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Luxury travel - Deluxe Singapore tours
Singapore in Depth
(5 Days)

Multi-country Tours
Flavors of Southeast Asia
(16 Days)
Singapore, Saigon, Hoi An, Hanoi, Chiang Mai, Bangkok

Best of Singapore & Bali
(12 Days)
Singapore, Jimbaran Bay, Ubud, Candidasa

Favorite Places: Singapore

Singapore is a lush, green tropical city-state with modern high-rises towering over extensive urban parks and forests. It is one of the world’s most densely populated countries, with over four million people on a group of islands with a total area roughly a quarter that of Rhode Island. It is also incredibly diverse, with a unique mix of Chinese, Malayan, Indian and European cultures. Though the different communities freely intermingle, they also have distinct districts such as Chinatown, Little India and Kampong Glam, the Muslim area. Eating and shopping are two of the most popular pastimes in Singapore. Boutiques, restaurants, food carts and cafes fill the malls of Orchard Road and the colonial-period buildings in the well-preserved historic district and waterfront.

Situated near the equator, at the confluence of the Indian and Pacific oceans, this flat, tiny island is home to about four millions people. Boasting a well-ordered and regulated society-the ban on chewing gum recently ended!-Singapore enjoys a reputation as one of the region's safest, cleanest and most comfortable travel destinations. Sure, there are expansive, gleaming malls and sanitized, duty-free complexes throughout the city, but there's also a side of the city with a distinctly Asian soul: vibrant and slightly chaotic, full of herbal medicine shops, fortune tellers, flower and incense offerings, weathered Chinese junks, traditional villages (kampung), seaside fish stalls, and lively neighborhoods crammed with markets selling baskets, silks, cooking utensils and spices.

A trip to Singapore wouldn't be complete without experiencing the array of international cuisines available. No other Asian city offers such a varied fusion Pacific-Rim cooking styles and recipes. Perhaps try a Malay breakfast and an Indian lunch. Enjoy high tea colonial-style in the afternoon and a sumptuous Chinese banquet for dinner. Discover the eclectic Peranakan specialties and traditional healing approaches of Chinese cuisine. Of course, do not miss a Singapore Sling at Raffles Hotel's legendary Long Bar. From street stalls selling flavorful noodle dishes and satay to refined French venues, Singapore offers infinite possibilities. Dine al fresco by the ocean, sit at spectacular restaurants overlooking the city's skyline, or relax at the cafes lining Singapore's converted warehouses in the trendy quay districts.

Singapore's other claim to fame is shopping. The endless choices include Asian antiques, arts and crafts, textiles, fashion goods, carpets, pewterware, and electronics. Browse stores for oils, watercolors, and sculptures (by local and Malaysian artists); a huge variety of new and antique carpets (from all over Asia); jewelry (Chinese gold and carved jade, excellent quality pearls and precious and semi-precious stones); Indonesian handicrafts and textiles (silks, batiks, Malay kain songket, silk woven with gold thread) in a variety of colors and designs. Pewterware, with unique designs, is a specialty.

Stroll the historic European quarter ("Padang" or playing field, Parliament House, Victoria Theatre, the clock tower and the Singapore Cricket Club). Visit ethnic neighborhoods and their attractions: the old Hindu Mariamman Temple and modern Thian Hock Keng Temple (Chinatown), the rich Sri Thandayuthapani Temple (in spice-scented Little India), and the Moorish and Persian style Sultan Mosque (Arab Street). Observe mah jong players clattering their tiles and astrologers reading the future helped by parrots. Sample local culinary specialties at wet and dry markets and Singapore's waterside fish stalls. View beautiful architecture (Katong and its pastel colored buildings and Peranakan terraces), Art Deco buildings (glamorous Shaw Theatre and the hospital on Armenian Street), shophouses (formerly cramped living and working spaces, now refurbished as chic restaurants and bars and upscale apartments). Visit museums (including the Chinatown Heritage Centre on Pagoda Street and Singapore's Asian Civilizations Museum) and attend performances-from Chinese Opera to world class jazz-at The Esplanade Theatres on the Bay, the Victoria Theatre, Victoria Concert Hall, Suntec City and Fort Canning Park (for outdoor performances). Cruise along the Singapore River in a Chinese junk at sunset. Visit lush gardens and parks, enjoyng the amazing array of exotic flowers and animals (Botanical Gardens, Singapore Zoo's Night Safari, Jurong Bird Park).

In Singapore, if you're looking for a resort experience, we recommend staying at the incomparable Raffles Hotel Singapore, a true urban resort with a prestigious colonial past. Raffles is famous for its grand rooms adorned with Oriental rugs, hardwood floors, orchids, high ceilings, and balconies overlooking the gardens. Within the hotel, there are dozens of upscale shops and restaurants, a cooking school, a spa, the famous Long Bar (home of the Singapore Sling), options for afternoon tea and ballroom dancing. The Four Seasons Singapore is a great alternative, with an extremely desirable location near the Singapore Botanical Gardens, just off the shopping mecca of Orchard Road. We also highly recommend the Mandarin Oriental Singapore.

When traveling to Singapore, we also recommend exploring some of the outer islands that still retain a traditional feel, or the golf and beach island of Sentosa Island. From Singapore it's also very easy to visit Bali, Myanmar, Vietnam and Thailand. Return to top...

  Luxury Travel Singapore

Preferred Singapore Hotels