If you’re heading to Singapore for the Singapore Yacht Show (which is on from 7 to 10 April) be sure to give yourself some extra time to explore this fascinating nation-state, which is packed with interesting places to go and things to do. There’s all that shopping along Orchard Road; dolphins and sharks to swim with at Underwater World, the markets of Bugis Street to trawl and there’s the world of movies to explore at Universal Studios. What else to do? Here’s our pick of seven must-do’s in the city:
1/ Enjoy a breathtaking view of Singapore
You can’t miss this spectacular 57-storey-high Marina Bay Sands: stretched across the top of the three towers is another building that resembles an enormous ship. This feat of architecture and engineering has become one of the most popular hotels in Singapore, and you’ll struggle to find a room at short notice. While the rooftop infinity pool (pictured above) is open only to guests, the observation deck of the Skypark is open to the public. The view from up here is astounding.
2/ Shop for luxury brands
An extension of the Marina Bay Sands complex, the stores at this shopping centre are predominantly international luxury brands (including Bvlgari, Prada, Cartier and Louis Vuitton), and there are many fine-dining restaurants. There’s also a theatre, museum and casino. If walking this mall doesn’t tire your legs out, buy an ice-cream and stroll along the Esplanade, just outside Shoppes at Marina Bay, which has lovely views of the slick financial district cityscape (particularly in the early evening).
3/ Relax in the Gardens By The Bay
Alongside Marina Bay Sands, Gardens By The Bay is an extravagant botanical display that cost more than $1-billion to establish. The beautiful themed gardens and impressive Supertree Grove (a collection of enormous human-made trees) provide a quiet botanic-gardens-type space for visitors, while the climate-controlled conservatories, home to evocatively named Cloud Forest and Flower Dome, show some rare plants from around the world. Events and displays are held here regularly; see the website for what’s-on info.
4/ Take a river tour through Singapore
Take a guided hop-on hop-off River Explorer Boat Tour from Marina Bay Sands to Clarke Quay. The tours run from 9am to 11pm.
5/ Have dinner and a drink along the river
Singaporeans will readily admit that eating is almost their national sport, and at Clarke Quay and Boat Quay on the banks of the Singapore River, you’ll find a variety of places to get your fill. A favourite post-work hangout for many locals, the area was once Singapore’s port and the old warehouses and shophouses have been converted into clubs, bars, cafes and restaurants.
6/ Order a Singapore Sling
The most fabled hotel in all of Asia, Raffles is a popular Singapore landmark and at any time of day you’ll see tourists snapping photographs of the hotel’s white façade, where presidents, royalty and the most glamorous of A-listers have stayed. While only guests are allowed into the hotel itself (if you are one, be sure to book a fascinating walk with Raffles’ resident historian), the famous Long Bar is open to the public and here, throughout the day, you’ll find people ordering Singapore Slings (about 1500 of the cocktails are made each day), which were first created in this bar in the early 1900s. The Raffles gift shop is open to all, as is the luxurious Raffles mall.
7/ Enjoy a personalised cocktail
There is no menu at Bar Stories, a small bar on Haji Lane in Singapore’s gentrified Kampong Glam district. Instead of ordering off a menu, you’r invited to tell the bartender what flavours you enjoy, and he’ll make a drink tailored to your tastes.
Dunia Baru won’t be at the Singapore Yacht Show, but will be
in Singapore this week. If you’d like to take a look around, please
contact firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information
on the show, please take a look at the Singapore Yacht Show website.