Things to do and visit in Singapore
One Singapore, many islands
You might not know it but Singapore’s land area includes as many as 63 offshore islands that surround the main island. These include Sentosa (the largest of the 63 islands), Pulau Ubin, St John’s Island and Sisters’ Islands. What that means for visitors: more fun in the sun!
Singapore is one of the world’s greenest cities
This city of skyscrapers is also one that is filled with lush greenery. Nearly half of Singapore’s land area (approximately 700 square kilometres) is under green cover. Beyond numerous parks and gardens, there are pockets of undiscovered plant life housed in the most unusual of places. For example, the PARKROYAL on Pickering is known for its hotel-in-a-garden concept and its four-storey cascading vertical garden.
That’s not all. There’s rich biodiversity in nature reserves too — Singapore is home to over 2,000 native vascular plant species. The Bukit Timah Nature Reserve in particular, is said to contain more tree species in a single hectare than the total number of tree species found in North America.
World’s first night zoo
Singapore’s Night Safari provides a nocturnal experience like no other in the city; it’s also the world’s very first night zoo. First opened in 1994, the 35-hectare park features over 2,500 nocturnal animals of over 130 species.
Hop onto the 40-minute tram ride for an overview of the park’s main attractions. Be sure to amble along the four interlinked walking trails within the park, for a zoo trip like no other.
Where to eat ?
Singaporean cuisine is diverse and contains elements derived from several ethnic groups, as a result of its history as a seaport with a large immigrant population. Influences include the cuisines of the native Malays and the largest ethnic group, the Chinese, as well as Indonesian, Indian, Peranakan, and Western traditions (particularly English and Portuguese-influenced Eurasian, known as Kristang). Influences from other regions such as Sri Lanka, Thailand, and the Middle East are also present.
In Singapore, food is viewed as crucial to national identity and a unifying cultural thread. Singaporean literature declares eating a national pastime and food a national obsession. Food is a frequent topic of conversation among Singaporeans. Religious dietary strictures do exist; Muslims do not eat pork and Hindus do not eat beef, and there is also a significant group of vegetarians. People from different communities often eat together, while being mindful of each other’s culture and choosing food that is acceptable for all.
Other than Singaporean cuisine, it is also common in Singapore to find restaurants specialising in cuisine from a great variety of countries around the world.
There are various places to visit and explore in Chinatown! Take a stroll down the Chinatown Street Market which is lined up with hundreds of stalls selling everything from silk robes to lucky cats.There’s also a fantastic range of street food carts amongst the shopping, with fresh dim sum and crispy duck. Remember to haggle with a smile if you want the best price. The market is open during the day, but it looks its most picturesque at dusk, with the lights shining brightly and the sound of hawkers tempting you to check out their wares.
You can find Chinatown Food Street within the famous Chinatown Street Market. This collection of shops, restaurants and galleries is spread over various roads, but just head straight for Smith Street if you want to find the main food area.
Buddha Tooth Relic Temple
The Buddha Tooth Relic Temple is a remarkable four-story temple. When entering the gate, you’ll immediately notice the stunning main hall with its high ceiling. The bell tower and drum tower are on the same floor. However, the main focus for most visitors is the solid gold two-metre stupa on the fourth floor which is the place where the sacred relic is kept. Continuing up to the roof, there is a pagoda that has a large prayer wheel. The temple is built in a style based on the Buddhist mandala and integrated with the Buddhism of the Tang dynasty.
- Opening Hours: 09:00 – 18:30
- Address: 288 South Bridge Road, Singapore 058840
Sri Marimman Temple
The oldest shrine in Singapore – Sri Mariamman Temple is one of the most prominent places of worship for Tamil Hindus in the country. It was built to honour Goddess Mariamman – the deity of disease and protection. Originally erected by Naraina Pillai – an Indian trader from Penang – in 1827, the temple was modified to its present structure in 1862, although it has undergone several renovations since. Apart from being a place of worship, the temple has also acted as an asylum for new immigrants that belong to South Indian Tamil Hindu community.
- Opening Hours: Daily 07:00 – 12:00 and 18:00 – 21:00
- Location: On the corner of Chinatown’s South Bridge Road at the Pagoda Street
- Address: 244 S Bridge Road, Singapore 058793
Click here to find out more about Chinatown!
Singapore’s Zika virus status:
Please note that Singapore has issued a Zika virus update:
Zika is generally a mild disease. Zika may cause a viral fever similar to dengue or chikungunya, with fever, skin rashes, body aches and headache.
It is transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected Aedesmosquito.
As of 25 August 2016, 70 countries and territories have reported evidence of mosquito-borne Zika virus. Please click here for the updated list of affected areas.
Travellers to countries with local transmission of the Zika virus should protect themselves from mosquito bites by wearing long, covered clothing, applying insect-repellent, and sleeping under mosquito nets or in rooms with wire-mesh screens to keep out mosquitoes. They should seek medical attention promptly if they become unwell.
For more information relating to Singapore Zika status, please visit https://www.moh.gov.sg/content/moh_web/home/pressRoom/Current_Issues/2016/zika-virus/faqs.html