Singapore. A magnificent country in Asia, it is also known as the Garden City. There is a reason for this name. Singapore has perfected the art of incorporating natural trees and gardens into its urban architecture and landscape. Tourists love this country for its hustle and bustle, yet there are those who flock here for the peace and tranquility it offers in certain aspects. So what makes Singapore so beautiful?
Singapore is beautiful thanks to its balance between nature and technology. The buildings are modern and lights are everywhere, but the landscapes are still beautiful. This was made possible by the unique architecture of Singapore, which is very respectful to nature and the people.
My name is Zimnaan and I have been living in Singapore since I was 8 years old. I came in 2008 along with my family to seek out new opportunities for education in this pristine country. Nearly a decade and a half later, I have seen Singapore transform so swiftly and nimbly in response to the ever-changing global environment.
For such a small city-state to maintain its beauty and infrastructure, while adapting to and coping with the events around the world, it needs many factors to work in its favor. Singapore is a very metropolitan city and never fails to balance out all the buildings and concrete with fresh and vibrant greenery. This is a nationwide effort that garnered the city its nickname of being the Garden City.
What to visit in beautiful Singapore?
When it comes to attractions, Singapore manages to pack quite a lot of things to see within a small city. I would recommend three different places:
The Gardens by the Bay
Universal Studios Singapore
The number one attraction that one should visit is the Singapore Flyer. Opened in 2008, it features prominently in the skyline of Singapore and is a great way to take in the splendor of the city at a height of 165 meters. It can carry 28 passengers in each of its 28 air-conditioned capsules. During the COVID-19 pandemic, it was restricted to 7 people per capsule. Many people use the Flyer to celebrate special events such as a birthday or wedding anniversary. It truly is an iconic attraction.
Gardens by the Bay
Remember the fresh and vibrant greenery that I mentioned earlier? Much of the greenery that you can see in the city is dotted around thoughtfully in housing developments and by the roadside. However, one place has been dedicated to the showcase of Singapore’s flora and this is the majestic Gardens by the Bay, a national icon. Made up of 3 gardens, Bay Central, East, and South, this 101-hectare nature park is a must-see attraction when you are in Singapore. One of the main points of view within the Gardens by the Bay is the Supertree Grove which consists of 18 metal structures in the shape of trees.
These structures house a variety of ferns and orchids, among others. Essentially, it is vertical planting using the metal structures as support and makes for a very pleasant view when you view it in the afternoon. Between two of the metal trees, an elevated walkway wanders through the Supertree Grove, allowing you to elevate yourself and enjoy the breathtaking view of the entire landscape and greenery. Laser light shows and accompanying music play at 1-hour intervals throughout the evening, making the trees come to life at night. Gardens by the Bay is a perfect venue for that slow outdoor walk with your family while enjoying the sights and the greenery offered up.
Universal Studios Singapore
Arguably, Universal Studios is on the bucket list of every single tourist who comes to Singapore and it should be on yours as well! A sprawling 20-hectare theme park situated within the larger Resorts World Sentosa (an integrated resort), this attraction has been a lure for adrenaline junkies and families alike. It consists of 7 themed zones that will knock your socks off and they are:
The Lost World
Far Far Away
Each of these themed zones will have mini attractions within them, such as a roller-coaster (which there is plenty of!) or F&B outlets to quench your voracious appetite and thirst after having a ton of fun.
What to eat in beautiful Singapore?
No matter how many physical attractions you see in Singapore, your trip is not complete if you do not visit some of the gastronomical attractions dotted around the island. The island is a multicultural melting pot of cuisines. You can get delicious local food almost everywhere. For example, you can get nasi lemak (creamy rice) which consists of fragrant rice cooked in coconut milk and pandan leaf along with a side of sambal (chili paste) and ikan bilis (anchovies). This is followed by peanuts and an omelet or fried egg. Some variations even offer fried chicken and other local items such as fish cakes. Yum!
However, if you want something a bit more atas (local slang for higher grade/quality in Malay), there are numerous restaurants that serve Western cuisine such as steaks and Italian food as well as fine dining menus. These are on the higher end of the price scale but are an indulgence when you want to celebrate an occasion or just want to pamper yourself. And if Malay food is your cup of tea, you should definitely read the article about Kuching. There is a specific part about food in Malaysia.
Restaurants in Singapore
Singapore has varying levels of food establishments depending on your budget. Also, the food is extremely tasty here. At the base level, you have food courts or hawker centers. These shops, located in both shopping malls and under public housing, serve up most of the common food in Singapore and thus have a variety of food – ranging from Indian food, like dosa, to Malay food (nasi lemak, etc.) and Chinese food. They are designed to be affordable and accessible – hence the strategic placements in housing and public domains. As such, it is used extensively by visitors and residents alike. Pricing ranges from $5 to $10 per person depending on whether you buy drinks.
Next up, you have your traditional restaurants that serve up more sophisticated cuisine. Such as higher quality versions of the dishes that you sampled in the food courts and fusion food. These restaurants are in the middle range when it comes to pricing ($10-30/person). Also, these restaurants usually co-exist among their food court counterparts in the malls. They may also have singular establishments in spaces that are food havens (places like Little India, Bedok, and Changi Beach).
Above these two levels of establishments, you have restaurants, bars, and clubs. Those establishments serve finger food and party food as well as alcoholic beverages. These establishments cater to Singapore’s vibrant nightlife scene. They see good business from working professionals who want to relax after a hard day of work. Naturally, these establishments are much pricier and will start from $30-35 per person for a drinking session.
Singapore has a robust public transport network that runs like clockwork. Trains are 3 minutes apart during peak hours and 5 to 7 minutes apart during non-peak hours. The rail network is upgraded very often and new trains are added when the current equipment approaches its maximum usage. Buses are also given this gold standard treatment during their time of service.
As you can see in the picture above, Singapore developed its transportation as much as possible. It’s not what makes Singapore beautiful directly, but it helps people to get from one beautiful point to another. And, in a way, the ballet of trains everywhere in Singapore has something beautiful to it. If you want to see the plan at a higher quality, you can click this link to view the system map of Singapore. It is the kind of transportation system you could find in the Twin Cities, in Texas, or in Las Vegas.
Touching upon the world-class infrastructure in the previous paragraph alone does not do justice to the immense effort undertaken by the Singapore authorities to keep their city proudly shining bright. All modern buildings are fitted with step-free access or ramp access for persons in wheelchairs. Elevators are also thoughtfully incorporated into the design of the building to facilitate speedy movement, ensuring that a person can step out from their house and reach the nearest bus stop or train station without getting wet. If you want to learn more about Singapore’s infrastructure, you should definitely read the book Smart Cities: The Singapore case (by ArunMahizhnan) to have some background about the city and learn more about the possible future.
After rounding up our coverage of what to see, do, and eat in Singapore, I bet you are absolutely ITCHING to visit this beautiful paradise in Asia. Singapore has been very fortunate to have strict measures that restricted the spread of COVID-19 on the island. As such, much of normal life has resumed. As always when traveling abroad, please do read up on the local rules and laws briefly. Pay special attention to the current COVID-19 requirements and laws to avoid flouting them inadvertently. You can have all the news regarding this topic on the Singapore Government website. Welcome to Singapore and enjoy your stay!