Singapore, land of the Merlion as often called, is known to have its genesis in the Sanskrit word, Singa meaning Lion and pura meaning City. The Merlion, Singapore’s national icon, has the head of a lion and the body of a mermaid and truly captures the essence of life for the Singaporeans-to live with pride like the lion but still remain humble and down to earth as the mermaid. Singapore represents a confluence of cultures and religions- one can find people from varied ethnicities- Malaysians, Indians, Chinese, Bangladeshis, Srilankans and so on here.
As an Indian, one thing you must look out for is the Little India Place-visiting that place will make you forget that you are in Singapore-everything ranging from the food joints to the cloth shops to grocery shops-all have Indian names! Visiting Singapore, one simply cant resist visiting The Mustafa Centre-the only 24X7 Mall in Singapore, the Mecca for gizmo freaks-offering the cheapest electronics!
For city sight seeing, the best way is to go in for the HIPPO tours package comprising of the Heritage tour, City tour, River Cruise and the Duck tour. Wondering what the HIPPO tour is all about? Well, the HIPPO bus is an open top bus that takes you all around the city with a tourist guide on board who will tell you all about the land.
Take the HIPPO till the river cruise. The Singapore River tells the tale of Singapore-her rising fortunes from an obscure fishing village to a trading port, her people who came as immigrants from all parts of the world and made Singapore their home and her vision & dreams for the future. Hop on to the HIPPO to continue your city tour. After that you can also go in for the DUCK TOUR, in a vessel shaped like a Duck, which can move both on land and water!
The easiest way to get around the city is through cabs and of course, who knows the city better than the cab drivers? You could also use the MRT-Mass Rapid transit, their form of what we call the Metro here. The city is well connected through bus routes too-so just keep a handbook with you, where you’ll get all the bus routes!
Santosa island is indisputably a tourist’s paradise. Set aside at least one whole day to witness and appreciate Singapore’s little island gateway! If you want a close encounter with the marine world, visit the Underwater World, one of the biggest oceanariums in Asia. And if you wish to catch the pink dolphins in action-don’t miss out the Dolphin lagoon!
The award winning ‘Songs of the Sea’ is a must watch-a multi-sensory show of pyrotechnics, water jets, lasers, special computer imaging and stunning flame bursts set against dramatic music-it offers a truly enchanting experience!
Devote a whole day again to catch the animals and birds in action- visit the Singapore Zoo, Jurong Bird Park and the Night Safari to have the experience of a lifetime! The Singapore Zoo is known for its ‘open’ animal dens where you’ll find the animals enjoying in their natural habitats. The Jurong Bird Park is considered to be the largest bird park in South East Asia. The most spectacular scene you will witness there is the world’s highest man made waterfall, dropping from 30 metres, which serves as a spectacular backdrop for the Waterfall Aviary. The Night Safari, an award winning attraction, is the world’s first night zoo. Expose yourself to the nocturnal wildlife…but no worries, down there, you are still at the top of the food chain! Take the 45 minute tram ride across the zoo or for the braver breed, try walking the trails across the zoo-but don’t be scared if you see an owl hovering right above you! The best part about all these places is that they educate their visitors about ecosystems, dwindling habitats and promote the concept of ‘Reduce, Reuse and Recycle’ through all their activities!
Singapore is a small country with an accessible land area of only about 700 square kms (just as big as South Delhi!),but the place has been nurtured and made into a famous tourist destination primarily due to the hard work, commitment and dedication of its people towards their homeland. The country thrives on tourism, so they will make sure you feel absolutely welcome when you are there and do visit them again! So go there and get a truly international experience!