Singapore has become one of the world’s most popular and attractive tourist destinations. The island nation has in itself the best of the present and creates a future standard for other big cities worldwide. Singapore — the Lion City — offers a vibrant, lively, international and very safe atmosphere to its residents and guests. Being a nice stopover for long flight layovers, Singapore has made it to the world’s hot-list for desired destinations.
The local population consists of Chinese, Malays, Peranakans, Indians and Eurasians. There are at least four main languages, but every Singaporean speaks English or the so called “Singlish”, which as you have already probably figured out is a bit different than the English we speak.
“ALL YOU’VE GOT TO DO IS DECIDE TO GO AND THE HARDEST PART IS OVER. SO GO!” — TONY WHEELER
To most visiting Singapore would be a marvelous once in a lifetime experience! The place continues to attract expats, highly skilled foreign professionals with its constantly warm climate, low crime, high safety, world class education and health care services. Today about 40 % of Singapore’s population is made out of foreign employees.
..but what will you do as a tourist?
Glorious food, excellent shopping venues, wild tour adventures, leisure time or diving into Singapore’s history — many think there is none, but they are wrong — you can easily spend a whole week visiting Singapore.
SINGLISH HAS NO VERB TENSES. PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE ARE EXPRESSED AS “I GO TOMORROW!” PREPOSITIONS AND PRONOUNS ARE DROPPED, WORD ORDER IS FLIPPED, PHRASES ARE CLIPPED SHORT AND STRESS AND CADENCE ARE UNCONVENTIONAL.
FOOD: WONDERFUL INTERNATIONALLY MIXED CUISINE
Singaporeans are obsessed with food! You can find it steaming, sizzling and simmering almost everywhere you look. Singaporeans take pride in their international cuisine and it might be one of the many things that unites a nation made out of so many different nationalities together.
Chinese, Malaysian and Indian spices are everywhere and awaiting your taste buts!
Singapore’s hawker centers (kopitiams) and food courts serve up knockout street food at wallet-friendly prices. The hawker centers are usually standalone open-air of a type structures offering vibe and row food stalls.
Singapore is not falling behind on a higher-end fine dining places either. The city has an ever-expanding legion of top-notch, celebrity-chef nosheries. Iggy’s remains one of Asia’s most coveted destination restaurants!
- Chinese: typical dishes including xiao long bao (pork dumplings filled with a piping hot sauce) and dim sum — also known as yum cha — snack-type dishes usually eaten at lunchtime or as a Sunday brunch.
SINGAPORE’S NATIONAL DISH, HAINANESE CHICKEN RICE IS A SOULFUL MIX OF STEAMED FOWL AND RICE COOKED IN CHICKEN STOCK, AND SERVED WITH A CLEAR SOUP, SLICES OF CUCUMBER AND GINGER, CHILLI AND SOY DIPS.
- 1.2. Some other options to consider are: char kway teow (noodles, clams and eggs fried in chilli and black bean sauce), bak chor mee (noodles with pork, meat balls and fried scallops) and hokkien mee (yellow Hokkien noodles with prawns, served either fried or in a rich prawn-based stock).
- Indian: Spicy, South Indian food dominates Singapore, with a typical dish being thali (rice plate), often a large mound of rice served with various vegetables curries, rassam (hot, sour soup) and a dessert. A must try Indian dish is the roti telur (prata cooked with an egg) or a rotti tissue (ultrathin prata cooked with margarine and sugar and served in a cone shape).
- Malay & Indonesian: The worldwide famous kebabs of chicken, mutton or beef dipped in a spicy peanut sauce. Both ayam goreng (fried chicken) and rendang (spicy coconut curry) are popular staples, as are nasi goreng (fried rice) and nasi lemak (coconut rice served with ikan bilis), peanuts and a curry dish.
- Peranakan: This is probably the most interesting cuisine you can try while visiting Singapore. It is a unique fashion of Chinese ingredients and Malay sauces and spices. Commonly flavoured with shallots, chillies, belacan (Malay fermented prawn paste), peanuts, preserved soybeans and galangal (a gingerlike root). Prime dishes are otak-otak (a paste-like combo of fish, coconut milk, chilli, galangal and herbs, wrapped and grilled in a banana leaf) and ayam buah keluak (chicken stewed with dark, earthy nuts imported from Indonesia to produce rich sauce).
- Vegetarian & Vegan: Most of this food could be found in the Little India part of Singapore and they all offer excellent choices. Be careful when ordering and explain in details that you particularly want vegetarian food without meet because if you simply order vegetarian soup, it will have some pork or chicken in it along with vegetables.
TOP 5 PLACES TO VISIT IN SINGAPORE
- Gardens by the Bay: Singapore’s hottest new horticultural asset. It is home to almost 400,000 plants, and breath taking contemporary architecture. Two giants conservatories rise beside Marina Bay — one home to ancient olive trees and the other to a towering, tropical mountain.
- Singapore Zoo: Bias or not, we should tell you that this is the world’s best zoo. Where else will you see the largest number of orang-utans or tigers walking around? To add to the extravagance of this place, be prepared to see leopards and free-ranging deer if you purchase tickets for the Night Safari tour.
- Botanic Gardens: Have you heard of the garden of Eden? This is it! It is a sprawling oasis laced with elegant lakes and themed gardens, as well as countless picnic spots. Conveniently located inside the city, the Singapore Botanic Gardens are a preferred tourist destinations among visitors.
- Bukit Timah Nature Reserve: Hot and humid, but still willing to go for a hike? Look no further! A cacophony of roving monkeys (keep your bananas away), rare birds and lush canopy hark back will take you to a time when Singapore was nothing but thick and wet wilderness. This is what Sir Stamford Raffles discovered when he first set foot on the island and began to cultivate and civilize it.
- Sentosa Island: The best funground ever! Carefully planned, all ages suitable, a world class sprawl of theme parks and amusements, evening spectaculars, luxery resorts and casinos. A short boat ride from the “mainland” it is a great get away for some real fun.
TOP 3 CULTURAL PLACES TO EXPLORE WHILE VISITING SINGAPORE
Singapore does not pride with centuries old history like Europe or the liberation and conquering wars of North America, but the government has made special efforts to make Singapore a prime art exhibit destination. Singapore has been known to most of us since the 1950-1960, but although young, it will definitely surprise you with some astonishing pieces of art and culture, clearly showing its preserved and still observed today traditions.
- National Gallery Singapore: A showcase for Singaporean and Southeast Asian art from the 19th century to modern times, its collection includes works by major homegrown talent.
- Gillman Barracks: Colonial military barracks get a cultural makeover at Gillman Barracks, a collection of world-class private art galleries set in calming, green surroundings.
- Indian Heritage Center: Opened in 2015 and today it puts the spotlight on Singapore’s Indian culture in a shimmering building that stands in sharp contrast to Little India’s trademark raffishness.
EVERYONE THAT’S OLDER THAN YOU SHOULD BE ADDRESSED AS “UNCLE” OR “AUNT” REGARDLESS IF YOU ARE RELATED TO THEM OR NOT.
GO VISIT SINGAPORE!
A vibrant city made out of so many nationalities and a real “safe heaven” to many today, Singapore has a lot more to offer than we can fit in one article. Follow us on Instagram @customtrip365 and keep an eye for our next articles/guides/itineraries to Singapore or Contact us today to order your entirely personalized and customized itinerary!