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Overview to Singapore: Travel Guide and Tourist Information

Singapore's Leafier Side

Singapore has made its mark on the world travel map for two very different reasons: on the one hand, it’s a primary stop-off station for those on particularly long-haul flights. On the other hand, it’s also become the long-term home for a staggeringly large expatriate population.

Whether you’re staying for days, months or years, however, there’s a surprising amount to see and do crammed into this tiny island. Providing they’re prepared to search for it, Singapore can cater to just about any traveler's wish.

Let’s suppose you’ve stopped off for two nights of recuperation on your way to Australia. From stepping off the plane to stepping back on, Singapore’s almost obsessively sanitized and swanky modernized public places provide the perfect backdrop for some top-notch chilling.

Orchard Road is the place for a spot of retail therapy, while affordable massage parlors and beauticians on the top levels of most malls ensure you shop without dropping. The East Coast Park, on the other hand, is the place to kick back in style before taking a dip in the sea.

Alternatively, for those staying a little longer, Bugis Junction and Little India provide a route in to the ‘other side’ of Singapore, away from the sheen of the shopping malls. Here, food and clothes are incredibly cheap, and both come drenched in that swathe of color singular to Asia.

Similarly, the small island of Sentosa – connected to the mainland by a cable car that runs from Mount Faber – offers an interesting insight into the country. Although now being redeveloped, Sentosa remains a peculiarly charming throwback to the 1980s.

Back on the mainland, two attractions have been the talk of travelers in Asia for years now. Up towards the north of the island, the spacious, open-planned Singapore Zoo – home to the outrageously popular night safari – is considered one of the best in the world.

For those not touring the zoo by night, Clarke Quay and (the slightly dingier) Boat Quay prove Singapore’s main nightlife areas. It’s possible to walk from one to another, and with restaurants, bars and clubs all in plentiful supply, an evening of revelry is easily arranged.

Amongst the hawkers and malls, the bum boats and public transport infrastructure, Singapore sits as an island happy to accommodate everyone. But it also has its own distinct flavor, at once disarming and enticing.