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Exploring Singapore

Published On February 19, 2015 | By Matt | Food and Drink, Further Afield

It is easy to dismiss Singapore as “Asia-lite” – a clean and efficient city, focused on business and
not really of much interest to an adventurous traveller of the world. On one hand that is true –
Singapore is a major regional business hub, you will find the regional headquarters of lots of global
businesses here and it is a bit of a haven for expats. It is also true that as a city Singapore has
evolved beyond a lot of the more earthy characteristics that tend to define our traditional notions of
what Asian cities should be. But there is actually a lot more to Singapore than you would imagine
and it is definitely worth at least a couple of days stop-over when you are next passing through.!

Visit Singapore’s markets

The Tekka Market in Little India is a real treat. This is an old-school asian food market where you
wander around the stalls until you find something that tickles your fancy and then sit at the small
temporary shared tables – lots of curries and rice on offer.

Like most major cities, Singapore has a big Chinatown district with all the usual array of market
stalls – well worth checking out.

Some of the best food options are in the food courts of the giant shopping malls designed as an
escape from the city’s humidity. The ION retail complex has one of the best food courts – this is
where to go if you want to sample Singapore’s famous chilli crab, choose your crab, watch the chef
dodge its snapping claws as he cooks it, and then make a huge mess while you eat it. Delicious.!
Singapore also does really great dumplings – there’s obviously a lot of Chinese restaurants here
and they are all serving up excellent dim sum style dumplings.

Get geeky with electronics

If you are vaguely interested in anything electronic or if you are seeking to get the best price
possible, head to the Sim Lim Square mall which is full of discount electronics stores. It is
inevitable that you will come away with something that you had no idea that you needed until the
salesperson explained what an amazing bargain it was.

Swim in a pool high above the city

The Marina Bay Sands is a huge hotel and casino complex. Completely over the top and
ridiculous. But you have got to go and swim in the pool. Built in the last few years, this massive 57 floor, 3 tower construction dominates Singapore’s skyline. Across the top of the towers is a linking feature
that looks a bit like a ship stuck on the top. This is the pool! It is really very surreal to be swimming
along, look over the edge and realize that there is nothing between you and a very long drop to the
ground apart from a few feet of concrete and a bit of water. It’s a really good swimming pool.

Don’t limit your Singapore experience to the sleek and stylish Changi airport – immerse yourself in
the city for a few days – it is definitely worth exploring.

Photo credit: William Cho. Creative commons.

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