Category Archives: Singapore

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.

header

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.

singapore info

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.

singapore

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.

ZoukOut-Singapore

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.

Popular Dining Spots at the 3 Terminals of Changi Airport, Singapore

TERMINAL 1

Peach Garden Noodle House

Peach Garden Noodle House is one of the most popular food-chains which specialize in Cantonese cuisine. Situated inside the departure transit mall on level 3, the Peach Garden Noodle House serves delicious portions of soups, dim sums, noodles and desserts among others.

Singapore

One of the best aspects of the restaurant is the staff, which offers excellent service. We would recommend the fresh prawn dumpling with noodles. It is simply wonderful.

Ruyi

Ruyi, situated in the departure check-in hall of the public area, is an establishment which serves delicious Chinese fast food. Their specialty dish, the hands-free fried rice, is prepared with eggs, rice, shrimps, oil, barbecued pork, spring onions, diced carrots and a special sauce. You can watch it being cooked here. Ruyi’s menu offers 30 delicious dishes to choose from, and all the food ingredients are weighed in correct proportions. Ruyi provides perfectly filling meals that you will love to have before catching your flight and the food is worth every penny. It is open 24 hours a day throughout the week.

TERMINAL 2

Chinta Manis

Chinta Manis is a Peranakan patisserie which is famous for its kueh-kueh with a modern touch. The ambiance at Chinta Manis is warm and homely and to top it all, they also serve home-made food! The pastry chef, who was previously employed by the Sultan of Brunei, makes handmade kuehs everyday. Some of the best selling items at Chinta Manis are dried mee siam, chendol kueh and ondeh-ondeh.

TERMINAL 3

Gurney Drive Restaurant

Penang food without having to leave the airport

Gurney Drive Restaurant, located on level 3, in the viewing mall, is a ‘hawker food dining place’. It is perfect for a quick bite with a number of different options such as fish cake and the famous kway teow. You can also order refreshing ampala juice, a clatter, or a glass of coke with your meal.

Singapore River Festival – a Fun-packed Event in Singapore

Singapore, well known for its rich culture, hosts several events and festivals during the last quarter of the year. If you are visiting this colourful metropolis in late-October, you can check out several exciting annual events. For instance, Singapore River Festival is one such gala event.

singapore

The 2015 edition of the event is scheduled from 23rd to 25th October at Robertson Quay, Clarke Quay and Boat Quay. There will be plenty of delicious food, live performances, and art exhibitions. Let’s check what all you can enjoy and experience at Singapore River Festival.

Headline Act – La Fura Dels Baus

This is the main event of the festival. There will be spectacular performances by La Fura dels Baus, a Spanish Theatrical Group, which promises a spellbinding experience. The Spanish group is popular for its musical opera, film and theatre productions. The act will take place on 23rd and 24th October at Riverside Point, Clarke Quay. At this show, La Fura dels Baus is going to pay tribute to the rich cultural heritage of Singapore.

Riverside Makers Market

On 24th and 25th October, this market will be set up at Robertson Quay between 5pm and 10pm. Visit this marketplace to enjoy locally made food and beverages. Also, you can buy a range of crafts. Entry to the market is free but you will have to buy tickets to attend workshops. The General Company is going to arrange the craft making workshops. Live Music is another highlight of this market. Local artists and bands such as Cheating Sons, L.A.B., and Steve McQueens will rock the stage with their powerful live performances.

SR Signatures

Handpicked by a panel of critics, SR Signatures is a collection of establishments that dish out some of the best of food along the Boat, Clarke, and Quays. Kobe Beef Hot Stone, 12-Hour Braised Lamb Shank and Avocado Chicken Parmigiana are among the most popular dishes to be sampled. Overall, there will be as many as 40 fabulous dishes out there for you. Besides, there will be a slew of special promotions and discounts.

Top Spots to Satiate your Thirst for Shopping in Singapore

When in Singapore, shopping is almost irresistible. Brimming with world-class malls, lively markets, and independent boutiques, the island nation is a Mecca for shopaholics.

singaore

After all, shopping is Singapore’s national pastime. With so many options available, you must be wondering where to go to quench your thirst for shopping. To help you out, here is our guide to the top shopping spots in Singapore.

Orchard Road

Myriad shopping venues, great deals & discounts, and a festive vibe – this 2.2km shopping boulevard has all this and much more. Most of the malls and shopping venues here are interconnected by underground tunnels, promising an endless and delightful shopping experience. With shopping spots like the Orchard Store, Plaza Singapura, and ION Orchard, and an eclectic array of bars, food joints and entertainment venues, Orchard Road will charm you in myriad ways.

Haji Lane

When it comes to a vintage shopping experience in Singapore, there is hardly a better place than Haji Lane. This narrow alley in Kampong Glam is lined, on either side, with glittering boutiques selling a wide array of local items at reasonable prices. Some of the great buys here include winter-wear, accessories, handicrafts and household items. The place is also famous for its dining spots. Here, you can find a range of restaurants and street hawkers serving local and inter-continental delicacies. Some of the popular shopping stores here are Dulcetfig, Loft, Soon Lee, and Rusty Button.

Mustafa Centre, Little India

At Mustafa Centre, you can shop any time, even in the wee hours of the morning. Open round the clock and selling everything from ethnic jewellery and handicrafts to modern clothing and the latest electronics, Mustafa Centre is indeed one of the best shopping sites in Singapore. During daytime, the place is often overcrowded. So if you want to avoid the chaos and crowds, visit early in the morning or late at night.

Chinatown

If you are hunting for a good bargain, Singapore’s Chinatown won’t disappoint you. The market here is a treasure trove of souvenirs, spices, cheap clothes, jewellery and made-in-China gadgets. Of course, haggling is the key to crack a good deal. However, be polite and don’t argue with shopkeepers.

Top 5 Cultural Attractions in Singapore

Singapore is a hot tourist destination for several reasons. Located in Southeast Asia, it is one of the four financial giants of Asia and has maintained its position as a premium tourist destination for many decades. The country is a cultural melting pot of three major ethnic races, namely Malays, Indians and Chinese. The destination is a unique blend of culture and traditions and yet has almost all the state-of-the-art amenities because of its developed infrastructure. Take a look at five of the top cultural attractions in Singapore.

Thian Hock Keng Temple

Thian Hock Keng Temple is considered to be the oldest and one of the most the respected places in Singapore.

Thian Hock Keng Temple by Pablo Sanchez/ CC BY

Thian Hock Keng Temple by Pablo Sanchez/ CC BY

Located in Telok Ayer Street, Thian Hock Keng was established in 1822 and is divided into two chambers. The main chamber is devoted to the Taoist goddess of the sea, Mazu while the other chamber is dedicated to Kuan Yin, the enlightened Bodhisattva of mercy. In 1973, it was recognized as a national monument and since then this place has become a highly popular tourist attraction.

Niu Che Shui (Chinatown)

Chinatown, also known as Niu Che Shui, is one of the most lively and vibrant neighbourhoods in Singapore. The whole area has a distinctive charm, which makes it one of the most popular destinations in Singapore. The enclave is located in the Outram district. It retains cultural and historical traditions and celebrates some of the most colourful festivals in town. Many culturally rich sections of Chinatown have been declared as national heritage sites by the Urban Redevelopment Authority.

Mosque Hajjah Fatima

Mosque Hajjah Fatima is one of the largest mosques in Singapore and one of the few mosques in the world to be named after a woman.  Built in 1846, Hajjah Fatima Mosque is surrounded by high rise buildings and is located on the way to the beach. It is a lovely example of medieval architecture in Singapore.

The Sri Mariamman Temple

Sri Mariamman Temple, apart from being very popular, is the oldest Hindu temple of Singapore.

The Sri Mariamman Temple by alantankenghoe/ CC BY

The Sri Mariamman Temple by alantankenghoe/ CC BY

Located in South Bridge Road, near Chinatown; Sri Mariamman Temple is a South Indian temple. Founded in 1827, it is one of the most important national monuments of Singapore and a great place to see the rich art and culture of India.

The Buddha Tooth Relic Temple

The Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, apart from being a Buddhist temple also serves as museum. Located in the heart of Chinatown, it is an incredible example of the Tang Dynasty architecture (Chinese). Established in 2002, this impressive temple is unlike most of the other temples of Singapore. The Buddha Tooth Relic Temple is home to some great ancient relics related to Buddhism.

Singapore’s Top Museums and Art Galleries

For culture vultures, there is a lot to explore in Singapore. This island nation is home to numerous museums that reflect its artistic magnificence and most tourists make it a point to visit Singapore’s popular museums and art galleries for an insight into the destination’s artistic and cultural side. In fact, art buffs visiting Singapore can spend a full day at museums and galleries.

Singapore Art Museum

Start your tour with a trip to the Singapore Art Museum. Also, known as SAM, this art museum is perhaps the best place in Singapore to admire contemporary art works created by local as well as other Southeast Asian artists.

The museum is housed in a 19th century building which was once a prominent school for Catholic boys. You can visit Singapore Art Museum all through the week and get a free entry on Fridays after 6 pm.

The Substation

This multidisciplinary art facility is around 450 metres from Singapore Art Museum and features various venues including a theatre, a dance studio, a gallery and classrooms. The theatre is a popular venue for music concerts, comedy shows and a range of art events whereas the gallery has a fine collection of visual and sound artworks. The dance studio, located on the second floor of the museum, is suitable for small scale performances and rehearsals.

Art Plural Gallery

Located just across the road from the Substation, this gallery is housed in a heritage building modelled on a beautiful Art Deco design. If you are a fan of modern art and design, visiting this gallery is a must. The Swiss art dealer, Frédéric de Senarclens founded this gallery in 2011 and it has been named as one of the best new galleries in the world.

Asian Civilisations Museum

This museum is a great place to explore the multicultural diversity of Singapore. Just a kilometre away from Art Plural Gallery, Asian Civilisations Museum features an extensive collection of artefacts from various pan-Asian cultures.Dehua porcelain figures, Chola Bronzes and Buddhist art from Tibet, India, Nepal and Vietnam are also on display at the museum.

Night Safari, Singapore: Take your Wildlife Fantasies to a New High!!

The Night Safari, opened in 1994, is one of the best tourist attractions in Singapore and attracts more than a million visitors every year. Here, one gets the chance to see around 2,500 wild animals in wonderfully simulated natural habitats. Guided safari tours are offered in the night, promising visitors a peep into the world of some of the planet’s most fascinating wild animals.

Night Safari by Greg Walters/ CC BY

Night Safari by Greg Walters/ CC BY

Attractions

Perhaps, the biggest attraction here is the guided tram ride that takes tourists to 7 different artificially created geographical zones of the world, including the rugged foothills of the Himalayas and plains of Equatorial Africa. While traversing the varied landscapes and vegetations, you may spot an array of enchanting animals, birds, reptiles, and insects. The tram guide shares fascinating facts about the landscapes and wildlife of different geographies. Besides spotting and admiring the unique wildlife, you may enjoy a meal in a traditional village ambiance at their Ulu Ulu Safari Restaurant. The thrilling Thumbuakar performances, entertaining animal shows, and adventure-packed walking trails are some of the other attractions.

Night Safari by Alexander Baxevanis/ CC BY

Night Safari by Alexander Baxevanis/ CC BY

Opening Hours and Tickets

Night Safari is open every day of the year and the timings are 7:30pm-12:00pm. The first ‘Creatures of the Night Show’ begins at 7:30pm. Ticket prices, as shown on their official website, are 42 SGD for adults and 28SGD for children. Admission for kids less than 3 years of age is free of cost. Admission fee usually covers entry to the park and a tram ride.

Night Safari by Allie_Caulfield/ CC BY

Night Safari by Allie_Caulfield/ CC BY

Useful Tips

•    Don’t forget to apply mosquito repellent to protect your skin from mosquitoes and other insects.
•    Wear comfortable footwear, especially if you plan to explore the walking trails.
•    Don’t share your food with animals. It’s strictly prohibited.
•    Maintain an adequate distance from the animals. Be with your group while trekking across the trails.

Top Shopping Malls in Singapore for an Exotic Retail Therapy

singaporeEnjoy a huge range of lifestyle offerings at some of Singapore’s most famous shopping malls. These properties are not just popular with shopaholics, but also draw hordes of movie buffs and foodies. After all, few can resist the charm of numerous upscale stores, cinema halls, and eateries under one roof. Check out our list of some of the most prominent shopping malls in Singapore.

The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands

This sprawling 800,000-square-feet luxury mall is an excellent retail and dining retreat. You can experience a refreshing mix of international luxury brands and emerging labels. The Shoppes is home to numerous celebrated brands including Chanel, Gucci, Burberry, Cartier, Dior, Guess, Miss Sixty and Banana Republic. If hunger pangs set in, head to the leading celebrity-owned restaurants here such as Wolfgang Puck, Mario Batali and Guy Savoy.

Suntec City

Designed with great focus on feng shui, Suntec City symbolizes harmony among the various races in Singapore. This 830,000-square-feet property is segregated into four distinct zones, each showcasing its own character. Suntec City features 150 luxury stores, ranging from exclusive boutiques to international chains. The mall is even home to five soaring office towers and an international convention and exhibition centre. As far as the food goes, prepare to get spoilt for choice by more than 50 big and small restaurants that promise a gratifying dining experience.

Mandarin Gallery

The Mandarin Gallery of Singapore, with its perfect blend of aesthetics and elegance, presents an exclusive shopping experience, which is hard to find elsewhere. The ground level of this boutique style mall lures shoppers with high-end brands like Vertu, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Mulberry and Montblanc. The upper floor is stocked with products from Hansel and a few other local fashion labels. Mandarin Gallery also features restaurants such as Wild Honey, Jones the Grocer, and the immensely popular and usually crowded, Ippudo Ramen.

VivoCity

One of the largest shopping malls in Singapore, VivoCity is a one-stop solution for all your cravings for entertainment and shopping. The convenient location (near the Sentosa Island) makes it a beautiful place for a relaxed and fun-filled shopping experience. The property is also home to an open-air playground for the young ones, and a rooftop amphitheatre. There are many bars and restaurants, including open-air dining along the promenade and a large hawker centre-style food court.