It was my first trip to Singapore, after a 3 hr flight from Colombo, we were sort of fatigued and jetlagged but impatient to explore the city I had heard so much about,
A city-state, is a mix of sights, sounds, tastes, cultures and of course attractions, so much to experience so much to discover, highly urbanised and modern, mainly Buddhist, affluent-considered one of the world’s most prosperous, its night-life is equally interesting,
Pouring over a map of the city at my hotel, my guide asked me whether I would like to see the city sights, I said ‘yes’! without hesitation,
A quick trip in the train brought us to our destination,
First we took a stroll on the Esplanade Drive, from here we could clearly see Marina Bay Sands-one of the top landmarks of the country, reached its top-Sands SkyPark by elevator, what a spectacular view of the city skyline, as if the entire city is beneath my feet and didn’t I feel on top of the world!
Singapore’s evening skyline is simply fabulous, its beautifully lit new skyscrapers-Marina Bay Sands, the Financial Centre, Esplanade, Millenia Tower etc and the number of hotels glow the city.
Merlion in Merlion Park is an icon of Singapore, it’s dwarfed by the triple towers of Marina Bay Sands, the Helix Bridge and the skyscrapers in the Marina Bay boulevard, that has changed the skyline, these portray what Singapore is today. Merlion stands as a symbol of the country and is a landmark point of its history.
‘You cannot miss the gigantic colourful ‘trees in the sky’-the Supertrees in Gardens by the Bay and the Flower Dome and Cloud Forest’,
My guide referred to them as ‘trees’ because they are tree shaped giant steel structures that come to life when lit,
In Singapore Fengshui principles dictate, using the surroundings to create ideal conditions mainly for harmony, many are designed with strong Fengshui elements.
We went on a river cruise along the Singapore river, passed many attractions-Parliament House, Fullerton hotel, St Andrew’s cathedral, the Harbour etc, we could see many restaurants and hotels with it’s avant- garde architecture. Enjoyed the authentic bumboat ride very much.
The next beauty is the Singapore Flyer, experienced this moving attraction, witnessed the amazing views of the city and far beyond.
Then we strolled to trendy Orchard Road the ultimate shopping haven for the locals and tourists, the chic shops are specially for the smart, young, glamorous and the sophisticated, shopping is rather expensive,
During Christmas time lights will make you dreamy and merry and drive you crazy, the place simply comes alive only after darkness falls when shops are colourfully lit up,
A popular event in the Singapore calendar is ‘fireworks’ at the end of the year, a much looked forward to event, not missed by anyone.
Mostly the Indian community and Tamils live in Little India. Mustafa is it’s largest shopping complex, you name it, you got it in this store and also one could experience Tricycle rides, a common sight here.
In the bustling China Town which we visited, people gather on the road to enjoy alfresco dinning, tables and chairs set up on the road itself for diners to enjoy open air dinning,
Pushcart stalls selling barbeque seafood, local desserts and the festive speciality ‘Bakkwa’-barbequed pork slices,
Shops are full of good things and I was able to buy Jade jewellery at a very reasonable price.
Two significant events took place while I was here- ‘Christmas’ and ‘Chinese New Year’-this year too(2014) it was celebrated calling it the ‘Year of the Horse’ with lanterns, cities washed in red….
Next day my guide and I embarked on a fascinating journey of wildlife at Night Safari, with the setting of darkness and full of mystery surrounding we experienced close encounters with various animals from different parts of the world.
One thing for sure, you’ll never miss an eatery in this country, Singapore is full of them.
Train rides in Sentosa are high fun, apart from the usual beach activities I found that there is much more to do to make the best of what it has to offer you, I indulged myself enthusiastically in various activities. The sunny tropical islet of Sentosa is such a paradise for school children and others too.
Singapore underground trains are quick, once on board there is no turbulence, whisk you to and fro
Thanks to my experienced and able guide I had the first hand experience in exploring the Singapore city.
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