Whether you are a first time visitor or a regular visitor. you will enjoy these experiences. Singapore’s legendary past, its economic prosperity, and an enviable lifestyle, have combined to shape Singaporean life. This exciting city-state of 4.2 million people (and growing) offers the visitor a chance to savour an Asian country unlike any of the others.
Taste of China in Singapore
Check out the food streets and local hawker centres of Chinatown, plus the upmarket restaurants in other parts of the city (and don’t overlook the Hotels – some of the best restaurants can be found in Singapore‘s Hotels. Then find a Feng Shui adviser and be swayed by the advice given before dashing off to catch a boisterous Chinese opera performance.
If sightseeing makes your feet ache check out the ancient Chinese practice of reflexology where the nerve endings in the feet are massaged to normalise the body‘s internal organ functions (I guarantee it’s not what you’ll find in the west). Tour the streets of Singapore on a traditional trishaw and make sure to visit the Chinatown Heritage Centre for a glimpse of life in the days of the early Chinese immigrants.
Music and Mosques in Singapore:
The former Sultan’s Palace, Istana Kampong Glam, is now the Malay Heritage Centre where you can buy fabrics or watch a traditional dance, listen to music or watch martial arts displays – even try making your own batik. Take time to see Singapore’s most impressive mosque – Masjid Sultan – which accommodates up to 5,000 Muslims for prayer.
Start with the 119-year-old National Museum, originally the Raffles Library and Museum, built in British Colonial days. Its white neo-classical exterior now glows whiter than ever after renovation, while the inside is packed with interesting things to see.
The other grand museum is the Asian Civilizations Museum at Empress Place. Here you will find 1,300 artefacts gathered from the many Asian countries from which Singapore’s descendents arrived.
Ritualistic spectacles in Singapore
If you come to Singapore in February be prepared for the spectacle of Thaipusam, a deeply spiritual day of penance, thanksgiving and consecration. Devotees shave their heads, and don a wooden kavadi – a portable shrine – attached to the body by dozens of metal skewers mounted on a metal frame. Definitely not for the squeamish! They trek between the Sri Srinasasa Perumal and Sri Thendayuthapani temples in Little India.
See a Show at Singapore’s Durian.
Locals call the Esplanade-Theatres on the Bay, the Durian, because its shape resembles the Asian fruit. It’s an architectural icon housing a 1,600 seat concert hall and a 2,000 seat theatre. Wander along the waterfront before or after the show in the warm evening, have something to eat or take in one of the regular free music shows al fresco.
Try a Singapore Breakfast:
Forget the full English, the Ulster Fry or the American Breakfast and go for a Singapore breakfast. Grab a table at Ya Kun Kaya on Far East Square and tuck into strong coffee, boiled eggs and toast sandwiched with coconut jam (kaya). Ya Kun Kaya was started here by Loi Ah Koon who arrived from China in 1926 and it‘s now a local institution.