiles, tea and other goods at the shops.

Bua Thong Sticky Waterfalls

Made of limestone and mineral deposits, Bua Thong Waterfall is a small and beautiful, multi-tiered waterfall visited by a number of tourists from different parts of the world. It is called “the sticky waterfall” because of the limestone floating in the water and making the rock non-slippery. Tourists can easily climb up the waterfall to the top. Besides, there is a picnic spot and a few restaurants at the entrance of the falls, allowing you to spend a fun-filled day with family and friends.

Top Spots to Explore in Kyoto, Japan

A visit to Japan’s most beautiful city, Kyoto is full of splendid experiences! It astonishes with the best of Japan’s culture and traditions. From colourful shrines and serene temples to scenic gardens, there’s a lot to explore in Kyoto. Here are some of the beautiful wonders of Kyoto that demand the attention of visitors from all around.

Kinkaku-ji: The Golden Pavilion

Kinkaku-ji-The-Golden-Pavilion

A picturesque haven, Kinkaku-ji is a Zen temple in Northern Kyoto with its two top floors covered by gold leaf. One of the famous temples in Japan, Kinkaku-ji overlooks the glassy surface of Mirror Lake and seems to float over the mirror pond. Officially known as Rokuon-ji, this Zen Buddhist temple is visited by a large number of travellers to find solace and to marvel at an architectural masterpiece. A National Special Landscape and a National Special Historic Site, this temple remains a must-visit in the city.

Nijo Castle

Nijo-Castle

Another scenic delight of the city, Nijo Castle is a flatland castle which displays the power that the Shotguns wielded over the emperors during the Edo period. Comprising the Normaru Palace, two concentric rings of fortifications, the ruins of the Honmaru Palace and a number of support buildings and gardens, it is an ideal place for the history buffs to explore. Also, like many other historical monuments of the city, it has been designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Philosopher’s Walk

Attracting nature lovers from all over the world, the Philosopher’s Walk is a roughly mile-long pedestrian path along the lake Biwa Canal in Kyoto’s Higashiyama district. Lined by thousands of cherry trees, the canal here is a true delight. It is the path the Japanese philosopher, Nishida Kitaro used to take while commuting to Kyoto University in the early 20th century. Beginning around at Ginkakuji and ending in the neighbourhood of Nanzenji, this 2km long path can certainly be explored.

Fushimi-Inari Taisha Shrine

Situated in Fushimi Ward in Kyoto, Fushimi-Inari Taisha Shrine is a prominent Shinto Shrine in Southern Kyoto. Sitting at the base of Inari Mountain, this shrine overlooks the entire city, inviting scores of people who visit every year to take delight in its incredible beauty and find peace.

Kyoto Tower

The tallest building of the city, Kyoto Tower stands 131 metre tall, just across the Kyoto Station, impressing visitors with its iconic appearance. This steel observation tower stands atop a 9-storey building which is home to a 3-star hotel and many stores. The 360 degree panoramic view of the city from the top of this tower presents an exciting experience for the travellers. Besides, dining at its restaurants or a glass panelled lounge is an amazing experience.

Holidays to Hong Kong – Top Experiences to Unravel In the City

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Ancient architectural wonders, rich wildlife, great hospitality, modern temptations, and a vibrant culture – Hong Kong has every element that makes for a great holiday experience. Read on to learn about some of the city’s most appealing experiences that present a wonderful time to the travellers.

Sightseeing

Be it soaring skyscrapers, colonial forts, ancient temples, or terrific theme parks, Hong Kong has the best of it all, treating its guests with the finest of touristy wonders. Victoria Peak, Hong Kong Disneyland, Lantau Island, Peak Tram, Clock Tower and Hong Kong Museum of History are some of the most well known attractions in the city, ones which you certainly must visit. If you wish to visit a Buddhist temple, head to Tian Tan Buddha, also known as Big Buddha, one of the noted Buddhist temples in the region.

Beaches

A great place to enjoy the best of sun and sand as well as a range of thrilling water sports, Hong Kong beaches promise an unforgettable time to the visitors. Ham Tin Wan, Clearwater Bay, Kwun Yam Wan, Cheung Sha, Big Wave Bay, Turtle Cove and Pui O, Hap Mun and Repulse Bay are among the most frequented beaches here. Besides sunbathing and swimming, snorkelling, diving and kayaking are the popular activities among the travellers visiting these beaches. Live music shows, food festivals and beach parties are held regularly at most of these beaches. Moreover, whales, turtles and other marine animals can be spotted at some of these beaches.

Food

Hong Kong has a fabulous food scene with the city being home to several outstanding restaurants. If we talk about traditional delicacies that remain must try for tourists in Hong Kong, the likes of wontons (dumplings) roast goose, wind sand chicken, fake shark fin soup, shrimp and chicken balls, phoenix talons (chicken feet), steamed shrimp dumplings, fish balls and sweet sour pork come to mind. Apart from enjoying food at the upscale restaurants or causal cafes, you can enjoy the local fare at street side eateries.

Wildlife

With over two-thirds of the city’s territory comprising of wetland reserves, protected parks and natural habitats, Hong Kong is home to many species of birds and animals including a few native and endangered ones. You can spot monkeys, bats, wild bears, pink dolphins, black faced spoonbill, masked palm civet, red lacewing butterflies, ring tailed lemur, purple heron, rufous burrowing snake, green turtle and water buffalo here in Hong Kong. Aberdeen Country Park, Tai Po Kau Nature Reserve, Mai Po Nature Reserve, Sai Kung East Country Park and Kowloon Park are among the noted wildlife conservation parks here.

Shopping

Be it unique souvenirs, Chinese artworks, silk products, antique jewellery or artefacts, you can find a lot of stuff at Hong Kong markets. Kowloon Street, Temple Street Night Market, Jade Market and Jade Street, Stanley Market and Ladies Market are some of the areas where you can shop for all kinds of interesting and unique stuff. If you are looking for luxury labels and brands, visit popular malls such as Elements Shopping Mall, IFC Mall and Pacific Place.

Festivals

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Offering a glimpse into the rich and vibrant culture of Hong Kong, the festivals hosted by the city are massively popular among the tourists. Chinese New Year, Spring Lantern Festival, Ching Ming Festival, Tin Hau, Cheung Chau Festival, Dragon Boat Festival, Buddha’s Birthday and Hungry Ghost Festival offer travellers a wonderful opportunity to revel in the region’s splendid cultural flair.

Nightlife

hongkong-nightlife

Home to beautiful night markets, illuminating harbours, pristine beaches, and exciting bars and clubs, Hong Kong assures revellers of a great time. Popular party spots in the city include Lan Kwai Fong and Soho, Wan Chai, Volar, Ce La Vi Hong Kong,   Play Club, Dragon-i, Drop, Fly Hong Kong, Magnum and Tasmania Ballroom. Also, the world’s largest light and sound show, Symphony of Lights in Hong Kong is a must experience.

Culture

Culture

A beautiful fusion of diverse religious groups and nationalities such as Cantonese, British, Indians and Shanghainese, Hong Kong culture, understandably, is quite diverse. Best reflected in the architecture, temples, festivals, events, sports, languages and food, this fascinating city is surely a cultural delight! In fact, Cantonese Opera is a classic example of the prevalent Cantonese customs and practices.

Singapore Holidays – Top Experiences in the City

singapore

A melting pot of diverse cultures and traditions, Singapore is an ideal city break destination in the Fareast. A perfect place for adventure enthusiasts, foodies and cultural explorers, this beautiful city-state boasts an exciting range of things for people to experience and enjoy. Those of you heading to Singapore, here is a list of top things you can explore here.

Attractions

Iconic colonial buildings, magnificent Chinese shophouses, splendid theme parks, and interesting museums – there is so much to see in the terrific city that sightseers will be spoilt for choice. Gardens by Bay, the Universal Studios, Merlion Park, ArtScience Museum, Marina Bay Sands, Helix Bridge and Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay are some of the city’s most famous attractions. Also, do pay a visit to the Old Parliament House, the oldest surviving building in Singapore.

Beaches

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Beaches may not be the first thing that comes to mind when people think of Singapore, but the city has some terrific beaches which are not much talked about. Mostly located on the Sentosa Island, these beaches promise a great time to the travellers interested in sand and surf. Palawan, Tanjong, Siloso, Changi, Punggol, Lazarus and St John’s are among the most popular beaches in Singapore. Palm trees, suspension bridges and shacks, no doubt, add to the beauty of these beaches.

Nature and Wildlife

Home to around 23,000-28,000 species of terrestrial species, 40,000 non-microbial organisms and 12,000-17,000 marine animals, Singapore is a city blessed with the best of nature and wildlife. Be it amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals, freshwater fish or butterflies, you’ll find all of them in the region. Among other places, Jurong Bird Park and Singapore Zoo are the best spots to witness these amazing creatures in their natural habitat. Night Safari and River Safari are popular among wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers.

Food

food

Incorporating elements from different cultural and ethnic groups, Singaporean cuisine is a major highlight for tourists from all over the world. Bak Kut Teh, Wanton Mee, Fried Carrot Cake, Dim Sum, Kaya Toast, Crabs, Laksa, Curry Fish Head, Satay, Bak Chor Mee and Oyster Omelette are some of the most loved delicacies in the city. Along with the trips to the restaurants scattered around the city, make sure you visit the popular streetside eateries in the region for Singaporean delicacies.

Shopping

Teeming with open markets, posh malls, quaint boutiques and streetside stores, Singapore is a paradise for shopaholics and easily one of the best shopping destinations in the world. Places like Orchard Road, Little India, Chinatown Street Market, VivoCity, Haji Lane, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands and Clarke Quay are the spots to hit if you wish a good shopping expedition. From independent fashion labels to eclectic collection of goods to antiques and artefacts, you can find everything in Singapore.  Also, if you are looking for some unique souvenirs and gifts, make sure you visit the weekly flea markets held in different parts of the city.

Festivals

Festivals and events in Singapore are celebrated with much pomp and show. Offering an insight into the cultural practices and traditions of the city are festivities like Chinese New Year, Thaipusam, Vesak Day, Hari Raya Puasa and Hari Raya Haji. Sports events and food festivals are held regularly here as well. Singapore Heritage Fest, Singapore International Film Festival and Singapore Fashion Festival are few of the popular socio-cultural events here.

Leisure & Recreation

Besides sightseeing, the city offers a whole range of exciting recreational activities for people of all age groups. Be it enjoying a night safari, or snorkelling with tropical fishes or taking part in other water sports, there’s a lot to be enjoyed in the city. Universal Studios and Escape Theme Park remain two of the city’s most popular theme parks.

Culture

Known as the city where ‘East meets West’, Singapore’s culture is a combination of varied customs and traditions. Mostly influenced by the South Asian, Malay, Eurasian and South Asian traditions, culture in Singapore is best highlighted in its temple complexes and other religious structures found across the region. Chinatown, National Museum of Singapore, Asian Civilization Museum and Sun Yat Sun Nanyang Memorial Hall are few of the popular cultural attractions in Singapore. Sri Mariamman Temple and Sri Thendayuthapani Temple are two of the most well-known Hindu temples here.

Travel Essentials for Singapore

Here are a few things you must take note of before heading to this beautiful city.

  • Singapore Dollar is the official used currency here. It comes in denominations of S$2, S$5, S$10, S$50, S$100, S$1,000 and S$10,000.
  • 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents and S$1coins can also used.
  • 7% GST refund can be claimed by tourists on essential goods and other products.
  • English, Mandarin, Malay and Tamil are the official languages in the city.
  • Weather in Singapore is hot and humid all year round.