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ALL ABOUT SINGAPORE: WHY SINGAPORE IS ‘BEST CITY IN THE WORLD’

all about singapore- Singapore Financial District from Marina Bay Sands Park

new Singapore Financial District from Marina Bay Sands Park

ALL ABOUT SINGAPORE: WHY SINGAPORE IS ‘BEST CITY IN THE WORLD’

When it comes to evaluating cities I have some long-held personal criterion for ‘Great City’ status. To achieve this status in my books a city must have the following:

1. Nature  Outdoor spaces, greenery and quick, easy access to nature. A city void of nature, purely filled with streets, buildings and gray is too heavy.  A Great City has lots of nature.

Cycling at Singapore Eastern Shoreline Park

2. Architecture  Interesting, beautiful and varied architecture. Cities filled with ugly, uninspired buildings are dull and depressing. I yearn for the great visual stimulation of exciting artistic architecture, preferably including skyscrapers.  I love skyscrapers.

Marina Bay Sands- Singapore

Marina Bay Sands Hotel

3. Food  Delicious, varied, plentiful and easily-accessed food is critical for comfort and enjoyment.

Singapore- Little India- Tandori Chicken

Tandori Chicken on display in Little India

4. Arts and culture  A Great City needs museums, art galleries, performances, music, and events. The more variety and frequency the better.

Singapore National Museum

Singapore National Museum

5. Night life  Dance clubs, a variety of music, parties and events are happening in Great Cities.

Singapore Visitors Centre- Orchard Road

6. International flair:  a diversity of people and their culture such as foods, arts, performances, and architecture.

Singapore LIttle India- Flower vendor

Flower vendor in LIttle India

Examples of  cities that cut my ‘Great Cities’ list include San Fransisco, Kyoto and Hong Kong.

Nevertheless, these three Great Cities do have one major fault in my book: COLD. I hate being cold. I’m eternally happy to stay toasty warm. Even hot is fine with me. Give me the tropics, thank you very much!

Enter Singapore.

In addition to meeting all criterion for ‘ Great City’ status, Singapore is tropical. In fact, it sits just 1 degree N of the equator, so it’s hot year round. Yeah!

In fact, being so close to the equator, the temperature is quite constant year round, with day time temps at 30C-32C/ 86F-90F and night time temps at 23C-25C/ 73F-75F. Just perfect. Tropical means first of all that I’ll never get cold and can always be assured of staying warm.

Singapore- Fullerton Hotel with Financial District skyscrapers

Singapore- Fullerton Hotel with Financial District skyscrapers

Secondly, tropical means Singapore is full of my favorite type of nature- trees like banyan, figs, palms, bananas, ginger plants and a variety of flowering bushes such as frangipani, jasmine and bougainvillea.

In fact, this city is so packed with trees, flowers and greenery that no matter where I go, I seem to be in the midst of  lush gardens. This includes cycling along all major streets and highways, which are lined by tall magnificent trees.

Singapore- East Coast Park Beach

In addition to its lush vegetation, Singapore, as an island nation, is surrounded by sea. The country’s shoreline includes the miles-long East Coast Park with beaches, magnificent trees, picnic and camping areas, and loads of outdoor activities.

Singapore River- Boat Quay warehouses-skyscrapers

restored Chinese warehouses backed by skyscrapers along Singapore River

The country supports one of the world’s largest shipping harbours. On the nation’s northern border, a narrow ocean channel separates Singapore from its neighbor, Malaysia.

But beautiful shorelines are not the only glimpses of water. The Singapore River runs right through the CBD (Central Business District) and is lined by restored colonial Chinese warehouses, skyscrapers, grand British colonial  buildings and riverside restaurant & entertainment districts.

Singapore- East Coast Park

As for nature, the city boasts a world-class Botanical Gardens, several hilltop parks, beaches, tropical islands, lakes and tree-lined rivers and canals. Singapore is so jammed with nature you basically can’t help but be submerged in it.
Singapore- Marina Bay Sands with bridge at Fullterton

Marina Bay Sands Hotel towers over Singapore River and Asian Civilizations Museum

As for architecture, the city is packed with unique modern architecture, soaring skyscrapers, colorful restored colonial shop houses, statuesque British colonial buildings, Chinese temples, Indian temples, Muslim mosques, Christian churches, the famous colonial Raffles Hotel, and futuristic shopping malls featuring entire walls as video screens.

 

Everywhere you turn, the buildings are a visual feast. Many of my favorite buildings in the world are in Singapore… here’s a sampling:
LaSalle College of Arts

LaSalle College of Arts

Marina Bay Sands Hotel complex

Marina Bay Sands Hotel complex- under construction

 Little India- Muslim Mosque

Muslim mosque in Little India

Indian Hindu temple in Little India

Indian Hindu temple in Little India 

ArtScience Museum

ArtScience Museum

Singapore- Indochine Restaurant- Clarke Quay

Indochine Restaurant- Clarke Quay

 Orchard Road- Shopping Mall

futuristic Ion shopping mall on Orchard Road

The incredibly varied architecture points to the international flavor of the city. Although mainly Chinese, Singapore also has among its citizens many Indians, Muslims and Westerners. In addition, as a major tourist destination, the city is continually full of international travelers visiting for business, shopping and sight-seeing.
Chinese dim sum

Chinese dim sum

Singaporeans love eating so the city is full of inexpensive food courts with small stalls selling every kind of food imaginable including Indian, Chinese, Malay, Indonesian and Western. Of course there are numerous upscale restaurants, too, with cuisine from nearly every country in the world. Eating is easy, convenient, quick, and varied. Perfect for someone like me who has to eat every 3-4 hours.

Singapore Art Museum

Singapore Art Museum

Museums include the grand Asian Civilization Museum, the even grander National Museum, The National Art Gallery, The Philatelic Museum (stamps) and others.

For performing arts there are Classical Symphonies, Plays and Musicals, Dance Performances, Theater Productions, Opera and free outdoor weekend rock concerts by regional bands. Paintings and other art are showcased at museums, galleries and the Esplanade.

Singapore- famous dj Chris Ho

my pal- Singaore’s famous dj Chris Ho

The city’s nightlife is just as varied as its food, entertainment and architecture. On offering is everything from cocktail bars, huge dance clubs, pubs and sports bars to local dives featuring every kind of music including pop, house, Indie, trance, rock, punk, Indian Hindi dance music, jazz, classical…you name it.

Singapore- new financial district skyscrapers at harbor

As if all that’s not enough, Singapore is super clean, organized, safe, smooth and efficient.

Surprisingly to me, many western travelers I meet say they don’t like the city because it’s ‘too clean.’ ‘too orderly.’ ‘too sterile.’

In my book clean is Great! Orderly and efficient is Wonderful! Safe is magnificent! After tromping around developing countries in SE Asia for months on end, clean and efficient are practically heaven.

Singapore- Merlion night view

Singapore- Merlion night view

That’s why I vote for Singapore as the very best city in the world. Whenever I’m there I feel happy and excited. I begin plotting ways to stay longer. I love feeling like I’m perpetually in a giant garden, gazing at amazingly creative buildings, eating delicious Indian and Chinese food on the cheap.

 

I love cycling through the East Coast Park, along the Singapore River and even through the city streets. I love attending concerts, festivals, dance clubs and events. I enjoy the international flavor of my favorite city. Can’t wait to get back there!

Reporting from the road, Lash

 

 

 

 

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You might also find the following posts useful: 

5 Unique Adventures in Singapore

Asia’s Amazing Shopping Malls

10 Free Things to do in Series:

Singapore

Chinatown

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14 comments

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  1. Suzy

    I also hate being cold. I would love to go to Singapore, just to see that varied architecture.

  2. LASH

    Hey Suzy, I must be confused.. I thought you just went to Singapore?! hmmm, I'll have to figure out what gave me that idea! I have noticed recently that I get confused about who did what/ where/ when… too many people I'm following I guess.
    I'm surprised to hear you say you dislike cold! Big Ireland lover and all… Anyhow, thanks for checking out my story. and for the promo. cheers, lash

  3. Luisa

    After reading your post I'm now so excited to go to Singapore in a short time! I chose Singapore because it is a safe city and I will be travelling alone, but also because of its tropical (equatorial) nature, modern architecture and the mix of mainly oriental cultures. I'm looking forward to it!! I'm just afraid of the climate, as I usually "melt" in hot and humid weather ….. though me having constant bronchitis, it should be very very good for my health! :)
    Thank you for the infos. I heard many people say that it is "too clean", "too safe", "not enough asian" …. Clean, safe and efficient are a plus for me too, so i think i will like it!

  4. LASH

    THanks for stopping by Luisa. I'm so happy to hear this post is helping you get excited for Singapore. I love it there.. sounds like we have the same tastes in cities! too bad I'm not there- we could meet up and explore together… Be sure to read my post on 10 FRee things to do in Singapore! cheers, lash

  5. Lysette

    This is one of the best breakdowns of why to travel to a place I think I have ever read. It’s all there in Singapore! I’ve ooh’d and aah’d over pictures of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel before, but now Singapore is at the top of my ‘must visit’ list.

    1. Lash WorldTour

      Hi Lysette,
      Thanks for stopping by to read. Wow, so glad you enjoyed the photos and my energetic explanation of why I love Singapore. Yes, please go visit. it’s great! cheers, Lash

  6. Elaine

    I totally agree with Luisa. I took a week vacation there by myself backpacking with 2 little ones and feel perfectly safe. I am originally from Hong Kong but I love Singapore and every time I go to Singapore I plot to stay longer or get ready for my next trip back. Just the food alone is worth the trip already. Now after seeing all the pictures, I have more reasons to go back now. Thanks!!!

  7. Yixian

    I’m a Singaporean who chanced upon your site when I was searching for information on Malaysia. You make me feel so proud of my country and allowed me to appreciate my country from an outsider’s perspective! Thanks! :)

    1. Lash WorldTour

      Hi Yixian,

      Nice to have you around at the site!
      Wow, great. From what I’ve heard, Singaporeans can certainly do with a boost of national pride! I have several good Sing. friends and most of them complain about everything. From my perpective, they really don’t notice all the amazing things about their country. I’m always in a debate with them.

      Meanwhile, I hope my information on Malaysia and other countries is useful for you and your travels!
      cheers, Lash

  8. Sharon

    Hi Lash!

    I chanced upon your articles while googling “Unique things to do in Singapore”, and I was pleasantly surprised to find such information from a non-SIngaporean! Your article will make every Singaporean proud. :) You’re always welcome back for a longer stay!

    Regards
    Sharon C.

    1. Lash WorldTour

      Hi Sharon,

      Well, Singaporeans really should be proud and happy about your country. It’s great! Belive me, I know that many Singaporeans complain about it, esp the govt… adn i have these debates with my Sing. friends every time I go!

      thanks for stopping by and welcome to my travel blog!

      cheers, lash

  9. Woo Meng Sun

    Hi Lash, if you have time, you can explore the seedier side of Singapore in Geylang. It is a real eye opener- legalized brothels, illegal gambling dens, exorcists and mediums jostling for space with temples, mosques, churches and lots and lots of eating places serving everything under the sun – besides the regional stuff, you have Alaskan lobster, Aussie croc meat and if you ask at the right places, you can find flying fox and other exotic meat (may be illegal but not because of CITES as these animals are in abundance. Pinoys in particular love flying fox meat)

    1. Lash WorldTour

      Hi Meng Sun,

      wow, sounds like a crazy place! I’ll try to check it out next time I’m in Sing.

      Thanks for stopping by and mentioning it. “:)

      cheers, lash

  10. Giorgos

    Dearest Lash, the more I read the more highly i think of Singapore and the Southeast region area…I will have two weeks one in Bangkok and one in Singapore plus a day in Kuala Lumpur and i keep reading your articles which simply fill me up and make me leave NOW!

    You are one of a kind that is for sure! Keep traveling and we will support you by reading! Honestly, this is really encouraging and tremendously helpful!

    All the best from Greece, hope to see you here at some point!
    Giorgos

    PS. I hope I won’t face a huge problem called “mosquitoes”…

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