Singapore was once a fishing village, and is now one of Asia’s major financial players. An island just below Malaysia, many cultures come together on your Singapore holidays, and this can be seen in its many tourist attractions.
Little India is a fascinating place where women in colourful silk saris go about their everyday business. Spices, temples, and fortune tellers abound here, as do shops selling ethnic jewellery, pottery, and woodcraft. Visit during Thaipusam, a time of religious observance, or during Deepavali, the Indian Festival of Lights.
A trip to Chinatown begins at the Heritage Centre, where guests can see how the early migrants balanced hard work and industry with a fondness for opium. Food Street is the place to go for Rojak, a salad with sweet sauce and peanuts, and a different kind of Carrot Cake, made from radish, vegetables, and eggs. At the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum, the sight of a 420-kilogram gold Relic Stupa is awe-inspiring.
Malays were the first inhabitants of Singapore and their traditions continue to thrive in Geylang Serai. Witness a batik demonstration at Kampong Glam, where the Sultan’s palace used to be. Batik is a combination of the Javanese words amba ("write") and titik ("point") and is the art of dyeing intricate designs into cloth. The museum also displays weapons, musical instruments, and wedding ornaments.
Other must-sees on a Singapore holiday include the Esplanade, dubbed “The Durian” because it looks like the spiky fruit. These “theatres on the bay” feature everything from Indonesian gamelan concerts to theatrical productions of native tales.
Sentosa, which means "Isle of Tranquility" in Malay, is another favourite spot. Great for families, adventure rides, spas, zoos, golf courses, nature walks, and restaurants can be enjoyed here.