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Lonely Planet Singapore

Lonely Planet Singapore

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Lonely Planet Singapore

valutazioni:
5/5 (1 valutazione)
Lunghezza:
563 pagine
4 ore
Pubblicato:
Feb 1, 2018
ISBN:
9781787012387
Formato:
Libro

Descrizione

Lonely Planet: The world's leading travel guide publisher

Lonely Planet Singapore is your passport to the most relevant, up-to-date advice on what to see and skip, and what hidden discoveries await you. Shop til you drop along Orchard Road, explore futuristic gardens and a world-class zoo, and sample some of the best hawker food in Asia -all with your trusted travel companion. Get to the heart of Singapore and begin your journey now!

Inside Lonely Planet Singapore Travel Guide:

  • Full-colour maps and images throughout
  • Highlights and itineraries help you tailor your trip to your personal needs and interests
  • Insider tips to save time and money and get around like a local, avoiding crowds and trouble spots
  • Essential info at your fingertips - hours of operation, phone numbers, websites, transit tips, prices
  • Honest reviews for all budgets - eating, sleeping, sight-seeing, going out, shopping, hidden gems that most guidebooks miss
  • Cultural insights give you a richer, more rewarding travel experience - food, shopping, architecture
  • Free, convenient pull-out Singapore map (included in print version), plus over 30 colour maps
  • Covers Colonial District, the Quays, Marina Bay, Orchard Road, Sentosa Island, Little India, Chinatown, Holland Village and more

The Perfect Choice: Lonely Planet Singapore , our most comprehensive guide to Singapore, is perfect for both exploring top sights and taking roads less travelled.

  • Looking for just the highlights of Singapore? Check out Pocket Singapore, a handy-sized guide focused on the can't-miss sights for a quick trip.
  • Looking for more extensive coverage? Check out Lonely Planet Malaysia, Singapore & Brunei guide for a comprehensive look at all the region has to offer.

About Lonely Planet: Lonely Planet is a leading travel media company and the world's number one travel guidebook brand, providing both inspiring and trustworthy information for every kind of traveller since 1973. Over the past four decades, we've printed over 145 million guidebooks and phrasebooks for 120 languages, and grown a dedicated, passionate global community of travellers. You'll also find our content online, and in mobile apps, video, 14 languages, 12 international magazines, armchair and lifestyle books, ebooks, and more, enabling you to explore every day. Lonely Planet enables the curious to experience the world fully and to truly get to the heart of the places they find themselves, near or far from home.

TripAdvisor Travelers' Choice Awards 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 winner in Favorite Travel Guide category

'Lonely Planet guides are, quite simply, like no other.' - New York Times

'Lonely Planet. It's on everyone's bookshelves, it's in every traveller's hands. It's on mobile phones. It's on the Internet. It's everywhere, and it's telling entire generations of people how to travel the world.' - Fairfax Media (Australia)

eBook Features: (Best viewed on tablet devices and smartphones)

  • Downloadable PDF and offline maps prevent roaming and data charges
  • Effortlessly navigate and jump between maps and reviews
  • Add notes to personalise your guidebook experience
  • Seamlessly flip between pages
  • Bookmarks and speedy search capabilities get you to key pages in a flash
  • Embedded links to recommendations' websites
  • Zoom-in maps and images
  • Inbuilt dictionary for quick referencing

Important Notice: The digital edition of this book may not contain all of the images found in the physical edition.

Pubblicato:
Feb 1, 2018
ISBN:
9781787012387
Formato:
Libro

Informazioni sull'autore

Ria de Jong nació en Asia, en Sri Lanka, de padres oriundos de Holanda y Australia. Tras criarse en Townsville (Australia), se trasladó a Sydney para trabajar como articulista hasta que hizo las maletas y pasó cinco años en Filipinas. En 2015 se mudó con su esposo y sus dos hijos pequeños a Singapur, donde disfruta descubriendo los rincones de esta pequeña ciudad-Estado. Colabora habitualmente en Lonely Planet. Se la puede seguir en Twitter (@ria_in_transit).


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Anteprima del libro

Lonely Planet Singapore - Ria de Jong

Singapore

Contents

Plan Your Trip

Welcome to Singapore

Singapore's Top 10

What's New

Need to Know

First Time Singapore

Top Itineraries

If You Like...

Month By Month

With Kids

Like a Local

For Free

Guided Tours & River Cruises

Eating

Drinking & Nightlife

Entertainment & Activities

Shopping

Explore

Neighbourhoods at a Glance

Colonial District, Marina Bay & the Quays

Sights

Eating

Drinking & Nightlife

Entertainment

Shopping

Sports & Activities

Chinatown, Tanjong Pagar & the CBD

Sights

Eating

Drinking & Nightlife

Entertainment

Shopping

Activities

Little India & Kampong Glam

Sights

Eating

Drinking & Nightlife

Entertainment

Shopping

Sports & Activities

Orchard Road

Sights

Eating

Drinking & Nightlife

Entertainment

Shopping

Eastern Singapore

Sights

Eating

Drinking & Nightlife

Entertainment

Shopping

Sports & Activities

Northern & Central Singapore

Sights

Eating

Drinking & Nightlife

Holland Village, Dempsey Hill & the Botanic Gardens

Sights

Eating

Drinking & Nightlife

Shopping

Activities

West & Southwest Singapore

Sights

Eating

Drinking & Nightlife

Entertainment

Shopping

Sports & Activities

Sentosa Island

Sights

Eating

Drinking & Nightlife

Entertainment

Sports & Activities

Islands & Day Trips from Singapore

Pulau Ubin

Southern Islands

Pulau Bintan

Tanjung Pinang

Penyengat

Sennggarang

Tanjung Pinang

Penyengat

Senggarang

Johor Bahru

Sleeping

Understand

Understand Singapore

Singapore Today

History

People & Cultures of Singapore

Architecture

Singlish: A Primer

Survive

Transport

Arriving in Singapore

Getting Around

Directory AZ

Custom Regulations

Discount Cards

Electricity

Emergency

Health

Internet Access

LGBTIQ Travellers

Medical Services

Money

Opening Hours

Post

Public Holidays

Taxes & Refunds

Telephone

Time

Tourist Information

Travellers with Disabilities

Visas

Singapore Maps

Colonial District & The Quays

Marina Bay

North Central Singapore

Chinatown

Chinatown, Tanjong Pagar & CBD

Little India & Kampong Glam

Northeast Singapore

Eastern Singapore

Orchard Road

Holland Village

Southwest Singapore

West Singapore

Sentosa Island

Table of Contents

Behind the Scenes

Our Writer

Welcome to Singapore

Capitalising on its melting pot of cultures, Singapore is finally getting some spark, and is fast becoming one of Asia’s hit-list destinations.

Here, There, Everywhere

Whizzing around Singapore can take a matter of minutes, thanks to one of the world’s most efficient and widespread public transport systems. Hankering for a roti prata breakfast in Little India, but want to visit the temples in Chinatown before lunch? No problem, you’ll be there in a jiffy using the sparkling MRT system – and why not stop at Marina Bay for a spot of shopping on your way? Plus, with new metro lines opening practically every two years, this tiny island just keeps on becoming easier to explore.

The Island of Feasting

Food in Singapore is taken very seriously. From cheap hawker fare to Michelin-starred fine dining, food-enamoured Singaporeans will line up for it, Instagram the hell out of it and passionately debate whether it is ‘die, die, must try’ – Singlish slang for ‘to die for’. Don’t fret about finding a place to chow down, as each neighbourhood is home to local hawker centres and coffeeshops dishing up some of the island’s best meals for just a couple of bucks. Simply follow your nose or join the longest queue – whatever morsels lie at the end, they are almost guaranteed to be scrumptious.

A Green City

The concrete jungles that once dominated Singapore’s skyline are slowly giving way to green skyscrapers, which look more like living ecosystems than business hubs. Fervently working towards its ‘City in a Garden’ dream, the nation is ploughing money into becoming more sustainable and well, green. Head out of town a little and you’ll find plenty of walking trails, treetop jungle bridges, wildlife galore and the city's green jewel, the Unesco World Heritage–listed Singapore Botanic Gardens: these are the lungs of Singapore.

Shopping Frenzy

When the sweltering outdoor heat gets too much, Singaporeans love ducking inside for a spot of retail therapy and a good dose of air-conditioning. Orchard Rd is the queen of shopping malls: with all the high-street brands, plenty of high-fashion houses, and a few discount outlets thrown into the mix, everyone’s needs (and more often wants) are catered for here. If you prefer your shopping a little less mass-market, head out to local neighbourhoods for independent designers, quirky art galleries, bustling markets, Chinese medicines, Persian carpets and a sari or two.

Chinatown | SHAUN EGAN / GETTY IMAGES ©

Why I Love Singapore

By Ria de Jong, Writer

Small enough to feel intimate yet big enough to retain a degree of mystery, Singapore is a place I love discovering again and again. The city sometimes feels like it's travelling at a breakneck speed into tomorrow with its futuristic architecture, high-speed efficiency and shiny image, but you only need to take a small step off the main drag – into bustling village markets, smoky Chinese temples and heritage shophouse-lined streets – to get a dose of its rich history and culture. Then there’s the food: nothing stills my beating heart quite like a perfectly grilled satay and an ice-cold Tiger Beer.

Singapore's Top 10

Hawker Food

1Fragrant chicken rice, rich and nutty satay, sweet and sour rojak, spicy barbecue sambal stingray: Singapore's hawker food is the stuff of legend, and celebrity chefs, from Anthony Bourdain to the late New York Times writer Johnny Apple, have raved about the dazzling array of cheap, lip-smacking dishes available – you'll even find one- and two-starred Michelin stalls! There's really no better way to get into Singapore's psyche than through its cuisine, so roll up your sleeves and get ready to sweat it out over steaming plates of tried, tested and perfected local favourites.

5

ELENA ALEKSANDROVNA ERMAKOVA / GETTY IMAGES ©

Singapore's Top 10

Asian Civilisations Museum

2Travel back through time at this engrossing ode to Asia's cross-cultural connections, developed through Singapore's position and history as a port city. Having recently undergone a radical transformation, the galleries are like visiting a sprawling, glittering attic, heaving with ancient pottery, religious sculptures, silver tea sets, whimsical puppets and mystical weaponry. You'll find the region's most comprehensive collection of pan-Asian treasures within its walls, and the recently recovered treasures from the Tang Shipwreck need to be seen to be believed.

1

SAIKO3P / SHUTTERSTOCK ©

Singapore's Top 10

National Gallery Singapore

3The breathtaking National Gallery Singapore is the newest jewel in the crown of Singapore's art and museum scene. Art-lovers could spend hours wandering the world-class collection of 19th-century and modern Southeast Asian art housed across two of the city's most iconic heritage buildings, while kids are kept busy at the Keppel Centre for Art Education. Some of Singapore's newest, highly acclaimed restaurants are also tucked within the gallery's wings, and the rooftop bar delivers jaw-dropping views along with its impressive cocktail list.

1

ARTIE PHOTOGRAPHY (ARTIE NG) / GETTY IMAGES ©

Singapore's Top 10

Gardens by the Bay

4Spanning a whopping 101 hectares, Gardens by the Bay is Singapore's hottest horticultural asset. The $1 billion 'super park' is home to almost 400,000 plants, not to mention awe-inspiring contemporary architecture. Two giant conservatories rise beside Marina Bay like futuristic shells, one home to ancient olive trees, the other to a towering, tropical mountain. To the north are the Supertrees: futuristic, botanical giants connected by a commanding Skyway and glowing hypnotically each night during the Garden Rhapsody sound-and-light show.

1

JOHN SEATON CALLAHAN / GETTY IMAGES ©

Singapore's Top 10

Singapore Botanic Gardens

5Singapore's Garden of Eden is the perfect antidote to the city's rat-race tendencies. At the tail end of Orchard Rd, it's a sprawling oasis laced with elegant lakes and themed gardens, and no shortage of perfect spots for picnics and people-watching. Stroll through the orchid gardens, looking out for Vanda Miss Joaquim, Singapore's national flower, or cool down in a rare slice of ancient rainforest. The Singapore Botanic Gardens are also home to a dedicated Children's Garden, free guided tours and free opera performances at the Shaw Foundation Symphony Stage.

1

MANFRED GOTTSCHALK / GETTY IMAGES ©

Singapore's Top 10

Night Safari

6As evening closes in, the Night Safari uses open-concept enclosures to get visitors up close and personal with nocturnal creatures such as leopards, free-ranging deer and handsome Malay tigers. Begin your nocturnal adventure with the high-energy, fire-spinning Thumbuakar Performance, held in the Entrance Courtyard. You can also check out giant pandas in the newer River Safari located nearby.

1

PAUL DYMOND / ALAMY STOCK PHOTO ©

Singapore's Top 10

Orchard Road

7What was once a dusty road lined with spice plantations and orchards is now a 2.5km torrent of magnificent malls , department stores and speciality shops. You'll find every brand imaginable, from emerging local designers to global high-street heavyweights and coveted European couture. Indeed, you can shop until you drop, pick yourself up, and continue spending some more. When you've stashed your purchases back at the hotel, duck out to Emerald Hill for Peranakan architecture and happy-hour bar specials.

7

LEEYIUTUNG / GETTY IMAGES ©

Singapore's Top 10

Little India

8The most atmospheric of Singapore's historic quarters is as close as it gets to the Singapore of the old chaotic days. Experience it with the masses on the weekends when it gets packed to the gills with Indian workers wanting a slice of home. The five-foot-ways of colourful shophouses spill over with aromatic spices and Bollywood magazines. Backpackers and coolhunters swill beers at laid-back bars, and insomniacs head to Mustafa Centre to buy iPads at 3am before tucking into teh tarik (pulled tea) and roti prata (dough-flour pancake).

1

GONZALU AZUMENDI / GETTY IMAGES ©

Singapore's Top 10

Sentosa Island

9Sentosa is Singapore's carefully planned, all-ages playground – a world-class sprawl of theme parks and amusements, evening spectaculars, luxe resorts and a subterranean casino. There's something for everyone, from blockbuster rides and shows at Universal Studios, to giant tanks peppered with marine life at SEA Aquarium and artificial surf at Wave House. Palm-fringed beach bars flank stretches of sand, seemingly begging you to stop in for a sundowner, while top-notch restaurants look out over million-dollar yachts.

3

ROMAN BABAKIN / SHUTTERSTOCK ©

Singapore's Top 10

Pulau Ubin

10 Singapore's very own rustic island getaway offers a glimpse of the kampong (village) life that was a big part of Singapore as recently as the 1960s. By hopping aboard a chugging bumboat from Changi, visitors can explore Pulau Ubin's old-growth mangrove swamps and silent, lotus-peppered lakes; cycle past tin-roof shacks, ramshackle shrines and lazing monitor lizards; rampage along a cross-country mountain-bike trail; and end the day by digging into a simple seafood meal by the sea.

1

ALIB_PHOTOGRAPHY / GETTY IMAGES ©

What's New

Former Ford Factory

Opened in 2017, this former car-manufacturing factory is now home to the 'Surviving the Japanese Occupation: War and its Legacies' museum, which charts Singapore's descent into war, the three dark years of Japanese occupation, and Singapore's recovery and path to independence.

Heritage Murals

His first old-school heritage mural graced a shophouse wall in mid-2015 and since then, Singaporean artist Yip Yew Chong has kept himself busy on weekends (he's an accountant during the week), adding new scenes to blank walls throughout Singapore. From smoking satays to an outdoor barber, to the army shop and washing lady, everyday Singaporean scenes are brought to life. The most impressive mural is the 44m Thian Hock Keng Mural in Chinatown's Amoy St.

Battlebox

Reopened in early 2016, this underground British WWII bunker is a rabbit warren of rooms and tunnels. Guided tours tell the tales of important events that occurred within its walls.

Chinatown Heritage Centre

This converted shophouse centre showcasing Chinatown's gritty, cacophonous backstory reopened in 2016 following a revamp; head to the top level to check out the new interactive exhibits.

Tiong Bahru Market & Food Centre

This much-loved hawker centre ( mTiong Bahru) and wet market reopened in May 2017 with a fresh lick of paint, shiny new tables, chairs and toilets, and the same great finger-lickin’ food.

Next-Gen Hawker Stalls

A new generation of business owners are bringing the traditional hawker concept into the 21st century. Sample black sesame lattes at Coffee Break, nosh on Singaporean-style ramen at A Noodle Story and see hawker stalls and restaurants come together at sprawling Timbre+.

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve

Following two years of renovation works, Bukit Timah Nature Reserve fully reopened in 2016 – complete with a new visitor centre and improved trails.

Asian Civilisations Museum

One of the major players on the museum circuit for years, the Asian Civilisations Museum has had a major revamp. Inside you'll find the region's most comprehensive collection of pan-Asian treasures.

Singapore Coffee Festival

Singapore’s obsession with a good brew manifested itself in the first Singapore Coffee Festival in 2016. More than 100 exhibitors converged for three days in June – it was so successful future festivals are in the works (http://sgcoffeefestival.com.sg).

Chestnut Park

Singapore's bike-riding community rejoiced with the 2017 opening of this mountain-bike-centric park, complete with 8.2km of biking and hiking trails plus two skill parks.

Need to Know

Currency

Singapore dollar (S$)

Languages

English (primary), Mandarin, Bahasa Malaysia, Tamil

Visas

Citizens of most countries are granted 90-day entry on arrival. Citizens of India, Myanmar and certain other countries must obtain a visa before arriving.

Money

ATMs and moneychangers are widely available. Credit cards are accepted in most shops and restaurants.

Mobile Phones

In Singapore, mobile-phone numbers start with 9 or 8.

You can buy a tourist SIM card for around S$15 from post offices, convenience stores and telco stores – by law you must show your passport. Local carriers include:

M1 (www.m1.com.sg)

SingTel (www.singtel.com)

StarHub (www.starhub.com)

Time

Singapore Time (GMT/UTC plus eight hours)

Tourist Information

Singapore Visitors Centre @ Orchard This main branch is filled with knowledgable staff who can help you organise tours, buy tickets and book hotels.

When to Go

Singapore is tropical and humid year-round. School holidays fall in June and July, the hottest (and haziest) time.

Daily Costs

Budget: Less than S$200

A Dorm bed: S$20–45

A Meals at hawker centres and food courts: around S$6

A One-hour foot reflexology at People's Park Complex: S$25

A Ticket to a major museum: S$6–20

Midrange: S$200–400

A Double room in midrange hotel: S$150–300

A Singapore Ducktour: S$37

A Two-course dinner with wine: S$80

A Cocktail at a decent bar: S$18–25

Top End: More than S$400

A Four- or five-star double room: S$300–700

A Food Playground cooking course: S$119

A Degustation in top restaurant: S$250 or more

A Theatre ticket: S$150

Advance Planning

Two months before Book big-ticket events such as the Formula One race. Reserve a table at a hot top-end restaurant.

One month before Book a bed if you're planning to stay in a dorm over the weekend.

One week before Look for last-minute deals on Singapore accommodation and check for any events or festivals. Book a posh hotel brunch or high tea.

Websites

Lonely Planet (www.lonelyplanet.com/singapore) Destination information, hotel bookings, traveller forum and more.

Your Singapore (www.yoursingapore.com) Official tourism board website.

Honeycombers (www.thehoneycombers.com) A good online guide to Singapore, covering events, eating, drinking and shopping.

City Nomads (www.citynomads.com) A handy website with reviews and event listings.

Sistic (www.sistic.com.sg) One-stop shop for tickets to concerts and shows in Singapore; useful events calendar, too.

Arriving in Singapore

Changi Airport MRT trains run into town from the airport from 5.30am to 11.18pm; public buses run from 6am to midnight. Both the train and bus trips cost from S$1.69. The airport shuttle bus (adult/child S$9/6) runs 24 hours a day. A taxi into the city will cost anywhere from S$20 to S$40, and up to 50% more between midnight and 6am, plus airport surcharges. A four-seater limousine taxi is S$55, plus a S$15 surcharge per additional stop.

HarbourFront Ferry Terminal MRT trains into town cost from S$1.40. A taxi will cost from S$8 to S$13, plus any surcharges.

Woodlands Train Checkpoint Taxis into town cost from S$22 to S$25, plus any surcharges.

Getting Around

Get the credit-card-sized electronic EZ-Link card to use on MRT trains and local buses. Just tap on and off at the sensors. You can buy one, and top up your card's credit, at all MRT stations.

Singapore is the easiest city in Asia to get around. Maps showing the surrounding area are printed on the walls in MRT stations – great for figuring out which exit to use.

The smartphone app gothere.sg will guide you from your location to your destination via different public transport options; it also provides an approximate taxi fare guide.

A MRT The local subway – the most convenient way to get around between 5.30am and midnight.

A Bus Go everywhere the trains do and more. Great for views. Runs from 6am till midnight, plus some later night buses from the city.

A Taxis These are fairly cheap if you're used to Sydney or London prices, though there are hefty surcharges during peak hours and from midnight to 6am. Flag one on the street or at a taxi stand. Good luck getting one on rainy days.

A Uber Singapore has a fast-growing Uber tribe.

For more on Getting Around, see Transport

Sleeping

Staying in Singapore is expensive. Budget travellers can stay in hostel rooms for S$25 a night. Newer midrange hotels are lifting the game with better facilities and good, regular online deals. Luxury digs are expensive but plentiful and among the world's best, with options from colonial and romantic to architecturally cutting-edge.

Useful Websites

A Lonely Planet ( www.lonelyplanet.com/singapore/hotels ) Book rooms on Lonely Planet's website.

A LateRooms ( www.laterooms.com ) Great deals on rooms; book now then pay when you stay.

A StayinSingapore ( www.stayinsingapore.com ) Hotel-booking website dedicated to Singapore, managed by the Singapore Hotel Association.

For more, see Sleeping

How Long to Stay For?

Singapore is stopover central for long-haul flights and most people stay a day or two. That may be enough to scratch the surface, but if you want to get beyond mall-trawling Orchard Rd, spend at least four days here: you'll get to see the top sights, eat at some of the best hawker places, be surprised by the nature reserves and have time to properly explore Singapore's booming cafe and bar scenes.

First Time Singapore

Checklist

A Ensure your passport is valid for at least six months past your arrival date

A Check airline baggage restrictions

A Organise travel insurance

A Inform your credit-/debit-card company of your travels

A Book your accommodation and any big-ticket events or restaurants

A Check that you'll be able to use your mobile (cell) phone

What to Pack

A Hat, sunglasses and sunscreen – and an umbrella

A Mosquito repellent, especially if planning to explore nature reserves

A Electrical adaptor

A A smart outfit and a decent pair of shoes for higher-end restaurants and bars

A Swimwear

A A photocopy of your passport photo page, stored separately from your passport

Top Tips for Your Trip

A Buy an EZ-Link card, an electronic travel card accepted on MRT trains, local buses and the Sentosa Express monorail, and by most taxis. Options include one-, two- or three-day 'Singapore Tourist Pass' cards, which offer unlimited travel on buses and trains.

A Combination tickets for some sights (eg Singapore Zoo and Night Safari) can save you money.

A Leave rigorous outdoor activities for early morning or late afternoon to avoid the sweltering midday heat.

A Party early: there's no shortage of bars offering good-value happy-hour deals, mostly between 5pm and 8pm or 9pm.

A Carry a packet of tissues: you won't find serviettes (napkins) at hawker centres, so you'll need these to 'chope' (save) your seat before lining up for food.

What to Wear

Singapore is hot and humid so pack clothes that are light and comfortable. Shorts, T-shirts and flip-flops are acceptable almost everywhere, though higher-end restaurants and bars call for more stylish attire; consider bringing at least one evening dress or long-sleeved shirt and trousers, and dress shoes. You'll need a pair of trainers or hiking boots if tackling the nature reserves, and it's always a good idea to carry a small, portable umbrella for those sudden tropical downpours, especially during the monsoon season (November to January).

Be Forewarned

Singapore is one of the world's safest and easiest travel destinations, but be aware of the following:

A Drugs Penalties for the illegal import or export of drugs are severe and include the death penalty.

A Mosquitoes Outbreaks of mosquito-borne illnesses, such as dengue fever, do occur, especially during the wet season. There have also been a number of zika cases confimed in Singapore; the National Environment Board ( www.nea.gov.sg ) monitors any outbreaks. Wear mosquito repellent, especially if visiting nature reserves.

A Public Transport Eating and drinking is prohibited on public transport.

Merlion | BAITEREK MEDIA / SHUTTERSTOCK ©

Money

ATMs and moneychangers are widely available. Credit cards are accepted in most shops and restaurants.

For more information, see Directory.

Taxes & Refunds

Singapore applies a 7% GST to goods and services. Most prices in shops and food outlets will have GST already included – the symbol ++ shows GST and service charge (10%) is not included in the displayed price and will be added to the final bill. This is common in hotels, restaurants and luxury spas.

For more information, see Shopping.

Tipping

Tipping is generally not customary in Singapore. It's prohibited at Changi Airport.

A Restaurants Many add a 10% service charge, in which case tipping is discouraged. A small tip is still appreciated when a staff member has gone out of their way. Don't tip at hawker centres and food courts.

A Hotels Unnecessary at budget places. At higher-end establishments, consider tipping porters S$2 to S$5 for luggage help and housekeeping S$2 for room cleaning.

A Taxis Not expected, although it's courteous to round up or tell the driver to keep the change.

Etiquette

A Loss of Face Singaporeans are sensitive to retaining face in all aspects of their lives. Being confrontational or angry with a local makes them lose face and you look rude.

A Uncles & Aunties It is common to address middle-aged and elderly people as 'Uncle' or 'Auntie' as a sign of respect, even if they are not related or known to you.

A Chopsticks Do not stick chopsticks upright in a bowl of rice. It is reminiscent of funeral rites and considered bad luck.

A Hands Use your right hand to greet, wave, eat or interact with someone of Malay, Indonesian or Indian descent as the left hand is associated with restroom use.

A Head & Feet The head is considered sacred by many so avoid touching someone else's. In contrast, the feet are considered dirty and directly pointing them at someone may cause offence.

Language

Singapore has no less than four official languages: English, Bahasa Malaysia, Mandarin and Tamil. English is the first language of instruction in the majority of schools and English speakers will generally find it very easy to communicate with locals. Exceptions to the rule include some older Singaporeans and some newer arrivals, especially people from mainland China.

For more information, see Singlish: A Primer.

Top Itineraries

Day One

Colonial District, Marina Bay & the Quays

MStart your Singapore fling with a local breakfast of kaya (coconut jam) toast, runny eggs and strong kopi (coffee) at Ya Kun Kaya Toast before taking a riverside stroll at the Quays for a jaw-dropping panorama of brazen skyscrapers and refined colonial buildings. Dive into the brilliant Asian Civilisations Museum or keep walking to the National Museum of Singapore, the Peranakan Museum or the new National Gallery Singapore.

5

Lunch Peranakan at National Kitchen by Violet Oon.

Chinatown, Tanjong Pagar & the CBD

RWhile the whole area has a touristy feel about it, the Sri Mariamman Temple, Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Thian Hock Keng Temple offer genuine glimpses into everyday neighbourhood life. Head up Pinnacle@Duxton for a bird's-eye view of the city skyline and beyond, or de-stress with super-cheap reflexology at People's Park Complex. Either way, follow up with a pre-dinner tipple on Amoy St, Club St or Ann Siang Rd.

5

Dinner Knockout Asian fusion at Ding Dong.

Northern & Central Singapore

NEarly dinner done, catch a taxi to the fantastic Night Safari, where you have a date with a cast of majestic and curious creatures. Ride the quiet tram through the park and hop off for atmospheric walks past tigers, leopards and swooping bats.

Top Itineraries

Day Two

Little India & Kampong Glam

MLittle India will erase every preconceived notion of Singapore as a sterile, OCD metropolis. Weathered tailors stitch and sew by the side of the road, and the air is thick with cumin and Bollywood soundtracks. Take in the colours and chanting of Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple and buy a sari at Tekka Centre. Learn more about the area's fascinating backstory at the Indian Heritage Centre.

5

Lunch Choose-your-own-spice-level adventure at Lagnaa Barefoot Dining.

Orchard Road

REscape the afternoon heat in the air-conditioned comfort of Orchard Rd. This is one of the world's most famous shopping meccas. Hunt down rare Singaporean prints and books at Antiques of the Orient and cognoscenti threads at Robinsons the Heeren and In Good Company. Shopped out, it’s time for a refreshing cocktail at rooftop Bar Canary or beers on heritage beauty Emerald Hill Rd.

5

Dinner Breezy, bayside hawker grub at Satay by the Bay.

Colonial District, Marina Bay & the Quays

NIf you're dining at Satay by the Bay, you're already at Gardens by the Bay. Give yourself plenty of time to explore Singapore's incredible new botanic gardens, including the Flower Dome and Cloud Forest conservatories. The gardens' Supertrees are especially spectacular during the nightly light show (7.45pm and 8.45pm).

Top Itineraries

Day Three

Northern & Central Singapore

MWake up early to join the orang-utans for Jungle Breakfast with Wildlife at the world-class Singapore Zoo. There’s lots of ground to cover so jump on the guided tram to get the lay of the land. Note feeding times as the animals are more active then and you have the opportunity to get up-close and personal.

5

Lunch Pick from one of the on-site eateries at the Singapore Zoo.

Sentosa Island

RAfter all that wildlife, it's time for some pure, unadulterated fun on Singapore's pleasure island, Sentosa. Tackle rides both heart-racing and sedate at movie theme park Universal Studios, or eye-up creatures great and small at the spectacular SEA Aquarium. Alternatively, ride some artificial waves at Wave House or book an indoor skydive at iFly.

5

Dinner Authentic Greek on the marina at Mykonos on the Bay.

Sentosa Island

NSlow down the pace with evening drinks on a palm-fringed Sentosa beach. Options include family-friendly Coastes or the more secluded Tanjong Beach Club. If you're travelling with kids, consider catching the popular Wings of Time show, a multimillion-dollar sound, light and laser extravaganza.

Top Itineraries

Day Four

Islands & Day Trips

MFor a taste of 1950s Singapore, head to Changi to catch a bumboat across to Pulau Ubin. Rent a bicycle and cycle the island's peaceful, jungle-fringed roads, passing tin-shacked houses and quirky shrines, and walk along a mangrove boardwalk. There’s even a mountain-bike park with trails for varying skill levels.

5

Lunch Pick a seafood restaurant around Pulau Ubin pier.

Eastern Singapore

ROnce you've finished exploring sleepy Pulau Ubin, catch a bumboat back to Singapore. If it's not too late, pay a visit to the moving Changi Museum & Chapel, which recounts the suffering and resilience of those who endured Singapore's Japanese occupation. If it is too late, wander the shops at Changi Village, stopping for a beer at Little Island Brewing Co.

5

Dinner Delectable white-pepper and chilli crab in red-light Geylang at No Signboard Seafood.

Colonial District, Marina Bay & the Quays

NCome evening, swap

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