Singapore – It is one of the world’s fastest developing commercial and financial centres. Singapore a sun-drenched tropical island – offers duty-free shopping, a variety of exotic cuisine, some of the world’s most luxurious hotels and a fascinating mosaic of Asian people, cultures, customs, festivals, arts and crafts.
Singapore is a shopper’s paradise. You can find excellent bargains at the duty-free prices on cameras and photographic equipment, watches, electronic goods, electrical appliances, carpets, jewellery, toys, perfumes, cosmetic and toiletries. Few countries in the world can match the variety of goods sold in Singapore. Orchard Road, Raffles City, Marina Square, South Bridge Road, Arab Street and Chinatown are some of the major shopping areas.
Some of these shopping streets offer readymade jewellery for every taste as well as the opportunity to make up your own designs at bargain prices.
The Jurong Bird Park houses more than 5,000 birds from over 450 species in a lush parkland setting. Just next to it is the Jurong crocodile Paradise. Covering some two hectares, this is a home for about 2,500 crocodiles that live there in jungle-like surroundings.
Singapore Zoological Gardens, an open zoo uses natural barriers such as water and sheer rock walls, wherever possible, not iron bars. There are over 1,700 animals of more than 172 species and many of them are endangered species from Asia. The Singapore Zoo is world-renowned for its special orangutan breeding program.
Close by is the Mandai Orchid Garden. Here a whole hillside of exotic orchids of different species greets you at one of Singapore’s largest commercial orchid farms.
At the beautiful colonial-style Botanic Gardens, Peking ducks and swans glide gracefully on ornamental lakes. You can wander through the 4 hectares of virgin jungle.
The island resort of Sentosa can be reached on a thrilling cable car ride or leisurely ferry across one of the busiest harbours in the world. Sentosa offers a variety of attraction – a swimming lagoon, two beaches, virgin tropical forests, museums, a colourful musical fountain, food centres and a world-class golf course. The islands latest attraction is its underwater world, Asia’s largest tropical oceanarium featuring over 2,000 fishes, crustaceans, sea anemones and other creatures of the deep. Visitors will be able to venture into the deep through an 80-metre acrylic tunnel and see a myriad of tropical marine lie close up without getting wet.
The many religions of Singapore are bound to fascinate visitors. Most of the temples, mosques and churches are worth a visit.
Singapore is a gourmet’s paradise. Tourists can sample a wide variety of Asian food and enjoy the best of Western food as well. Singaporeans are justifiably proud of their seafood. The variety is endless and the restaurants are excellent. Some of the popular seafood dishes are chilli crab and shark’s fin soup. Another dish not to be missed is delicious steamed prawns.
Exploring Singapore’s world of many cultures is a fascinating experience. Daily tours by air-conditioned coach or limousine cover all the highlights of the city. Buses provide an inexpensive way of sightseeing and a chance to mingle with the locals.