Singapore is a lively and very modern city, spotlessly clean and vibrant; this tiny city state proves that good things certainly do come in small packages. As a luxury holiday destination few places can compete with this diminutive but glimmering jewel of a land.
Originally founded by the East India Company as an important trading port the community was briefly part of the larger of the Malay Peninsula before regaining its independent status. Today Singapore represents one of Asia's renowned four tigers, the technological super powers of the east along with Taiwan, Hong Kong and South Korea.
The beating heart of the city is the expansive waterfront which encompasses the port, one of the busiest in the world; the financial district and the glamorous marina. The grand Singapore flyer dominates the skyline a large observational wheel that does not look dissimilar to the London Eye but in typical Singaporean style at almost 98 ft taller is the world's largest.
Despite the architectural advancements and innovations Singapore certainly still retains a sense of history and heritage with many of the original colonial buildings that marked the early foundation of the city can still be observed today; stalwarts like the Raffles hotel are still fashionable haunts for discerning travellers looking to rediscover a simpler and more glamorous past. Tourists can still be seen dressed in their finest sat in the bar enjoying a Singapore sling and nibbling on the complimentary monkey nuts. Singaporean culture offers a unique mix of Indian, Malay, Chinese and a host of other nationalities to produce a truly multicultural community. To grasp a sense of this extensive spectrum tourists often endeavour to explore the wider suburbs of the city including the sprawling China town and the colourful Little India with its temples and market stalls.
From markets to chic outlets Singapore is a paradise for shoppers and the arterial Orchard Road is still saturated with exclusive boutiques, malls and shops. The world's most renowned fashion houses and retailers have established themselves in the city catering for a distinguished clientele of local residents and international travellers.
When the sun goes down on Singapore the action certainly doesn't end and the city boasts an abundance of bustling night spots, from markets to bars and restaurants and fully blown nightclubs there is something here to entertain everyone; particularly worth your attention are the quay areas (Clarke, Boat and Robinson) with their fashionable eateries and numerous bars.
During the day as we have discussed there are plenty of sights to explore in the city with various museums, galleries and cultural sites to entertain and fascinate the traveller. If however if you begin to yearn for a sense of nature and of greenery then Singapore does successfully balance its urban cityscape with numerous parks and open areas to offer visitors and residents a peaceful retreat from the fast paced city. The Singapore Zoo and Butterfly Park as well as the Jurong Bird Park and Botanical Gardens all provide areas of great natural beauty and serenity. You could take the cable car across to the world famous Sentosa Island, a small island located just off the Singaporean coast which today operates as the city's busiest tourist attraction. Despite annual visitor numbers of around 5 million people there are plenty of quiet corners to be found far relaxation and reflection. The sheltered 2km long Siloso beach promises a wonderful place to sit and catch some sun or for those looking for a little adventure the island is also home to a Universal Studios theme park.
Jamie is an experienced travel writer and has journeyed extensively through South East Asia. For more luxury holiday or general travel advice he recommends contacting The Turquoise Holiday Company
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