domenica 17 febbraio 2013

Have you ever visited Singapore? Some tips if you go there

Very often, talking to friends who do not know where to go for holidays, we suggest a trip to Singapore.
This city-state has fascinated us for cleanliness, order, security and beauty we found.

The climate of Singapore is the same throughout the year.
Being so close to the equator, there are no major differences in seasons and it 's always hot and humid.
Due to this reason in shops, offices, restaurants and hotels air conditioning is always on.
A tip: always bring a sweater to protect you when you are indoor as air conditioning is set at pretty low temperature and most of the times the change in temperature between outside and inside can also be of 10°-15 °C.

What to see when you are in town?
Here some suggestion for your trip:



  • The Merlion is the symbol of Singapore. It is half mermaid and half lion. The original sculpture is located at Singapore River outfall, next to the famous Fullerton Hotel.


  • The Botanical Garden and the Orchids Garden: not far from Orchard Road, on a hill, you can find this enormous botanical garden.
    Admission is free and during the week end many families enjoy spending time  in the garden and relaxing.
    The impressive thing in the garden is that is really clean and tidy; people civilly throw waste in the bins and there never would abandon wastepaper around.
    If you are fond of orchids, or even if you like flowers, you can not miss a visit to the National Orchids Garden which is located within the Botanic Garden.


  • Orchard Road is the main shopping street, where you will find shops and department stores at every level. It 's really impressive ... if you think that at the same intersection you can even find two Louis Vuitton stores !
    Shopping centers worth a visits too as they are extended in height and depth.
    The ION shopping center, for instance, has four floors above ground and 4 underground.
    In Singapore, it is very common to find underground passages between a shopping center and the other.
    Because of the hot and humid weather paople try to go outside as little as possible and enjoy the air conditioning instead.


    • Chinatown is definitely worth a visit. It really seems to get into a Chinese city, with the all day market, the stalls of Chinese trinkets and the al-fresco offering any kind of chinese delicatessen.
      Nice to visit it during the day, even more beautiful in the evening.


    • Sri Mariamman Temple: This temple is the oldest Hindu temple in Singapore and is located in the heart of Chinatown.
      Its facade, consisting of  multicolored statues of gods and goddesses is easily identifiable and is very charming.
      If you are lucky you can attend a Hindu wedding, as it is very popular for this kind of celebrations.


    • Old Parliament District: in this neighborhood you can visit  St.Andrew Cathedral, the National Museum, the Art Museum, the Armenian Church of St. Gregory the Illuminator, the Supreme Court and the City Hall.
      Almost all the buildings are made by white marble and surrounded by gardens and tree-lined avenues. If you are interested in history and art consider to spend half a day to walk through and visit these buildings.



    • Buddhist Temple Siong Lim: a visit to this temple is a unique experience.
      Our curiosity about Buddhism in places of worship was fully satisfied in this place of peace, tranquility and serenity.
      It's impressive to pass through the doors of the temple and be able to leave outside a busy town and "orderly chaos".
      We spent a couple of hours in this place, and the walk through the alleys dotted with bonsai, visited the various prayer rooms scented by incense burned by the faithful, forgot the anxiety, stress and confusion. Our advice is: you definitely have to go there!


    Tourist traps:

    • Sentosa Island: in front of Singapore there is an island very popular among tourists, mainly European and American, living in Singapore for business or leisure travelers.
      To reach the island you can walk across the bridge that connects it with Singapore, you can catch the bus line Sentosa Rider or the train Sentosa Express .
      There are beautiful beaches, even though the view from the beach is not the best. In front of Sentosa are parked all container ships or tankers waiting to enter the port's commercial center.
      The sea, in spite of everything, it is clean. On the island there are many resorts, casinos and attractions.
      We visited "Images of Singapore": a journey through the history of the state of Singapore, fun and interesting at the same time.


    • Marina Bay Sand: This impressive building houses a super luxury hotels in "three towers and the "boat". At the top of the buildings there are restaurants and a wonderful swimming pool giving the impression to swim in the air.
      Even if you are not staying in this beautiful hotel, which has exorbitant prices, you can go on the top with an ultra fast elevator up to the 56th floor and enjoy a spectacular view of the city.
      The shopping center that is located below the hotel is also remarkable, built in Venetian style, with canals where gondolas are sailing and luxury shops as Maserati's and Ferrari's.


    • Raffles Hotel: Raffles in Singapore is a legend, and certainly the oldest hotel frequented by the British. It is named after the father of modern Singapore, Sir Stamford Raffles.
      In the famous Long Bar cocktail "Singapore Sling" was invented . Try it, it's really good!


    • Singapore Flyer: the largest Ferris wheel in the world is definitely worth a spin!
      It 's really impressive with its mass which rises more than 165 meters in height.
      From its cabins, spacious and bright, you can enjoy an incredible view of the Singapore River outfall and on part of the F1 circuit.
      Some cabins can be transformed into cafe or restaurants. People can reserv them to spend a special evening having dinner while watching the city from above.
      Our advice is to take a ride on the Wheel at sunset, to enjoy the view with the light of day and with the lights of the city. The tour lasts about thirty minutes.

    Ubicazione: Singapore

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