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Above everything else, Singapore is a heaven for food lovers. Singapore's multicultural background has given rise to an endless array of exotic dishes that are certain to convert even the most staunch.
Singapore as a nation consists of the "Main" island of Singapore and around sixty smaller islands of which just over twenty are inhabited. Singapore is located just off the southern tip of the Malaysian Peninsula to which it is linked by a causeway. Sentosa island is the southernmost point in continental Asia.
Singapore's population is mostly comprised of Chinese, Malays and Indians; however, the culture has become mostly homogenous: Singapore has a unique culture which they call 'Kiasu-ness' and tourists will ogle at Singaporeans' favourite sport: standing in line.
There is not just an ecletic mix of ethnicities in Singapore, but an ecletic mix of the old and the new. Old colonial buildings, which make up the foundation of the city, can still be found alongside new and shiny skyscrapers.
Singapore has no natural resources other than its people; as such, its success as a nation is quite a feat. And, there is no where else in the world where you can break five laws by spitting a piece of chewing gum out of the window. A 'fine' city!
Listen to the abundant stereotypes on this tiny corner of Asia – the severe punishments for littering, the ban on chewing gum, and an abundance of the boringly corporate – and you’d probably dismiss Singapore off hand. You’d be wrong. Sure, the city has an notably more orderly feel to it than the vast majority of Asia's hustle-heavy metropolises, but to focus on only the dull is to miss the essence of what Singapore is all about.
With hefty influences from China, England, India and Malaysia, Singapore’s more exotic cultures incorporate fiery shadow puppet shows, and, of course, the must-drink Singapore Slings at the Raffles bar. Not so dreary, after all.
Food is an essential part of the Singapore experience: any trip should include the Sunday night Little India experience, where Hindi/ Tamil films are the be all and end all, and you can sample nearly anything you’d find on the subcontinent from a substantial selection of market stalls. Geylang Serai & Arab Street tells a different story altogether where traces of the original Malay architecture and history is almost gone. Yes, Singapore or its original name Singapura, it was once a Malay fishing village with an actual Malay Royal Palace now the palace is demolished and the area is called Istana Kampong Glam with plenty of cafes springing up offering Malay cuisines and shisha bars. China Town offers the same combo with a Chinese flavor and a side order of Chinese opera, while Singaporean fare includes traditional Nasi Lemak or Kaya Toast. You can wash it all down with a few swigs of Singapore’s most famous export, Tiger Beer, or a delicate cup of healing herbal tea.
Also you can explore the Asian Civilizations Museum, or take in a playful night out at the Night Safari located beside the Singapore Zoo, where rhinos, tigers and polar bears wallow amongst the substantial greenery. Views from the Sentosa Island cable car provide the essential nighttime cityscapes, while in the day you can cruise the temples, indulge in artistic calligraphy souvenirs, and have a street-side fortuneteller bring your future to life.
So yes, Singapore does have its overly controlled side, but if that’s all you see, your missing the highlights of what can be a lively, culturally varied city, where it's important to focus on the traditional as much as the modern, and make an effort to go beyond the corporate facade.
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Exchange rate fluctuations can have a considerable impact on your trip budget. If your home currency has appreciated in value in the recent term over the currency of your destination you are likely to find the place inexpensive.
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Graphic showing average weather in Singapore in Celcius and Centimeters (Change to Farenheit and Inches)
|Month||Temp °C||Rainfall Cm||Temp °F||Rainfall Inches|
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