Singapore Vacation Travel Guide | Expedia

Singapore is situated in South East Asia, just off the southern tip of Malaysia. One of the smallest and most densely populated
countries in the world, Singapore is a breeze to explore- nothing is more than an hour away from the
central business district. Built at the crossroads of maritime trading
routes, for well over a century Singapore was the
jewel in Britain’s Empire. When the city became a republic in 1965, few thought a country with so few resources and of vastly different ethnic groups could
succeed. But succeed it has, on an unimaginable scale! Singapore today is one of the Four Asian economic
Tigers, a futuristic bridge between East and West. Yet despite blossoming into one of the great
global cities, Singapore is a nation that still cherishes
its Asian traditions. Once filled with trading houses and opium
dens, Chinatown’s historic shophouses have been
transformed into restaurants, boutique hotels and gift shops. Pick up a good luck charm in the Pagoda Street
Market, or find a few moments of quiet reflection
at the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple. Across town, Little India crams all the colors,
scents, and gods of the Indian Subcontinent into a just a few
city blocks. While nearby in the Malay and Muslim quarter
of Kampong Glam, the streets are a treasure trove of handicrafts
from the Arabian world. One thing unites all Singaporeans- food- it’s
the national obsession! For an authentic Singaporean ‘Makan’ experience, follow the satay smoke to the nearest hawkers
center. For more upscale dinning, head to the bright
lights of Boat and Clarke Quays. Despite Singapore’s high urban density, the island is incredibly fertile. They say, if you stick a broom handle into
the soil, it will flower overnight! Escape the heat and enter a world of color at the Singapore Botanic Gardens and National
Orchid Garden. For a slightly wilder experience explore the jungle paths of the Bukit Timah
Nature Reserve. Singapore’s animal residents are a pretty
diverse bunch too! Famed for its forest setting, The Singapore
Zoo is home to over 300 species, including the world’s largest captive colony
of Orangutans, while the Jurong Bird Park has been bringing
human beings and birdlife closer together for over 40 years. Singapore enjoys a hot tropical climate. When the cooling afternoon rains come, indulge in that other Singaporean obsession,
shopping! Orchard Road offers miles of retail indulgence. For a change of pace, head to the Bugis Markets to really rub shoulders with bargain-hunting
locals. When it’s time to unwind, climb aboard a cable-car
to Sentosa, an island playground filled with resorts,
theme parks, beaches and bars. At Sentosa’s western tip is Fort Siloso, a vivid reminder of Singapore’s darkest days
during World War Two. Closer to town is Singapore’s big backyard,
East Coast Park. This 10-mile recreational park is lined with
bike paths and beaches, and is proof that busy Singaporeans do know
how to kick back and relax. A little further east is Changi Beach. From here, catch a ‘bumboat’ to the island
of Pulau Ubin for a taste of ‘Kampong Life’ that has all
but vanished on the mainland. Pulau Ubin’s quiet beaches, mangroves and
wetlands are a world away from the buzz of modern Singapore. But you don’t need to ride a ‘bumboat’ to
head back in time, simply step through the doors of Raffles Hotel
and order a Singapore Sling. Many of history’s greatest adventurers and
writers have cooled off in Raffles’ legendary bars. In the 21st Century, Singapore is attracting the world’s most adventurous
architectural minds. Marina Bay shines like something from a science
fiction blockbuster, while Gardens by the Bay shows the endless
possibilities of mankind’s flowering imagination. Welcome to Singapore, where the future is only ever a few steps
from the past. A destination that proves that with unity,
diversity and daring, even the smallest of places, can grow into
a giant!

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