The Singapore Getaway
visited is a far cry from the Singapore of old. For some, Singapore
is just a stop-over on the way to Europe, but Kelly has discovered it is a gem of a place for shopping and so easy to get around.
Start off by familiarising yourself with the MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) it's fast, cheap and user-friendly. It costs around $2 to get around town and is clean and punctual.
Orchard Road, the shopping and entertainment hub of Singapore
, runs through the city and it's heaven for retail therapy. It's not as cheap as some of its other Asian neighbours, but you are spoiled for choice. June and July are sales times and you can get up to 70 percent off electronics and all the labels you dream of.
Ann Siang Hill
Ann Siang Hill is a mix of old and refurbished shop houses, most built between 1903 and 1941. Those who remember the city the way it was relish the sight of old Singapore
rustic facades and nostalgia of the 1960s and '70s.
It is actually a place that deserves closer inspection as it is where lesser-known designers have set up shop and you will find some fantastic buys. Fashion, furniture and art rub shoulders, with cafes, bars and chic patisseries. Singapore's launching pad for design is certainly worth a visit.
Chinatown's Club Street, next to Ann Siang Hill, is lined with conserved shophouses occupied by restaurants, bars and galleries. The shophouses previously housed Chinese clan associations and social clubs. Grand balls and social events were held there throughout the early 1900s.
Buddha Tooth Relic Temple
One of Singapore
's best cultural experiences, Buddha Tooth Telic Temple, is a magnificent five-storey southern Chinese-style temple. It houses what is said to be the sacred tooth of the Buddha in a magnificent relic stupa of 420kg of gold donated by devotees. Each day the inner chamber is unveiled in a ceremony conducted by resident monks. The public can view the relic stupa but it cannot be filmed.
Architecture is inspired by the Tang dynasty, an era where Buddhism flourished in China in a golden age of artistic and cultural vibrancy.
A prayer wheel there contains hundreds of sutras written by monks so the illiterate could pray. One rotation of the wheel is the equivalent of reading all the sutras with the four doors delivering prayers to all corners of the world.
East Coast Park
For a little escape from the shopping and lights of the city, at East Coast Park you can rent a bicycle and enjoy 15km of seafront park. It's a favourite with locals and has bowling alleys, a golf driving range, holiday chalets, restaurants and hawker centres, sailing clubs and inline skating. It is lit from 7pm so can be enjoyed after sunset. As you lie on the beach you can watch the coming and going of ships in one of the busiest ports in the world.
This observation wheel is 165m high and gives 360-degree panoramic views of Singapore
, Indonesia and Malaysia
. It offers some serious feng shui revolving around the number 28 which is very lucky to the Chinese even its rotation lasts for 28 minutes. Capsules (which hold 28 people) are UV-protected and air-conditioned.
Bugis Street Night Markets
One of the best-known areas of Singapore
, Bugis Street Night Markets has undergone lots of transformation since the days of alleyways, transvestites and sailors' haunts. It is now highly urbanised and sophisticated with restored shop houses and shopping complexes.
Hints of the old character have been preserved and from 6pm it's buzzing with people checking out the hundreds of stalls selling everything from shoes and bags to perfume and jewellery. There are also loads of food stalls rated by the government to indicate cleanliness and hygiene. A is very good if a stall is rated D, keep moving! For around $20 you can feast on Singaporean, Indian, Chinese and Malaysian food cooked as you wait.
New Majestic Hotel
With a lobby ceiling stripped bare to expose 78-year-old paintwork and dentist's chairs beneath vintage fans, New Majestic Hotel in Singapore
's Chinatown makes a striking first impression.
Thirty rooms designed by emerging Singaporean artists revolve around four concepts: Mirror Room, Hanging Bed Room, Aquarium Room and Loft Room.
The hotel's Cantonese restaurant has a glass ceiling looking directly into the pool above. It also has excellent food. Majestic Bar next door features modern Chinese cuisine, adventurous cocktails and eclectic artworks.
, an island off the tip of Malaysia.
Singapore Airlines Holidays has a 4 night Singapore City Escape Package for Getaway
viewers. It includes accommodation at the Allson Hotel, late check-out, 50% off the hotel's a la carte menu and private transfers. The package starts at $329 per person twin share.
The first 50 bookings will receive an Experience Singapore Pack for 2 adults, valued at over $150 a couple. It includes a flight ticket on the Singapore Flyer (the world's largest giant observation wheel), museum pass and city experience tour.
The offer is on sale until May 29, 2009. Price is per person, twin share, and valid for travel until March 31, 2010. Subject to availability. Credit card surcharge, booking and ticketing conditions apply.
Singapore Airlines has return flights to Singapore.
- Perth $850
- Melbourne $957
- Adelaide $972
- Sydney $974
- Brisbane $977
For sale until May 15, 2009, and for the following travel periods: between April 30 and June 26, 2009, July 25 and September 18, 2009, and October 10 and November 13, 2009. All fares include the ticket price, associated taxes and surcharges. Taxes and surcharges are subject to change due to currency fluctuations.
For more Singapore Escapes download their Getaway Specials.
Prices correct at April 30, 2009.
For further information
Singapore Airlines Holidays
Ph: 1300 666 722
East Coast Park
Along East Coast Parkway and East
Coast Park Service Road
New Majestic Hotel
31-37 Bukit Pasoh Road
Ph: +65 6511 4700
30 Raffles Avenue
Takashimaya at Ngee Ann City
391A Orchard Road #08-05
Ngee Ann City Tower A
Ph: +65 6733 0337
Buddha Tooth Relic Temple
288 South Bridge Rd.
Ph: +65 6220 0220
Singapore Tourism Board
Ph: (02) 92902888
Visas: Australians can stay up to 90 days in Singapore without a visa.
Electricity: 230V/50Hz (British plug).
Time zone: GMT +12.
Currency: Singapore dollar.
International dialling code: +65.