Tourist Attractions in Singapore

By Petal Mashraki

For: Local Storm Media, Inc.

Owner: Michael Ber

The Nation of Singapore floats between Malaysia and Indonesia in the Southeast Asian Sea. Singapore is also the name of the capital city. The city has a mix of extreme wealth and 1st world infrastructure with smaller traditional ethnic communities. It is truly a melting pot of Asian cultures.

Orchard Road

Orchard Road is one of those sites you would love to skip but just can’t pass up. It is the shopping center of Singapore, although now targeting tourists you can find bargains and buy almost anything there. Behind Orchard Road is Holland Village the “Bohemian Enclave” where expats gather and the cosmopolitan atmosphere is a throwback to the colonial days. There are smaller shopping centers here with specialty stores, Asian handicraft stores and art studios. The charm of the area truly comes out at night when the street is closed to traffic and bars and restaurants are buzzing.

Botanical Gardens

Enter on Upper Palm Valley Road where you will first encounter the Orchid Garden here orchids have been cultivated since 1928 as well as producing hybrids. There are 1000 species and 2000 hybrids in the orchid gardens. You can take in the beautiful sight and fragrances from the small café on site. Entrance is $5. In the botanical gardens there are several sections: rainforest, evolution garden, palm valley, ginger garden and healing garden as well as a small lake. The gardens are not only for display they are used by people walking their dogs or going for a jog as well as tai-chi. There is a gazebo next to the Swan Lake and other interesting features like the bonsai garden and Swiss Ball Fountain. Include in your visit the Sun Garden Sculptures and the Bukit Timah Core which has a section with herbs and spices, fruit trees, nuts and beverage crops as well as a children’s garden. One of the great things about this site is that it’s open from 05:00 -24:00. It’s located at Cluny Road near Holland Village and entrance is free.

Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum

The temple is 4 floors high, and the main attraction here is the 8 meter high Buddha statue housed in the 100 Dragon Hall. On the 1st floor are wax models of revered monks, the 2nd floor has the Lotus Heart Tea House and Buddhist texts and the 3rd level has religious relics. On the 4th level is the Buddha tooth Relic in the Sacred Light Hall surrounded by a 2 meter high gold Stupa which can be viewed only during the ceremonies which are held three times a day. To see the Buddha Pagoda climb to the roof where there is also a prayer wheel. Entrance is free and the temple can be found in the southern end of China Town.

China Town – Niu Che Shui

Overshadowed by the skyscrapers in the background Singapore’s China Town is a maze of small lanes. Several places of worship can be found here, the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple in the south and the Jamae Mosque on South Bridge Road. The mosque dates back to the 1826’s and is a national monument. It has two minarets and intricate decoration all around the entrance. The temple is used by Tamil Muslims. Next to it is the Sri Mariamman Temple used for Hindu prayer. Not to be missed the stunning entrance tower made of 6 terraces of brightly painted plaster figures depicting Hindu deities. Another place of worship in China Town is Thian Hock Keng Temple, a Hokkien temple, Chinese immigrants would come here to thank the goddess of the sea for a safe journey. Made of stone, tiles and wood no nails were used to construct this temple. Nearby you can go up to the 50th floor of the Pinnacle Duxon Skybridge and get great views of the city.

Mint Museum of Toys

Moment of Imagination and Nostalgia with Toys, is the true name of this interesting museum. If you are traveling with kids check out this 5 floor emporium of more than 10,000 toys. You can find everything here from mechanical toys to Batman jammed onto narrow shelves. You will also see some more local versions of Asian toys among the recognizable Barbies and Star Wars characters. Find this museum at 26 Seah Street a short walk from City Hall. Entrance is $15 (kids half price).

Singapore Flyer

Not to be outdone by the London eye the Singapore flyer is a 165 meter high Ferris wheel with pods that can carry 28 people at a time up into the air. One time around on the wheel will take you 30 minutes and cost about $30SGD ($23USD). On the same site is the Journey of Dreams a multi media show about Singapore and the wheel itself. Also set up in the “terminal” of the flier you can enjoy a fish spa, reflexology, take part is a flight simulator and other unrelated pleasures. On the grounds of the Singapore flier is the Yakult Rainforest, a manmade oasis of lush trees and flowing water. The wheel is on Raffles Avenue and can be reached from the MRT Promenade station.

Peranakan Museum

The Perakan culture is one of the blending together of Chinese with local women  ( Peranakan Chinese) and Indians with local women (Chitty Melaka) the off spring of these unions are referred to as Peranakans which means “locally born”. The culture is unique and brings together a number of elements from both Singapore and the other blended cultures. The museum displays all manner of Peranakan objects, art work, traditional clothing, crafts and artifacts employing multimedia and interactive displays. The museum building is also incredibly beautiful with several floors of balconies with gold details in the classic style. This museum is part of the Asian Civilizations Museum and is 10 minutes from City Hall on Armenian Street. Entrance is $6SGD ($4.5USD) and you can get a joint ticket for the Asian Civilizations Museum for $10SGD ($7.7USD).

Asian Civilizations Museum

This museum aims to show the cultures of the nations which came to settle here in Singapore from throughout Asia, it is a pan-Asian display of Asian heritage from China, Southeast Asia, West Asia and South Asia (Islam). Each of the museum’s galleries holds items from one of these cultures including religious artifacts and even shrines. On display you will see ancient statues from the region; traditional national costumes; scriptures written in ancient languages and wooden furniture from Singapore. An interesting exhibit is the Singapore River Gallery which teaches about the people who lived and worked on the Singapore River and how their lives were affected by the changing conditions of the river. The museum is in one of Singapore’s most beautiful buildings The Empress Palace Building it’s in the neo-Palladian style with wooden shutters and a clay tile roof. The museum is at 1 Empress Place near the Singapore River mouth and admission is free for Singaporeans and $8.00SGD ($6USD) for all others.

Changi Chapel and Museum

This exhibition brings to life the experiences of people who lived and suffered through the Japanese occupation of Singapore. Far from being depressing the museum gives hope to those in peril as it shows the struggles of those who rose to the challenge and fought against adversity. It aims to show the WWII history through personal anecdotes and testimonials rather than dry facts. There is a strict code of conduct within the museum to insure the memory of those lost is respected. The museum is located on Upper Road and admission is free.

Little India

As the name suggests this neighborhood has the exotic aroma of Indian spices floating in the air, here you can mingle with the Indian community of Singapore. You will find art galleries exhibiting Indian art and stores selling exclusively Indian Saris and traditional Indian jewelry, pashminas, arts and crafts. Although Little India lacks the ornate temples of China Town it does shed light on another section of the Singapore community and gets you away from the modern skyscrapers of Singapore. If possible visit this area during the Diwali festival when the streets are alive with festive activity.

Merlion Park

On a walk around Marina Bay you will reach this park from which there are good views of Marina Bay and the Singapore skyline as well as the well known hotels like the Esplanade, the Fullerton Hotel and The Sands. There are 5 Merlin statues scattered throughout Singapore of the lion-fish with the body of a fish and the head of a lion. The word “Singapore” actually means Lion’s City which explains the head and the city was formally a fishing village thus the fish body. In Merlin Park you will find the original of these statues (8.6 meters high) together with his baby lionfish in front of the Fullerton Hotel. On Sentosa Island there is a 37 meters high replica which you can enter and go up to the mount or head to an observation deck.

Butterfly Park and Insect Kingdom

Take the cable car out to Sentosa Island and visit the 15,000 butterflies in their conservatory as well as the 3,000 species of insects. The setting for this tropical paradise is a lush garden. You can also see a number of rare birds and parrots. The haven of color is on Cable Car Road and costs $16SGD ($12USD). This attraction is close to the Tiger Sky Tower Singapore’s highest observatory tower at 131 meters from which you can see as far as Malaysia. For animal lovers Singapore also has Mandai zoo and the Jurong Bird Park.

Singapore Cable Car

This is an interesting way to reach Santosa Island where there are several activities and things to see. From high above the island you get an incredible 360 ̊ view of the harbor, Santosa Island and Singapore city as the cable car cabins have panoramic windows.  Along the way you can stop at Mount Faber Park and visit The Jewel Box for more breathtaking views and a bite to eat. There is a cable car museum at one end of the ride. While taking your ride up there is multilingual information about what you see below you. Catch the cable car from Harbor Front Tower Two, the cable car makes its journey up the hill from 08:45-21:00 every day. Admission 22SP$ ($17).

Saltan Mosque

While exploring the Kampong Glam Malay Heritage District you can’t help but gasp at the Masjid Saltan Mosque with its golden onion shaped domes. The exterior is ornately painted with embellished minarets and balustrades. The mosque was built in 1928 although the original building dates back to the early 1800’s. The mosque has room for 5,000 worshipers and it’s shared by the Islamic communities of Singapore the Malays, Javanese, Bugis, North Indians, Tamil and Arabs. Together these groups manage and preserve the mosque. Find the mosque on Muscat Street and North Bridge Road.

Sands Skypark

You may think that visiting a hotel as a tourist attraction is strange until you lay eyes on this incredible manmade wonder. The Sands Hotel consists of three 55 floor towers which hold 2,561 rooms, the towers are connected on top by a banana shaped 1 hectare long sky terrace. Among this hotel’s assets are an ice skating rink; a casino of Vegas proportions; an Art Science Museum within a structure shaped like a lotus flower; Wonder Fall the largest sound and light show in Southeast Asia and 2 floating crystal pavilions and I haven’t told you about the real attraction yet! The Sands Skylark on the hotel roof has the longest infinity pool in the world overlooking the bay and city. Also on the roof are restaurants, nightclubs and the Ku De Ta Gardens a botanical garden with hundreds of species of plants and trees. There is also an observation deck for those who are not afraid of heights!

National Museum of Singapore

If you want to see all of Singapore’s 11 national treasures then come to this museum which has been operating since 1887. Despite being Singapore’s oldest museum it presents the exhibits in innovative ways with high-tech multi-media. The museum building is a blend of the original neo-classical structure and an ultra-modern extension. There are 4 Living Galleries each showing a different aspect of Singapore culture and society through food, fashion, film and photography. There’s also a history gallery tracing Singapore’s past from the 14th century and a fine art section. The museum is on Stamford Road and entrance is $10SGD ($7.7USD).

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3 responses to “Tourist Attractions in Singapore

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