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Fri Apr 18 18:43:48 SAST 2014

Peter's Post: Escape to Singapore

Peter Malherbe | 05 March, 2013 17:33
Singapore's dramatic skyline
Image by: Wikimedia Commons

Our travel expert answers your questions

We are due to spend two nights in Singapore en route to Bali. We will do some shopping, but what else do you recommend we do? — Ronald Short

Singapore is a great tourist destination and you won’t have a problem finding places to spend your money. If you are interested in electronic goods, check out Funan Digitalife Mall, Mustafa Centre and Sim Lim Square.

If you want an alternative to the many flashy malls, visit the Sungei Road Thieves’ Market. The goods may not be stolen these days, but the market stretched along Sungei Road still has a dingy feel and it is possible to pick up a bargain.

For sightseeing, you could start off with a hop-on, hop-off city bus tour, which will give you your bearings and access to a number of attractions. Choose from the “heritage route” or the “city route” — or opt for both. Sentosa Island is a must-see, with its Universal Studios theme park, Marine Life Park and palm-lined beaches. You should also find time for the 30-minute ride on the Singapore Flyer (their version of the London Eye).

If you are interested in nature, you’ll enjoy the Jurong Bird Park and the Singapore Zoo Night Safari. For a fascinating peak into what ancient Chinese homes looked like, visit the China Heritage Centre. Enjoy the outdoors in the Botanic Gardens, where you can view 1000 orchid species and 2000 hybrids. It is open from 5am to midnight.

For the seedy side of Singapore, head for Geylang, which has taken over from Bujis Street as the home for streetwalkers and all things naughty. Then restore a feeling of tradition and style with a visit to Raffles, one of the most famous hotels in the world. It may be a bit corny, but do have a Singapore Sling cocktail in the hotel’s Long Bar. It will cost you around R300, so sip it slowly. Don’t feel shy about throwing the shells from the complementary peanuts on the floor, it’s expected of you. A more contemporary bar worth visiting is KuDeTa at the Marina Bay Sands resort. You can dine at some of the finest restaurants (one of these is the famous White Rabbit), but don’t miss out on the culinary heaven of Singapore’s hawker centres. Here you can enjoy satays, noodles, seafood and the ever-popular "chicken rice" dish at very economical prices.

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Fri Apr 18 18:43:48 SAST 2014 ::