Singapore is perhaps the image of an ideal country - prosperous, modern, a melting pot of cultures, and incredibly neat and orderly. It is one of the cleanest, disciplined, and safest in the world, although some view those traits as indicative of dullness. Sure, the streets are squeaky-clean, heavy traffic is a rare occurrence, and little things like chewing gum are against the law, but aren't the opposites considered as blights on others?
The smallest nation in Southeast Asia, the former fishing village's history was forever changed upon the arrival of Sir Stamford Raffles in 1819. Since then, it had reinvented itself as the fifth wealthiest country in the world with a GDP per capital of 52,000 USD -no small feat.
Food to Die For
What stands out for visitors to Singapore, though, is the unique culinary experience it offers. Drawing on the multitude of cultures that have come to co-exist harmoniously in the country - Chinese, Indian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, and Western - Singaporean cuisine is definitely diverse and exotic. Its city center is a hotspot for world-class restaurants, which are popular among gourmet connoisseurs with money to burn.
A better and more homely experience would be to head down the food markets at Clarke Quay and Bugis Junction. There, visitors can simply pull out a stool from a hawker center and feast on the heavily-flavored food: fish head curry, mee goreng, and laksa are definite favorites. What's more, the alternative is much easier on the pocket.
Underneath Singapore's clean-cut exterior is an attitude that is both pulsating and stylish. It is perhaps one of Asia's best shopping destinations, where the roughly 10 million tourists who visit can indulge in buying traditional craft, Asian designer products, European fashion items, and electronic goods. The country also possesses an exciting nightlife, buzzing with bars and discos at the city center.
It's not only about hedonistic pleasures, however. Singapore has natural beauty to flaunt as well. Wildlife encounters are at a premium at nature reserves like the Junong Bird Park, which is home to some 8,000 birds of 600 different species.
Singapore Traveler Advice
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