If you are the type of traveller that loves to pick exotic destinations, Singapore has more to offer than most metropolitan centres. While it might be the last place you imagine luxurious beaches or world class golfing, shopping or attractions the city is gaining a reputation for being a hub for excitement, adventure and fun.
So why haven't more people visited Singapore in the past? The flight is both lengthy and can be costly (unless you know where and when to look for great airfares). From the North American east coast, flying to Singapore is on average 9,535 miles (and approximately eighteen hours in duration) and considered a long-haul flight. Previously a non-stop flight was available from North America to the city via Singapore Airlines but the carrier has recently ended its direct flight service.
Connecting flights are available from Asia or Europe as a result of rising fuel costs so anticipate booking a stop-over in another locale you are interesting in touring. Take advantage of the stop-over and create a side adventure in Asia or Europe before flying to Singapore. When you arrive there are a number of things to see and do in Singapore, but we've picked three of the top visited attractions to help you plan your vacation.
The Must See List
1. The Singapore Flyer is the world's largest wheel and observation deck, standing ten meters taller than "The Eye" in London England. Constructed in three years (2005 to 2008) the landmark is a giant Ferris wheel offering breathtaking views of the landscape and key centres from 165 m (541 feet) high. It's also a great place to eat with a colourful 1960's theme food court featuring delicious and affordably priced local fare.
Tip: For a great group experience consider having The High Tea experience onboard The Flyer. There is the option of booking a private capsule or the public one, which includes free access to the Journey of Dreams attraction.
2. Shopping in Singapore is almost unprecedented if you are looking for designer labels and cutting edge electronics. Singapore has become a shoppers paradise due to the Electronic Tourist Refund Scheme (eTRS) which allows for taxes to be refunded to tourists. Simply keep your receipts and the amount of taxes paid will be refunded before you leave. It's a great incentive to shop until you drop!
Tip: Digital deals at FunanDigitalife Mall and Sim Lim Square are routinely 10-20% less expensive than other retail outlets. Be prepared for some serious haggling over price and to get your best deals, plan to pay in cash. Merchants often give steep discounts for cash transactions.
3. With ecological awareness Singapore has preserved a green paradise in the middle of its growing metropolis. The Singapore Botanical garden is a great place to lose some time while waiting for businesses to open (nothing opens before 11:00 a.m.). It's also a great place to get breakfast at Tanglin Gate. Enjoy local fare including soft boiled eggs and coconut jam.
Tip: Don't miss a tour of the National Orchid Garden with more than 1,000 different species of orchids and 2,000 hybrid varieties. The rain forest tour is both educational and inspirational with workshops and other opportunities depending on scheduled events. The best time to visit is the early morning before the heat arrives.
There are enough sights and attractions (including Universal Studios Singapore) to keep families and travellers of all ages entertained for more than a week. As a major metropolitan city, Singapore also offers a thriving night life and historical and culturally significant landmarks worth seeing, including colonial architecture. The flight may be a long one but worth the investment of time to visit the exciting metropolis of Singapore.
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