Singapore. The island of Singapore is situated off the southern tip of the Malay peninsula. On your way to Bali, Australia or South Pacific, a 24 hours stop to stretch legs and discover Singapore is an excellent idea.
If they have opened again after the extensive renovation, start with Raffles Hotel and the Long Bar. As you already know, the hotel is named after the founder of Singapore, Sir Stamford Raffles.
Prices for a Singapore Sling are above tourist trap levels, but this may be the only time that you’ll get to throw peanut shells on the floor in a five star property.
Otherwise, a drink at the roof top bar of the cities landmark Marina Sands hotel is a must, day or night. And don’t forget the infinity pool, where access requires a stay, from $300 a night.
My favourite activity was actually the stroll around Marina Bay and the monumental Gardens by the Bay. The light and music show every evening – The Garden Rhapsody Lightshow – transforms your evening in to a mythical and enchanted forest, everyone is dancing along with the Supertrees of Singapore . The show attracts both locals and tourists.
The greenhouses in the gardens by the bay are also worth a visit, one has AC lowering the natural, tropical outside temperatures to 20-25°, which is somewhat unusual for a person arriving from the cold North.
Now eating is a must in Singapore. Perhaps the best reason of all to come, since the food scene is unlike any other. From hawkers handing family recipes down the generations, to experimental addresses for advanced gastronomy.
Local Singaporian culture, which consists of a mix of Malay, Chinese, Indonesian, Indian, Peranakan and Western influences, is best savoured through its food. I enjoyed trying what the hawkers had to offer, Singapore has after all two hawkers/street restaurants with a Michelin star.
A very nice way of discovering the most original and best ones is participating at a food tour with a local guide. We tried “Wok ‘n’ Stroll’s Hawker Discovery tour” and savoured Singapore’s rich food legacy through visits to hawker centres, sampling local fare like chicken rice and laksa, which is the famous spicy coconut milk-based noodle soup.
During the guided tour, we also visited the chinese wet market and I tried Thousand years old eggs for the first time.
If staying only for 24 hours in Singapore, you will certainly want to stay longer, and probably come back as soon as possible.