5 Places Every First Time Visitor to Singapore Shouldn’t Miss
The heart of Chinatown is a bustling, colourful mix of old and new, with annual festive celebrations, night markets, spas and authentic hawker markets. Eat like a king for less at Chinatown Complex Centre’s Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice and Noodle, selling traditional dishes starting from SGD$2-3! This makes Singapore home to the cheapest Michelin-starred meal in the world! For a journey into the past, pay a visit to the Chinatown Heritage Centre and Buddha Tooth Relic Temple & Museum or round the evening off with drinks at one of the many bars. A local favourite is Native on Amoy Street, which recently earned its place at #13 on the World’s Best Bar List for 2018. Native’s inventive menu typically uses regionally-sourced ingredients, including basil leaf frozen with liquid nitrogen and garnished with crunchy ants. www.visitsingapore.com/en_au/walking-tour/culture/in-the-neighbourhood-chinatown/
Set in the heart of the city, the impressive 101 hectares of Gardens by the Bay showcases horticulture and garden artistry, capturing the essence of Singapore as the premier tropical “City in a Garden”. The awe-inspiring space includes the avatar-like 16-storey Supertree Grove where you can marvel at the solar-powered trees against the Singapore Skyline by day or witness the free Garden Rhapsody Sound & Light show by night. Travellers should also visit the two enclosed domes – the Cloud Forest with the world’s highest enclosed waterfall; and Flower Dome, the world’s largest free-standing glass greenhouse.
With a variety of offerings, Sentosa caters to the family-friendly crowds with Adventure Cove Waterpark and the S.E.A Aquarium. Thrill-seekers can navigate the Sentosa Skyline Luge and AJ Hackett Sentosa Bungy while beach-goers are able to enjoy lunch at one of the many beach-bars. The quieter beach on the island is Tanjong Beach, where you’ll find white sand, serene waves and Tanjong Beach Club (the place to be for fancy cocktails, live music and delicious food). Hint: bring swimmers!
Learn about history and art at the National Gallery Singapore, which holds the world’s largest display of modern Southeast Asian art, offering over 8,000 of the region’s most extraordinary art pieces from the 19th and 20th century. After touring the gallery, experience Singaporean cuisine at National Kitchen, where head chef Violet Oon (a grand dame of Singaporean cooking) serves up unforgettable Nyonya food. For a nightcap, head upstairs to Smoke & Mirrors, a rooftop bar hidden on the 6th floor gives a spectacular view of the bay.
It’s been voted the world’s best airport for the past six years so it’s no surprise 1.08 million Australian travellers through it’s terminals in 2017; with a butterfly garden, the world’s tallest slide in an airport, free Singapore tours and a hotel with runway views. If you can’t make it to Singapore’s iconic Raffles Hotel, why not pull up a stool at the Long Bar by Raffles in T3, where you can sample the original recipe of the iconic Singapore Sling with a valid boarding pass. Hint: keep your eyes peeled for Changi’s new addition, Jewel, that is set to open in the first half of 2019.