Singapore Travel Guide

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Singapore Travel Guide

Singapore Local History

Much of Southeast Asia's attraction was its position in between two monsoon seasons. One half of the year saw winds that carried sailing vessels from China to Southeast Asia, while the other half of the year carried sailing vessels from India and Arabia to Southeast Asia. The English, Dutch, Portuguese, French and Spanish saw that there was an advantage to having a trading post in Southeast Asia. Sir Stamford Raffles arrived in 1819, signed a treaty with Temenggong Abdu'r Rahman so that a trading post could be set up on the island, in return an annual payment to the Sultanate was made. In 1824 the Dutch signed a treaty with Britain, acknowledging Singapore as a permanent British possession. In 1869, the Suez Canal opened which linked the Mediterranean and the Red Sea, this put Singapore in a prime position and less dependent on trade winds.

Singapore was virtually untouched by World War I, but with increased pressure by the U.S, Britain broke off relations with Japan and this made the defenses in Singapore a primary concern. In 1941 the first bombs were dropped on Singapore. Japanese ground forces attacked on 8 February 1942, driving the British forces back. The occupation was harsh, mass executions were everyday events and prisoners of war were tortured and killed. On 5 September 1945, the Japanese surrender to Lord Louis Mountbatten.

In 1959 the Peoples Action Party (PAP) swept 43 seats in the country's first elections and Lee Kuan Yew became the first prime minister of Singapore. In 1963 Singapore was admitted to the Federation of Malaysia, but due to the PAP wanting to become a national entity rather than a local Singaporean party, Singapore was expelled from the Federation on 9 August 1965. In 1971 the last of the British forces left the island and Singapore gained its independence.

Singapore Attractions

Singapore Shopping

Hilton Shopping Gallery 581 Orchard Road. This shopping Gallery is at the Hilton International Hotel and has the most exclusive shopping in Singapore. A few international design houses have made this their Singapore home, such as Gucci and Donna Karan.

Shaw House 350 Orchard Road. Isetan, a large Japanese department store, which sells designer boutiques for men and women, accessories and cosmetics, takes up the main floor.

Specialists' Shopping Centre 277 Orchard Road. The anchor store is John Little, which is Singapore's oldest department store. The store opened its doors in 1845. The shop might be old, however, the prices are very today.

Tang's Plaza 320 Orchard Road. C.K. Pang peddled goods from an old cart in the street of Singapore, an industrious fellow, his small business grew and made it into a department store. This store has been a success over the decades, and now competes with all the other international mega stores. Tang's is truly Singaporean and its history is a local legend.

Singapore Activities

Volcano Land Sentosa Island. This is a walk through exhibit, which take you on a journey to the center of the Earth. A mythological explorer and his Jules Verne-style robot buddy talk you though the exhibit. Inside the volcano is a multimedia show, which depicts the mysteries of life and the universe and there is also a simulation of an eruption.

Underwater World Sentosa Island. The highlight of this attraction is the tunnel, which is 83 meters of transparent acrylic where you glide on a conveyor belt. There are plenty of views of the sharks, stingrays, eels and other sea creatures. In the smaller tanks you can view the usual sea life. A display of bamboo shark embryos, which are developing within egg cases, is something that is totally amazing.

Jurong Bird Park 2 Jurong Hill. There is a collection of 8000 birds from more than 600 species. There is a Waterfall Aviary; this is the world's largest walk-in aviary, a pretty walk over pathways and babbling brooks through the landscaped tropical forest. The world's tallest man-made waterfall can also be seen here. Every day at noon this aviary experiences a man-made thunderstorms. There are two shows, which feature birds of prey either acting out their natural instincts or performing falconry tricks, and a show of trained parrots that race bikes and other birds that perform all sorts' tricks.

Singapore Parks & Gardens

Chinese and Japanese Gardens Located at 1 Chinese Garden Road. The Chinese Garden dedicates most of its area to the 'northern style' of landscape architecture. This is mainly the style of the Imperial gardens, with brightly coloured buildings to compensate for the absence of rich plant growth and natural scenery in China. The Stone boat is a replica of the stone boat at the Summer Palace in Beijing. Special attention has been paid to the placement of rock formations to resemble true nature. In the Japanese Garden marble-chip paths have been laid so that you can hear you own footsteps, but they also serve to slow down your journey so that you can gaze upon the scenery. This garden was designed to evoke feeling. There are plenty of benches so that you can sit down and take in the sights.

Singapore Botanic Gardens The first botanic garden was started at Fort Canning by Sir Stamford Raffles in 1822. There is a rose garden, sundial garden with pruned hedges, a banana plantation, a spice garden and sculptures by international artists. The National Orchid Garden is 3 hectares of gorgeous orchids. There is a gift shop, which sells live hydroponics orchids in test tubes. There are also three lakes. The Botanic gardens also offers 'concert in the park' with various local and international performers

Esplanade Park and Queen Elizabeth Walk These two parks are the most famous in Singapore and were established in 1943 on reclaimed land. There are several memorials located in the parks. Theatres on the Bay opened in October 2002 this is a unique double-domed structure and is locally known as the Durians because of its spiky domes, which resemble halves of durian shells. These spikes are sun shields.

Singapore Beaches

From Changi Point at Changi Village you have a panoramic view of Malaysia, Indonesia and several of the Islands that belong to Singapore. The beach is calm, frequented by locals who set up camps and barbecues and enjoy a day on the beach.

You can rent kayaks along the beach to do some water sports. There is a huge hawker center, international restaurants and pubs, which serve fresh seafood for lunch when you get hungry.

On Kusu and St. John's islands there are swimming lagoons, which are quiet out of the way places to go. Some of them have great views of the city.

Central Beach is the best beach that you will find in Singapore. It is located on Sentosa Island. There are varies water sports to choose from and fun beach activities. Occasionally there will be a night dance party here. There are also a variety of restraints and pubs to choose from to.

Singapore Restaurants and Bars

Singapore has a variety of cuisine's, which its local restaurants and eating-places specialize in.

There is New Asia cuisine also called fusion food, which combines Eastern and Western ingredients and cooking styles for a whole new eating experience. You also get Cantonese cuisine, Beijing cuisine, Shanghai cuisine, Indian cuisine, Malay cuisine, Peranakan cuisine and Chinese cuisine.

Singapore Restaurants

Ah Hoi's Kitchen 1A Cuscaden Road. This restaurant specialized in local cuisine. The menu is extensive covering most things. The atmosphere is real 'vacation in the tropics'. This is a great alternative for tasting seafood if you can't get to the east coast.

Da Paolo e Judie 81 Neil Road. This restaurant has been modeled in contemporary elegance with alfresco dining and a wine bar. The wine list has wines from Italy. There are modern as well as classic recipes to choose from using the freshest seafood. The qualities of food as well as service are impeccable.

Indochine 49 Club Street. There is an air of romance and mystery created by the Indochinese artifacts and subtle lighting. A French twist is added to the popular regional favorites. This is a place to try new things. The Cuisine is a mixture of Vietnamese, Laotian and Cambodian.

Palm Beach 5 Stadium Walk. Depends on what you are in the mood for. For an underdressed, informal evening, you can sit in the downstairs dining hall, or if you feel like getting all dressed up and fancy, then sit upstairs in the lovely upscale setting. The menu is the same and reasonably priced focusing on seafood cuisine. Located outside the restaurant is a gift shop, which allows you to bring home jars of the hot pot sauce, a char, chili sauce and sambal. This is a very popular restaurant; so on weekends if you don't book you will have to queue.

Singapore Bars & Clubs

Anywhere Music Pub 19 Tanglin Road. This is one of Singapore's oldest and most established bars. It is a casual joint with a mixed crowd of mostly 30's and up. The house band plays pop and rock covers to packed crowds who dance on the dance floor. Happy hours are weekdays from 6 to 9 pm.

Bar None 320 Orchard Road. There are regular theme parties and comedy nights, a resident band, which is the best club band in town that play a high voltage mix of R&B, Top 40 and rock. This club is extremely popular, so be prepared to stand queue. There is a cover charge of $15 US, which includes 1 free drink.

Harry's Quayside Bar & Upstairs at Harry's Wine Bar 28 Boat Quay. Harry's is known for its live Jazz and R&B music. There is airy riverside seating or cozy tables next to the stage. This is a classy place and even though it is very popular, you can always get a seat. The wine bar is very laid back with plush sofas and a dimly lit seating area. This is the hottest hub for musicians and other artiste types. Happy hour is from 11 am to 9 pm.

Liquid Room 76 Robertson Quay. Liquid Room was the first dance club to spin techno, trance and house music nightly in Singapore. The DJ's are very selective only playing the best of each genre. This club generally attracts the young and energetic. Upstairs is the dance floor while downstairs is a moody lounge, which provides some down time. Happy hour is from 7 to 9 pm.

Singapore children's activities

Volcano Land Sentosa Island. This is a walk through exhibit, which take you on a journey to the center of the Earth. A mythological explorer and his Jules Verne-style robot buddy talk you though the exhibit. Inside the volcano is a multimedia show, which depicts the mysteries of life and the universe and there is also a simulation of an eruption.

Underwater World Sentosa Island. The highlight of this attraction is the tunnel, which is 83 meters of transparent acrylic where you glide on a conveyor belt. There are plenty of views of the sharks, stingrays, eels and other sea creatures. In the smaller tanks you can view the usual sea life. A display of bamboo shark embryos, which are developing within egg cases, is something that is totally amazing.

Jurong Bird Park 2 Jurong Hill. There is a collection of 8000 birds from more than 600 species. There is a Waterfall Aviary; this is the world's largest walk-in aviary, a pretty walk over pathways and babbling brooks through the landscaped tropical forest. The world's tallest man-made waterfall can also be seen here. Every day at noon this aviary experiences a man-made thunderstorms. There are two shows, which feature birds of prey either acting out their natural instincts or performing falconry tricks, and a show of trained parrots that race bikes and other birds that perform all sorts' tricks.

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