Welcome to the ninth of ‘WHAT’S IN SOUTHEAST ASIA?‘ blog series.
Last week I posted about Philippines and I did mention that country is like BAE! My bae that I can’t even reach but can dream for it.
Well now, I’m gonna show you a ninth country to see in Southeast Asia, and it is called Singapore!
According to WIKIPEDIA,
Singapore officially the Republic of Singapore, and often referred to as the Lion City or the Little Red Dot, is a sovereign city-state in Southeast Asia, and the world’s only island city-state. Founded as a British trading colony in 1819, since independence it has become one of the world’s most prosperous countries and boasts the world’s busiest port.
Combining the skyscrapers and subways of a modern, affluent city with a medley of Chinese, Malay and Indian influences and a tropical climate, with tasty food, good shopping and a vibrant night-life scene, this Garden City makes a great stopover or springboard into the region.
Singapore prides itself on being a multi-racial country, and has a diverse culture despite its small size. The largest group are the Chinese, who form about 75% of the population. One quarter of Singapore residents are foreigners.
What can you do in Singapore?
Singapore is one of the most popular travel destinations in the world for a lot of reasons. One of which is the less stringent entry requirements. In fact, Singapore is just a small country and unlike other Southeast Asia country, Singapore offer their luxurious lifestyle in Southeast Asia and it becoming their country as a promising travel destination.
Marina Bay is a bay located in the Central Area of Singapore surrounded by the perimeter of four other planning areas, the Downtown Core, Marina East, Marina South and Straits View. The area surrounding the bay itself, also called Marina Bay, is a 360 hectare extension to the adjacent Central Business District.
Fact: Those taking a dip in this infinity pool feel like they are swimming among the clouds, perched 200m (656ft) in the sky with the most majestic scenery at their feet. Image credit: @sheriff_bj Keep sharing your favourite #Singapore experiences by simply tagging @visit_singapore or #YourSingapore and we might just feature you!
The label “Marina Bay” is a little fuzzy. Technically, it’s the body of water created by reclaiming land around the mouth of the Singapore River and blocked off from the sea by the Marina Barrage, but Singaporeans associate the name “Marina” with the Marina Square shopping mall and the many hotel developments around it on the north shore of the river.
Gardens by the bay is a futuristic park which consists of three waterfront gardens. Includes giant artificial trees that glow in the night time and two domed conservatories. It is one of the famous park in Marina Bay.
Singapore’s newest tourist trap, this 150-meter-tall observation wheel modeled on the London Eye is no less than the world’s tallest. One rotation takes about 30 minutes, and for an extra $25 you can sip on a cocktail while admiring the views, but expect to share your capsule with as many as 28 people unless you stump up a cool $1,000 for a private ride.
The Singapore River forms a central artery in Singapore’s densely packed Central Business District. The north bank of the river is where Raffles originally landed and founded his colony, and to this day many central government buildings can be found in the area.
Singapore’s official symbol, 8.6 meters tall and weighing 70 tons, spouts water daily on the south bank of the mouth of the Singapore river, Merlion statue is the most famoust landmark overall. Designed by the Singapore Tourist Promotion Board in 1964, many a commentator has pondered on the inherent contradictions of a creature that is half-lion, half-fish. Any time of night or day, a steady stream of tourists troops up to see the mythical beast, and a purpose-built pier lets you take pictures with the Merlion and the CBD in the background.
Easily the most famous hotel in #Singapore, no other establishments epitomises the island's colonial history better than Raffles Singapore. Did you know the Singapore Sling, widely regarded as the national drink was first created in 1915 at the hotel? Image credit @muradosmann #YourSingapore #followmeto
Apart from Merlion statue, there’s also Raffles statue standing over there. This statue of Stamford Raffles, the founder of Singapore, is built on the (supposed) exact spot where he first landed. Second only to the Merlion as most popular place in Singapore to take a picture of yourself, and having the skyscrapers and the sho-phouses of Boat Quay in the background helps to explain why! The statue here is actually a replica; the original can be found in front of the Victoria Theatre.
Bugis and Kampong Glam
Bugis and Kampong Glam are Singapore’s old Malay district, now largely taken over by shopping. Except for the odd mosque or temple there are few attractions per se in Bugis. Do as the Singaporeans do and window-shop your way through, stopping for quick eats every now and then.
Malay Heritage Centre, Set on the grounds of beautifully restored Istana Kampong Glam, the site looks gorgeous from the outside but despite some half-hearted attempts at whiz-bang multimedia.
Not far from it, there’s Hajjah Fatimah Mosque. Also known as Masjid Hajjah Fatimah, it is probably Singapore’s second most important mosque historically after Sultan Mosque. It was named after an aristocratic Malay woman who donated money to build it. Its design is a mix of local Malay Muslim and colonial British architecture. This minaret tower is also worth a look as it leans slightly off-centre towards the main prayer hall. As with all mosques, revealing clothing should be avoided.
Be mind blown by the grandeur of the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple & Museum. Every minute detail within the temple is definitely well thought of and decorated. When you're there, take the elevator to the fourth floor and see the Buddha Tooth Relic. Oh don't forget the amazing local food right across the road at Maxwell Food Centre. Image credit: @thewanderwong #YourSingapore #Singapore #Travel
Even this district is mostly known as muslim’s part of Singapore, one thing for sure about it, a Kwam Im Thong Hood Cho Temple is located in that district as well. According to legend, wishes made in here come true, which would explain why it’s always packed. The procedure goes like this: enter, light some joss sticks, pray for advice about a dilema, then shake a container of cham si(bamboo sticks) until one falls out. Throw a pair of red Jiao. If you get one on the round side and the other on the flat side, get a free matching slip with verses (also in English) explaining the Goddess’s advice. Advice is not always given. If it is given, take it to one of the resident soothsayers for their interpretation.
Little India is, as the name promises, the centre for the large Indian community in Singapore. While a rather sanitized version of the real thing, Little India retains its distinct identity without degenerating into a mere tourist attraction and is one of the most colorful and attractive places to visit in Singapore.
The most extreme thing to do in Little India is to join the festival of Thaipusam, held yearly during the full moon in the lunar month of Thai (usually Jan/Feb). Male devotees attach ornate shrines to their flesh with piercing hooks known as kavadi and walk across town in a day-long procession. Female devotees would usually just carry a pot of milk on their head and join the procession. The procession starts from Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple in Serangoon Road and proceeds to the Sri Thandayuthapani Temple at Tank Road.
Around Deepavali, the Hindu festival of light, Serangoon Road is festively decorated (with lights, of course!) and open-air markets are set up to sell Deepavali goodies. Near the beginning of Deepavali, the fire walking festival of Thimithi is held, where many male devotees will walk across a platform of burning coal. Though the actual fire walking takes place at the Sri Mariammam temple in Chinatown, the procession starts at the Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple in Serangoon Road and makes its way to Chinatown early in the morning where the fire walking commences.
A more low-key event happens every Sunday evening when a half-million workers from the subcontinent turn up in Little India to hang out on their day off. Most of the crowd is friendly enough, but inevitably a few get into drunken fights and there’s a heavy police presence about to keep an eye on things.
NB: Singapore using Dollar Singapore (SGD) as their currency.
There are few things you could do in Singapore even there’s a lot of things you could explore and much more than the list I made.
It just a thing when you’re a perk of being a Southeast Asian, you have a lot of similarity but there’s something different in that. Which is our uniqueness and foreign like to come.
That’s it for Singapore!
So, I’m gonna see you with another country which is Thailand!
There’s a lot of thing that you could see in there and see you next week with ‘WHAT’S IN SOUTHEAST ASIA; THAILAND!’
(Note; As you might see all the pictures are credit to @visit_singapore and you should check their Instagram!)