Don’t let Singapore’s relatively small size fool you.
Consisting of one major island and 59 small islands, the city-state in Southeast Asia covers an area slightly smaller than New York City. However, Singapore lies at the center of an important sea route connecting the Far East to Asia, Europe and the Middle East, which gives the country its strategic importance.
Over the last decade and a half, the city has changed dramatically. Its impressive skyline of buildings and now-iconic landmarks did not exist mere years ago, but when you look at them today, they all form a single beautiful picture. With vines and plants that quite literally climb the skyscrapers, flora that line the streets and gardens at every corner, Singapore is often referred to as the city in a garden.
Today’s Singapore could single-handedly be one of the most modern and eco-friendly places on earth and it is waiting for you to explore! To help you plan your trip, here’s a list of the top three places not to miss during a visit.
1. Marina Bay Sands Complex
The towering Marina Bay Sands Resort complex is an icon of the style and status of the lavish life in Singapore and a beacon for those who want to enjoy the finer things in life. It is a must see location among all the other locations in Singapore as it boasts the extravagant ArtScience Museum, a luxury mall with a canal/river going straight through it, and the luxury five-star Marina Bay Sands Hotel.
The complex itself is the most expensive resort property ever built and its famous hotel possesses both an observation deck and giant boat-shaped infinity pool—which is the largest of its kind—elegantly seated upon three impressive skyscrapers. From this pool you can indulge in 360-degree views of the iconic bay skyline and picturesque Gardens By the Bay with nothing but a piece of glass separating you from the breathtaking view. It is important for visitors to note that only hotel guests can swim in the pool but the observation deck is open to everyone.
2. Gardens By the Bay
While walking around the Marina Bay Sands area you might notice the grove of immense structures that look like trees out of the movie Avatar. These trees are called super trees and reach a height of up to 50 meters. There are a series of 18 of these giant man-made structures covered in a plethora of over 160,000 different plants. You can choose to either marvel at the trees from the ground or chose to saunter along the 22-meter-high bridge that connects the trees and feast your eyes on a bird’s eye view of the city skyline and the gardens. I recommend that you visit these trees at night as the super tree grove comes to life and completely lights up to create an amazing spectacle. These trees are just one of 12 attractions Singapore’s Gardens By the Bay have to offer.
Another favorite is the Cloud Forest. In this “world veiled by mist” you will discover the largest indoor waterfall engulfed in an overabundance of lush tropical plants. You can take a stroll around the mountain on the Cloud Walk that brings you to all of the mountains different levels, each with a unique theme. After this you can take a stroll through the Flower Dome, the largest glass-enclosed greenhouse in the world which is divided into eight different themed sections, each with gardens carpeted with arrays of flowers.
3. Orchard Road
Orchard Road is Singapore’s shopping capital. We recommend that you book accommodations close to Orchard Road as you will be right in the center of all the action. On Orchard Road you can take a break from all the sightseeing and take part in some of the world’s most upscale shopping. Delve into one of its futuristic shopping complexes such as the ION Orchard, which boasts eight levels of stores that range from luxury to entertainment. After all that shopping if you feel hungry for something, you can experience international cuisine at the countless restaurants and cafes. With all that Orchard Road has to offer, you are sure to not leave empty-handed or with an empty stomach.
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Cover photo courtesy Singapore Tourism Board
Ismael Garudo lives in Round Rock, Texas. Any vacation time he gets, he spends traveling with his family to different parts of the world and discovering new places.