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Singapore Holidays

Singapore is the east's great melting pot, a cultural pot pourri that leaves the unsuspecting visitor dazzled. Sir Stamford Raffles, a British civil servant, brought the ‘Lion City’to world prominence after searching for a trading station to counter the Dutch influence in the Straits of Malacca, and trade has remained the island’s mainstay. Centuries before Sir Stamford Raffles acquired it from the Sultan of Johor in 1819, Singapore had been virtually abandoned. However, within decades Singapore had become the main commercial and strategic centre for the

region.

In 1867, it became a British Crown Colony and housed one of the UK’s most important naval bases. This status remained unchanged until 1942 when the Japanese army swept down through Malaya and occupied the colony. Three-and-a-half years later the Japanese surrendered in Singapore and the colony assumed its previous status. And with the dissolution of the British Empire came internal self-government in the year 1959.

Tourism for Singapore has also proven to be of good economic benefit. Culture lovers thrive in this fusion of Chinese, Malay and Indian cultures which are the main ethnic groups with its assortment of mosques, temples and synagogues. Singapore presents a happy collision of opposites that is the grand and expensive at the famed Raffles Hotel, but low-key and cheap in the food markets of Bugis Junction and Clarke Quay. It is one of the popular holiday destinations in the world.

But even in the low-key and cheap areas, Singapore remains an incredibly clean city where nothing is allowed to dull the shine even down to the banning of chewing gum. In the last few years there has been some pressure to relax the numerous laws that have given Singapore a reputation as a prosperous but rather antiseptic and pettily repressive city-state. But Singapore City's exciting riverside parade of bars and restaurants reveals that Singaporeans actually do know how to have fun and live life to the fullest.

The city of Singapore is so small that it can be toured in three days. But according to the Singapore travel guide, to see all the highlights and get beneath the skin of this charming place you definitely have to go for a longer stay. A tour planned around the major districts allows one to appreciate its history, people and rich cultural diversity in an optimal period of time. Here is the best of Singapore which you cannot afford to be miss.

The Singapore travel guide takes you to the Singapore's architectural goldmine. Let yourself be whisked back in time to 1819, when Sir Stamford Raffles first stepped ashore and the Union Jack was raised. Still exuding a strong air of colonialism are well restored government buildings, cathedrals and churches, and the Singapore Cricket Club, once a sports centre for the British colonists. Esplanade Park makes for a pleasant stroll, while learning about the martyrs and heroes, for whom the various memorials in the park have been built.

The city houses some finest museums which lie nestled in and around the district including the Singapore Art Museum, Asian Civilizations Museum, Singapore Philatelic Museum and Singapore History Museum. Just at the eastern outskirts of the colonial core stands the renowned Raffles Hotel. A modest museum on the third floor renders its legend.

Merlion is the city's tourism icon which is steadfastly standing guard at the mouth of the Singapore river. Quaint bridges span the river, ranging from the elegant Anderson Bridge to the simple Ord Bridge. Boat Quay, an excellent reincarnation of Peranakan shop houses and godowns, is a pleasant place to dine alfresco, with its long slew of chic cafes, restaurants and pubs. One of the most recommended places by Singapore travel guide.

Further upstream is Clarke Quay, yet another series of restored shop houses, where a carnival atmosphere prevails at the fall of dusk. You can come here on Sunday,where a flea market thrives, displaying an appealing range of old treasures, curios and collectibles. Other dining and entertainment attractions along the river include the Riverside Point, Riverside Village and Robertson Quay at the uppermost end.

The Singapore travel guide suggests you to visit "Chinatown" which is set against the backdrop of Singapore's modern infrastructure and the prosperous financial district. It is a crowded and colorful network of streets and alleyways contained by Upper Pickering Street, Cantonment Road, New Bridge and South Bridge Road. The area is a receptacle of traditional Chinese customs that were carried by the communities in Chinese Junks from the provinces of Guangdong and Fujian to Singapore in the early 19th century.

The first Indian settlers arrived with Sir Stamford Raffles in the early 19th century, bringing with them colorful silks, aromatic spices, incense and other accoutrements of Indian culture. They worked on the roads and helped build the infrastructure of the city, settling within the ethnic enclave that has become known as Little India. The area is delineated by the north-south Serangoon Road, which runs parallel to Race Course Road. Its eastern end stretches to Jalan Besar. Temples, fortune-tellers, busy restaurants, stirring curry spices, jasmine garlands and the exotic hues of silk saris fill the vibrant streets to create a colorful ensemble. Little India is at its best during the Hindu Festival of Lights when the area is festooned with decorative lighting displays. This makes an amazing place for tourists from all across the globe.

Singapore is an island with "1,000 shopping malls". Despite the hot climate, it is a tropical paradise for most tourists. It has great diversity of lifestyles, cultures, and religions which thrives within the framework of a regulated society.


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