A close friend has just returned from Singapore after a long holiday and has come back superbly impressed. This was her first overseas trip ever. And there is no doubt about it that first time is always a first time. As a travel addict, I could read the excitement in her eyes. In fact, I experience it myself whenever I land up in a place that I have never been to before. Even in this age of internet and overflowing information where getting access to the best pictures from across the world is as simple as pressing few buttons, for me the joy of seeing the place in real is unmatched to any virtual treat.
We met yesterday over coffee. She was bubbling to talk about her recent travel adventure. From the iconic emblem, Merlion, and the jaw-dropping architecture at the Marina Bay to the hygienic and amazing street food in Singapore, she had done it all. While the traveler in her was in awe of the architectural glories, the business woman in her couldn’t stop praising the highly developed trade-oriented market economy of the island. All this while, I was swooning with happiness to see her come back with a successful trip. Before she was headed there, I had helped her with all the information of her need. From forex and the travel itinerary to the must-do things, she had taken heed to every piece of my advice. I was glad that now she had fresh experiences to add on to my memories.
It was from her that I learnt that Singapore will host its first Coffee festival from 9th to 12th June 2016. The four day festival promises to treat with world’s best coffee.
Singapore– This small island nation is famously known for its successful growth story and for owning one of the strongest banking systems in the world. In the last 51 years of independence, Singapore has seen exceptional policies and inspiring leadership. Here are 25 things that I learnt about Singapore when I visited the island nation for the first time. And not to forget, this will always be memorable because I had won my tickets as a blogging prize.
- The Changi airport has gardens and ponds. Not one but many. The butterfly garden built at the airport itself houses over 1000 butterflies.
- I only knew Singapore as a city of skyscrapers but I was surprised to learn that the island has an impressive green belt too. I started my first day with an early morning walk to Labrador Nature Reserve.
- The Merlion is a hybrid of a lion and fish. I was curious to know the history and there I learnt that Singapore was originally a fishing village and the lion’s head depicts the name- ‘Singapura’ which means lion city. There are 7 Merlions in Singapore. Look for them & take a great selfie.
- This young nation is an expensive city to live in despite having budget shops, cheap street food and lots of free things to do. And yet it’s one of the favorite holiday destinations for Indians. Singapore tour packages are well-rounded and in plenty.
- The whole city is well connected with Mass rapid Transit. However, people love to use taxis too. The taxi drivers are fondly known as Uncles. They are quite helpful too.
- The island boasts of 18 to 20 man-made super-trees. They are simply amazing. You just can’t miss the light and dance show at the Gardens by the Bay.
- You must explore the island to its nook and cranny to get a taste of its colonial architecture. It is fun to discover the houses built by the British in the 19th century.
- One can always go to a local farm in Singapore’s countryside.
- I thought it was part of mainland Singapore but Sentosa is another island. Not to worry, one can easily walk over a connecting bridge or take a train ride to be there.
- From Chinatown to Maxwell Street, Singapore is a foodie’s paradise.
- The toilets are utterly clean and hygienic.
- Little India doesn’t let you forget India, not even for a moment. And if you love South Indian food, you will choose to settle in there.
- Everything is not new about it. The Singapore Botanic Garden (now a UNESCO Heritage Site) has a 150 years old connect with history.
- When I had met my friends who are well settled in Singapore, I was surprised to learn from them that many American and European were keen to take up Singaporean citizenship.
- Shopping time is just here. The Great Singapore Sale happens for eight weeks between May and July.
- Marina Bay is beautiful. Everything about is classy and fun. Don’t miss the light and dance shows at the waterfront.
- World’s tallest indoor waterfall (115-foot-tall) is inside the Cloud Forest, a part of the Gardens by The Bay.
- It was the first country in the world to host a Formula One night race.
- Tiong Bahru makes a cool neighborhood.
- Explore China town, indulge in shopping, walk to Hawker Street and do not forget to discover the beautiful Buddha Tooth Relic Temple on the way.
- Cultural tours are prevalent and they help to discover hidden historical gems.You may skip the boat cruise but don’t forget to walk around Boat Quay, Clarke quay and Robertson Quay.
- 2 to 4 am shopping was super fun at Mustafa Center.
- I bet you will be tempted to go for bird’s view of this impressive red dot and Singapore flyer will serve you there.
- You must indulge into everything at Sentosa Island and it will take more than two days to explore it completely.
- Hainanese chicken rice is a famous Singaporean dish and no non-vegetarian should return without indulging into this local delicacy.
This isn’t complete but yet quite fulfilling. Making this list was like reliving the thrills of my two years old trip. I promise to complete all the pending stories from Singapore soon.
Travel brings power and love back to your life!!! Trust me, it does…
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P.S. – This is a sponsored post!