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Singapore has become a household name, and has been top on several people’s lists to go see. The best time to visit Singapore is between February and April mainly because it is the dry season, and there will be little to no rainfall to dampen your tourist plans. Regardless, the city remains a hotspot for Singapore tourism all year round. However, you also need to bear in mind that the dry season is perfect for events and outdoor activities. These are an absolute must-try in Singapore, and you cannot afford to travel all the way there, outside Feb-Apr, only to miss out. From safaris and sightseeing-tours, to heritage site visits and more, the best time to visit Singapore is when it is not raining.

There are several superb things to do in Singapore, of which the most popular are covered below. This in no way means there aren’t other amazing sights and experiences to see and have in ‘The Lion City’. A good Singapore travel guide will definitely prove useful in helping you figure out how to reach those rare or hard to find locales.

Gardens by the Bay

Like something out of a fairy tale, these gardens are truly a sight to behold. Bio-domes and super-trees rule the space, and make for outstanding sights.Spread over 101 hectares of reclaimed land, the place is a marvel beyond imagining. The bio-domes have in excess of 800 plant species on display, hailing from various parts of the world and climate zones.

For instance, the desert dome boasts a collection of giant cacti. The cloud forest dome has a 35m mountain with a waterfall gracing it. And the floral dome has a recreated Mediterranean clime and enjoys a full-fledged olive grove. Many a whimsical sculpture ornament the Gardens. Be sure to see and photograph ‘Planet’ by Mark Quinn.

If you’re a fan of the ‘Avatar’ movie franchise, you will certainly get a kick out of the eighteen super-trees that dominate this space. Every night, a light show takes place that includes lighting these trees up in all their glory. Be sure you are present 19:45 to 20:45 to see the Garden Rhapsody sound-and-light spectacular. Stretching 22m above the Gardens is the OCBC Skyway walk, which makes for a distinctly thrilling experience. More so when you consider the fact that it links six of the super-trees. 

S.E.A. Aquarium

Enjoying top position as the world’s largest aquarium, you will find this tourist favourite comes as part of the Sentosa Island attractions. Boasting more than 100,000 marine creatures distributed across 49 marine habitats, the S.E.A. is one of the most breathtaking places to visit in Singapore. The shark tunnel is a stunning experience: you will see sandbars, silvertips, hammerheads, and more. You will find eels from the Bay of Bengal, reef fish from the Caribbean, the Red Sea’s own yellow boxfish and fire shrimp, not to forget lionfish and lobsters from the South China Sea, clownfish, and moray eels. And these are only a handful of the fish life you will see here!

If you are eager to know what underwater ecosystems in mangrove and kelp forests look like, you will find those here as well, crisply detailed. Even the underwater spreads of Lake Malawi are available for viewing. The Ocean Journey exhibit needs special mention. From its huge spider crabs and giant deep-sea octopi to jellyfish that redefine bioluminescence, there is small wonder how this exhibit is the most popular of all. On a similar note, the Open Ocean tank lets you see a plethora of amazing large fish life, including sharks, stingrays, barracuda and more. The Discovery Touch Pool coupled with everyday feeding times are a thrill for both kids and adults alike. There is also another underwater tunnel with a shipwreck. The sight of darting fish in this artistic yet natural environment must be seen to be fully appreciated. You will also find the Maritime Experiential Museum here, which showcases Singapore’s magnificent marine heritage.

Fort Canning Park

Atop a hill park is a historical museum worth visiting. In the middle of the city, this surprisingly calm and stress-free place affords you the chance to soak up some Singaporean history. One of the most important sights here is Fort Canning Hill. In 1823, Sir Stamford Raffles claimed Singapore for Britain. At that time, the place was renamed ‘Bukit Larangan’ or Forbidden Hill. The reason for this was because the hill contained the shrine of Singapura’s last Malay ruler, Sultan Iskandar Shah, whom the locals greatly revered. Sit in at The Battlebox (atmospheric museum) to hear a disastrous recounting of the largest capitulation in British military history.

There is so much more to learn here, especially from trained guides who take you through the 700-year history of Fort Canning Hill. Year-round you will discover outdoor events and concerts taking place in the park. July sees the popular ‘Ballet Under the Stars’ event, while August has ‘Films at the Fort’.

Singapore Zoo

Enjoying 28 hectares in the Upper Seletar Reservoir, this is one of the highlights of Singapore tourism. From natural enclosures to world-renowned veterinary facilities, not to mention animals from all over the world, the zoo is a jewel in Singapore’s crown.The exhibits are stunning in every way. Take the Great Rift Valley exhibit, for instance, with its amazing cascade waterfall and animals like mongooses, Nubian ibexes, and baboons. Be sure to climb to the canopy top in the Fragile Forest bio-dome. You can catch sight of flying foxes, lemurs, and two-toed sloths. In the Frozen Tundra exhibit, you get to see racoons, wolverines, and of course polar bears. The Primate Kingdom exhibit has a wealth of monkey and ape species: orangutans, crested macaques, and more.In the Wild Africa and Cat Country exhibit, all your favourites dwell: from zebras and giraffes to elephants, cheetahs, and leopards.

Meanwhile, the Forest Lodge exhibit contains gorgeous white tigers.Take your little ones to Rainforest Kidzworld where waterslides and pony rides are just two of many entertainment options to try.If you wish to check out the park sitting down, a serviceable tram goes through the whole zoo.

Orchard Road

Immensely popular for being one of the biggest shopping hubs in Singapore, you are sure to find anything and everything here. From designer labels, department stores, and malls, you can shop to your heart’s content on Orchard Road, which ironically does not have any orchards J. The food courts inside the malls hold some of the best restaurants in Singapore where you can enjoy some fine dining between shopping sprees. Recommendation: check out Takashimaya Food Village.Aside from a plethora of fashion labels, you can buy souvenirs (Asian art, carvings, ornaments, etc.) from Tanglin Shopping Centre.

Singapore Flyer

This location is an absolute must-see, and you definitely need to take a ride in it as well. One of the largest observation wheels in the world, this 165m-tall ferris wheel gives you an eagle’s eye view of Marina Bay (detailed below). You can enjoy half an hour of uninterrupted viewing. The Singapore skyline truly gleams when viewed from this angle and height. Aside from Marina Bay, you can also see the CBD (central business district) skyscrapers, ships on the South China Sea, the Colonial District’s historic edifices, and the Singapore River.Buying your tickets online affords you a discount.

Marina Bay

When it comes to waterfront sightseeing, this is the place to be.

While there are many Singapore resorts worth staying in, the Marina Bay Sands hotel has proven to be in its own league. It can get a tad expensive, though. However, an equally brilliant alternative is Club Mahindra Holidays’ affiliate, namely Parkroyal Hotel Singapore. The resort delivers on its promises and has exceptional experience in Singapore tourism. The complex nearby is a great place to check out more restaurants in Singapore.  Recommendation: Gluttons’ Corner, and its spectrum of open-air food courts. Helix Bridge should definitely be on your list of places to see here, and so too should ‘Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay’. The latter is a performing arts centre where you can catch some interesting shows. Singapore’s very symbol, namely the Merlion statue (half-fish, half-lion), has its physical counterpart standing past the Esplanade. Not only will you find it playing the part of fountain, it will also light up during the sound-and-light show put on by the Marina Bay Sands. From the actual bay itself, the Singapore River is not that far. The same can be said of the 19th century Cavenagh Bridge where you’ll come across sculptures crafted by big names like Botero and Salvador Dalí.

More restaurants and bars await you on Boat Quay, which is a stone’s throw away from Elgin Bridge. As you can see, the Marina Bay connects more than a handful of tourist hotspots, a couple of which are the Asian Civilizations Museum and the Victoria Theatre. Don’t forget to catch sight of the statue of Singapore’s founder, namely Sir Stamford Raffles. Soon after that, you can head on over to the New Supreme Court (designed by the talented Norman Foster) and the gorgeous St. Andrews Cathedral. The colonial-era Raffles Hotel awaits you at last, at which point you can be certain that you have seen everything the Marina Bay area has to offer.

Little India

Several different cultures have influenced and been influenced by Singapore. It comes as no surprise to find ‘Little India’ occupying prime placement in most Singapore tourist guides. From colourful temples to unique sights, smells, and tastes, tourists must definitely check out this place if they want to soak up all things India. The roots of ‘Little India’ in Singapore go back to the 19th century when cattle trading was big. In order to meet the rise in spiritual demands from Indian workers and immigrants who travelled to Singapore at the time, Hindu temples were constructed; and many are still going up today. Modernity has seen Little India branching out into shops, restaurants, florists, and more. The place is not purely Hinduistic. Case in point, check out the Sakya Muni Buddha Gaya Temple; the statue of Buddha inside is spellbinding.

The Taoist Leong San See Temple is also close by, after which a stroll down Little India’s primary thoroughfare, namely Serangoon Road, will take you to even more interesting hotspots. If you like bargain shopping, check out the Mustafa Centre. If you wish to see just one Hindu temple here, don’t forget to visit and explore the Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple. However, the area’s most popular and significant temple is the Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple wherein the Goddess is dutifully worshipped. Again, Little India is an amalgamation of diverse sights and experiences, much like the actual country itself. So don’t be surprised to find mosques here as well. Recommendation: make sure to visit the renowned Abdul Gafoor Mosque. The only Chinese villa to survive the ravages of time can be found here, namely Tan Teng Niah. For some delicious Indian meals, stop by at the Tekka Centre on your way out.

Singapore Botanic Gardens

Time itself will feel like it has stopped when you enter this place. The natural beauty and rich diversity of flora ensure that you get to see so much more than you might have thought possible going in. Inside, you will find the world’s most extensive orchid garden. The National Orchid Garden traces its plant-breeding roots to 1928. There are thousands of common orchid species, and about two thousand hybrid species. You can actually view about six hundred of the lot, with many carrying the names of popular politicians and heads of state. From beautiful lakes (check out Swan Lake, with its imported Amsterdam swans) to perfectly themed gardens, this zone is truly a world in itself.

There is an ancient rainforest in here, ideally protected. A boardwalk lets you see it up close and personal. The forest predates the gardens and contains over 314 plant species, half of which are classified ‘rare’. The Ginger Garden contains 250 versions of the eponymous plant. You can also stop to dine at two well-reviewed restaurants hereabouts. Every Saturday, you can enjoy free themed tours of the Gardens. Stop by Symphony Lake on select occasions to catch some fine opera performances.

Conclusion

Singapore is a pot pourri of experiences just waiting to explode onto your senses. With Club Mahindra Holidays, you are looking at a guarantee to visit more places in a short time. From gorgeous sights to delicious food, actually visiting the Lion City is more soul-satisfying than merely seeing photographs of it. There is much and more to do here than the tourist hotspots detailed above will have you believe. One might even say that the best time to visit Singapore is in the realms of Eternity.

About Mahindra Holidays

Mahindra Holidays & Resorts India Limited (MHRIL), India’s leading player in the leisure hospitality industry, offers quality family holidays as also stated by Club Mahindra Membership Reviews, primarily through vacation ownership memberships. While Club Mahindra is the flagship brand offering Club Mahindra Membership, the other brands offered by the company are – Club Mahindra Resorts Fundays and Svaastha Spa. As on Mar 31, 2019, MHRIL has 61+ resorts across India and abroad and its subsidiary, Holiday Club Resorts Oy, Finland, a leading vacation ownership company in Europe has 33 resorts across Finland, Sweden and Spain. Visit us at www.clubmahindra.com

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