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Jakarta Post

Singapore: Heaven for foodies, globetrotters

  • The Jakarta Post

    The Jakarta Post

  /   Wed, May 27, 2015   /  08:16 am
Singapore: Heaven for foodies, globetrotters

A Boat tour in Clarke Quay. JP/Aulia Sungkar

Offering something fresh each time, Singapore is often considered as the ultimate destination for Indonesians. This city-state is famous for its clean and safe environment, inviting tourists to come and enjoy both short weekend getaways and longer holidays. More lifestyle and entertainment venues are unveiled every month, each with something for everyone.

Shopping with personality

Singapore is a world-class shopping hub where a large variety of products, ranging from fashions, footwear and watches to jewelry and home decorations, can be found in one city. Singapore is indeed a home to Indonesian shopaholics who always have their eyes on the trends.

In today'€™s Singapore, Orchard Road has many rivals when it comes to shopping. With the development of the integrated resorts and new world-class shopping centers, international visitors are welcomed with endless excitement. The city-state features myriad shopping venues that cater to those seeking seasonal collections from high-quality local to international high-end brands. The good news is that all is easily accessible through the MRT as well as other modes of public transportation.

In Singapore, every shop has a personality. Feel the different ambiance as you enter each building. That'€™s why Orchard Road still attracts many with its never-ending row of shopping malls, stretching from the prestigious ION Orchard to the much-loved Plaza Singapura. Singapore'€™s underground passageways also make mall hopping so much more convenient. Wandering away from the heart of shopping to the city center, there is Suntec City, known for its feng-shui focused design and famous Fountain of Wealth.

The hype and vibrant shopping experience doesn'€™t stop there. The district of Haji Lane has become one of the great alternatives for creations by talented young designers across the region. The Joo Chiat Complex, located in Geylang Serai, is the destination for those looking for Malay textiles, crafts, jewelry and traditional clothing. Bugis Junction has it all, from a traditional mall to open-air shopping areas and eateries.

The new additions to the Singapore shopping world is Marina Bay Sands and Resort World Sentosa, each of which arrived with its own style. The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands mix international luxury brands, emerging labels and new concepts, while Festive Walk at Resort World Sentosa is the first Asian home of many international brands.

JP/Aulia SungkarJP/Aulia Sungkar

The Great Singapore Sale 2015

Visiting Singapore on this upcoming holiday will complement your enjoyment with the annual event of the Great Singapore Sale, held from May 29 to July 26.  

Also known as GSS or Singapore Sale, the event galvanizes stores and malls in many strategic parts of the city, from Orchard Road to Marina Bay and even farther down into the suburbs.

As Singapore is set to be an ocean of great shopping deals, taking visitors from around the globe to experience a world of shopping sprees, with deals that include discounts, warehouse sales, clearance sales and other types of sales and promotions '€“ from fashion to watches, jewelry, beauty and wellness, to electronics and toys.

Heaven for foodies

Aside from shopping, this time is a fun moment to indulge in culinary excitements on the island city-state. Get ready to have your taste buds pampered with a diverse range of dining options for every taste and budget.

From local street fare to Michelin-starred establishments, food and dining are what most visitors, especially Indonesians, like to treasure when visiting Singapore.   

Its fine dining scene is said to be one of the world'€™s most exciting, featuring one-of-a-kind culinary options, such as those F&B establishments featuring breathtaking panoramas of such landmarks as the Singapore River, the Raffles Financial District and Marina Bay.

On Smith Street in the heart of Chinatown are different restaurants serving varieties of Chinese dishes, from street-hawker stalls and shop-house eateries to kiosks and alfresco dining.

Here you can also see the newly constructed high-ceiling glass canopy shelter where different races in Singapore gather to spoil their palates, from having a plate of char kway teow to nasi Hainan.  

Going to Arab Street, you will be taken to a gastronomical haven that offers an authentic spread of Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Malay and Indian foods. Once you are there, don't forget to visit Kampong Glam. During the fasting month of Ramadhan, the area becomes very happening in the evening. Just visit one of the restaurants there for the 'breaking the fast' at dawn, or take a stroll through the bustling night markets in the area.  

Hip & happening

Singapore also offers great attractions, world-class hotels and spa indulgences.  

Those visiting the island city-state with families will find Sentosa exciting for its adventurous activities and fun entertainment hubs. Resorts World Sentosa, Universal Studios, SEA Aquarium and Adventure Cove Waterpark are among the must-visit places.

For more wildlife adventure, go to the other side of the city for a day tour around Singapore Zoo, Jurong Bird Park or River Safari. The latter is a river-themed wildlife park where you can meet more than 5,000 animals, including dozens of endangered species. Gardens by the Bay combines nature and play spread over 101 hectares of land next to the Marina Reservoir. If you'€™re traveling with young children, excite their minds with a day at the Singapore Science Center.

If you want to get to know more of the city, take a DUCK Tour, on which you can embark on a land and sea adventure on a remodeled authentic Vietnamese war boat. This hour-long tour brings visitors up close to Singapore'€™s famous skyline, historical landmarks and magnificent bay view.

Singapore is also known for its arts scene with museums, galleries and exhibition spaces dotted all over the city. Many talented local and international artists, including from Indonesia, showcase their best artworks in these places. The ArtScience Museum, the Sands Theatre and the Maritime Experiential Museum are among the places that are worth a visit.  

The fun doesn'€™t end as the sun goes down. Singapore nightlife features an array of entertainment venues and nightclubs for visitors to enjoy. One of the many happening places that have drawn many visitors is Clarke Quay. Sentosa after dark is also something to try, from fun luge rides, Wings of Time performances to beach clubs. Sleep is definitely going to be the last thing on your mind.

There are reasons why Indonesians often take that a one-and-half-hour flight to an exceptional world-class holiday to rejuvenate their minds after the hustle and bustle of Indonesia'€™s urban life. The next-door neighbor offers things to indulge, both for excitement and for relaxation. All is here in Singapore.

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