The Raffles Hotel Singapore is located in the city's Colonial District , which is also home to several other historic sites, and a good place to base yourself in the city. The story has it that he saw the small fishing village but recognized its potential as a port, so he purchased the land from the Sultan of Johor and invited Chinese and Indian immigrants to move here.
And so the seeds of Singapore's multi-ethnic identity were sown. If you've ever visited China, Singapore's Chinatown neighborhood will bring you right back there. From the small mom-and-pop stores and authentic Chinese food to the bright red lanterns, there's an excitement and hustle in this district. Another temple worth seeing is the Buddha Tooth Relic temple.
If you're up early enough think 4am , you can hear the morning drum ceremony. Or you can just check out the closing ceremony in the evening after viewing the relic. Heritage markers have been installed throughout the neighborhood in English, Japanese, and simplified Chinese, so visitors can better understand the significance of the area.
But this neighborhood is not just a testament to the influence of the Chinese throughout Singapore's past.
This is a progressive neighborhood with free Wi-Fi for all , and it's home to the trendy Ann Siang Hill area, where the quaint bistros and upscale boutiques could be at home in any Western city. Singapore isn't exactly known as a beach destination, but if you're really craving some fun in the sun, Sentosa Island is the place to find it. Siloso Beach is a good spot for getting in beach time, and visitors can play volleyball on free courts or go kayaking and skimboarding.
There are several other beach attractions as well, plus an Underwater World aquarium, where you can swim with dolphins. A must-see on Sentosa Island is the Merlion , Singapore's famous statue that has the head of a lion and the body of a fish. You can take an escalator to the top of the statue and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding area. Fort Siloso , the country's only preserved fort, is also located on Sentosa Island. Adventurous types will want to check out The Flying Trapeze and the SeaBreeze Water-Sports Wave House, where you can try your hand at flying strapped to a water-propelled jet pack.
The "center of commerce during the 19th century," Clarke Quay lives up to its legacy as a busy hub. Today, it has a more polished sheen, so after a long day of shopping on Orchard Road, visitors can happily head to Clarke Quay for an evening of waterfront dining and entertainment.
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River taxis and cruises also depart from here, giving tourists the chance to admire some of the city's historic bridges and view landmarks like the Merlion from the water. The Quay's biggest hit with younger tourists is a giant bungy-jumping attraction, an adrenaline-packed thrill ride. The park is arranged thematically, with each area paying tribute to a location, film, or television show.
In addition to the many rides that range from kiddie-friendly to daredevil, the park has diverse dining options, shopping, and live shows throughout the day and night. Night Safari Singapore puts a new twist on the traditional zoo experience by introducing visitors to the nocturnal lives of the residents. The park's habitats are divided into four sections, each with its own trail that lets you observe these elusive creatures as they go about their "day.
The Fishing Cat Trail tours the habitat of animals native to Singapore, including the fish-loving felines, pangolin, binturong, and other species both common and endangered. East Lodge Trail features Malayan tigers and spotted hyenas, and the Wallaby Trail introduces visitors to the marsupials of Australia. Private tours, buggy rides, and educational sessions are available, as well as once in a lifetime experiences, like an Asian elephant feeding session.
Singapore's Merlion is just what it sounds like - the figure of a mythical creature that has the head of a lion and the body and tail of a fish. The Merlion represents the city's humble start as a fishing village combined with its traditional Malay name Singapura - "lion city. The "Merlion Cub" sits nearby, only two meters tall but a hefty three tonnes, and there are five additional official Merlion statues throughout the city.
Merlion Park is an ideal spot for photo-ops, whether you are taking a selfie in front of the iconic creature or capturing the magnificent views from the park as it looks out over the bay. It was constructed in and built in the Neoclassical style, and was named in honor of Queen Victoria. It now houses the Asian Civilisations Museum, which delves into the many Asian cultures that helped form Singapore. The museum's collections focus on the themes of trade and spirituality, both of which heavily influenced Asian cultures and served as vehicles for the cultures to spread.
Exhibits include topics like Indian Ocean trade, stories of faith and belief, and a look at the important role that scholars played in Chinese culture for centuries.
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For a look at what life in Singapore was like before it was all glamor and skyscrapers, visit the small island of Pulau Ubin, where fewer than people still live in the same simple way as they did in the s. The island's name is Malay for "Granite Island," a moniker given due to its past prominence as a quarry town.
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Today, it is a peaceful, rustic place where tourists can enjoy unspoiled forests and diverse wildlife. The island is also home to the Chek Jawa Wetlands , which contain a coral reef teeming with sea life. The island is easily reached by boat, a ten-minute ride that departs from Changi Point Ferry Terminal. As military strongholds go, Fort Canning has had a long and varied life. Built in , the fort was an essential site for Singapore's defense. Now in peacetime, the original building is home to modern performing arts troupes, and the park regularly sees picnics, concerts, theater performances, and festivals.
Other attractions at the park include relics from Singapore's early history, from as far back as the 14th century, and Sir Stamford Raffles' personal bungalow. Guests can also see a replica of the spice market Raffles established in , as well as the ASEAN sculptures that were erected in the s. Singapore is relatively easy to explore and has a metro system that makes getting around simple. Most of the hotels listed below are in the city center, on or near the popular Orchard Road, a great area for shopping and sightseeing.
A couple of these are hotels of distinction and are noteworthy attractions in Singapore. All of the hotels listed below are popular and highly-rated. In the Little India area of Singapore, the Wanderlust is a quirky but popular boutique hotel with uniquely and tastefully decorated rooms in different colors or whimsical themes.
Lloyd's Inn is another boutique hotel with small but stylish rooms and big windows looking onto the beautiful grounds. Budget Hotels: The Victoria Hotel is a popular budget hotel with a decent location within walking distance of a metro stop. Another good option is the clean and comfortable Champion Hotel , known for being particularly good value in Singapore. Singapore by night. For a truly unique perspective on the city, try the Singapore Night Sightseeing Tour.
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