Founded some time in the 13th century, Singapore was once called the Sea town. Nowadays, the city has many nicknames, my favorite of which is the ” The Lion City”. Strategically located on the southernmost tip of continental Asia, the city was soon to become one of the biggest trading hubs, financial center, a meeting point of culture and traditions giving out that beautiful vibes to be feel while in Singapore.
Owning one of the busiest and biggest cruise terminals in the world, Singapore was set as our turnaround port for the time being in Asia. It was the port, where I was scheduled to start my vacation from the ship as well, so I have decided to spend a couple of days on my own to live in, discover and taste the city, before flying home.
I booked a hotel in the Arab district, which accordingly to my pre-research, it was described as lively neighborhood, with great hotels build in the Colonial style( which I like a lot) and with easy access to all the major sights I was planning to visit. I would say, that if I happen to visit Singapore again, I would chose that very same hotel or neighborhood. Apart of walking on the Arab street, you could stop by at the Malay Heritage Center or take your photograph in with the Sultan Mosque in the background.
One of the facts, I really loved about Singapore was the fact that it was so easy to walk and as for getting around – it was so easy to approach locals and even better – they approach you with the question, whenever you need help, as soon as they see you holding map or checking on the public transportation itineraries. Amazing really.
Among my interests , I can list history, architecture and the influence of different cultures into the architecture in the chosen places of visit, real stories from the past, art, modern art and design, lifestyle, Arab food and street life, I picked up the places I wanted to see and the activities to do accordingly.
Once on the Arab street and when taking the Victoria street, you will pass the shopping center of Bugis Junction ( you can find a really great shopping deals at some of the many store in Bugis), followed by the Singapore Art museum on your right and the National Library of Singapore on the left.If then turn on the Bras Basah road to the right will reach the iconic for Singapore- The Raffles Hotel. While approaching to the Raffles, the “Element” Art Exhibition center,located just on the back of the hotel, has catched my eye and I decided make a small detour and visit it. If you interested in the artwork of the innovative artists from the region, I would recommend.
Next to the “Element” Art Center, I stop by the Raffles Hotel – the must-see hotel, named after the person who set the beginning of modern Singapore- Sir Raffles. Monuments of him are to be seen almost everywhere in the city. The 5 star luxury hotel is located in the heart of the business and civil district of Singapore, overlooking partly the other iconic hotel for Singapore – The Marina Bay Sands.
They say, that no visit to Raffles Hotel is completed without having the Singapore Sling cocktail in some of the bars at the hotel. I did pass on that drink this time, but during my next visit, I will sure try it.
From the Raffles hotel, take down the North Bridge road, reaching the Downtown Core – busy, lively and historical epicenter of Singapore, build next to the river of Singapore, around where the city expanded. In here, you will find the National Gallery, the Parliament Building of Singapore, The Victoria Theater and Concert Hall, the Asian Civilisation museum and then Fullerton Hotel Building, once post office and nowadays an upscale luxury hotel.
Once down next to river, don’t miss to visit the Clarke Quay, housing restaurants, nightclubs and a pedestrian mall, the place where people visiting and working in Singapore meet & mingle.
The morning on the next day, I decided to spend it on Sentosa island, hitting to the beach and visiting the Universal Studio. Getting to Sentosa was easy and fast. I decided to take a bus to Vivo Center and then the Sentosa Express. Just click the link next to, to find out more options to get to Sentosa- ( http://www.rt10.rspo.org/c/getting-to-sentosa/).
Honestly, I was not too impress from the beach on Sentosa island due to the view to the many many ships waiting to enter the port of Singapore, but I could understand why people would choice to spend the day off’s in here. There are all kind of facilities – such as beach bars and restaurants, an yacht port with more restaurants, playground for beach sports and children. Visiting the Universal Studio was fun though, but as the time was pressing and I wanted to visit the Gardens by the Bay ( just before sunset) and have a drink on the rooftop bar of the Marina Bay Sands hotel, I decided to head back to the hotel and get ready for the evening.
The day after was the day, when my flight was scheduled and since the flight was late at night, I was happy to spend the morning having breakfast in the “Wild Honey” lounge, in one of the shopping district of Singapore ( Orchard boulevard) and buying the last minute memento’s for family,friends and myself.
During my 2 days in Singapore, I managed to visit a small Spa near my hotel. Something else I love about traveling to Asia is the fact that the Spa’s in the most visited towns in the entire continent are working 24\7 and are everywhere to be found, so the visit to the Spa center got me ready to explore the city of Singapore and fly back home in more relaxed look, then the one,I did left from work.