Essentially a residential area, with some of the oldest housing estates in the country dating back to the 1930s, Tiong Bahru is known for its market and the Tiong Bahru Park which would appeal to any nature-lover.
The market is a typically Asian venue – colourful, noisy and fun! Take your time to browse and make sure you taste their noodles, touted by some as the best in Singapore. Its proximity to the city centre means it is only a short MRT ride away. Stroll along the Tiong Bahru estate and admire the beautiful pre-war houses that adorn its roads, altogether a rather bohemian feel. The nearby Tiong Bahru Plaza is a suburban mall which makes for interesting window shopping – you never know what trinkets you might find here.
Not far from this is the Tiong Bahru Park, a lovely green sanctuary with lots of recreational facilities including an adventure playground for children. It’s a pleasant place to stroll and jog, with reflexology footpath and fitness stations. In fact, Singapore, despite its small size, has many green belts in the form of gardens, parks and reserves, all of which provide eye candy pretty enough for that postcard-perfect picture.
If you want the ultimate nature experience though, then you definitely should head for the world-famous Jurong Bird Park, Zoo or Night Safari which, although not quite in the vicinity, are still accessible via public transport. These locations have been famously created to suit as much of the animals’ natural surroundings as possible and it is definitely worth the trip not just for children but adults too. Learn about animals in their quasi-natural habitat – you’ll never experience anything like it elsewhere.
Feet burning from walking in the sun? Trade your shoes for fluffy bedroom slippers and relax with the air conditioning on after a nice cool shower. Sounds good? Then head for the Link Hotel. Its pretty yet simple exterior belies the cosy, comfortable rooms it offers. Double-glazed windows drown out sounds from outside, and yet it is just a short cab ride away from some of the hippest, hottest party spots in Singapore. From SGD127 (USD87), you can choose from four ethnic themes to indulge yourself in for the night. And wake up in the morning to an idyllic neighbourhood before you start your journey afresh!
Singapore – a small island nation that is colourful, vibrant and exciting. Belying its size, what was once the sleepy fishing village known as Temasek has emerged as one of the world’s economic giants and a must-see destination for anyone thinking of exploring the diversity of the South East Asia region. Although small – its population is just over 4.8 million – Singapore has loads of fun and pleasure to satisfy any tourist and travellers looking for a bit of adventure. Paradise awaits you in all forms – food, tourist attractions, natural beauty, history and best of all, shopping. Enjoy a bird’s-eye view from the Singapore Flyer or cruise the heart of the city on the Singapore River to experience some of its more historical sites from a closer range. Complete your stroll by the riverside with photos by the half-lion, half-fish Merlion statue so synonymous to the republic.
Singapore’s aggressive conservation efforts in the 1980’s have paid off with well-maintained colonial-styled buildings still standing proudly side-by-side with their more modern sisters. It mirrors Singaporean culture perfectly – modern but with beautifully preserved customs that can especially be seen and experienced during some of its more important festivals, namely the Chinese New Year, the Muslim Eid or Hindu festival of lights, Deepavali. Traditions have grown and melded with one another over the decades, with the expatriate community also contributing to a fusing of both local and Western cultures.
The beauty of Singapore is that one can actually experience it in just a day – although of course if you are there, then you really should get a feel of its vibrant nightlife as well. Not only are there plenty of clubs and entertainment outlets especially by the riverside, but also tourist attractions such as spending the nights at the zoo where tourists can amble about in cooler temperatures. If you are in a rush to see the country though, you could always take the open-roofed sightseeing tour buses for a 24-hour guided tour of the city where you can hop on and off at your convenience.
You’ll be enthralled by Singapore’s unique cultural mix which guarantees an exotic experience. There is a ‘colourful’ atmosphere everywhere as different languages and cultures mesh together. And what better way to enjoy this blending of cultures than through its food. Take the opportunity to experience 1,001 tantalizing yummies not just in its many cafes and restaurants, but also in hawker stalls for a typically Asian experience. Try to sample as much of the local fare as you won’t likely get to be in the midst of such an unforgettable culinary adventure anywhere else. Fear not, Singapore is famous for being squeaky clean and even roadside food is safe for consumption. Although there is no guarantee against its spices…you may want to take it easy on the chilies a little bit if you’re not used to it. Most Singaporeans prefer their food hot and spicy!
Singapore is a perfect blend of the old and new, from quaint, colourful Little India and Chinatown to Orchard Road’s shopping malls dominated by international brands. You can find the latest fashion at Takashimaya and fantastic range of the more affordable items in places such as the Arab Street and Woodland. There is no shortage of sights to see and things to do. Better yet, no matter where you plan to head – even all the way up to Sentosa and its theme parks – you will have no problems getting around. Passes such as the Singapore Tourist Pass (STP) and the Great Singapore Pass give you cheap and easy access to public transport as well as discounts at tourist attractions, restaurants, hotels and shops.
Singapore’s modern transportation system connects virtually all parts of the island and one could opt to use either the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) or bus system, besides cabs or car rentals. Getting in and out of the main island is easy – numerous flights stop at Changi Airport and there are two Causeways connecting Singapore to neighbouring Malaysia, just a short drive (or bus ride) away.
English is also widely spoken but even non-English speaking visitors would have no problems at all getting around as everything is very tourist-friendly with clear signboards and plenty of assistance should the need arise. The STB Visitors’ Centres also provide city maps for free and there are also many walking tour maps. No worries about accommodation either as there are hotels galore, from the internationally renowned to comfortable affordable accommodations which won’t burn a hole in your pockets. From the elegant and legendary Raffles Hotel priced from SGD486 (USD321) to budget establishments such as the Broadway Hotel Singapore starting from SGD80 (USD53), you would have no problems finding the right place to rest your weary head after a day of enjoying the sights and sounds of Singapore. Whether you’re travelling solo or in a family with small children, Singapore is perfect for everyone to enjoy. Certainly a superb holiday destination!