With its Golden Jubilee behind it, Singapore continues to emerge as a bold and vibrant player on the world stage, with an impressive list of charms, achievements and potential.

The island city is also continuing to cement itself as one of the world’s most popular visitor destinations.

According to the World Tourism Organisation, Singapore is now the fifth most visited city on the globe for international tourists.

The growth of tourism to the island city in recent years has gone hand in hand with a building boom and the opening of many new attractions.

However, it’s largely the blending of the new with Singapore’s past – obviously a deliberate strategy – that caught our eye.


The backdrop of building work on projects such as Sentosa Cove and ‘Gardens by the Bay’, the new seaside botanical gardens in the CBD, in no way overshadow the wonderful heritage buildings that are the Singapore of old.

Sue and I visited the city’s traditional Chinatown; Kampong Glam; and Little India, while equally enjoying Sentosa and the clean, green and vibrant cosmopolitan heart of the island city.

This blend of old customs and new urban lifestyles is on show everywhere you look. Chinese, Malay, Indian and Eurasian cultures seem to exist harmoniously side by side in a city that goes out of its way to be as business-friendly and visitor-friendly as possible.


For example, Changi Airport is an ultra-modern hub, which claims to provide connections with more than 100 airlines flying to more than 200 cities.

And, or course, the airport is becoming well known for its free day tours that cater for the booming trend in long flight layovers. The free wi-fi is great and I’m told there are even free foot massages in the airport precinct for weary travellers.

We were well aware of Singapore’s fast-growing reputation as a foodies paradise, but the number and variety of restaurants and food stalls catering for all budgets, is still surprising. This is an island city for serious diners.

We developed a taste for Singapore’s traditional Chinese food, although I must admit to steering clear of the “Pigs Organ Soup’.


There’s certainly plenty to see and do at Singapore.

As well as evergreen attractions like the city’s zoo and Raffles Hotel, the Botanic Gardens with its remarkable trees of light, Changi Museum, the Marina Bay casino, Skylark resort, Universal Studios on Sentosa and giant ferris wheel at Marina Bay all attract big crowds.

And, of course, Singapore’s Orchard Road still retains its reputation for shopping.

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