Widely regarded by travel industry experts as one of the world's cleanest and safest places to visit, Singapore–often called Lion City–is an alluring combination of Asian cuisines, cultures, natural beauty and man-made designs. Located in Southeast Asia, Singapore is a single island surrounded by 62 islets. It offers a unique blend of modern and ancient architecture, as well as panoramic and inspiring scenery. From its brilliant museums, to its impressive zoo, travellers never lack something to do in Singapore.
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Attractions and Activities
Animal lovers should not miss a trip to the city's world class zoo, which is home to an outstanding number of domestic and exotic animals from around the globe. Each June, a two-day dragon boat race hallmarks the quest for a Chinese patriot and poet. This celebrated event is attended by thousands, and many choose to plan their holiday around this activity.
Visitors who enjoy calmer excursions should plan a trip to Singapore's Botanical Gardens. The Gardens are comprised of outstanding flowerbeds, intricately designed shrubs, and a natural jungle landscape. Thousands of plant species can be found in this botanical conservatory, as well as the world's largest display of orchids, the latter of which total over 50,000. The area also occasionally serves as a backdrop for outdoor entertainment such as live concerts,operas or dramatic plays.
Empress Place Museum
Another must-see attraction is the Empress Place Museum, which was built in 1965 and is home to ten themed galleries which focus on Asian culture, civilization and religion. Exceptional works of art are housed in the museum, including paintings and sculptures from China, India, Southeast Asia and Sri Lanka.
Located just off Singapore's mainland lies Sentosa Island, which is a unique area that is set apart from the traditional tourist attractions listed above. The island is essentially a massive sized theme park boasting attractions for holidaymakers with which other parts of the world cannot compete. These include a water show featuring pink dolphins, a gigantic marine life oceanarium that houses thousands of marine species, and an underwater city in which visitors can scuba dive and seek hidden treasures and prizes.
Despite the fact that Singapore is a modest size island, it offers a surprisingly high number of additional recreational activities, such as numerous golf courses and more public swimming pools per square mile than any other nation in the world. The latter are typically opened every day of the year and the majority of them feature poolside cafes or bars. A fact of which many travellers may be unaware is that Singapore is also home to several casinos which non-residents can enter at no charge. Those who can find time for a little gaming action while on holiday in Singapore usually enjoy the unique casino experience provided by these establishments.
Shopping and Dining
Competitive prices and a vast array of products have made Singapore a leader with regard to its ranking as a terrific shopping location. Tourists can choose from items such as Indian and Persian rugs, designer clothing, jewellery, perfume, shoes and leather products. In addition, many open air markets exist where one can bargain with vendors on the price of various wares.
Dining is never a challenge in Singapore, as restaurants are available to suit virtually any taste, lifestyle and budget. The city is also home to a stimulating and colourful nightlife with a wide selection of bars, restaurants, and clubs from which visitors can choose for an exciting night out on the town.
Due to its close proximity to the Equator, Singapore has no distinct seasons, but features an average year-round temperature of 29 degrees Celsius. Sunshine is plentiful in Singapore, although short frequent rain showers are quite common. Thunderstorms can also occur almost any time of the year, so it is wise for those on holiday to carry an umbrella when sightseeing or going out to dine.
Mandarin is the official language in Singapore, and is spoken by most local residents. However, Malay, English and Tamil are also heard quite often on the island.
Regardless of one's individual goals when travelling, Singapore is a unique and diversified area of the world and as such, makes an ideal location for a holiday.