Friday, October 19, 2018

8 Reasons Singapore Deserves A Place On Your Bucket List

There’s no better education than travel. Whether you’re taking the family on a short vacation,
trotting around the world to do some soul searching or even taking a sabbatical from work and
spending some time living overseas, there’s no more exciting and enriching experience. Being able
to immerse yourself in the language, culture and tradition of another society; being able to weave
yourself into its fabric and savor its sights, sounds, smells and tastes makes us come alive in a way
that we simply can’t achieve when we’re outside of our comfort zone. While some people choose to
visit the same location year in year out, many travel bugs feel that the world is too big a place to visit
anywhere twice. Thus, they spend their time planning and calculating, trying to see as much of the
world as possible, sampling the many and varied cultures of the world like a voracious eater at a buffet

It’s no surprise that Asia is such a draw for so many western tourists. Travel bugs yearn for adventure,
excitement and experience, after all and the cultural and culinary differences of many Asian societies
make for a fascinating and absorbing travel experience. But while the likes of Thailand, Indonesia,
Vietnam, Japan and of course China and Hong Kong all have much to recommend them, there’s
really nowhere in the world quite like Singapore. That’s why we’re going to take a detailed look at
what makes this city state so quintessential and why it deserves a place on every travel enthusiast’s
bucket list…

It’s a city and a country

One of the many things that’s unique about Singapore is that it’s
one of only three sovereign city states in the world alongside Vatican City and Monaco. While there
are many dependent city states like Hong Kong, Macau, Dubai and Abu Dhabi Singapore wears its
independence and autonomy very much on its sleeve. It’s a truly unique state and its diminutive size
means that you could visit for a weekend and feel as though you got the measure of Singapore. Of
course, however, for a truly authentic experience it behoves you to stay a little longer.

You can live in luxury at a bargain price

Singapore is a highly developed conurbation and a major industrial and commercial hub and one of
the freest economies in the world. Nonetheless, one can live a luxurious lifestyle there on a fraction
of the budget that one would expect to pay in many major western cities like London, Paris, Berlin,
Rome or (most certainly) New York City. If you choose to extend your stay in Singapore, wherever
you choose to settle there’s a good chance that you’ll be able to find a luxury HDB for rent nearby.
In Singapore a luxury 3 bedroom apartment costs just S$2,000 a month. That’s just $1,450 or £1,113.
Good luck finding that kind of rent in London or New York!

Some of the friendliest locals on the planet

Thailand may well be the land of smiles, and Indonesia prides itself on its friendly and hospitable
attitude towards western tourists, but short term visitors and expats alike agree that Singapore has
some of the friendliest and most welcoming locals on the planet. Thai people always greet you with
a smile, sure, but in Thai culture a smile can mean many things. Sure, it will most likely indicate
friendliness, but it could also mean discomfort and even mild annoyance. In Indonesia, the people
are warm and welcoming but their culture is quite conservative and one always gets the feeling that
they’re staying with their mother in-law or a fastidious aunt and have to be on their best behavior at
all times. The people of Singapore don’t go in for airs and graces, and wear their hearts very much
on their sleeves. As a hub of international trade, Singapore is home to many expat communities from
around the world and while it is very proud of its own indigenous culture, it also truly embraces
multiculturalism. Thus, while there is cohesion within expat communities, many who move to
Singapore from the west find that they have as many local friends as expat friends.

It’s one of the safest places you’ll ever visit

Even the most ardent travel junkie knows that they need to keep their wits about them when visiting
a far away land. Not only must they observe local customs and ensure that they are as polite and
accommodating as their hosts but they must also conduct themselves in a way that doesn’t invite
trouble, whether it comes in the form of pickpockets or something more sinister like armed gangs
or kidnappers.

The great news is that Singapore is one of the safest places you’re ever likely to visit. Whether it’s the
strict penalties, high standards of education or the general congeniality of the local people,
Singapore’s crime rate is so low that most shops don’t even bother locking up at night, so fear have
they of shoplifters. If you want to walk the streets at night without looking over your shoulder,
Singapore is the place to do it!

It’s completely gorgeous

Let’s face it, friendly locals and safe streets are great, but they’re not what drags us to the airport.
We like to travel overseas to be wowed and awed by stunning architecture and stunning natural
panoramas. The great news is that Singapore has both in spades. Even the airport is gorgeous,
featuring its own stunning sunflower garden. If you’re awed by architecture, you could do much
worse than check out some of the city’s crown jewels including;

  • Tree House- The world’s largest vertical garden
  • The Pinnacle@Duxton- An architectural marvel that has to be seen to be believed.
  • Ferrell Residences- A simple apartment building with an unorthodox design that looks almost
  • like a giant spinal column.
  • The Marq- A luxury apartment building where each unit has its own private pool with stunning
  • views of the city.

If you prefer to marvel at the architecture of nature, Singapore has you covered there, too. There are
a number of very good reason why it’s called the city in a garden. Singapore is surrounded by richly
biodiverse greenery with a host of plant and wildlife that is certain to make even the most jaded and
well-travelled jaw drop. Even if you don’t have the time to get out of the city, there’s lots to explore.
Check out the futuristic Gardens by the Bay and or the UNESCO heritage site, the
Singapore Botanic Gardens which are home to over 60,000 species of plants and orchids.
It’s enormous 60 acre grounds are also packed with multimedia exhibits which explain the site’s rich
heritage and the important ecological work done there every day by the local scientists. Singapore
offers a true equilibrium between nature and the man-made that’s truly inspiring.

Some of the best food you’ll ever eat

Aficionados of Asian cuisine will find some of the best they ever experience in Singapore. Seafood
lovers will be in 7th heaven as Singapore has a reputation for outstanding pescatarian cuisine that
rivals the very best in the world. Indeed, arguably the best shellfish dish in the world, chilli crab was
invented here in 1950 by chef Cher Yaw Tian and is widely regarded as the best shellfish dish in the
world. Lovers of this crab classic will find it frequently served in restaurants all over Singapore. It is to
the people of Singapore what ceviche is to Floridians.

But while Singaporean tastes tend to favor fish and meats, there’s plenty for vegetarians and vegans
to love too. Singapore is home to large hindu and buddhists who don’t eat meat or animal products
for religious reasons and as such, a wealth of vegetarian and raw food restaurants are proliferate
throughout the city state meaning that whether you’re avoiding animal products or simply looking
for a healthy veggie fix, you’ll find no shortage in Singapore.

It’s a great place to make your fortune

There are many expats in Singapore who came as tourists, fell in love (either with the place or
someone special they met there) and became an expatriate. Indeed, Singapore is a place where
many have come from all over the world and found not only a supportive community but a land of
opportunity. Singapore has a famously stable government which in turn has facilitated a very stable
and free economy that rewards enterprise. As one of the freest economies in the world, it’s a place
where virtually anyone can start their own business and find success and prosperity. If you have a
great business idea, Singapore might just be the perfect proving ground for it.

Indulge in the national sport… Shopping!

Finally, while the people of Singapore go crazy for a variety of sports from Formula 1 to rugby,
the true national pastime is shopping. Shopaholics will find some of the world’s best shopping
here with a huge local fashion scene. If you’re looking for the finest couture you can find it at any
number of Singapore’s prestigious shopping outlets, although veteran bargain hunters will find their
Heaven in the flea markets of China Square Central.

Whatever you want from an overseas trip, Singapore has it all!

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