Our first visit to Singapore a couple of years ago was a fun one. Each day was different, none of them boring. We would suggest Singapore to anyone and even to the less experienced travelers as the first Far East destination.
1. The Compact Size
Everything is easily accessed in Singapore, the distances are not long. Great especially for someone with a limited time in Singapore as you get to see a lot easily. We also found taxis both cheap (and clean). Even short rides are ok, when the price is right.
2. The People
We felt welcome and were treated nicely where ever we went to. In a busy place like this we were amazed by the genuine friendliness. The long history as an international harbor and hub has created this unique athmosphere, we think.
3. The Food
The only problem in Singapore is that you can’t eat it all. The hawker centers are street food heavens with local dishes of different cultures. You can choose from Malaysian, Chinese, Indian or Japanese dishes to name a few. And local fusions – those you will find everywhere. A long line of customers is often a good sign. Ask what they’re having.
But Singapore is also a favourite address for many international celebrity chefs. Mario Batali, Gordon Ramsey, Joel Robuchon, Wolfgang Puck and many others have their restaurants on the island.
4. The Name Game
Little Red Dot, The Lion City, The Asian Tiger. S’pore, Singers, Sg. Temasek, Pulau Ujong. These are some of Singapore’s names and nicknames. It was fun spotting different abbreviations. And the official symbol, Merlion, what a cool name it has. Mermaids tail, lions head.
5. The Energy
Singapore is forever developing, in a constant state of metamorphosis. The history, present and the future are tied together artfully, playfully and that creates energy you sense everywhere.The steel structures and the old merchant houses stand side by side.
6. The Language Game
Yes, it is English. But it isn’t. Singlish is Singapore’s English slang, a blend of many languages and dialects. We wanted to hear more of it and bought tickets to Ah Boys To Men musical. What an interesting way to use English!
7. The Night Life
When the sun sets, places like Clarke Quay by the river come alive. Bar hopping, foodie fun, live music. Sentosa Island has a great array of entertaiment as well. Hard Rock Cafe has live music, there are clubs and the Resorts World casino is an arena of exitement for the friends of gaming.
8. The Tidy Tradition
It was pleasant surprise (even that we knew it) that Singapore really is super clean. It can get expensive, going against the tidy traditions. The regulations are good for food hygiene, as well.
9. The Public Art
Singapore is filled with public art. Statues, installations. And the store windows are kind of public art as well, crazy fun ideas come alive in the shopping centres.
10. The Cultural Tapestry
On this island you can celebrate Chinese New Year and mid-Autumn festival, Christian Easter and Christmas, Buddhist Vesak, Deepavali of the Hindus, the Ramadan special days of the Muslim tradition. And so on. Singapore embraces diversity and knows how to celebrate.
11. The Greenery
Singapore feels like a huge, tropical park. Beautiful greenery is everywhere and it makes you forget you are on an island of 5,75 million people.