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Stopover in Singapore

Available as a download: click hereProbably the easiest place to travel in South-East Asia, Singapore is just perfect for an exotic stopover on the way to New Zealand! Everything is efficiently organised from the moment you step out of your aeroplane. Due to the cultural diversity of the population practically everything is translated into English. Some enjoy the all year round hot and humid climate, others can rely on plenty of airconditioning.

Singapore Peranakan architecture

Singapore: Singapore River (city centre)

The scenic centre of Singapore is a must for every city tour. The modern skyscrapers tower impressively over the wide river. On one side of the river lies the Boat Quay with dozens of restaurants in old Chinese shophouses. On the other side you can find Singapore’s oldest building, the Parliament House, and other colonial houses like the Victoria Theatre, the Empress Museum and St. Andrew’s Cathedral. From Sir Stamford Raffles’ statue (the founder of Singapore) short boat trips take you along the river, passing the Fullerton Hotel and around the corner of the harbour Singapore’s icon: the mythical Merlion. Upriver you will turn around at Clarke Quay, another fashionable restaurant area.

Singapore River Merlion Fullerton Hotel Boat Quay

Singapore: Orchard Road

This main shopping street is something like New York’s 5th Avenue. It is very wide and offers a good 2 km of trendy shopping opportunities, with huge malls to the left and right.

Singapore: Chinatown

Although it is quite touristy there is lots to see here. The People’s Park Complex (ex shopping centre) looms strangely over the quarter, the traditional buildings along the narrow and packed alleys are beautiful and the temples extremely exotic. Thian Hock Keng is the oldest temple in Singapore, full of treasures with a gorgeous structure, dedicated to protect sailors and fishermen.

A great contrast is the Sri Mariamman Temple from 1843, an Indian dream of colours and fairytale shapes. If you want to see a 21st century temple then visit the fantastic Buddha Tooth Relic Temple from 2007, with stunning craftmanship and thousands of details to adore.

Buddha Tooth Relic Temple Chinatown street Chinatown houses Guardian lion
Sri-Mariamman People's Park Thian Hock Buddha Tooth Relic Temple

Singapore: Little India

There’s a good Indian atmosphere in this quarter full of shops and good Indian restaurants (fish head curry being a specialty). But it’s again the relics from the past that excite the most: along Serangoon Road you can find and visit the exotic Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple, the important Sri Srinivasa Temple and the Central Sikh Temple.

Sri Veeramakaliamman Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple Indian shopping

Singapore: Bugis

The Bugis people from Indonesia were once famous for being seafarers and pirates. The Bugis quarter also has an infamous past, but is now as modern as the rest of Singapore with countless shops and restaurants.

Singapore: Kampong Glam and Arab Street

Two blocks away from Bugis waits the Malayan core of the city, with a very different and calmer atmosphere. The oriental Sultan Mosque lies in the middle of many small houses, the surrounding alleys are inviting for a half-hour stroll.

Sultan Mosque Kampong Glam Kampong Glam Kampong Glam

Singapore: Outside the city

Further out of town are some other highlights. A cable car or bus can take you to Sentosa Island, a mix of weekend park and really beautiful beaches. Singapore Zoo is fantastic with animals in spacious natural environments. There’s still the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve conserving the jungle from ancient times. The Botanic Gardens are a tropical paradise with an extraordinary orchid collection.

Pipefish Sentosa Botanic Gardens Boats

Singapore travel tips:

  • Airport PoolThe Transit Hotels offers rooms for a short rest (pay by the hour) at the airport and a swimming pool with bar on the roof:
  • Even transit passengers can get an impression of the city! Changi Airport offers different free guided tours into town, one of them even includes a boat ride. See if you meet the conditions:
  • Due to the diversity and the Malayan food court style, Singapore is a gourmet paradise - and the English menus help too! You order and buy whatever delicacies you’d like from dozens of foodstalls and sit at tables in the middle. Maxwell Food CentreTry the Maxwell Food Centre at the edge of Chinatown (at the junction of Tanjong Pagar Road, South Bridge Road and Maxwell Road). Try the Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup with Soursop and Dragonfruit Juice!
  • How about Malayan Teh Tarik (strong black milk tea with a frothy top) or Ginger Milk Tea in Baghdad Street, Kampong Glam? Or a sweet tender fatty Indian Banana Paratha that melts on your tongue in the Teekka Market of Little India? There are countless delicacies to explore!
  • Raffles HotelIndulge into colonial style with a visit to the famous Raffles Hotel. Just wander through the complex to take a peek at 19th century splendour, or have a famous Singapore Sling in the garden.
  • If you like to bargain for your electronics try at Sim Lim Square in the Bugis quarter.
  • Be careful only to bring processed food and items according to the biosecurity criteria of New Zealand.
Hanging the washing Thian Hock Keng Temple Sri Mariamman Temple - Gopuram Sentosa wedding
Bicycle Peranakan houses Clarke Quay Downtown
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