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ATTRACTION AND SIGHT-SEEING
Considered to be the tourism mascot of the city, is a majestic icon on the island. There is an eight-metre high Merlion statue standing right up there at the mouth of the Singapore River. In case you didn't know, the Merlion is a mythical beast - said to be half lion and half fish. It symbolizes the courage, strength and
Another beautiful animal park built around the "open concept" is Jurong Bird Park, which showcases more than 8,000 birds of 600 species from around the world. This 20-hectare park has specially-designed aviaries made to resemble the birds' natural habitats as much as possible. Walk through the park and you will spot cockatoos, macaws, cassowaries, eagles, peacocks, parrots, hornbills and birds of paradise. Night birds like owls and kiwis can be found at the nocturnal sanctuary. Several interesting bird shows are held daily. The Jurong Bird Park is open between 8 am and 6 PM daily for tourist and admission is SGD 18 adults, SGD 9 children (3-12 years).
The Sentosa Island is City's premier island resort getaway with plenty of attractions and filled with events all year round. You can enjoy the Volcano Land, the Orchid Garden, the musical fountain, the wonderful golf course, or just laze around the beautiful beaches. You can walk there via the causeway bridge near VivoCity, take the Sentosa Express train (links HarbourFront, VivoCity and St. James Power Station to
City’s Zoo is a rainforest zoo surrounded by the picturesque Seletar Reservoir. Elephants of Asia entertain with special shows set against the backdrop of a Burmese logging camp while kangaroos and wallabies. Enthrall at the Australian Outback. Heed the call of the wild at Hamadryas Baboons - The Great Rift Valley of Ethiopia. Be captivated by baboons, jackals and herds of ibex amidst tribal huts. There are also regular animal shows. Open from 8.30 am to 6 PM daily. Admission for adults is SGD10.30, and for children of between 3 and 12 years, SGD4.60. You can also opt for a combined Zoo and Night Safari (see below) package.
The first of its kind in the world, City's renowned Night Safari offers you a chance to view nocturnal animals from all over the world, at close range and as close to their natural settings as possible. A visit to this unique safari is highly recommended. Situated right next to the Zoological Gardens at the Night Safari is home to some 1,000 animals representing about 100 species. It opens at 7.30 pm nightly until midnight, but because the entrance queues (especially during weekends) is sometimes so long, it is best to go there a bit earlier. SGD15.45 for adults and SGD10.30 for children. The tram ride costs an extra SGD4 for adults and SGD3 for children.
The Science Centre, open Tues-Sun 1000-1800, is a remarkable complex which includes hundreds of interactive exhibits, the Aviation Gallery which traces the history of flight, and the Omnitheatre, a cinema with a planetarium-like screen. Adult $6, Child [3-12] $3. Tuesday-Sunday, 10.00am - 6.00pm. Closed on Monday, except when it's a school or public holiday.
Jurong Reptile Park
Just across the road from the Jurong Bird Park is this 2-hectare theme park crawling with some 3,000 crocodiles kept in a variety of habitats. Unique viewing opportunities include an underwater observation gallery and the Cavern of Darkness, where you can observe the crocs in a simulated nighttime environment complete with the sounds of an Asian tropical jungle. The largest of its kind in South-east Asia, this reptile park is situated just opposite the Jurong Bird Park. From crocodiles to iguanas, more than 50 reptilian species are kept in a variety of landscaped habitats. It's open from 9 am to 6 PM daily, and admission is SGD7 for adults and SGD3.50 for children and seniors.
Also known as the National Orchid Park, among the most interesting and most visited place in city is the Botanic Gardens. The gardens are a lush and scenic park spread over 52 hectares of land right in the heart of the city. The park is a great spot for people who want to enjoy time at a leisurely pace, go for a jog or set up a picnic spot. The Botanic Gardens are rather distinctive as they contain a whole variety of flora from differing climates. The Botanic Gardens are open from 5 am to 12 midnight daily, and admission is free.
The Mandai Orchid Garden (also called ‘Orchidville’) is a commercial orchid farm enshrining City’s characteristic horticultural export, with a hillside of exotic orchid species. If you're an orchid enthusiast, the Mandai Orchid Gardens (Tel: 2691036), is a must. These gardens are the centre of city's thriving orchid industry, and boasts of four hectares of the fragile and beautiful plants. The gardens are open from 8.30 am to 5.30 PM daily, and admission is SGD2 for adults and SGD0.50 for children, and is worth every penny.
Pulau Ubin More adventurous visitors may want to try hiking at Pulau Ubin, where you should still find nature and old huts on the island. However, the recent work on making it a recreational island has made Ubin (as what locals call it) loose its natural shape. Riding the boat is an experience by itself. The boat will reach Ubin Jetty where you can start your trekking. Experience the rural lifestyle once you are on the island.
St John’s Island is large, hilly and tree-shaded with several excellent beaches. There are also several walking trails. There is a regular ferry service from the World Trade Centre that takes about one hour.
Kusu Island is noted for two landmarks: the Keramat (a Muslim shrine) and the Chinese Tua Pekong Temple. There is a regular ferry service from the World Trade Centre that takes about 30 minutes.
Pulau Hantu, Pulau Seking (with its traditional Malay stilt houses), Lazarus Island and the Sisters Islands (the latter being part of the group of Southern Islands) are ideal for snorkelling and swimming enthusiasts. There are no regular ferry services but boats can be chartered; enquire locally for information.
Haw Par Villa n Pasir Panjang Road is a surreal ‘Disneyesque’ statue park of Chinese mythological and historical figures, created by the Tiger Balm ointment dynasty. The Gardens are open daily 0800-1800.
The Civilian War Memorial is another must-see. Although very simple in design, it is an important icon to Singaporeans. The memorial is dedicated to the civilians who lost their lives in the Second World War, during the Japanese occupation of the island.
Fort Canning Park, on Fort Canning Rise, was once an ancient fort of the Malay kings covering 2.8 hectares (7 acres). Colonial ruins of the British citadel can still be viewed, as can a 19th-century Christian cemetery. The Battle Box in the park is the old command bunker of the World War II defence of city, now a museum. Open Tues-Sun 1000-1800, with a small admission fee charged.
Fort Siloso Located at the western tip of Sentosa Island, the fort is one of the twelve batteries that made up Fortress at the start of World War II.
The Kranji War Cemetery and Memorial, northwest of the Mandai Orchid Garden, commemorates the death of all those who fell in the catastrophic campaigns in the defence of city during World War II. The cemetery and landscaped grounds are open daily; no flowers are allowed on the graves.
Asian Civilization Museum: If you don’t have the time to do an extensive museum visit, restrict yourself to the Asian Civilization Museum, the most dramatic museum in city. Over three levels of artifacts and priceless pieces with 10 galleries featuring different regions with their own timelines and permanent displays. It is great for people who appreciate arts, artifacts, history and cultures.
Tour of the River: Take the bumboat and cruise down to the beautiful river. You will get to catch a glimpse of city's past and present. The boat ride will also take you round and show you some of city's significant architectural landmarks.
Ethnic Quarter Walk: To understand a nation, you will need to first understand its people and culture. The best way to do it is to take an ethnic walk to one of its ethnic quarters (Chinatown, Little India and Kampong Glam) To make the walk a fruitful one, hiring a guide is recommended as they can fill you in with lots of history, facts, cultural practices etc. -things that you will not be able to figure out by taking a DIY walk around suburbs.
Heritage District Also often referred to as the Colonial District, the Heritage District is the area between Orchard Road on the west and Financial District to the east. It is so named because of the large number of impressive colonial buildings and churches built by the British in the mid 1800's - just at the height of their empire building days. A good number of the buildings are churches or old government buildings and all have been lovingly preserved and/or restored to their former glory giving the area an unmistakable aura.
Other places of interest
Fountain of Wealth
You can walk into the fountain and touch the water during its opening hours to get more blessings and luck. It is believed that walking around the fountain clockwise three times while touching the water will bring luck and blessings of fortune. Ardent believers walk clockwise around the fountain for two hours, between the hours of 4am and 6am, to absorb its energizing properties. This is most effective if done for nine consecutive days. Be entertained by the multimedia laser shows on the 360° rotating water screen, the first in the world. Enjoy free song dedications every night from 7pm - 10pm and free laser message dedications on weekends and public holidays
East Coast Park
This large area of reclaimed land along city's eastern coastline is where many Singaporeans come to rest and relax during the weekends. There's a long stretch of parkland here where you can cycle, roller-blade or jog along the specially-built paths. The beach is where people laze, while you can also go sailing, para-sailing or weightboarding in the sea. Stalls which rent bicycles, canoes and sailboards can be found along the park and beach. If you wish to go bowling, or play a bit of squash or mini golf, the East Coast Recreation Centre's the place to go. For a really good dinner of black-pepper crabs and chili crabs, head for the UDMC Seafood Centre which is further down the parkway at East Coast Lagoon.
OFFBEAT ATTRACTIONS IN CITY
Buddhist and Hindu temples, mosques and Catholic and Anglican cathedrals are all likely to be encountered during a comparatively brief walk around some of the central areas of city. St Andrew’s Cathedral, the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd, the Al-Abrar Mosque, the vast and florid Kong Meng Sang Phor Kark See Temple Complex, the Chettiar Hindu Temple and the Sri Mariamman Temple are only a few of these.
Other interesting attractions in City include the Art Museum, the National Museum & Art Gallery; Merlion Park; the Thong Chai Medical Institution; Mint Coin Gallery; the Crocodile House (feeding time at 1100, crocodile wrestling at 1315 and 1615); and the Fort Cannings Aquarium in River Valley Road, with over 6000 species of freshwater and marine animals. Also not to be missed is city’s new performing arts centre, which opened in October 2002.
ORGANISED CITY TOURS
First stop is the Raffles landing site, at the mouth of the River, Board a traditional bum boat for a picturesque ride up the River. In pre-container days, bum boats were used to transport light cargo from ships anchored off-shore to the warehouses that line both sides the river. This is followed by dinner. After dinner, rejoin the coach to visit Royal Selangor Centre at Clarke Quay for a truly unique experience in the world of pewter. Watch live demonstrations of pewter-making processes by skilled craftsmen. Next stop over to Bugis Village, named after the seafarers from Sulawesi who used to sail and conduct the coastal trade with Indonesia in their sailing vessels from the Kallang River. Last stop is Raffles Hotel. This grand hotel has been restored to its former glory when guests included Somerset Maugham, Noel Coward and Liz Taylor.
Enjoy a trip to Johore Bahru, Capital of the State of Johorere, Malaysia which is linked to city by a Causeway. Visit the Royal Abu Bakar Mosque, Lido Beach, Craft Town to
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