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Seriously sleek Singapore: a smooth destination.
If you can only handle a certain amount of hustle, bustle and city noise but love all the urban trappings, Singapore is the place for you. It’s sophisticated, traffic is orderly, transport swish and reliable and its spanking clean streets put our litter-strewn city streets on a Saturday night to shame. This geographical/political phenomenon that is a city, island and state all-in-one, lies off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula and as the world's fourth leading financial centre and one of its five busiest ports, enjoys an excellent standard of living.
But don’t be mistaken into thinking it lacks buzz. Its multicultural diversity is a collage of Chinese, Malay, Indian, Arabic and Western influence which belies the ‘Singabore’ label that travel snobs like to quote. What could be less boring than breakfasting on dumplings dim sum and green tea in Chinatown or having an informal lunch in the Little India’s Tekka Market, reports BBC Travel.
Must see-stops include Chinatown’s 19th century Thian Hock Keng Temple (www.thianhockkeng.com.sg), one of Singapore's oldest holy houses dedicated to Ma Cho Po, goddess of the sea, and the Asian Civilisations’ Museum (www.acm.org.sg) which displays traditional artefacts from pan-Asian culture, focusing on Southeast Asia, China, India, Sri Lanka and Turkey. In contrast the undulating steel curved pedestrian bridge, Henderson Waves, which connects Mount Faber Park to Telok Blangah Hill Park, is very much part of the present, and is on Bing’s ‘Man-made-marvels’ list.
After your cultural input, head over to Orchard Road where Versace, Gucci and Louis Vuitton ‘hang out’, or try Ngee Ann City (www.ngeeanncity.com.sg) , the mall to end all malls. And don’t leave town without trying a famous ‘Singapore Sling’, at the Raffles Hotel (www.raffleshotel.com), where the drink was invented. Enjoy this classic drink before moving on to riverside Boat Quay for dinner followed by a little dancing and karaoke in the nearby vibrant Circular Road nightlife strip.
‘Singabore’? Hardly! Airasia (AirAsiaPlus.com) has flights from London Stansted to Singapore from £269 one way.