Singapore’s reputation as a straight-laced, law-abiding locale isn’t misplaced. Although it’s also home to a culture that swirls together influences from China, Malaysia and India, as well as the West – a result of its history as a British trading colony. It’s a city, it’s a country, and though it’s not big in area, it’s a hugely fascinating place to see.
Here are five reasons why Singapore should be on your list:
ShutterstockSri Mariamman Temple |
Singapore’s oldest Hindu temple, founded in 1827, is an active place of worship, as well as a popular tourist site. The gopuram (entrance tower) is covered in brightly colored plaster sculptures. Hainanese chicken rice |
Singapore’s national dish, chicken rice, should be on your must-taste list. It’s available in Singapore’s numerous “hawker centers,” which are food courts on a whole other level.
Dive into the heart of Singapore’s Chinese culture, where stately colonial architecture mixes with temples, teahouses, bustling shops and tons of tempting restaurants.
ShutterstockBukit Timah Nature Reserve |
Yes, a rainforest can rub elbows with a metropolis. Bukit Timah, a 400-acre reserve of primary rainforest, is about 12 kilometers from the heart of the city, but feels worlds away. Watch out for the mischievous monkeys – the National Parks organization recommends you don’t make eye contact or smile at them.Raffles Hotel |
If you’ve been craving a step back in time, make a reservation at the Raffles, a colonial-era hotel that still retains its reputation for elegance. Or, if the cost of a stay is a little rich for your blood, have a cocktail in the atmospheric Long Bar, where the Singapore Sling was invented. It’s a good idea to dress up a bit for the occasion.
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