Complete Singapore Experience
Truly, Singapore is
a vibrant mix of cultures, home to number of multi-cultural races
as well as religions. And the Singaporeans, despite their cultural,
religious variances, are as tolerant and respectful as one can imagine.
Now to begin
with, I'd like to state that one cannot expect many a historical
monuments in Singapore as it is considerably a new born nation.
But not to get disappointed, as Singapore has lots to offer
to its visitors in terms of beauty as well as adventure. As
one steps out of the airport, first thing that meets and pleases
the eye is the cleanliness of the small country. Then follow,
beautiful and well planned buildings, gardens, walkways, waterways,
quays……. Not to forget the world famous malls, Infact
Orchard Street is especially dedicated to its luxurious,
high end, designer malls.
My first expedition
was that of Chinatown since it was very close to the hotel
where I was staying. When in Chinatown, visit the Chinese temple,
eat at the Chinese eateries there, go knick knack shopping coupled
with lots of bargaining. My memories of Chinatown are very colourful,,
lively and full of wholesome bargains. Once in the mood, I walked
around a bit in the surrounding areas. My exploration confirmed
that the city is the cleanest I have seen so far. There are spas
and eateries literally at your doorstep and 24 hr utility stores
like 7eleven are never far away either.
Travelling is fairly convenient as cabs are easily available and
run on meters. The cheaper options are train and bus networks, however
one needs to know the city and the routes well before embarking
these. It is advisable to keep handy, the telephone numbers of various
cab services as getting a cab during the office rush hours can be
harrowing at times. Although I enjoyed walking around the city like
a typical traveler as this mode of transport gives you most opportunities
to soak the local life and when on a holiday I firmly follow the
mantra, do what the locals do and in the evening go where the locals
go. Please keep in mind, to strictly use the zebra crossings or
the walking green signals while crossing the roads in Singapore.
I was lucky
to be in Singapore during the grand Singapore Shopping
festival (from July till September) and was greeted with
discounts uptill 70%. Finally, I could afford the Designer
Labels and could flaunt my shopping and my trip to the fashionable
country, back home. Now, when it comes to shopping in Singapore,
the whole world knows of Oxford Street but I went where to
locals go….the Boogey Junction. Boogey Junction is a shoppers
dream come true……your key to becoming a fashionista at a very
reasonable price… there is no end to bargaining in this especially
demarcated shopping area with endless no. of shops and crowds
thronging under one roof (or rather one huge tent!).
In the evenings I
used to head to the famous quays, the Clark quay and the
Boat quay. These places cannot be described in words as their
essence is truly 4 dimensional. One has to be there to breath in
the easy and yet thumping atmosphere. Ok, ill try…lets see…can you
imagine lounging in a easy couch with your friends, by the river
with beautiful ferries around, adventurous rides for the adventurous,
music drifting, drinks and food galore……can you ask for more…..there
are pubs, theme clubs, dance bars, discos all next to each other,
there are ferries for the romantic ones and its quiet an interesting
walk to peek into Singapura's night life too.
In terms of food, you can never run out of options when in Singapore.
There are traditional Chinese, Thai, Mala and Indian eateries
spread all over and never too far away from each other while other
cuisines are easily found in the tourist attraction areas. One thing
which was peculiar to my eye was that there small local joints in
Singapore are generally homed under one big shed or clubbed together
within one common enclosure
One must go for the Night Safari in Singapore. Personally,
I found one thing a little strange here. If all the animals are
free inside one enclosure and even if the lions have too much love
for the other animals not eat them up, how are all the animals close
to the placards which mention the name of their species? However,
the dance of the tribals/fire dancers was very fascinating.
I did get the privilege of enjoying a ride in the Singapore Flyer
which is a giant wheel moving very very slowly so as to give you
a chance to enjoy the sights of Singapore from various heights and
angles. However, the most obvious criticism the flyer faces is from
the London eye which is its precedent.
A trip to Singapore is incomplete without a trip to Sentosa Island,
although if you are tired or don't like to stand in ques , you can
miss this one. Sentose needs a complete day for you to enjoy all
its offerings at leisure. There are dolphin shows, underwater aquarium,
4d shows etc. to keep one fully entertained (and if you feel lazy,
there are golden beaches too!!!).
Jurong Bird Park of Singapore is quiet famous for its variety
of birds too and is a must see if you are a nature lover. There
are various other sights a traveler cannot miss while in Singapore
like the newly constructed Opera House and not miss the proud Merlion
in middle of the river.
This just about sums up my experiences of Singapore and I am sure
they are not exhaustive which means there is a lot more to enjoy…..so
whenever you want to take a break which gives you the option of
being lazy, adventurous as well as romantic all your own will, do
visit Singapura………….cheers to happy memories!!!!!
Contributing Author: Shweta
Saxena [email protected]