sauddengj

what was always good

A Singapore fling shouldnt be a short, pitstop of an affair, rushed between flights. This city-state has blossomed in recent years, with outlandish and extraordinary new architecture, fantastic restaurants, and impressive galleries.

And what was always good street food, the dazzling mix of colonial and modern buildings, the tropical sub-islands and lush interior is still there too. Set aside several days to take it all in, as it may end up being the highlight of your trip.

Day 1

Your first task is to choose a hotel and there are some amazing ones.

If you opt for Marina Bay Sands youve chosen an all-singing, all-dancing five-star place with views to match.

Its real draw is the stomach-dropping infinity pool that teeters on top of three 55-story landmark towers and feels like the edge of oblivion but has the best views in the city. Its a great place to start your day and wash out the jetlag. You could spend a full day in the hotel complex alone.

Theres an entire shopping mall The Shoppes complete with canal and gondolas, a casino, spa, and 80 fancy restaurants. Make sure at some stage you sip a cocktail with a view on the Sands SkyPark Observation Deck.

Two people enjoying the infinity pool at Marina Bay Sands
Stomach-dropping: the incredible infinity pool at Marina Bay Sands CREDIT: GETTY
After your morning dip pick another sky-high vantage point over this petite packed island. Try Tiger Sky Tower, on beachy Sentosa island connected to Singapore mainland by road, cable car, boardwalk, and monorail (they dont do things by halves here).

Then itll be time to eat and choosing where is a decision that could take a while. Malay, Indian, Chinese, and European melting-pot clichs aside, there are few destinations with such variety in as compact an area.

For today jump on one of the biggest Singapore trends: grill-houses are the thing (try CUT, or Lukes Oyster Bar and Chop House).

Speaking of oysters, the afternoon is yours. Id recommend jumping on an island ferry trip to explore (or hire a private charter if you prefer).

If the jet-lag sees you wide awake come your usual bed time the night-safari at the zoo is a fun and quirky way to spend the evening.

Day 2

You may decide that with such a range of incredible hotels its a good idea to try another one. I couldnt agree more.

For hotel number two try Raffles, now officially a Singapore national monument, as well as a refined butler-service 103-suite hotel.

Stay, and youll be following in the footsteps of Rudyard Kipling, Bill Clinton, and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who all sipped a welcome glass of special-recipe Singapore Sling.

If the 400-a-night price tag doesnt slip down so easily, there are more than 50,000 other hotel rooms in the city, with something good for all budgets.

Once youve settled in go macaque spotting at MacRitchie National Park, or strolling in the bird-rich Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve.

The beach on Sentosa Island, Singapore
Beach life: visit the popular island resort of Sentosa CREDIT: GETTY
For a longer walk, The Southern Ridges 9km trail linking three Singapore parks, offers great views, particularly fr om the undulating architectural curves of Henderson Waves bridge.

For lunch you have another difficult decision to make. While some of the most audaciously expensive restaurants imaginable are here at Waku Ghin, chef Tetsuya Wakudas 10-course Modern Japanese menu will set you back S$500 (278) a head Singapore is also the worlds street-food capital.

Sampling a hawker centre, where each stand sells a speciality dish, is a must. Start at Maxwells Food Centre near Chinatown for chicken rice, or dumplings.

Come evening, another fine high-rise view (yes being up high on a number of occasions is a key part of a Singapore stopover) is from the top of one of the spectacular Super Tree sculptures in the Gardens by the Bay.

The entrance fee includes a drink in the bar at the top, plus access to the magical lit-up walkway between these solar-powered giants.

Day 3

On day three, with your flight beckoning later in the day your mind may turn to shopping.

Arrive with space in your case because youre going to need it. Orchard Road beats the best of London and Paris for designer stores.

But also visit the boutiques of Tiong Bahru, a charming Art Deco area with rows of independent cafes and shops.

And you cant miss Chinatown for souvenirs, or vibrant Little India, wh ere the markets are full of inexpensive gifts, and more delicious food.

If you have time theres plenty to sate the culture-lovers appetite, too. The National Gallery offers more than 8,000 artworks that chronicle local art history back to the 19th-century, housed in the stunning former Supreme Court and City Hall buildings. It even has a rooftop cocktail bar.

Or head for the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple & Museum, full of ornate decoration and what many believe is Buddhas left canine.

Icon of the Sky

If you want to see the world and get there in comfort and style, the incredibly well connected Singapore Airlines is the connoisseurs choice.

Singapore Airlines works with the finest chefs and best staff to ensure wherever you fly on their extensive network is as good as it gets at 30,000 feet.

To find out more about staying in the Garden City with Singapore Airlines stopover packages, visit singaporeair.com.

The classic Singapore Stopover Holiday package starts from 28 and includes a one-night stay at a wide range of three to five star hotels, return airport transfers, complimentary rides on the SIA Hop-on Bus, and admission to over 15 tourist attractions. For the duration of September, there is an exclusive 1 offer; book now at singaporeair.com.
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