In the central part of Singapore, everything bears the imprint of Sir Stamford Raffles. By relocating the business district to the south of the river and making the northern part the administrative center, Raffles created the structure that formed the basis of life in central Singapore for many decades of colonial and republican rule. Highlights: Empress Building, an imposing Victorian building dating back to 1865 that houses a museum, art and antique galleries, and a chic restaurant; the preposterous Padang, the Raffles Hotel, built in Singapore as a symbol of Oriental luxury; and a huge number of imposing churches, such as the Cathedral of St. Andrew and the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd.
According to vaultedwatches, Chinatown is the cultural center of Singapore with a still-preserved touch of antiquity, numerous temples decorated with terraces, and many merchants and shops. Unfortunately, much of the old originality has disappeared in the last 30 years under the influence of the new. The restoration of the old buildings undertaken by the City Restoration Council has helped to preserve some interesting places, but a new problem has arisen, as the restored buildings are now very profitable real estate with good rents, traditional business, in particular, shops selling cult objects for believers, workshops writing letters and making stamps, is being squeezed out and in its place a new Chinatown with fashionable restaurants and expensive shops appears. But it’s still an interesting place to visit
The Muslim Center of Singapore is a traditional textile center where you can buy Indonesian batik, silk, sarong and all kinds of blouses. Add to this flowers, traditional headdresses, all kinds of baskets, and you get only a faint idea of the goods that are sold in this part of the city. The majestic Sultan Mosque is the largest and most visited mosque in Singapore, while the Malabar Muslim Jamaat Mosque is the most beautiful. A lot of Indian food is sold along the nearby North Bridge Road, and the food stalls on Bussora Street create a special atmosphere in the dark during Ramadan.
This modest yet picturesque part of Singapore, with its close-quarters shops, exhilarating scents and Indian movie music, provides a break from the glittering modernity of the rest of the city. Located south of Seragoon Road, this is the place to go to buy the Hindu god painting you’ve always wanted to have, taste good vegetarian food, and watch street chefs prepare food right in front of you. The Jujiao Center, also called the Tekka Center, is the main market, but there are also many interesting spice shops nearby. The best temples in the area are Veeramakaliammam, Sri Srinivaza Perumal and Temple of 1000 Lamps.
Orchard Road (Fruit Road)
Upscale hotels dominate the area. It is the home of the Singaporean elite who fill shopping malls, nightlife, restaurants, bars and all kinds of recreational areas. An example of the material advantage of capitalism, Orchard Road also has several cultural attractions that do not require a credit card to visit.
Jurong Town, west of the city center, is a huge industrial and residential area that is the backbone of Singapore’s economy. It may not be the most interesting place to visit, but it is home to How Par Villa (an extremely interesting Chinese park with a mythological theme), Jurong Bird Park (Bird Park), Chinese Garden and the Singapore Discovery Center, where all the exhibits can be touched.
Considered the great granddaddy of Singapore’s parks, Sentosa Island is the city-state’s most haunted attraction, especially during weekends. There are museums, aquariums, beaches (with imported sand), sports facilities, walking trails, horseback riding and many good places to eat. If a day is not enough for you to see all the sights and participate in all kinds of outdoor activities, you can stay overnight in a campsite, hotel or luxury hotel.
Chanji village is a convenient starting point for a trip to the northern island of Pulau Ubin. Once there are 12 passengers, the pleasure boat will take you to the island, where there are many quiet beaches, a calm village atmosphere and you can visit everyone’s favorite seafood restaurants. The romantic village atmosphere of Pulau Ubin is as different from the cosmopolitan bustling center of Singapore as it can be in the current environment. The island is so small that it can be cycled around, and it is here that you have a wonderful opportunity to see fish farms, temples, scythe palms and deserted beaches.
There are not many places in Singapore that can boast of pristine nature, but there are still a few such places that will give you the opportunity to take a break from the bustle of the central areas. Changi village on the east coast no longer has traditional kampong houses, but the rustic atmosphere still persists and the beach, while not a true tropical paradise, still has the advantage of being completely deserted, especially during the work week.
On the way to the village of Changi, it is worth visiting the famous Changi Prison. This complex is still in use as a prison, but next to the main gate is the Changi Chapel and a museum that contains exhibits about the use of the chapel by Allied prisoners during World War II. Letters and notes pinned to the walls of the chapel serve as a reminder of this part of Asian history.
Although some of the southern islands are home to industrial plants, many of them are really unusual routes where you can find quiet beaches. The Sisters Islands (Sister Islands) are very good for swimming, it is also a popular place for diving, as there are coral reefs nearby. Other islands worth visiting include Lazarus Island, Pulau Sakiyang Pelepa Island, Pulau Buran Darat Island, Terumba Retan Laut Island and Pulau Renggit Island.
Bukit Tima Nature Reserve
Although there is very little natural wilderness preserved in the reserve, this is the largest area of preserved rainforest. More than 800 species of tropical plants thrive in the park, including giant trees, ferns and wild tropical flowers. Here you can also see long-tailed macaques, lemurs, pythons, a very unusual animal drongo and white-bellied sea eagle.
The Singapore Botanic Gardens are famous for both their jungle and specially designed areas where you can see a wide variety of plant species. The gardens are also famous for their herbarium, for which the intricate work of drying orchids, such as Wanda Miss Joaquim, for which Singapore is famous, has been done.