Category Archives: Singapore

Four Reasons You Must Visit Singapore

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Popularly known as ‘The Lion City’, Singapore is a beautiful fusion of culture and modernity. From beautiful temples to sky-high skyscrapers and old school shophouses to wooden markets, Singapore is a terrific travel destination that is loved all over the world. For those of you planning a holiday, here are four interesting reasons why you must visit this amazing city-state.

Melting pot of cultures

From weekly markets to annual festivals and traditional gatherings, Singapore is truly a melting pot of different cultures and ethnicities. With several different tribes and religious groups living here harmoniously, this beautiful city has some of the most fascinating cultural and religious emblems, such as temples, churches and monasteries. Music, food and language here are classic examples of constant interactions and exchanges that have been taking place here for long.

Nightlife

In the evenings, the city transforms into a lively and vivacious hub. Featuring an exciting range of nightclubs, bars, clubs and cafes, Singapore promises an incredible nightlife to all. For the ones willing to enjoy the beautiful skyline along with the stunning vistas of the surrounding landscape, rooftop bars are the best places to be. While restaurants can be found scattered across the length and breadth of the city, beach bars primarily located on Sentosa Island are a must visit.

Cuisines and delicacies

Laksa, Satay, Char Kway Teow, Hookien Mee, Rojak, Bak kut Teh, Chilli Crab, Cury Puff and Ais Kacang are among the must try dishes in Singapore. Expectedly, the seafood here on this island is splendid. A true taste of Singaporean cuisine can be enjoyed at the popular Hawker Centre. From open air seating to river side restaurants to food stalls and street vendors, Singapore offers a wide variety of dining choices.

Art and design

Singapore is home to some wonderful art galleries and museums and regularly hosts large traditional fairs. Art Plural Gallery, Future Perfect, ARNDT Singapore, The Drawing Room and Barnadas Huang are among the most visited art galleries in the city. For the ones interested in knowing the history of the city, the National Museum of Singapore is the place to be.

Free and Fun-Packed Things to Do in Singapore

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Singapore is a wonderland with plenty to do for adventure buffs. And much to the delight of budget holiday makers, some of these activities are absolutely free.

Enjoy an open-air movie experience

Enjoy a fantastic open-air movie experience with drinks, snacks and popcorn. Families and couples will love to spend time together watching their favourite films under the spectacular starry sky. For instance, MovieMob – an outdoor movie company – holds film screenings at different locations every fortnight thereby encouraging viewers to explore the spots. The viewers can either watch the movie from their cars or simply sit on the canvas sheet provided to them.
Tip: Reach the site early as the space is limited.

Enjoy a walking tour

A walking tour is one of the best ways to observe and absorb the native elements of a foreign land. You get to interact with the inhabitants who are willing to share their stories with others. Such walking tours are organised by different agents and comprise famous places and points, revealing facts and information that’ll interest and excite you. Few of them are linked with free downloadable mobile app guides with maps, photos and elaborate descriptions. If you are more interested in delectable cuisines, opt for the food tours.

Take part in the colourful festivals

Singapore hosts numerous festivals that celebrate customs, traditions and beliefs of the land. The popular festivals celebrated here are Singapore Arts Festival, Chinese New Year, Hungry Ghost Festival, Deepavali, Thaipusam etc. Events and festivals are celebrated in the city throughout the year, so no matter what time you choose to land in Singapore, you will have something to cheer about!

Fly a kite with kids at the Marina Barrage

Marina Barrage’s well-maintained Green Roof, a recreational area measuring nearly four football fields, is an ideal spot for the kite flyers. The gusty winds and the gorgeous backdrop inspire people to try their hands at this famous sport. On most days, you will be able to spot kites of all shapes and sizes. Barrage Cove, a shop on the ground floor, sells a range of kites. Line, reel, solar powered hats can also be purchased from here.

What to do on your budget Singapore Holiday?

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Singapore is one of the most expensive cities in the world; however there are many different interesting things you can do here without burning holes in your pocket. We have made a list of some of these things, and hope to help you in enjoying a budget vacation to Singapore.

Thrifty eats

Though Singapore is home to some of the most luxurious and expensive restaurants in the world, they also have number of cost effective choices when it comes to food. Especially because people celebrate food here rather than just eat. You can try the best of the local delicacies as well as food from various parts of the world without having to spend a fortune for it.

There are several local dishes such as chilli crabs, Laska, Barbequed Stingray fish, Choy Sum, chicken rice, Kaya Toast, all sort of dimsums, fried rice, fried fish or prawns on skewers and so on. There is a lot of Indian food available here as well, so if you’re craving for tandoori chicken or chicken tikka, you can find them easily in Singapore!

Unbelievable Street shopping

Shopping in Singapore can be a very costly affair if you don’t know where to go looking.  On the other hand, you can get some bargain deals on clothes, shoes, accessories, bags, watches and so on, if you know where to go thrift-shopping. There are unbelievable street markets where you can go looking for things you need.

There are brands retailing in Singapore from across the globe, but you have to find the ones that suit your budget. Mustafa Centre, Bugis Street, Far East Plaza, Lucky Plaza etc are some of the places where you can find the best deals and bargains in the city.

Sightseeing

Museum hopping is something you should do if you are looking to do some sightseeing in Singapore without having to spend too much. There are so many stunning museums you can visit such as the National Museum of Singapore, Singapore Art Museum, Changi Museum, Art Science Museum and so on. You can make a day trip out of it and learn about the history and the culture of the country. There are plenty of amazing beaches in Singapore such as Changi Beach Park, East Coast Park and Palawan Beach where you can go and relax, take a dip in the ocean, sip on some cocktails and enjoy quick massages. Nothing is going to cost you too much.

There are a number of gardens in Singapore where you have to pay either nothing or a nominal entrance fee. Gardens of the Bay, Singapore Botanic Gardens, the parks and natural reserves by the Southern ridges, Chinese and Japanese Gardens and Bukit Tima Nature Reserve are some such places where you can head to.

Singapore’s Best Festivals and Celebrations

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Home to numerous tribes and ethnic groups, Singapore’s event calendar is packed with celebrations and festivals. It is these festivities and celebrations that allow visitors to experience the rich culture and the way of life here. For those of you looking to enjoy these festivities, here is the list.

Thaipusam

Thaipusam is a popular Hindu festival. Generally lasting for 2 days, the holiday is celebrated in honour of Lord Subramaniam (also known as Lord Murugan) who represents power and is considered the destroyer of evil. On the festival eve a royal chariot procession starts from Sri Thendayuthapani Temple up till Layan Sithi Vinayagar Temple accompanied by traditional dance and music performances. Performing rituals and pouring milk on the statue of Lord Murugan are the popular traditions of the festival.

Vesak Day

Celebrated by Buddhists throughout the world, Vesak Day is another traditional festival of Singapore. The popular festival marks the birth, enlightenment and the passing away of Buddha. On the day of the festival, Buddhist temples are decorated with flags and flowers. Chanting hymns and prayers, carrying out candlelit processions and offering joysticks on the statue of Buddha are the popular traditions of the festival.

Dragon Boat Festival

Also known as Tuen Ng, Dragon Boat Festival is one of the best loved celebrations in Singapore. Falling on the 5th day of the 5th month of traditional Chinese calendar, the festival commemorates the death of the famous poet and minister – Qu Yuan. Popular festive traditions include beating of the drums, racing dragon boats, offering rice dumplings (zhang) and drinking realgar wine.

Hari Raya Puasa

Known as ‘The Day of Celebration’, Hari Raya Puasa is another important religious festival of Singapore. Falling on the 1st day of the month of Shawwal, the festival symbolizes purification. The festival begins with a trip to the mosque and is followed by other celebrations. On the day, people enjoy delicacies such as rendang, sayur lodeh and sambal along with white rice and ketupat.

Mid-Autumn Festival

Also known as Lantern festival, Mid Autumn Festival is one of the liveliest Chinese festivals celebrated in Singapore. Held on the 15th day of the 8th month of the Lunar Calendar, the festival marks the end of the autumn harvest in the country. Worshipping the moon god and offering prayers to the lunar deity Chang’e are the popular festive traditions.

Pongal

Pongal is a popular harvest festival. Celebrated over a period of 4 days, the festival involves worshipping the Lord Indra on the 1st day. Oil lamps are lit and people wear traditional dresses on this day of the festival. On the 2nd day of Surya Pongal, offerings in the form of rice are made to the Sun god. On the 3rd day of Mattu Pongal, cows and other cattle are honoured and worshipped.  On the last day of the festival, younger members seek blessings and good wishes from the elders in the family.

Chinese New Year

Also known as ‘Spring Festival’ or ‘Lunar New Year’, Chinese New Year is undoubtedly one of the most famous festivals in Singapore. The popular traditional festival is celebrated at the end of lunisolar Chinese calendar. As a part of the tradition, streets and markets are decorated in colour red to drive away the evil spirit ‘Nien’. Colourful processions and parades are the most popular attractions of the festival.

Clarke Quay and Riverside, Singapore: Attractions You Shouldn’t Miss

A historical and vibrant quay in Singapore, the Clarke Quay is a tourist spot known for fabulous waterside restaurants, bars, and clubs.

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These amazing venues ensure fun-packed nightlife. Beyond them, there are several other attractions that entice the crowd phenomenally. We have mentioned some hotspots of Clarke Quay and Riverside.

Singapore River

Singapore River plays an important role for Singaporeans as it’s been a lifeline for them for over 150 years. This 3.2 km long river was the centre of economic activity and a waterway for thousands of immigrants. Due its calm nature, the Singapore River served as a harbour for the budding British Settlement. Today, it is more famous for tourism. The spectacular sculptures along the river are not to be missed!

Asian Civilisations Museum

Aimed at conserving the cultural heritage of Asia – particularly the ancestral values of Singaporeans, the Asian Civilisations Museum is the perfect point to learn about the country’s rich history. Displays include Octogonal cup, Jina, Mavered glass jar, Mother-of-pearl casket etc. Lectures are held from time to time.

Hong San See Temple

Hong San See Temple is an impressive Chinese temple built between 1908 and 1913 in the honour of Guang Ze Zun Wang – the God of Fortune. The axial planning, courtyards, walled enclosures, and beam-frame structure here are all conventional features of the Chinese style temples. Furthermore, the granite columns exhibit meticulously-carved dragons, peonies, magpies, and phoenixes.

Lockdown Real Life Escape Game

Lockdown Real Life Escape Game is a first-person adventure game in which players in a locked room must exploit their surroundings to escape. Every person will have only 60 minutes for this! No preparation is required. Each room has a different theme and the playing experience is surprisingly diverse. The participants’ minimum age should be 13 years.

Art-2 Gallery

Set up in 1991, the Art-2 Gallery is an art gallery and art consultancy specialising in modern-day sculpture, paintings, and ceramic works. It encourages an elevated standard of art from the Southeast-Asian region by way of its bold exhibitions and commissions. Skilled artists from Singapore, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam are associated with Art – 2 Gallery. Travellers with an artistic bent of mind should visit this place for sure!

Top Hotels for a Luxurious Stay in Singapore

Who wouldn’t like to stay in a luxury hotel or resort abroad? If you are planning to visit Singapore and would like to stay in style, you have come to the right place.

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Here, we will introduce you to some sophisticated properties recognized for their comfortable rooms and appreciative service.  In their own way, they have made a mark in the travel industry. Let us get to know them now!

Hotel Vagabond

In the official website, the Hotel Vagabond states itself to be ‘an art and experience-driven luxury boutique hotel housed in a 1950s heritage Art Deco building.’ The rooms and suites are meticulously designed and elegant. The thoughtfully chosen amenities ensure occupants get what their heart truly desires! Hotspots such as Little India, Kampong Glam, and Marina Bay and Raffles Place are not far away.

Conrad Centennial Singapore

The award-winning Conrad Centennial Singapore is a top-notch destination with onsite amenities comprising of four unique restaurants and lounges, a 65-foot/20-metre pool, and luxurious spa facilities. There are 507 guestrooms, 25 suites, and 96 connecting rooms spanning over 31 floors. There are fine gift shops located just outside the Conrad Centennial Singapore.

The St. Regis Singapore

The St. Regis Singapore is an ideal point for tourists searching an opulent sanctuary to enjoy their dream stay. Based on availability, guests can pick from any of the rooms variants such as Executive Deluxe Rooms, Lady Astor Rooms, St. Regis Suites, Specialty Suites, King’s Cole Suite, and Presidential Suite etc. The most spacious amongst all of them is the Presidential Suite. You can admire spectacular vistas from its balcony.

Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore

Consistently voted as one of the best hotels in the world, the Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore takes you away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The legendary Asian hospitality will amaze one and all! Onsite facilities include complimentary Wi-Fi, business centre, butler service in suites, babysitting, and photo processing service. This hotel is also well equipped with all the facilities for corporate travellers!

Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel

Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel presents the perfect amalgamation of comfort, convenience, and lavishness. Apart from the lovely rooms and suites, the hotel has seven eating venues serving a wide range of cuisines, snacks, and beverages. These are Crossroads Cafe (International), Marriott Cafe (International), Pool Grill (Other), Wan Hao Chinese Restaurant (Chinese),  Lobby Lounge (Coffee House), Java + (Deli), and Ginza Sushi Ichi (Japanese).

Singapore Festivals that Ensure a Fun-Packed Travel Experience

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Singapore usually conjures images of excellent shopping malls, luxury hotels, and fine-dining restaurants. However, quite a few people may not be aware that every year, this tourist destination hosts spectasingaporrecular festivals which add an extra zing to the place.

Read on to know about five such festivals.

Chinese New Year

Also known as the ‘Lunar New Year’, the Chinese New Year is celebrated for a period of 15 days during January and February. Families enjoy extensive meals together the night before the commemoration begins. Its specialty is the Yu Sheng or raw fish in an attractive layer of salad. This fish represents a prosperous life. Tourists must visit the highly-popular Chinatown. Colourful stalls sell products such as gold greeting cards and love-letter cookies. There is an aroma of incense and the Chinese make offerings to their Gods at small altars.

Thaipusam

Thaipusam is a thanksgiving fiesta that celebrates asceticism and control over one’s senses. It is a day for Hindu devotees to commemorate the fulfilment of their vows. In the Garden City, many people walk a few kilometres from the Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple to the Sri Thendayuthapani Temple. Devotees carry kavadi (burden offering) and supporters of the kavadi-bearer gather around him, singing prayers, clapping hands and shouting their encouragement along the way. This unique ceremony lasts for an entire day.

Singapore Food Festival

The Singapore Food Festival is organised by the Singapore Tourism Board. This annual fiesta is held from the end of June to the end of July. It consists of weekly core events, culinary workshops and nail-biting competitions. In 2015, the festival themed, ‘A Fresh Taste of Tradition’ showcased both traditional favourites and modern spins on Singaporean classics. This year, the on-going fiesta is themed ‘Savour the Past, Taste the Future’. Foodies should not miss the Singapore Food Festival!

Lantern Festival

The Lantern Festival is simply magnificent! It is held on the 15th day of the eighth month of the Chinese lunar calendar. On this particular night, children illuminate the brightly-coloured lanterns in the form of fishes, squirrels or butterflies. Countless lamps beautify the Jurong Gardens as well. A number of stalls in Chinatown dish out moon cakes and other tasty morsels. There is not one, but many legends associated with the Lantern Festival.

Singapore Arts Festival

Organised by the National Arts Council, the Singapore Arts Festival is an annual celebration that integrates theatre, dance, music and visual arts in a grand manner for the spectators. It is held in the month of May and June. Many museums and shopping malls turn into art galleries of sorts displaying some of the best pieces of art. Creativity is at its peak during this period.

Holidays to Singapore – Welcome to the Garden City!

Singapore is a terrific travel destination and is visited by millions of travellers, each year. The city’s most potent charm is its fabulous and appealing blend of modernity and quaint traditions as well as its remarkable natural beauty.

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There is a lot more to the country that you can enjoy and explore; then there are things you must avoid as a traveller; and there are also certain important pieces of information that can contribute towards a happy holiday for you. Read all about it.

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Singapore’s Changi Airport is widely considered the best managed airport in the world. It is among the largest transportation hubs in Southeast Asia and was adjudged the World’s Best Airport by Skytrax in 2016. Changi Airport is the hub for Singapore Airlines, SilkAir, Scoot and few other Singapore based carriers.

After being impressed with the airport, it will be time for you to explore the myriad attractions of this city-state. [sg_popup id="68"]Marina Bay[/sg_popup], KidZania, [sg_popup id="69"]Singapore Flyer[/sg_popup], Universal Studios, [sg_popup id="70"]Night Safari[/sg_popup], Jurong Bird Park, [sg_popup id="71"]Singapore Zoo[/sg_popup], Singapore Botanic Gardens, [sg_popup id="72"]Chinatown[/sg_popup] and Raffles Hotel are some of the many attractions that are loved by tourists who visit the city in large numbers. Singapore Flyer, and the Merlion, a depiction of a mythical creature with a lion’s head and a body, are two of the city’s most iconic images that have come to represent Singapore world over. Universal Studios are popular among family travellers and should definitely be on your list if you love motion pictures.

Singapore has some excellent, world renowned restaurants, serving most of the global delicacies. However, it is usually the local dishes that appeal more to leisure tourists who come here to explore more than just sites and attractions. Fish head curry is a big hit and so is satay (a skewered grilled meat dish served with rice cake). Do try out the chilli crab, it is fabulous and is available in most local restaurants.

Last but not the least, you must pay heed to certain useful travel tips and suggestions that will make sure you have an enjoyable and healthy vacation in Singapore. Mosquito-borne illnesses like dengue are common in the city and tourists must take appropriate precautions to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.  Singapore is hot and humid most times of the year, come prepared with comfortable and light clothes. Getting around in Singapore is extremely easy as different means of public transport is available, but perhaps none more popular than the MRT (mass rapid transit) train system. Another important point to remember is that Singapore has some strict laws against littering and spitting. It is a surprisingly clean city and these laws are in place to make sure that it remains so.

Most Popular Annual Festivals in Singapore

Singapore is a popular tourist destination with world famous natural as well as man-made attractions and places. Besides, the destination has a rich heritage and diverse culture. People with their own distinctive beliefs, ethics and customs celebrate traditional festivals throughout the year.

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Check out the top most significant festivals of Singapore such as Chinese New Year, the Hindu festival of Thaipusam, the Malay festival of Hari Raya Puasa and many more. If you are booking tickets to the destination, try to be there when one of one of these festivals is celebrated.

Chinese New Year

The Chinese New Year, also known as the Lunar New Year starts from mid -January every year. People all over Singapore beautifully decorate their houses. Shopping malls and city streets are jazzed up with lights and colourful decorations. You can enjoy special cuisine and cultural performances at this significant event. The Huayi festival showcases Chinese talent from diverse backgrounds such as theatre, music, and dance.

Chingay Parade

The Chingay Parade is a traditional celebration held every year in Singapore during the 15-day Chinese New Year festivities. The parade showcases performances by Taiwanese acrobats, salsa dancers and modern-day magicians. You can also get a chance to be a part of the performances during the parade. Don’t forget to witness the traditional Chinese lion dance. This is an eye opening cultural show, performed by people from different countries.

Thaipusam Festival

Thaipusam festival is said to be the most majestic festival in Singapore. It is a Hindu festival celebrated on 30th January, in honour of the Hindu god, Lord Murugan. The practices and rituals include piercing of the body with large steel hooks and other sacrificial acts such as walking on fire. You can attend this festival at Sri Perumal Temple from early morning till late evening. You can even enjoy traditional cuisine and Prasad distributed during the celebrations.

River Hong Bao Festival

The River Hong Bao Festival is one of the most important days in the Chinese calendar. It is celebrated to welcome the Chinese New Year. Celebrations continue for 17 days. There are large-scale displays of Chinese mythical characters including the Chinese God of Fortune and the 12 Chinese zodiacs. The beautiful arrangement of bright colourful lights in the evening simply looks blissful.

Get Mesmerised at ZoukOut, 2015 Singapore

ZoukOut, one of the biggest annual music and dance festivals in Asia is attended by people from all over the globe. If you love upbeat music, dance, beaches, and partying, this is the place to be. Renowned DJs from all around the world play mesmerising tracks.

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After all, the motto of the event is “One World, One Music, One Tribe, One Dance.” If all this sounds interesting, go ahead and book your tickets for the event and get ready to fly to Singapore. You can also buy tickets in bulk if you are planning to attend the event with your friends.

Location

ZoukOut Festival will commence from 8 PM at Sentosa Island’s Silso Beach on 11th December. The festival will have a wide range of both international and local performances which will run until 5 AM next morning. This makes it the only “sunrise beach festival” in Asia, set up by Zouk Singapore, the best club in Asia and the 7th best in the world. You will get a unique opportunity to watch the sun come up with other attendees, and you will come back again in the evening for another round!

Local and International Performers

ZoukOut presents a number of upcoming as well as established DJs from Singapore and various other parts of Asia. Several of the local DJs attending the event are hot favourites at the best of clubs in Singapore. Some of these performers include Andrew Tang, Above & Beyond, Jeremy Boon, R3HAB, DJ Snake and Skrillex. They have been performing in the festival and are geared up for the event with their best soundtracks. The unique style of Damian Lazarus and groovy electro music by Nicky Romero, Dannic and Nina Kravitz will make the crowd dance to their tunes.

Other attractions

When you are not attending the event, you can get familiar with the beautiful Sentosa Island in a unique way. The festival allows you ample time to experience thrilling rides, attractions and other cultural aspects of the island. Some of the places that you may wander to during the daytime are Fort Siloso, Butterfly Park and Insect Kingdom, Underwater World and Dolphin Lagoon and Sentosa 4D AdventureLand to name a few. If you are a film-buff, you may also want to visit the Universal Studios Singapore.