Singapore

Singapore is one of the most modern and rapidly developed cities. Being both an island and a country, it would be better to describe Singapore as city-state.The name of the city literally means "a city of lion."

Singapore blends Malay, Chinese, Indian, Arab and English cultures. Therefore Singapore offers to its visitors a wide range of sightseeing and culinary choices.

The city is known for its luxury hotels, unique cuisine and great shopping opportunities.

With its location on the Equator in South East Asia, Singapore features tropical climate and welcomes travelers all year round.

Singapore is a very safe, clean and green city with numerous parks and nature reserves. Being one of the major financial cities, Singapore is surrounded by lush tropical greenery.

Being a cosmopolitan city, Singapore features designated areas for different races. In spite of the fact that many Singaporeans do consider themselves being Singaporeans, regardless of their race, all of them bear its unique character.

The Muslim characteristics are obvious in Arab Street, Chinese culture is seen in Chinatown, Little India has its distinct atmosphere.

And, of course, the colonial classical architecture all around the city is the evidence of British colonial influence.

Singapore has four official languages -  Mandarin, Malay, Tamil and English.

English is the most common language used and is the language which unites people from of different races.

The presence of other languages, especially Malay and Chinese, has influenced informal English of Singapore, which is popularly called Singlish. Singlish is a badge of identity for many Singaporeans. Speakers of Singlish will usually end his sentence with a distinctive exclamation. The three most common are ah, lah, ley. At the end of the article you can find some phrases in Singlish. Just few expressive words in Singlish will make you sound more local.

GOING THERE

You can easily go to this magical futuristic city from Hong Kong on weekend.

The flight time from Hong Kong to Singapore is 3,5 hours.

You can fly there on Friday evening and return back on Monday morning (there is a flight at 6:00 a.m).

The cheapest airlines to fly to Singapore are Scoot airlines. They are low-cost. The tickets for a return flight can be as cheap as 100 USD if you book in advance.

Cathay Pacific airlines are more expensive, but they do have overnight flights and they often offer promo tickets to Singapore. You can check all promo tickets on their web site.

Every Tuesday they update new promo tickets on fanfare by Cathay Pacific.

Before going to Singapore, check visa requirements for your country.

ACCOMMODATION

Singapore is not cheap in finding accommodation. In general hotels are expensive but budget options exist. The prices start from 50 USD for a bunk bed in a hostel. The average price for a room in a 3-star hotel is 100 USD.

THINGS TO DO IN SINGAPORE

- Visit famous Marina Bay Sands.

Marina Bay Sands is an iconic hotel with the world's largest infinity pool located on floor 58 and overlooking Singapore business district.

Unfortunately, you can't enter the pool area if you are not a guest at Marina Bay Sands Hotel. But you can go to the rooftop bar, Ce La Vi, which is on the same floor and enjoy the incredible views to the whole Singapore.

Besides being the hotel, Marina Bay Sands is a huge shopping mall with numerous shops and restaurants.

- visit Gardens By the Bay 

"Gardens by the Bay" is a unique natural park featuring tree-shaped vertical gardens known as Supertrees.

Highly recommend you to visit Gardens by the Bay at night and enjoy a dazzling light show.

The stunning giant supertrees become more mesmerizing when they are light up in a thousands of colors. The show is truly unique and impressive.

- Visit Merlion, the iconic symbol of Singapore

The Merlion is a mythical creature with a lion's head and the body of a fish. The statue faces east as there is a belief this direction brings prosperity.

- Watch the light show at Marina Bay Sands.

You can watch the light show at the marine promenade or from one of the numerous rooftop bars. My favourite one is Level 33.

- Take a ride at Singapore Flyer

The Singapore Flyer is considered the second largest observation wheel in the world. It offers stunning 360-degrees view to Singapore.

- visit CBD

CBD stands for the Central Business District. It is the centre of all commercial and financial centres. Enjoy the futuristic skyscrapers in the heart of Singapore.

- Visit Ruffles Hotel and the iconic Long Bar where the famous Singapore Sling cocktail was invented.

- Boat Quay

Walk along the historical quay of Singapore, have dinner or grab some beer with a view.

- Party hard at Clarke Quay

Clarke Quay is another historical quay which is famous for its numerous clubs, bars and restaurants.

- Visit Arab street

Arab street is a great spot for food, shopping and culture.If you are a meat lover, this street is a paradise for you.

The whole street is packed with numerous Middle East restaurants featuring the best from the diverse Middle

Eastern cuisine. The hidden gem is Beirut Grill restaurant.

- Visit Emerald Hill

Emerald Hill is a street off the Orchard Road featuring lots of colourful gouses of colonial style.

- Explore China Town.

China Town is a great place to buy some souveniers, try some Chinese food, and simply walk along the streets.

- Have fun at Sentosa Island

Sentosa Island is famous for its huge entertainment park, Universal Studio.

- Singapore Zoo

- Go cycling in the East Coast Park

Singapore is a very cycling-friendly city with numerous routes around the whole city.

East Coast Park is a perfect place for cycling. The road leads you from the park to the Marina Bay Sands and Gardens by the Bay.

You can rent a bike in some of the rental shops. The rental price is 12 SG for one hour, and they do have promotions like "buy one hour get the second one for free." For family rides they offer tricycles.

- Try local signature dishes

Singapore is a paradise for food lovers. Try famous Singaporean Chicken rice, black peppers and chili crabs, laksa soup and many more. Having so many food courts and hawker stalls, it can be difficult to decide where to go.

Here are my recommendations:

For Chicken Rice - Bistro 8, 30 Foch Rd, Singapore 209276.

For black pepper and chili crabs - East Coast Lagoon Food Village.

In general, here is the list with most famous signature dishes to try in Singapore:

- pepper crab

- chilli crab

- bak kut teh (pork rib cooked in broth)

- satay (skewered and grilled meat served with sauce)

- laksa (spicy noodle soup with chicken or seafood often based on rich curry coconut milk)

- chicken rice

- sambal sting ray

SINGLISH

Alamak [ah-la-mak] - Oh no!

- Wah lao eh! Oh my god!

- Kopi - coffee

- Okay lah, bye bye.

- You are going there ah?

- That’s too expensive for me lah.

- Don't be like that ley!

- I'm not at home lah. That's why ah.