The architects design network for Asia - Australia Bangladesh Cambodia China Hong Kong India Indonesia Japan Korea Laos Malaysia Myanmar New Zealand Philippines Sri Lanka Singapore Taiwan Thailand Tibet Vietnam
asia.gif (1869 bytes)

I construction I design I engineer I products I

head00.gif (4090 bytes)

ch1.gif (448 bytes)ch2.gif (1494 bytes) 



SINGAPORE is an island, country and city-state. Its combination of Western-style development and Eastern-style calm seems to present the best of both hemispheres (bear in mind that its tranquillity is maintained by zero tolerance for what it considers inappropriate behavior). As one of the world�s busiest ports, Singapore is a magnet for shoppers: You�ll find everything from exotic wares to discount electronics. In spite of the regional currency crisis affecting other Asian countries, the Singapore dollar remains relatively constant. Singaporeans are spending less, however, which has led to an increase in sales and other gimmicks to encourage consumer spending.

Where to Stay

The hotels of Singapore combine style and comfort in their efforts to please travelers. Visitors have a wide selection of accommodations, many of which are located around the Central Business District and Orchard Road, the center of the island�s shopping and entertainment. A growing number of smaller, boutique hotels are located just outside the Orchard Road hotel strip. They�re lighter on amenities but heavy on ambience. Many hotels are equipped with standard business centers offering secretarial services and business machines.

If you arrive in Singapore without a prior hotel reservation, go to any of the Singapore Hotel Association counters at the airport. Terminal 1 counters are open Saturday-Thursday 7 am-6 am and Friday 7 am-11:30 pm, while the operating hours for Terminal 2 are Tuesday-Sunday 7 am-3 am, Monday 7 am-11:30 pm.

Below is a sampling of hotels recommended by our correspondents; it is not intended to be a comprehensive list. Expect to pay within the following general guidelines for a single room: $ = S$100-$180; $$ = S$180-$280; and $$$ = more than S$280. Check for special rates extended to business travelers, for conventions or for weekends.


Le Meridien Changi�Set amidst the quiet green surroundings of Changi Village, this hotel is approximately 15 minutes north of Changi Airport and just 25 minutes to the city via the East Coast Expressway. Pool, health club, business center, complimentary shuttle bus (to airport and to the other Le Meridien on Orchard Road). $$. 1 Netheravon Rd., phone 542-7700, fax 542-5295.

Transit Hotels Terminals 1 and 2�For travelers staying only a short time, there are two transit hotels at the airport. Both hotels offer amenities such as a fitness center, sauna and business center where telephone, facsimile and Internet facilities are readily available. $. Terminal 1, phone 542-0321, fax 542-8808; and Terminal 2, phone 542-8122, fax 542-6122.


Goodwood Park Hotel�This architecturally elegant landmark occupies 15 acres/6 hectares of lush gardens on a small hill in the Orchard and Scotts Road area. Designed originally as a clubhouse for the German community in Singapore before 1929. Pools in landscaped gardens, business center. $$$. 22 Scotts Rd., phone 737-7411, fax 732-8558.

Grand Hyatt Singapore�Great central location just outside of the Central Business District, flanked by two major shopping complexes, the Far East Plaza and Scotts Shopping Centre. Pool, health club, gymnasium, aerobic studio, squash courts, tennis courts, business center, Italian restaurant, coffeehouse, bar. $$. 10-12 Scotts Rd., phone 738-1234, fax 732-1696.

Shangri-La Hotel Singapore�Set on 15 acres/6 hectares of lush, landscaped greenery. Enjoy breakfast in the scenic garden while watching tourists walk by. Indoor and outdoor pools, health club, gymnasium, squash courts, tennis courts, golf putt facilities, business center, complimentary shuttle service (to and from Rasa Sentosa Resort). $$$. 22 Orange Grove Rd., phone 737-3644, fax 737-3257.

Four Seasons Hotel Singapore�The Four Seasons� first Pacific Rim hotel. The parklike setting gives it a private, almost residential feel. Direct access to Orchard Road�s entertainment and shopping. $$$. 190 Orchard Blvd., phone 734-1110, fax 733-0682.

Singapore Marriott Hotel�Towering lobby fringed with palm trees, nine new meeting rooms and a sixfold expansion of the business center, pool, health club, gym, tennis courts. The familiar pagoda exterior at the intersection of Orchard and Scotts Roads remains. $$. 320 Orchard Rd., phone 735-5800, fax 735-9800.

Elizabeth Hotel�This boutique hotel is a five-minute walk from busy Orchard Road, sharing the neighborhood with stately private homes and condominiums. Bar, cafe and Italian restaurant. $$. 24 Mount Elizabeth, phone 738-1188, fax 732-3866.


Raffles Hotel�Oldest hotel in Singapore (built in 1886), entirely redecorated and restored in 1991 to its classical grandeur. Luxurious and charming, with 14-ft/4-m molded ceilings, timber floors, Oriental carpets and period furnishings as well as plush private gardens exclusively for guests. Also houses 70 specialty shops and Jubilee Hall, a Victorian-style playhouse featuring audiovisual presentations, plays and cultural events. Don�t miss the Raffles Hotel Museum, showcasing memorabilia, period photography and lithographs. Pools, health club, business center. $$$. 1 Beach Rd., phone 337-1886, fax 339-7650.

The Oriental Hotel�By far the most spectacular view of the Singapore harbor. Located on a prime waterfront site in Marina Square, which is Southeast Asia�s largest shopping complex. Squash courts, tennis courts, health club, business center, pool with underwater piped-in classical music. Jaguars available for guests to and from the airport. $$$. 5 Raffles Ave., Marina Square, phone 338-0066, fax 339-9537.

The Westin Stamford and Plaza�Two Westins enclosed in the same complex. The Westin Stamford was designed by world-renowned architect I. M. Pei. Excellent cuisine can be found at the Palm Grill, the Tea Room and the Inagiku Restaurant. At the Compass Rose restaurant you can capture a 360-degree view of the city. Pool, health club, squash courts, tennis courts, business center. Though smaller, the Westin Plaza has better rooms and more personalized service. Raffles City, the shopping complex that surrounds the hotels, encloses more than 60 stores. $ and $$, respectively. 2 Stamford Rd., phone 338-8585, fax 338-2862.

The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore�Surrounded by 7 acres/3 hectares of lushly landscaped tropical gardens, the unique hotel is designed to �float� 120 ft/37 m above ground, ensuring unobstructed views of the city skyline. Amenities include a fitness center, spa, tennis courts, pool, business center and a private Club Lounge for guests. $$$. 7 Raffles Ave., phone 337-8888, fax 338-0001.


Riverview Hotel�Convenient not only to the business district but also to Chinatown, People�s Park shopping and Orchard Road, this hotel offers spacious rooms with views of the Singapore River. Attractive marble baths, outdoor pool, restaurants, health club, business services, meeting facilities (for 225). $. 382 Havlock Rd., phone 732-9922, fax 732-1034.

Duxton Hotel�Renovated from a row of old shops in the Chinatown district, this boutique hotel is styled after the small, private hotels of London. No resort facilities, but a fine French restaurant with a good wine list. $$. 83 Duxton Rd., phone 227-7678, fax 227-1232.

Rasa Sentosa Resort, Sentosa Island�Owned by the Shangri-La Hotel, Rasa Sentosa is Singapore�s only beachfront hotel. This resort is tucked away at the secluded western end of Sentosa�s 2-mi/3-km stretch of beach, accessible only by ferry or cable car from the World Trade Centre or by bus across the new Sentosa Causeway. Built on the slope of Mt. Siloso, two-thirds of the 459 rooms have sea views; the rest have equally magnificent views of the Siloso Hills. Pool, Jacuzzi, health club, water slide and play area for children, business center, complimentary shuttle service to Orchard Road and World Trade Centre. $$$. 101 Siloso Rd., Sentosa Island, phone 275-0100, fax 275-0355.


Singapore has a well-deserved reputation for satisfying the most discerning gourmet. Cuisines range from spicy Indian favorites and tantalizing Chinese fare to Nonya (a combination of Chinese and Malay) delicacies and the finest in French and Italian cooking.

However, restaurants in Singapore open and close with amazing rapidity and key staff, responsible for a restaurant�s success, job-hop with similar speed. Independent establishments pop up everywhere, in everything from restored shops to warehouses, called godowns. Try visiting one of Singapore�s neighborhood food centers�bazaars with stalls offering food from India, China, Indonesia and Malaysia, at very low prices. The food centers are either open air, with a common area for diners, or air-conditioned food courts occupying the basement or the top level of shopping centers. Two enclaves along the Singapore River�Boat Quay and Clarke Quay�offer more than 35 alfresco establishments serving international fare.

Most food outlets stop serving dinner by 10 pm, although some hotel coffeehouses are open 24 hours. Expect to pay within these general guidelines, based on the cost of dinner for one, not including drinks, tax or tip: $ = less than S$15; $$ = S$15-$30; $$$ = S$30-$75; and $$$$ = more than S$75. Reservations at most of the restaurants are generally not required but are recommended for large groups, on weekends and during public holidays.


Les Amis�A top-rated, Singaporean-managed French restaurant. Signature dishes are gateau de foie gras, souffle and charcoal-grilled rib eye and quail. Excellent wine list. Lunch and dinner are served Monday-Saturday, closed Sunday. $$$. Most major credit cards. Reservations recommended. 1 Scotts Rd., #02-16, phone 733-2225.

Hai Tien Lo�Considered by many to be the best Cantonese restaurant in Singapore, it boasts a menu with prices to match that reputation. If you�re in the mood to splurge and indulge in some authentic Chinese cuisine, try the seafood noodles, mapo dofu (a traditional dish made from soybeans) and the stewed sliced bergamot. If you�re still not satisfied, you can always shell out S$14 for a small pancake with red bean paste for dessert. A wonderful experience in terms of food, service and ambience, but only if you�re prepared to spend. Monday-Saturday noon-2:30 pm and 6:30-10:30 pm, Sunday 11:30 am-2:30 pm and 6:30-10:30 pm. $$$$. Most major credit cards. Weekend reservations recommended. 37/F Pan Pacific Hotel, 7 Raffles Blvd., phone 434-8338.

Tandoor�Popular for its authentic North Indian tandoori dishes cooked (in an earthen oven) with mild but rich spices. An idyllic Mogul garden with a lotus pond is in the center of the room. Indian musicians entertain with sitar, tabla and harmonium. Open daily for lunch and dinner. $$. Most major credit cards. Holiday Inn Parkview Singapore, 11 Cavenagh Rd., phone 730-0153.

Thanying�Top-notch Thai specialties prepared by a former royal chef and served with special care. Open daily for lunch and dinner. $$$. Most major credit cards. Reservations recommended. At two locations: Clarke Quay, #01-143, phone 336-1821; and Amara Hotel, 2nd Floor, 165 Tanjong Pagar Rd., phone 222-4688.

Club Chinois�Fusion cuisine is extremely popular in Singapore, and Club Chinois is definitely one of the reasons for this. Fusion blends East-West ingredients and recipes, resulting in dishes that are as imaginative as their names. Expect to see exotic entrees like roasted marinated rack of lamb with braised five-spice shallots. There�s a well-stocked wine cellar. Daily 11:30 am-2:30 pm and 6:30-10:30 pm. $$$. Most major credit cards. #02-18 Orchard Parade Hotel, 1 Tanglin Rd., phone 834-0660.

Ristorante Bologna�Member of ORPI, an association of top Italian restaurants from around the world. As the name suggests, this restaurant specializes in Northern Italian cuisine, prepared by Italian chef Govanni Ciresa. Select Italian wines complement the meals. Open daily for lunch and dinner, except for Saturday lunch. $$$. Most major credit cards. Reservations recommended. Marina Mandarin Singapore, 6 Raffles Blvd., phone 331-8470.


Shrooms�A distinctly yuppie and expatriate hangout, Shrooms opened in February 1999, adding to the already bustling restaurant and night scene at CHIJMES. Its name comes from its unique menu: Every dish contains mushrooms of some kind. The food served here is fashionably fusion, and signature dishes include the house wrap (chicken, mushrooms and other vegetables in rice paper) with rib eye, lobster, chili and black mushrooms; tandoori salmon with a cucumber-chili raita (yogurt-based relish); and braised veal shank. Monday-Thursday 11:30 am-1 am, Friday and Saturday 11:30 am-3 am. (Food served until 10:30 pm.) $$. Most major credit cards. CHIJMES, West Manor, 30 Victoria St., phone 336-2268.

Mezza9�Everything about this restaurant screams hip and trendy. Even its concept is unique. Nine different dining and entertainment areas are under one roof, all located on the mezzanine floor of the Grand Hyatt�hence the name. You can mix and match from the selection of Japanese, Chinese and Western dishes, including sushi prepared fresh right in front of you. Try the Japanese sashimi or the Chinese dim sum. There�s also an impressive wine list and a martini and cigar bar. Service is sometimes slow because of the crowds, but the chic decor and variety of food more than make up for the wait. Daily noon-2:30 pm, 6-10:30 pm. $$$. Most major credit cards. Grand Hyatt Singapore, 10-12 Scotts Rd., phone 738-1234.


Ivins Restaurant�Economical and good Indonesian, local and Nonya food�fairly hot and very rich, with the mixed influence of Malay and Chinese cooking. Specialties include sotong (cuttlefish or squid) and prawn sambal (prawns in a spicy chili sauce), beef rendang (dry beef curry) and fish head curry. Nonya cakes and desserts are also recommended. $. Most major credit cards. Open daily 11 am-3 pm and 5-9 pm except Thursday. Four locations: 19 Binjai Park, Bukit Timah, phone 468-3060; 396 Alexandra Rd., #02-03 BP Towers, Podium Block (in the busy Alexandra area), phone 276-3721; 207 Upper Thomson Rd., phone 255-2386; and 28 Maju Ave., Serangoon Garden, phone 283-0863.

Blue Ginger�Serves up traditional Peranakan fare like sambal chili prawn and otak otak (fish grilled in banana leaves). Order lots of water or lime juice because the chili factor can be quite unfriendly to foreign taste buds. However, there are several items on the menu for the chili-intolerant: the steamed sea bass Nonya style, tahu (beancurd) and grilled boneless chicken are all pretty safe. For dessert, try the infamous durian chendol, a kaleidoscope of colors and tastes that may not appeal to everyone. Open daily 11:30 am-2:30 pm and 6-9:30 pm. $$. Most major credit cards. Reservations recommended on weekends. Two branches: Heeren Shopping Centre, #05-02, 260 Orchard Rd., phone 835-3928, and 97 Tanjong Pagar Rd., phone 222-3928.

Food Centers (Food Courts)�Take a trip to the indoor food centers and outdoor food hawkers in the suburbs to enjoy a hearty meal typical of Singapore and neighboring Malaysia. Singaporeans are food faddies and take their eating very seriously. The more adventurous visitor can sample the exotic and everyday foods of the Singaporean for as little as S$4 for a complete meal. Try noodles in different styles, Indian breads (prata or chapati) with curries, spicy Malay dishes with rice or savory white radish cakes with eggs and shrimp.

Food centers exist in the city, but they�re more common in the suburbs, where they have their own commercial hubs. They are easily reached via MRT or buses. The fastest and cheapest way to get from Orchard Road to some of the bigger suburban towns like Bedok, Tampines, Tiong Bahru, Yishun or Bishan is to take the MRT to the stations of the same names. Fares will cost no more than S$1.40. To go to East Coast, take Bus 16 to the Parkway Parade Shopping Centre. Open daily. $. No credit cards.

Prices for the same types of food increase as you approach the city center. There, local dishes are served up in air-conditioned food courts, starting at about S$5 or S$6. Food courts are generally found either in the basements or on the top floors of shopping centers. Open daily. $. No credit cards.

Try the gigantic China Square Food Centre at 51 Telok Ayer St., near Boat Quay. It is Singapore�s largest air-conditioned food court and houses over 100 food stalls spread over three floors. Almost every variety of such local foods as beef noodles, fried kway teow (flat noodles) and nasi padang (Malay rice and vegetables) can be found here.

For a huge choice of regional seafood dishes, head out to UDMC Seafood Centre on East Coast Parkway, halfway to the airport. In total, there are eight seafood restaurants there, the most popular ones being Red House Seafood, phone 442-3112, and Long Beach Seafood, phone 448-3636. If you are new to seafood, start with the black pepper crab, steamed sea bass, drunken prawns and hot buns. Reservations required on weekends to avoid extended waits. No buses or trains go there; a taxi ride costs about S$8 from Orchard Road. Daily 11 am-2 am. $. No credit cards.

Lau Pa Sat Festival Market (also known as Telok Ayer Festival Market), is located on Robinson Road beside the Raffles Place MRT station. A huge, non-air-conditioned food center, it sells everything from local food to Japanese and Korean cuisine. At night, a side road next to the food center is closed off and transformed into an open-air food street.

For authentic Chinese food, try People�s Park Complex Food Centre in the heart of Chinatown along Eu Tong Sen Street. Daily 11 am-2 am. $. No credit cards.

Satay Club at Clarke Quay is the present location for many of the hawkers from the original Satay Club at the Esplanade, demolished in 1995. A form of local Malay cuisine, satay is a must-try in Singapore. The mee goreng (fried noodles) and fresh coconuts are also well worth a try. Open daily 4:30 pm-3 am with open-air seating. $. No credit cards.


Salut�Restaurant and wine bar that serves French-Italian cuisine in posh but comfortable surroundings. This place has become a favorite with yuppies and expatriates who come to enjoy the food and the large selection of wines. Because it�s near the Central Business District, many of its clientele are from nearby offices. The grilled baby octopus and lamb shanks are menu highlights. Daily 11:30 am-2:30 pm and 6:30-11:30 pm, except for Sunday lunch. $$$. Most major credit cards. 25 Tanjong Pagar Rd., phone 225-7555.

Prego�Delectable Italian food in an upbeat, casual setting with huge glass windows overlooking the sidewalk. Try the delectable antipasto and the pizza bomba, a Prego original creation of Parma ham and feta cheese. Daily noon-2:30 pm and 6:30-10:30 pm. $$. Most major credit cards. Level 1, The Westin Plaza, 2 Stamford Rd., phone 338-8585.

L�Aigle D�Or�Here�s the reason most people have heard of the Duxton Hotel. Tucked away in a corner of the busy business district, the restaurant is known for its cozy decor and warm and friendly service. The food is light yet tasty, and everything is prepared in an original French style by a chef who hails from Brittany. Open daily noon-2 pm and 7-10 pm. $$$. Most major credit cards. Reservations recommended on weekends. Duxton Hotel, 83 Duxton Rd., phone 227-7678.


House of Sundanese Food�For a satisfying taste of Indonesian cuisine in a casual setting with popular and traditional Indonesian music. Specialties include a range of charcoal grilled dishes. $$. Credit cards. Six days a week 11:30 am-2 pm and 6-10 pm at two locations: 55 Boat Quay (closed Sundays), phone 534-3108, or 218 East Coast Rd. (closed Mondays), phone 345-5020. A third location has longer hours and is open Monday-Friday 11:30 am-3 pm and 6-10 pm. Open Saturday and Sunday noon-3 pm and 5:30-10 pm. Fountain Terrace, #B1-063, Suntec City Mall, phone 334-1018.

The Rice Table�One of the few places in town that serves the Dutch-Indonesian cuisine called rijsttafel. The restaurant is decorated with hand puppets, face masks and carvings to give it an Indonesian feel. Try the buffet or the a la carte menu, but beware of the dishes with the words spicy or chili in them; these are not for the faint of heart or tongue. The tahu telor (bean curd with egg) is excellent, as is the sota ayam (chicken soup). $$. Most major credit cards. Reservations recommended. Open daily noon-2:30 pm and 6-9:30 pm. #02-09, International Building, 360 Orchard Rd., phone 835-3783.

Lei Gardens�A little pricey, but the service and food are legendary. Try the set lunches and dim sum, which leans toward the original Hong Kong dim sum in terms of preparation and taste. Unlike other Chinese restaurants, the food there is light, not too salty and sauces are used sparingly. The atmosphere is quite formal so do dress up. Open daily. $$$. Most major credit cards. #01-24, CHIJMES, 30 Victoria St., phone 339-3822.


Alkaff Mansion�A spacious colonial mansion on a hill in a lush green landscape, with a spectacular view of the Singapore skyline. Continental and Asian cuisine presented beautifully in a large, antiques-filled dining room. Located in the western part of Singapore, the mansion comes alive with romantic music by a violinist or jazz duet. Specialties include rijsttafel, a feast of 13 spicy and aromatic courses inspired by the Indonesians and Dutch. Daily noon-2:30 pm and 7-10 pm. $$$. Most major credit cards. Valet parking. 10 Telok Blangah Green (near the World Trade Centre), phone 278-6979.

Esmirada Mediterranean Restaurant�Located in a refurbished, old Peranakan home. (The Peranakans were descendants of the first wave of Chinese immigrants who settled in the Malay Peninsula and created a distinctive, Chinese-Malay hybrid culture.) The restaurant serves Mediterranean cuisine and wines. Try their garlic-bread baguettes, which are served whole and upright. Open daily 11:30 am-3 pm and 6-10:30 pm. $$. Most major credit cards. 180 Orchard Rd., #01-01/02, phone 735-3476.

Komala Vilas�Definitely one of the best places to go for South Indian vegetarian food. Located right in the heart of Little India. Don�t expect restaurant-style service here, but the prices reflect that: Nothing costs more than a few dollars. Menu highlights include vegetarian favorites such as poori (flour with filling), masala (potato, spices, curry and vegetables) and dhal (lentil curry). There�s also a counter selling traditional snacks and sweets. Be sure to try the tea tarik, which comes with a layer of froth on top. Open daily 7 am-10 pm. $. No credit cards. 12 Buffalo Rd., phone 293-6980.

Crossroads�A very popular alfresco restaurant/cafe with possibly the best location on Orchard Road. Next to the junction of Orchard and Scotts Roads, it�s right in the hub of the shopping district, making it a favorite with both shoppers and people watchers. The menu is simple, with fairly standard Asian and Western fare like Vietnamese spring rolls and club sandwiches. But if you want to relax with a coffee or cold beer and watch Singaporeans from all walks of life, this is the place to be. There�s also an indoor dining area for nonsmokers and those who prefer air-conditioned comfort. Tuesday-Sunday 7 am-12:30 am, Monday until 11 pm. $$. Most major credit cards. Marriott Hotel, 320 Orchard Rd., phone 735-5800.

Compass Rose�Dine in one of the tallest buildings on the island, on the 70th floor of the Westin Stamford Hotel. The 360-degree view of the city and harbor is spectacular and (unfortunately) superior to the Continental cuisine. Nevertheless, it�s still a worthwhile experience. Daily noon-2:30 pm and 6:30-10:30 pm. $$$$. Most major credit cards. 70th Floor, Westin Stamford Hotel, 2 Stamford Rd., phone 338-8585.

Imperial Herbal Restaurant�Chinese cuisine embellished with special medicinal herbs, all prepared by master chefs from China. There�s even a Chinese physician who gives advice on ailments and herbs. The menu also includes tonic soups, tonic liqueur and cooling herbal tea. For the truly adventurous, there�s always scorpions and stewed shin beef. Open daily 11:30 am-2:30 pm and 6:30-10:30 pm. $$. Most major credit cards. Metropole Hotel, 3rd Floor, 41 Seah St. (behind Raffles Hotel), phone 337-0491.


Some of the five-star hotels have 24-hour cafes. Recommended are those at Goodwood Park Hotel (22 Scotts Rd.), Mandarin Hotel (333 Orchard Rd.) and Shangri-La Hotel (22 Orange Grove Rd.). There are also a few Denny�s restaurants that are open 24 hours, are air conditioned, serve Western breakfasts (more selection than McDonald�s) and accept credit cards. These are located at #01-03, Shaw Centre, 1 Scotts Rd., phone 738-3190; #02-08 Orchard Tower, 400 Orchard Rd., phone 734-5363; and #B1-13 Orchard Point, 160 Orchard Rd., phone 235-4301.

For a North American-style breakfast of eggs, toast, pancakes and such, you�re best off at either a hotel restaurant or a fast-food restaurant such as McDonald�s, Burger King or DeliFrance. The more adventurous may want to try what the locals eat for breakfast. Just head for any suburban hawker center where you can choose from dishes including chui kway (round rice cakes), wan ton mee (dumpling noodles), roti prata (Indian bread and curry), Chinese porridge and an assortment of colorful cakes and pastries.


Although a small island, Singapore offers a range of sightseeing options thanks to its ethnic and religious diversity. And not all attractions are associated with modern, urban Singapore: Historical enclaves of the early migrant settlers are found in distant parts of the island. Among the attractions that we feel should not be missed: Little India, Chinatown, Sentosa Island and the city center. Call the 24-hour Touristline, 831-3311, to confirm opening times and admission prices.


The cultures of the early migrants and British colonials�as well as other currents of Singapore�s rich history�have left behind fascinating historical sites. The city center showcases the best of colonial architecture as well as memorials dedicated to the heroes of World War II.

Raffles Hotel. This restored grande dame of the civic district is a must-see. Its grandeur and splendor reflect the days when Somerset Maugham and other members of the colonial elite frequented the establishment. The spacious courtyards, ballroom, the old cake and pastry store and jewelry shops help to re-create the past. The Long Bar, where the Singapore Sling was invented, is accessed through a side entrance, not through the lobby�hotel staff will redirect you. On the third floor, a museum details the history of the hotel. Daily 10 am-10 pm. Free. 1 Beach Rd., phone 337-1886.

Merlion. Half lion and half fish, this mythical creature is the official tourism icon of Singapore. Built in 1972, the grand Merlion statue stands in Merlion Park on Fullerton Road, near the mouth of the Singapore River. If you�re lucky, you may even catch it spouting water from its mouth. There is also a Merlion statue on Sentosa Island where you can climb to the top and enjoy a panoramic view.

Statues of Sir Stamford Raffles. There are two statues in memory of the man who founded modern Singapore in 1819. The original one stands outside the Victoria Concert Hall at Empress Palace and was cast in 1887, while a replica stands behind Parliament House on North Boat Quay, the site where it is believed that Raffles first set foot on the island.

Kranji War Memorial and Cemetery. A peaceful cemetery on a slope overlooking the Straits of Johor, this is a memorial to those Allied forces who lost their lives during the Japanese occupation. Open sunrise to sunset. Free. Woodlands Road, phone 269-6158.

CHIJMES. Formerly the site of the Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus (hence the acronym, pronounced Chimes), CHIJMES is a unique blend of historical architecture and modern restoration. The Gothic Chapel, erected in 1890, is a showcase of plasterwork, delicate wall frescoes and stained glass. This former convent also boasts the Caldwell House with a sunken forecourt, waterfalls and fountains. CHIJMES houses art galleries, boutiques and a lavish selection of restaurants, wine bars and cafes. Tours are conducted Monday-Saturday at 10 am, 2 pm and 4 pm. Free. Victoria Street, phone 337-6564.

Parliament House and Elephant Statue. Colonial architect Sir George Coleman designed what is now the oldest government building standing in Singapore. Built in 1827 to be a private house for a well-known merchant, it is now the home of the Republic�s Parliament. Check out the bronze elephant in front of the building, a gift from Siam�s King Chulalongkorn in 1871. Monday-Friday 9 am-5 pm. Free, but by appointment only with one week�s advance notice required. Parliament Lane, phone 336-8811.

St. Andrew�s Cathedral. Indian convict labor built the cathedral in 1861. During the Japanese occupation in 1942, it was converted into a temporary hospital when the standing hospitals filled. Today, Anglicans worship at this site, and the cathedral offers visitors a tranquil respite from city life. Daily 8 am-6 pm. Free. St. Andrew�s Road, phone 337-6104.

The Istana. A former government house, it�s now the official residence of the elected president of Singapore and the location of the prime minister�s office. The grounds are only open to the public at the president�s discretion, generally on four public holidays: New Year�s Day, first day of the Lunar New Year, Hari Raya Puasa and Deepavali. Check with your hotel or a newspaper for information on opening times. Cavenagh Road, phone 737-5522.

Singapore Cricket Club/Padang. This was the recreation hub of the British during the colonial heyday. Built in 1852, the club has a distinctive bungalow-style architecture. Admire it from the outside�because it�s a private club, there�s no touring inside the building. The historic Padang�the large open area fronting Empress Place, City Hall and the Supreme Court�is open to the public. On weekends, rugby, soccer and even field hockey games are held at the Padang. Connaught Drive, phone 338-9271.


The National Museum. Formerly known as the Raffles Museum, a neoclassic-style building housing a permanent collection of Singapore�s history both before and after the colonial days. It also displays cultural histories of the four main ethnic groups, as well as selected collections from the Southeast Asian countries. Don�t miss the superb Haw Par collection in the Chinese Jades Hall. S$3 adults, S$1.50 children. Tuesday-Sunday 9 am-5:30 pm. 93 Stamford Rd., phone 338-0000.

Lee Kong Chian Art Museum. Some 3,000 pieces of ceramic, jade, bronzeware and Chinese paintings spanning 6,000 years of Chinese history and culture�a must for lovers of Chinese paintings and antiques. Monday-Saturday 9 am-4:30 pm. Free. Block AS6, National University of Singapore, 10 Kent Ridge Crescent, phone 874-6496.

Singapore Art Museum. Housed in the beautifully restored St. Joseph�s Institution building, the first Catholic school established in Singapore, which later became an art school. Opened in 1996, the renovated art gallery showcases 20th-century art from Singapore and Southeast Asia. The E-mage Gallery features art on large, high-definition, visual monitors. Frequent live performances and events spice up the illuminating and spectacular art in the galleries. Tuesdays-Sundays 9 am-5:30 pm. S$3 adults, S$1.50 children. 71 Bras Basah Rd., phone 332-3222.

Asian Civilisations Museum. Opened in 1997, this museum mounts cultural and anthropological exhibits covering the major civilizations of China, India and Southeast Asia, from prehistory to the present day. Tuesday-Sunday 9:30 am-5:30 pm. Guided tours Tuesday-Friday 11 am and 2 pm, Saturday and Sunday 1:30 pm and 3:30 pm. S$3 adults, S$1.50 children. 39 Armenian St. (off Stamford Road near the National Library), phone 375-2510.

Images of Singapore Museum. Interactive exhibits depicting Singapore�s diverse cultural practices and traditions, such as the Festival of the Hungry Ghost and the Thimithi (also known as the fire-walking festival). Sights, sounds and artifacts from Singapore�s past are also on display. Popular attractions include the Pioneers exhibition, Surrender Chambers and the Festivals of Singapore exhibit. Approximately 15 customs practiced by Malay, Chinese, Indian and Peranakan communities on display. Daily 9 am-9 pm. S$5 adults, S$3 children. Sentosa Island, phone 275-0380.

Maritime Museum. A showcase of miniature replicas of early maritime transport, lighthouses and navigational signals and systems. Daily 10 am-7 pm. S$1 adults, children half price. Artillery Avenue, Sentosa Island, phone 275-0598.

Changi Prison Chapel and Museum. One of the lesser-known museums in Singapore. The chapel is a replica of the original built by Allied prisoners of war during World War II. The museum houses photos, sketches and personal items dating back to the Japanese Occupation 1942-1945. Most of the items were donated by former prisoners of war. Open Monday-Saturday 10 am-5 pm. Closed Sunday and public holidays. Free. Upper Changi North Road (left of the main gate at Changi Prison), phone 543-0893.


Singapore Zoological Gardens. Located beside the Mandai Orchid Gardens, this is among the most beautiful zoos in Asia. Natural barriers instead of iron cages contain the animals. The zoo houses 2,800 animals of 216 species, from polar bears to regional fauna. Some 20 orangutans constitute one of the largest social colonies of primates in captivity. Ah Meng, the renowned matriarch of the colony, poses for photos (with an attendant�s help) having lunch or tea with zoo visitors. Daily 8:30 am-6 pm. S$10.30 adults, S$4.60 children. 80 Mandai Lake Rd., phone 269-3411.

Night Safari. A chance to see 1,200 nocturnal animals from more than 100 species at the Zoological Gardens. You can strike out on your own along the walking trail or take a 50-minute tram ride. Nightly 7:30 pm-midnight. S$15.45 adults, S$10.30 children. 80 Mandai Lake Rd., phone 269-3411.

Jurong Bird Park. Spread over 50 acres/20 hectares, this bird park is the habitat of more than 8,000 birds representing 600 species. Most of the birds fly around in unfettered aviaries rather than small cages. Stroll through a tropical rain forest and pass beneath the world�s tallest (100-ft/30-m), cascading waterfall. The Parrot Paradise displays more than 500 parrots. Open Monday-Friday 9 am-6 pm. Saturday, Sunday and public holidays 8 am-6 pm. S$10.30 adults, S$4.12 children. Jalan Ahmad Ibrahim, phone 265-0022.

Jurong Reptile Park. More than 100 species of everybody�s favorite cold-blooded creatures. There also are daily live reptile shows featuring crocodiles, snakes and giant lizards. Located next to the Jurong Bird Park. Open daily 9 am-6 pm. S$7 adults, S$3.50 children (ages 3-7). 241 Jalan Ahmad Ibrahim, phone 261-8866.

National Orchid Garden. More than 60,000 orchid plants make this a must-see. Daily 8:30 am-7 pm. S$2 adults, S$1.00 children. Botanic Gardens, Cluny Road, phone 471-9955.

Chinese and Japanese Gardens.Two beautiful landscaped parks situated side by side. Perfect locations for a picnic or a leisurely morning stroll. Don�t forget to visit the Chinese teahouse. Open Monday-Friday 9 am-7 pm, weekends 8:30 am-7 pm. S$4.50 adults, S$2 children. Yuan Ching Road: Take the MRT to Chinese Garden station, phone 264-3455.

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. A small patch of primeval forest in the central part of the island. It�s also the highest point on the island and one of the more peaceful spots in Singapore. Clearly marked hiking trails and signposts guide the trekker. Open sunrise to sunset. Free. 177 Hindhede Dr., phone 1800-468-5736.

Botanic Gardens. An extensive collection of local and imported trees, shrubs and plants as well as special and rare collections of certain species of flora grouped together: the National Orchid Garden, the rose garden, and the palm and bonsai garden. Open daily sunrise to sunset. Free. Cluny Road, phone 1800-471-7361.

MacRitchie Reservoir Park. A scenic park where monkeys and turtles reside. Also a jogging track, food kiosks, exercise stations and lush vegetation. On weekends it�s often the starting point of national jog-a-thons. Free. Junction of Lornie and Thomson Roads, phone 255-2855.

Ft. Canning Park. A hill in the center of the city, it was originally called Bukit Langaran (Forbidden Hill), possibly because of the rumors that Malay kings of the 14th century were buried there. Archaeological findings from the site are displayed at the National Museum. The park is covered with huge trees and overlooks Clarke Quay and the Singapore River. Free. Ft. Canning Road, phone 332-1200.


Science Centre Planetarium and Omnitheatre. Four breathtaking audiovisual shows engulf viewers: space journeys and overviews of the world�s most fantastic natural wonders. Tuesday-Sunday 10 am-6 pm. Admission: S$15 adults, S$7 children. Omnimax admission: S$10 adults, S$4 children. Planetarium shows: S$6 adults, children half price. 15 Science Centre Rd., Jurong, phone 560-3316. You can book ahead by calling the Science Centre directly.

Underwater World. A large walk-through oceanarium with fine collections of tropical sea and reef life. Glide through the acrylic tunnel with a Travelator (moving sidewalk) for close encounters with some 6,000 marine specimens. You can watch divers feed the stingrays, sharks and gigantic groupers. There�s also a touch pool for feeling the textures of sea cucumbers and starfish. New attractions include special seawalker tours where visitors walk among sharks and fish with the aid of special equipment (S$96 for 30 minutes). Daily 9 am-9 pm. S$13 adults, S$7 children. 80 Siloso Rd., Sentosa Island, phone 275-0030.

Coralarium/Nature Ramble. Also on Sentosa Island, on the eastern end, the Coralarium houses 300 species of live coral and marine life, more than 2,500 shells from different parts of the world and a turtle pool. See the varieties of birds at Macaw Hill and Kite�s Aviary or feed monkeys at the Monkey�s Playground. Great attraction for the kids. Daily 9 am-7 pm. S$1.50 adults, S$0.50 children. First Garden Avenue, Sentosa Island, phone 275-0250.


Haw Par Villa. Singapore�s original theme park is based on Chinese legends and offers some breathtaking and (at times) scary sights. See the mythical Ten Courts of Hell and witness the legend of Lady White Snake as depicted by intricate statuettes. Theatrical performances of Chinese legends (in English), film shows and a moralistic tableau. Daily 9 am-6 pm. S$5 adults, S$2.50 children (includes entrance to the three audiovisual shows, two water rides and more). 262 Pasir Panjang Rd., phone 774-0300.

Fantasy Island. One of Asia�s largest water theme parks. 32 funny ways to get wet. Open Friday-Sunday and public holidays 10 am-7 pm. Open daily during school holidays (June and December). S$20 adults, S$12.50 children under age 12, under age 4 free. 11 Sentosa Island, East Mall, Sentosa Island, phone 275-1088.

Singapore Discovery Centre. Not to be confused with the Science Centre, the S$70 million Discovery Centre features hi-tech exhibits like virtual parachuting, a motion simulator and an interactive display showing the development of military technology. Exhibits also showcase some of Singapore�s milestones and achievements. Open Tuesday-Friday 9 am-7 pm. Weekends and public holidays 9 am-8 pm. Tickets sold until one hour before closing time. S$9 adults, S$5 children. 510 Upper Jurong Rd., phone 792-6188.

Sijori Wondergolf. Singapore�s only miniature theme golf park. Consists of 45 uniquely landscaped putting greens. Knowledge of golf is not required, and the courses are suitable for children. Daily 9 am-9 pm. S$8 adults, S$4 children. Sentosa Island, phone 275-0380.


Chingay Festival. A street parade that traditionally rounds off the two-week-long Lunar New Year festivities in February. In recent years the parade has found a new home on Orchard Road. The entire stretch is closed off to traffic and transformed into a colorful and cosmopolitan procession of floats, marching bands and cultural performances from all over the world, including lion and dragon dances. A favorite event for both locals and foreigners alike.

Thaipusam. One of Singapore�s most sacred and fascinating rituals, observed annually by the Hindu faith. From as early as 5 am devotees gather at the Perumal Temple on Serangoon Road and begin preparation for an awe-inspiring procession that lasts the whole day. Those serving penance carry huge semicircular steel frames, or kavadis, with spikes and hooks that rest against, or even pierce, their backs, shoulders and arms. Their cheeks, tongues, hands and feet may also be pierced with skewers, and it is not uncommon for them to walk a few kilometers in this manner while friends and family members rally around them and sing songs of encouragement. Other rituals include fire walking, fasting and praying. Thaipusam is celebrated in the tenth month of the Hindu calendar, always on a full moon and usually in January or February.

Festival of Arts. Held over a few weeks during May and June, this festival features both local and international acts in drama, dance and music. There�s also a festival fringe that features artists performing at shopping malls for free. Tickets generally cost S$15-$60 for the main festival although some special performances may cost more. Regular venues like Victoria Theatre (Empress Place, phone 338-8283) and Kallang Theatre (Stadium Walk, phone 345-8488) are used, and tickets are available at these theaters or through ticket brokers such as SISTIC, phone 348-5555.

Singapore International Film Festival. Hundreds of films are screened throughout the monthlong festival in April to celebrate both Asian and international cinema. Single tickets for most individual films cost S$8 and are available at theater box offices. For more information, check the festival program, which is printed three weeks prior to the start of the festival.

Great Singapore Sale. A sale to top dozens of sales already found in Singapore. A monthlong event held in June, this is an islandwide sale that has just about every retailer inside and outside of Orchard Road slashing prices and offering special promotions.


Clarke Quay. On the bank of the Singapore River, a popular food and entertainment enclave. The 176 godowns (warehouses) and rundown shophouses have been turned into air-conditioned, trendy shops�enough of them to bewilder the most avid shopper. Daily 10 am-9 pm. Enjoy alfresco dining while you take in street performances such as the Traditional Chinese Street Opera. Off River Valley Road, phone 337-1680. Clarke Quay can be reached via river taxi from Clifford Pier (Boat Quay), 11 am-10 pm, with tickets ranging S$1-$2. Clarke Quay, 3E River Valley Rd. #01-13, phone 337-3292.

Boat Quay off Raffles Place. For a vibrant dining experience, head out to Boat Quay as the sun sets. Restaurants and bars lining the waterfront serve an array of food and drink from around the world. Mix with local office workers from the financial district as they let off steam at the end of the day.

Holland Village. A favorite hangout for expatriates and youths, Holland Village offers a mix of both old and new�old coffee shops and hawker stalls jostle for space with ritzy new wine bars and restaurants. Make sure to visit the many shops selling unique ethnic handicrafts and antiques.


Many of Singapore�s top attractions are best enjoyed on foot. Established trails and walking maps are available at the tourist offices and entrances to the attractions.

Chinatown Walk (South Bridge/New Bridge Roads with Smith Street/Trengannu Street and Sago Lane). Chinatown is the heart of the Chinese community. In the early days, many of the townsfolk who lived there worked in the ports and godowns by the Singapore River. However, Indian and Muslim temples and mosques are interspersed among the Chinese surroundings, evoking the interesting and harmonious mix of peoples that goes back far in time. Walking through the lanes of shops, you encounter grocers selling abalone, dried seahorses, fish, birds� nests, shark fins and fruit, and you meet calligraphers, fortune-tellers and makers of Chinese lanterns, screens, big-headed dolls and masks. An attraction in this vicinity is Sri Mariamman Temple, the largest Hindu temple in Singapore (the Thimithi Fire Walking Festival takes place there). A vivid introduction to Hindu religious practices. Remove your shoes when entering the temple. Daily 8 am-6 pm. Free. South Bridge Road.

Arab Street Walk. The Arab Street area was the enclave of the early Arab settlers, many of whom were wealthy merchants and traders. Sir Stamford Raffles encouraged the first Arab settlers to reside near the sultan�s residence in the early 1820s. The walkways on both sides of the busy street are packed with vendors selling fabrics, spices and condiments, basketry, leather and clothing bargains. Some of the original shops are still there, but major renovations have done away with the older, more historic buildings. You�ll probably be disappointed with nearby Bugis Village. Originally an infamous transvestite paradise, the Village has been completely revamped, so it has lost its historicism. Now it�s just another food and shopping center without its original soul.

Little India Walk. The place to go for cheap and good restaurants, Hindu temples, fortune-tellers with parrots, flower-garland vendors, backroom goldsmiths, colorful sari shops, grinders of aromatic spices. Best times to visit Little India are in January or February during the Hindu Thaipusam festival, and in October during the Deepavali celebrations, when the entire area is decorated with lights and candles. Some highlights of the walking tour in the Serangoon Road vicinity include the following:

Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple�Dating back to 1855 and gazetted as a national monument. Devotees leave the temple during the Thaipusam Festival in January and carry their steel kavadis (richly decorated shrines to the god Muruga) for about 2 mi/3 km to the Chettiar Temple in Tank Road. Daily 8 am-6 pm. Free.

Sakya Muni Bhudda Gaya Temple�Known as the Temple of a Thousand Lights, and one of the very few Theravada Buddhist temples in Singapore. Houses a 300-ton Buddha, illuminated by colored lights. Daily 8 am-6 pm. Free.

Zhujiao Centre�Known locally as KK (Kandang Kerbau) Market and the center of Little India. The ground floor is an open-air market for fresh foods and vegetables (daily 7 am-noon). There�s also a food center (daily 7 am-9 pm) and several shops (daily 9 am-8 pm) selling clothing and trinkets at bargain prices. At the beginning of Serangoon Road.

Serangoon Plaza�Dubbed the Jewel of Little India, it�s a modern, air-conditioned complex with plenty to offer shoppers and gourmets. It boasts some of the best North and South Indian food. Two major department stores housed in the plaza sell everything from exotic Indian imports to very competitively priced electrical goods. A bargain floor of smaller shops has assorted goods at great prices. Daily 9 am-8 pm. Serangoon Road.


A variety of both day and night tour packages is available for all tastes and budgets. Major hotels have tour agents who can help you book tours. Two reputable tour operators who are represented at major hotels are Sight Seeing Tour East, phone 332-3755, and RMG Tours, phone 220-1661. For information on other tour guides, call the Registered Tourist Guides Association at 339-2110.

The following are some of the more popular tour packages available from the companies listed above:

City Tours. Individual packages vary, but most offer a visit to Chinatown (some include Serangoon Road, also known as Little India), a drive through the busy shopping district of Orchard Road and the Central Business District, a view of the city from Mt. Faber or a walk through the Botanic Gardens. The half-day tour usually begins at 9 am or 2 pm. Between S$21-$25 for adults, half price for children.

Heritage/Historical Tours. Some highlights of these tours include the Founding Footsteps of Raffles, Raffles Nostalgia, a visit to the 150-year-old Thian Hock Keng Temple in Chinatown or a visit to some of Singapore�s cultural enclaves.

Round Island Tours. Packed with a whole day of activities, these popular tours explore the contrasting cultures of Singapore. Individual tours vary, but most will unveil the cultural diversity of Singapore and feature the Malay, Indian, Chinese and Peranakan heritage. Average cost S$60 (including meals), children half price.

Cruises. One of the best ways to take in the waterfront and harbor where Singapore�s history as a vital trade port began. Catch the Singapore skyline bathed in twilight and the contrast between the serene little islands and the vibrant city streets. Choose from bumboats jaunting up the river to luxurious ultramodern cruisers. Some of these include meals and/or activities such as discos. Check with your hotel�s front desk for schedules and prices.

Bumboat Cruise. Take a cruise down the Singapore River in an authentic bumboat for a glimpse of Singapore�s history. The cruise lasts 30 minutes and will take you along Clifford Pier and Boat Quay. Service operates daily 9 am-10:30 pm. S$10 adults, S$4 children. Clarke Quay jetty, phone 339-6833. Another bumboat cruise operator is Singapore River Cruises and Leisure, phone 227-9678 or 227-8675.


Singapore�s reputation as the shopping capital of Southeast Asia has eroded a bit, but it�s still a treat for most consumers. The city is an international marketplace of jewelry, sporting goods, fashions, watches, cameras, electronics, Asian artifacts and curios. It�s easy to go overboard in Singapore. Keep in mind that, while there are bargains to be had, not every purchase will be a fantastic deal (it has fallen behind Hong Kong in this regard). Its strong suit is the sheer quantity and variety of merchandise available. Also, certain products are marketed in Singapore before they hit Malaysia, Indonesia and other countries in the region.

To make the most of a trip to Singapore, know exactly what big-ticket item you want before you leave home (including the model and make) and take note of what it costs at home when it�s on sale. Once in Singapore, don�t buy unless the item is far enough below the sale price to justify shipping or carrying it back and possibly paying import duty.

International warranties can be obtained for many goods, usually for a 12-month period. Read the conditions carefully. Check that warranty cards are originals and that they are filled in correctly and endorsed with the shop�s stamp. Most shops do not give cash refunds, but you can exchange for products of similar value if you have the receipt.

Fixed prices are the rule at department stores and at an increasing number of other outlets. Bargaining is mostly confined to smaller stores. When bargaining in a flexible-price store, begin by asking the retailer for his �best price� and then make your counteroffer. Once you agree on a price with the shopkeeper, you�re not expected to back out, so don�t be hasty and make an offer unless you�re serious about buying. Generally you can expect to save from 10%-50% through bargaining.

It�s advisable to shop in stores displaying the red and white Merlion sticker in their window�this indicates they are part of the Good Retailer Scheme, supported by the Singapore tourism authorities. Be on guard against touts of free shopping tours, special discounts or pirated goods (such as CDs or software). Upon reentry to your home country, pirated goods may be confiscated. If you think that you have been shortchanged or treated unfairly, you can contact the Consumer�s Association of Singapore, phone 270-5433. A list of errant retailers is compiled by the Singapore Tourist Promotion Board and published in the monthly Singapore Official Guide.

The most internationally famous shopping district in Singapore is the Orchard Road shopping belt, with major shopping centers such as Ngee Ann City, Shaw House, Centrepoint and the Heeren. Elsewhere, other big shopping complexes include Suntec City, Raffles City and Marina Square, all located just outside the Orchard area, and Parco Bugis Junction at Bugis MRT station. Most stores and shopping centers are open 10 am-10 pm seven days a week. If you venture out to the suburbs, the prices will be cheaper and the ambience less touristy. The major suburban shopping centers are Tampines, Bishan, Jurong East and Yishun, which are linked on the MRT subway line from Orchard Road.


Tanglin Shopping Centre is perhaps the best place for unusual and rare antiques such as Chinese snuff bottles, jade, ivory, silverware and bronze Buddha images. Tanglin Road, phone 737-2494.

Nonya and Peranakan antiques (a blend of Malay and Chinese cultures) are found along Peranakan Place and Cuppage Road (beside the Centrepoint shopping complex on Orchard Road). Other areas include Smith Street and Temple Street in Chinatown (New Bridge Road). Two other places to try for Peranakan and Chinese antiques are River Valley Road and Katong. Holland Village (at Holland Road, outside the Orchard Road area) is a source for Korean chests, Dutch brass lamps from Melaka, old jewelry and ancient lamps. Shops are open daily 9 am-8 pm. Eclectic Attic along Butik Timah Road stocks everything from antiques to quaint flea market finds like intricately beaded handbags and Peranakan antiques. Daily 11 am-8 pm. 186 Bukit Timah Rd., phone 732-7356.


Singapore is a good place to shop for computer hardware and software, as well as electronic goods. The best places to go are Sim Lim Square and Sim Lim Tower, located opposite each other along Rochor Road. Shops there expect you to bargain, so don�t settle for the first price quoted. Always insist on an international warranty that is properly endorsed by the retailer. Beware of fly-by-night pirated software shops, although these are slowly being wiped out by the authorities. For computer software, try Challenger Superstore on the sixth floor of Funan Centre, phone 336-7747.


Takashimaya is the island�s largest department store, famous for its high-quality merchandise, fashions and jewelry. Daily 10 am-9:30 pm. In Ngee Ann City (shopping complex), Orchard Road, phone 738-1111.

Considering the number of big shopping complexes in Singapore, being able to carry the tag of the �largest of them all� is quite a feat. Suntec City Mall is so big that there are even buggies going around bringing people from one end to the other (it takes 20 minutes to walk). There are retail shops, entertainment centers, two supermarkets (including the massive Carrefour) and in the basement there�s Fountain Court, where dozens of food outlets and restaurants surround the world�s largest fountain. Open daily 10 am-10 pm, at the junction of Raffles Boulevard and Nicoll Highway, opposite the Marina Mandarin Hotel.


Borders Bookstore is by far the biggest and best-stocked bookstore in Singapore. It has a huge collection of international and Asian books and periodicals, as well as a music CD section. Unlike most other bookstores in Singapore, the books are unwrapped so you can browse before you decide to buy. Open Monday-Friday 10 am-11 pm and till midnight on weekends. First floor, Wheelock Place, Scotts Road and Orchard Road junction, phone 235-7146.

There are two major bookstore chains: MPH and Times the Bookshop. Three of the larger MPH bookstores are located at Stamford Road, phone 336-3633; Level 4, Wisma Atria, Orchard Rd., phone 835-0039; and Robinson Road, phone 222-6423. Two of the larger Times stores include Centrepoint #04-08, phone 734-9022, and Raffles City Shopping Centre #02-24/25, phone 339-3787. Generally, hours are 10 am-9 pm.

Sunny Bookshop is a small but fairly comprehensive store that specializes in rentals and secondhand books. The woman who owns the shop always greets you with a smile. If you go there often enough, she�ll even remember your name. Open Monday-Saturday 10 am-8 pm, closed on alternate Sundays and public holidays. Far East Plaza, #03-58/59, Scotts Rd., phone 733-1583.


Kreta Ayer Wet Market. Named after the water carts that used to deliver water (the water station used to be nearby), this Chinatown market sells exotic fresh meat and produce. Arrive early (6 am or earlier) to watch local housewives bargain for such freshly prepared meats as turtles, frogs, black-skinned chicken and eels. Sample local fruit and ask about the bewildering array of Asian greens. A huge food center above the market offers local breakfast cuisine before or after your market tour. In Chinatown, at Kreta Ayer and Keong Siak Roads.

Telok Ayer Festival Market (also known as Lau Pa Sat Festival Market) was a fish market before its transformation to the current lively food and entertainment center. An elegant, octagonal, cast-iron Victorian structure contains several kiosks selling art and handicrafts from 9 am-8 pm. Evenings the adjoining Boon Tat Street is closed to traffic from 7 pm-2 am to make way for mobile hawkers selling an array of foods. In the Central Business District, bordered by Raffles Quay, Cross Street, Robinson Road and Boon Tat Street.


Clarke Quay is a restored leisure and entertainment center on the banks of the Singapore River where old shops and warehouses have been transformed into air-conditioned individual shops. You can find curios, handicrafts, antique furniture, factory outlets and even a huge teddy bear shop. Outdoors, there�s a Sunday flea market with more than 70 stalls selling secondhand goods and knickknacks and pushcarts selling ethnic jewelry and souvenirs every day. Shops are open daily 11 am-9 pm; the flea market is 9 am-5 pm every Sunday. Off River Valley Road, phone 337-3292.

Raffles Hotel shopping arcade is the place to go if you�re in the mood for brandishing that credit card. Otherwise, stay clear; only top international brands are sold there. The Raffles Hotel charm makes it a worthwhile shopping experience that is different from the glitzy and modern malls of Orchard Road. Shops are open daily 11 am-9 pm, behind Raffles Hotel on Beach Road.


Chinatown, located behind Singapore�s Central Business District, is the place to find exotic medicinal potions, pottery and porcelain, painted masks, waxed paper umbrellas, lacquerware from China and artifacts from all over Asia.

Yue Hwa is a Chinese emporium selling everything from silk cheongsams to embroidered napkins. Daily 11 am-9:30 pm. Phone 538-4222.

Little India (along Serangoon Road) is a sensual feast with its spicy aromas, ornate temples and exotic street sounds. You can buy almost anything that�s Indian�Kashmir silk, glittering saris, amulets, jeweled bridal ornaments, bangles, ankle chains and other adornments. Chella�s Gallery specializes in papier-mache boxes and other collectibles from Kashmir. At Mohammed Mustaffa & Samsuddin Company, you�ll find floor after floor selling every conceivable item at some of the lowest fixed prices in Singapore. Arab Street is filled with textile shops selling fabrics from around the world, bargain leather and all sorts of bric-a-brac.

Bugis Village is as close to a pasar malam (night market) as you can find in modern Singapore. Shops there sell everything from CDs to clothes to hand-held computer games and toys. Expect loud music and hawkers touting their wares, but there�s a good array of food stalls selling traditional snacks such as dragon beard candy and hot buns. Things really come to life only between 7 pm and midnight. Located just outside Bugis MRT station.


Singapore sparks after dark, offering rock bands, jazz bands and deejays spinning the latest chart toppers. Sing along with your favorites at the karaoke lounges. Nightspots are mostly concentrated on Orchard Road and its outskirts, in the River Valley area and in the Tanjong Pagar District (south of Chinatown). Holland Village is an upper-class and expatriate suburb farther from the city center, along Holland Road. This small commercial district has an eclectic mix of restaurants (Australian, Italian, Mediterranean, Japanese) and a splash of bars. To get there, you can always hop in a cab and ask to be taken to �Holland V.�

Pubs within crawling distance of one another are clustered in Peranakan Place (Emerald Hill Road, just off Orchard Road opposite Specialist Shopping Center), the CHIJMES complex (a former Catholic convent on Victoria Street), Clarke Quay and the traffic-free enclave on the riverside, Boat Quay. Locals are known to pub crawl until early morning and then settle down to breakfast in a suburban food center once the subways and buses start running again at 6 am.

Most hotels have their own discos or nightclubs, as well as bars and lounges open to the public. Discos generally charge a cover that includes the price of the first drink, although many hotels with their own discos admit house guests free. Happy hours are usually between 5 and 8 pm. Cover charges (applicable only after happy hours) vary between weeknights and weekends. Check the papers or call the establishment for live performances. Dress code for most places is usually �smart casual,� which means jeans, shoes and a collared shirt are acceptable.


The entertainment scene in Singapore is highly competitive. Clubs go in and out of business all the time so they try to cram as much action as possible into whatever space they have. Larger establishments have live music, dancing, food, karaoke rooms and multiple bars. In general, clubs close around 1 am on weekdays and 2 am on weekends and holidays. Sometimes the doors are closed at the official closing time, but the party carries on inside.

Your entire nightlife could revolve around three clubs in Peranakan Place that attract local yuppies, expats and tourists alike�Number Five, Que Pasa and Ice Cold Beer. Number Five is a full-service bar with live jazz upstairs. Try their very potent vodka concoctions with Chinese herbs or hot peppers. Que Pasa is a Spanish-style wine bar pouring wines by the glass. Two wines chosen as special wines-of-the-month are served with a cheese platter. A good selection of cigars and cognacs and tapas and fresh oysters are also available. Ice Cold Beer has an enormous selection of beers from around the world, served perfectly chilled. 5, 7 and 9 Emerald Hill Rd. off Orchard Road. Number Five, phone 732-0818; Que Pasa, phone 235-6626; Ice Cold Beer, phone 735-9929.

Harry�s Quayside. One of the best places to hear live jazz in Singapore. Harry�s often features accomplished international and local jazz musicians playing together, and customers also are encouraged to play on stage. Open until 1 am on weekdays and 2 am on weekends. 28 Boat Quay, phone 538-3029.

Somerset�s Bar. On a par with Harry�s for live jazz, this bar was named after writer Somerset Maugham and it boasts of having the longest bar in Singapore, with over 150 varieties of liquor on display. Open daily 5 pm-2 am, happy hour 5-8:30 pm daily. Level 3, The Westin Plaza Hotel, 2 Stamford Rd., phone 338-8585.

Crazy Elephant. A live blues band performs every night except Mondays. Impromptu jam sessions every Sunday give visitors and regulars a chance to play with other musicians. Open weekdays 5 pm-1 am and until 2 am on weekends. #01-07 Clarke Quay, 3E River Valley Rd., phone 337-1990.

Fabrice�s World Music Bar. When bands are booked, this is a great place for live world music�from Latin to reggae. Otherwise, disco dominates. Decor includes batik-print and ikat-weave cushions, Aztec-inspired drawings and Persian rugs. A hangout for local and Filipina women (�Sarong Party Girls�) who hope to meet Western men. Full bar. Monday-Friday 5 pm-3 am, Saturday and Sunday 7 pm-3 am. No live entertainment on Monday. Wednesday night for members only. Happy hour 5-8 pm. Cover charge Sunday-Thursday S$17, Friday and Saturday S$23. Most major credit cards. Basement of Marriott Hotel, 320 Orchard Rd., phone 738-8887.


Zouk. Zouk means �village party� in French-Caribbean. Three old warehouses alongside the Singapore River have been transformed into an entertainment complex where you can wine, dine and party under one roof. Moorish-style disco or soothing music at the wine bar. Full bar. Open Wednesday-Thursday until 2 am, Friday and Saturday until 3 am. Cover charge is S$10 Wednesday and Thursday; S$20 women, S$25 men on weekends. Most major credit cards. 17 Jiak Kim St., phone 738-2988.

Phuture. Sharing the same building with Zouk, this club has its own entrance and prices. Designed as a chill-out place away from the thronging masses. An eclectic mix of music that includes drum and bass, garage and experimental dance music. Keep in mind that the dancing area becomes claustrophobic on weekends. Open Wednesday and Thursday until 2 am, weekends until 3 am. Happy hour 6-9 pm. Cover charge is S$23 women, S$28 men. Most major credit cards. 17 Jiak Kim St., phone 738-2988.

Velvet Underground. Originally established for Zouk regulars who felt a bit too old for the main disco. The crowd here is older, more yuppie-ish, but just as trendy and well dressed as the younger crowd. The walls are covered with velvet and artwork, and the bar and furniture are all specially designed by European and Japanese designers. Open Wednesday and Thursday until 2 am, weekends until 3 am. Cover charge is S$25 women, S$35 men. Tuesday and Thursday are Ladies Nights (no cover charge for women). 17 Jiak Kim St., phone 738-2988.

Venom. The disco in town for those who want to see and be seen. It boasts futuristic decor and a state-of-the-art sound and lighting system spread over a main deck and an upper deck, which has a sushi bar in case you get hungry while dancing the night away. Open Tuesday-Saturday until 3 am, Sunday until 1 am. Cover charges apply after 9:30 pm: Tuesday-Thursday and Sunday S$20 and Friday and Saturday S$25. Pacific Plaza, 12th Floor, 9 Scotts Rd., phone 734-7677.

China Jump. One of the stars of the vibrant night scene at the beautifully refurbished CHIJMES. A Hong Kong-based restaurant serving Western-style grill in the evening, the place becomes a disco at around 10 pm and transforms into one of Singapore�s hottest nightspots. One advantage to its design is that you can escape to the cool night air of the courtyard outside when the dancing atmosphere becomes too overwhelming. Top-40 music and a young crowd. Long lines form on weekends so be sure to get there early. #B1-07, Fountain Court, CHIJMES, phone 338-9388.


Bonne Sante is housed in the CHIJMES complex, which used to be a Catholic convent. Besides a regular full-service bar, Bonne Sante has an extensive wine list and finger food dining. There�s limited seating indoors, but a large alfresco area. The CHIJMES complex also presents performances of poetry, plays and music in the former chapel, which is decorated with restored stained glass. Gourmet food shops, art galleries, restaurants, an Irish pub and other establishments occupy the rest of the complex. CHIJMES, 30 Victoria St., phone 338-1801.

Beaujolais Wine Bar is located inside an old Chinese shophouse. Painted in garish lucky red, it�s a favorite with advertising executives whose offices are nearby. There�s no wine list�the wines are displayed on the shelves for the customers� selection. Beer, coffee, cheeses and pate are available as well. 1 Ann Siang Hill, phone 224-2227.

The Long Bar. The original Singapore Sling was invented at the Raffles Hotel, and now the drinks are sloshed out of pitchers premade. The Long Bar still has a retro port-city feel as peanut shells are flung on the floor and crunched underfoot. Sunday-Thursday 11 am-1 am, Friday and Saturday 11 am-2 am, happy hour 6-9 pm. No cover. Most major credit cards. 2nd Floor, Raffles Hotel, 1 Beach Rd., phone 337-1886.

Father Flanagan�s Irish Pub has been a mainstay of the exuberant CHIJMES night scene for the last few years. Although there�s nothing really Irish about it except for the occasional shamrock, locals and expats alike flock to the pub for a pint of Guinness or Kilkenny. It can get rather crowded during the weekends, but the good thing about being at CHIJMES is you�ll never run out of places to go. If you�re lucky, you may even catch a traditional Irish band performing. Sunday-Tuesday 11 am-midnight, Wednesday and Thursday 11 am-1 am, Friday and Saturday 11 am-2 am. Most major credit cards. #B1-06 CHIJMES, 30 Victoria St., phone 333-1418.


Observation Lounge. On the 38th floor of the Mandarin Singapore Hotel, the lounge offers a tremendous view of the island while you sip your cocktails, especially at night. Open daily 11 am-11 pm, weekends until 2 am. Mandarin Singapore Hotel, 333 Orchard Rd., phone 737-4411.

Tongkang Ubin. A floating pub on a boat permanently anchored in the Singapore River at Clarke Quay, Tongkang Ubin offers a unique alternative to the normal pubs and lounges. Open daily 7 pm-2 am. Clarke Quay, phone 337-3292 or 433-0148.

Dancers. This club prides itself on being the only place in town with nightly dance revues and theme performances. Dancers are hired for short two-week stints, so performances change frequently and vary from Egyptian to African to Broadway themes. Open Monday-Friday 6 pm-3 am and weekends 8 pm-3 am. 3A Merchant�s Court, Clarke Quay, River Valley Road, phone 333-5535.

Brewerkz. A microbrewery that makes its own beer and ale. Observe the brewing process within the factory-like interior, and even carry home a keg or two for private parties. Open weekdays and Sundays noon-1 am, Saturdays until 3 am. Located on the ground floor of Riverside Point, #01-05, 30 Merchant Rd., phone 438-7438.


The Singapore Sports Council coordinates and organizes various sporting activities throughout the year. Sports fans can call the council for details at 345-7111. It can also provide information on bicycling trails, swimming pools, and squash and scuba facilities.


Golf�s popularity is increasing in affluent Singapore. Most private golf clubs allow nonmembers to play for a special fee, ranging between S$50 and S$200. Check on reciprocal membership arrangements in your home country before leaving, and then check with your hotel on arrival. It may be possible to arrange access to one of the following private clubs.

Changi Golf Club offers a nine-hole, par-68 course. Open to the public Monday-Friday 8 am-5 pm. S$80. Netheravon Road, phone 545-5133.

Keppel Club features an 18-hole, par-72 course. Open to the public Monday-Friday 7-11 am. S$120. Bukit Chermin Road, phone 273-5522.

Raffles Country Club has two 18-hole (par-71 and par-69) courses. Members only. Monday-Friday 7 am-6:30 pm. S$120. 450 Jalan Ahmad Ibrahim, phone 861-7655.

Sentosa Golf Club features an 18-hole, par-72 course. Members only. Monday-Friday 8 am-6 pm. S$220. Sentosa Island, phone 275-0022.

Singapore Island Country Club offers two 18-hole, par-72 courses. Nonmembers welcome. Daily 8 am-10 pm. S$200. 180 Island Club Rd., phone 459-2222.

Orchid Country Club is a public course. Monday-Sunday 7:30 am-10 pm (except the first and third Monday of every month when it opens at noon). S$11 for 125 balls, S$3 for a golf club. 1 Orchid Club Rd., phone 755-9811.

Superbowl Golf and Country Club. A public course nearer to the city. Monday-Sunday 7 am-11 pm. S$8 for 112 balls, S$4 for a golf club. 6 Marina Green (Marina South), phone 221-2811.

Gary Player Golf Academy. Open to the public with classes for beginners as well as other levels. Monday-Sunday 7 am-11 pm. S$120 for 18-hole course, S$130 for playing course at night. Jurong Country Club, 9 Science Center Rd., phone 568-5118.


Most major hotels have health clubs offering a complete range of services and facilities, including full-scale gyms, swimming pools, tennis courts, saunas and massage services.

Clark Hatch International Physical Fitness Centre, for example, provides gym equipment, pool, a Jacuzzi and sauna. Facilities are free for guests. About S$21 per day for nonmembers. Singapore�s only 24-hour facility on the third floor of the Hotel Inter-Continental, 18 Middle Rd., Bugis Junction, phone 431-1199. A second branch is located on the fourth floor of the Orchard Hotel. Open Monday-Friday 7 am-10 pm, weekends 7 am-7 pm. 442 Orchard Hotel, phone 739-6783.

Bronx Gym has gym facilities and aerobics. Monday-Friday 7 am-10 pm, weekends 9 am-6 pm. S$20 per day. 28B, Boat Quay, phone 538-8908.


Sungei Buloh Nature Park. Early morning is the best time to visit this ecologist�s and bird-watcher�s haven, hidden in the backwaters of Kranji (on the north-northwest side of the island, at the edge of mangrove swamps). You�re able to watch tree dwellers, sea eagles and more. A mangrove catwalk allows for exploration of mudflats teeming with life. You can also explore the various walking trails. Wear sun protection, insect repellent and walking shoes. Guided tours by staff and volunteers are available for groups and cost S$2 for each member of the group. Monday-Friday 7:30 am-7 pm, Saturday and Sunday and public holidays 7 am-7 pm. Admission S$1 adults, S$0.50 children. Free maps. Binoculars are available for rental at S$5 from the visitors center. Phone 794-1409.


Many hotels have their own tennis courts. Public tennis and squash courts are also available:

Kallang Tennis and Squash Centre is open daily 7 am-10 pm. The center charges about S$5 per hour on weekdays, S$10 per hour on the busier weekends for tennis. For squash, expect to pay S$3 per hour on weekdays and S$5 per hour on weekends. Stadium Road, phone 348-1291 (tennis center), 440-6839 (squash center).

Singapore Tennis Centre is open daily 9 am-10 pm. S$8.50 per hour (off peak), S$12 per hour 6-9 pm. Weekend rates are S$12 per hour. East Coast Parkway, phone 442-5966.


Good times on roller skates, in-line skates and ice skates can be had at the air-conditioned Kallang Roller Disco and Ice World. Daily 10 am-11 pm, Saturday 11 am-1 am. S$6 per hour. Kallang Leisure Park #10-15, 5 Stadium Walk, phone 348-6793.

You can also rent in-line skates at the East Coast Park beach at about S$6 per hour from the bicycle rent booths. There is a dedicated 6-mi/10-km pathway for skaters and cyclists that runs the entire length of the beach. Helmets, elbow guards and knee guards are available free of charge when you rent the skates.

Try out your figure skating at the Fuji Ice Palace in Jurong Entertainment Centre. 10 am-10 pm daily. Minimum two hours. S$12 adults, S$10 children. Jurong Entertainment Centre, 3rd Level, 2 Jurong East St. 13, phone 565-1905.


East Coast Sailing Centre is a private club for laser dinghy sailing and windsurfing but rents out both laser dinghies and windsurf boards to the public at an hourly fee. It also offers beginners courses for windsurfing and sailing. Daily 10 am-4 pm. Windsurf boards about S$20 for two hours, lasers about S$20 per hour. 1210 East Coast Parkway, phone 449-5118.

Punggol Water-Ski Centre offers water-skiing and wakeboarding facilities and instruction as well as ski boats and equipment for rent. Boat rentals start at S$60 per hour. Open daily 9 am-6 pm. Lot 783, Punggol Ave. 17, phone 386-3891.


Soccer (called football in Singapore). Singapore football teams play in the Singapore League in stadia throughout the island. Around S$6-$10. Check the daily papers for matches, venues and kickoff times. For more information, call the Football Association of Singapore (FAS), phone 293-1477. The local semiprofessional club league, the S-league, runs April-October. Matches are played at various stadia like Jurong, Toa Payoh and Bedok. Admission charges are S$8 adults and S$5 children. Check the local papers for match listings.

Rugby is played at the Padang by uniformed organizations such as the Police and Singapore Armed Forces Sports Association (SAFSA). Friendly matches with foreign teams are also played at the Padang. Season is October-February. Usually free. Singapore Cricket Club, phone 338-9271, and Singapore Rugby Union, phone 338-1266, organize rugby matches.

Horseracing is conducted at the Singapore Turf Club on Saturdays and Sundays. Even during nonrace weekends, a crowd still gathers at the Turf Club to witness live coverage of races in major towns in Malaysia. Betting on horse races is one of the few approved gambling schemes permitted in Singapore. (The nearest casinos are located in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, a 50-minute flight away.) Bukit Timah Race Course, Dunearn Road, phone 460-3400.

Day Trips

To Sentosa Island. As Singapore�s holiday resort island, Sentosa is dedicated solely to leisure and pleasure. The isle is organized into four different categories to make it easier to plan your day: Sun & Sea, Fun & Entertainment, Nature, and History. Water rides at Fantasy Island and the beach activities at Siloso, Central and Tanjong are the main draws of Sun & Sea. Attractions at Fun & Entertainment include Cinemania, Asian Village and the Musical Fountain. The nature category offers Underwater World, Insect Kingdom Museum and Butterfly Park, Orchid Fantasy, the Coralarium and Volcano Land. History buffs can visit Images of Singapore Museum, Pioneers of Singapore and Surrender Chamber and the Maritime Museum. General admission to Sentosa is S$5 adults, S$3 children. The various attractions carry separate charges, ranging from S$0.50 to S$20.

There are also two resort hotels should you decide to spend more time on the island. Both the Beaufort Sentosa (phone 275-0331) and the Rasa Sentosa (phone 275-0100) offer five-star facilities and even 18-hole golf courses. All parts of the island are accessible by bus or monorail. Package deals to several attractions with cable-car transport are available for S$11-$45. Contact Singapore Cable Car, phone 277-9608, or Sentosa Information Office, phone 275-0388 or 270-7888.

Getting to Sentosa is half the fun. You can board a cable car at Mt. Faber or the World Trade Centre at Jardine Steps for a 15-minute ride across the harbor. Daily 8:30 am-9 pm. S$6.90 adults, S$3.90 children round trip (not including additional S$5 adults, S$3 children for admission into Sentosa). By ferry, it takes just five minutes from the World Trade Centre and admission to Sentosa is included in the adult ferry fare of S$7.30 and child fare of S$5.30. Ferries depart every 15 minutes 7:45 am-11 pm. There also are Sentosa Escapade buses from Orchard Road 10 am-8 pm daily. Admission to the island is included in the adult bus fare of S$7 and child fare of S$5.

To Johor Bahru. This is the closest state in Malaysia to Singapore, located at the northern end of the two causeways linking the countries. However, there currently is no public transport serving the second and newer causeway. Board SBS Bus 170 on Queen Street or Bukit Timah Road or take a train from Keppel Railway Station (8 am, 11:30 am, 5:50 pm and 8 pm). Around S$1.50. Phone 222-5165. A passport with a minimum of six months� validity is required to enter Malaysia. Attractions include the Straits of Johor, a stretch of beach; Muzium Diraja Abu Bakar, a museum on the coast open Saturday-Thursday 9 am-5 pm; and Sultan Abu Bakar Mosque, not open to the public but a landmark with amazing architecture that you can view from the outside. Or simply shop, sample a seafood dinner and relax at the beach. Malaysia Tourist Promotion Board, 10 Collyer Quay #01-03, Ocean Building, phone 535-6650.

To Kukup. This takes you about 50 mi/80 km west of Johor Bahru at the southwestern tip of Malaysia. A former pirate refuge, Kukup is a fascinating and popular fishing village with its seafood restaurants poised above the Straits of Malacca on stilts. On the way there you�ll see rubber, cocoa, coffee, pineapple and palm oil plantations. Once there, visit the fishing village to see the catch of the fishing nets off Kukup, feast on fresh seafood and check out the Malaysian Handicraft Centre. About a two-hour drive from Johor Bahru. A map of Malaysia is necessary for the drive.

To Pulau Hantu/Seking Island/Sisters Island. These islands south of Singapore are not served by regular ferry services but are accessible by hired boat from Jardine Steps (at the World Trade Centre between Cable Car Tower and Singapore Cruise Centre) or Clifford Pier (at Collyer Quay). No set hire prices for boats, so bargaining is necessary. Average cost is about S$45 per hour but varies according to whether drop-off/pickup service is needed. These islands are good for a getaway day. Relax on the beach, head out for a swim or go snorkeling. The rustic fishing villages still sport kelong-style houses (wooden fishing huts built on stilts over the sea) and traditional kampongs (wooden huts built on land) with no main electricity, water or sewage facilities.

Singapore Calendar


SINGAPOREANS, ethnically diverse and devout, celebrate colorful cultural and religious holidays throughout the year. Chinese, Hindus, Christians and Muslims deck the city in brilliant holiday lights during their respective celebrations. A holdover from Singapore�s colonial era, cricket matches take place most weekends at the broad, green expanse called the Padang (across from the Cathedral on St. Andrew�s Road).

To call numbers listed below from outside Singapore, first dial your country�s international access code and then Singapore�s country code, 65. No city code is needed.

For more information on these and other events, contact the Singapore Tourist Promotion Board, Tourism Court, 1 Orchard Spring Lane, Singapore 247729, phone 736-6622, fax 736-9423. In the U.S. or Canada, contact the Singapore Tourist Promotion Board at 312-938-1888; in Australia, call 61-2-241-3771; in the U.K., call 0171-437-0033.

Information in this calendar is subject to change and should be confirmed.


1 JanClassical Concert. The City Chinese Orchestra performs at the Victoria Concert Hall. Ticket brokers: phone 742-9359, phone 294-7522 or phone 339-1787.

1 JanNew Year�s Day. Public holiday.

1-5 JanChristmas Light-Up. The Orchard Road shopping district is transformed into a fairyland of lights. Hotels and shops vie for Best Decorated Building honors. Final days.

1-5 JanCirque du Soliel. The internationally renowned circus group presents its Asian premiere of Saltimbanco. Final performances. At the Padang, between St. Andrew�s Road and Connaught Drive, across from the cathedral.

1-8 JanRamadan. Final days of the Muslim month of daylight fasting. Prayers are offered at mosques each evening.

1-16 JanStar Trek World Tour. This interactive, state-of-the-art adventure for Trekkies makes its Asian debut. Final weeks. Singapore International Convention and Exhibition Centre, Suntec City.

8 JanHari Raya Puasa. Public holiday. This major Muslim holiday marks the end of Ramadan.

21 JanThaipusam. In this dramatic Hindu festival, penitents with kavadis (semicircular steel frames) pierced to their bodies with spikes, hooks and skewers lead a procession from Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple to Sri Thandayuthapani Temple.

22-31 JanLunar New Year Light-Up. Chinatown comes alive with traditional decorations and lights in this highlight of Chinese New Year celebrations. Continues through 19 Feb.

Sundays in JanuaryArts in the Park. Twice a month, musical and theatrical performances are held in one of Singapore�s parks. For times and venues, contact the Singapore Tourist Promotion Board, phone 736-6622.

Wednesdays and Fridays in JanuaryChinese Opera Extravaganza. The Chinese Theatre Circle performs twice weekly, 7:45-8:30 pm, with English and Chinese subtitles provided. Makeup demonstrations begin at 6:15 pm. Gas Lamp Square, Clarke Quay. For more information, call 433-0113.

Concluding in JanuarySingapore Art 1999. In this biennial exhibition, the latest works of Singapore artists are displayed at various venues, with a core of pieces at the Singapore Art Museum. Final day is 30 Jan. For information, call 270-0722.

Concluding in JanuaryExhibits. �Imaging the Century� incorporates exhibits at three museums to celebrate Singapore life over the past century. The Singapore History Museum displays a photographic retrospective, the Asian Civilizations Museum showcases photographs by Singaporean youth and paintings from the �30s to �90s hang at the Singapore Art Museum. Final day is 31 Jan.


1-19 FebLunar New Year Light-Up. Chinatown comes alive with traditional decorations and lights in this highlight of Chinese New Year celebrations.

5-7 FebChinese New Year. Public holidays.

5-19 FebSingapore River Hong Bao. The Marina Promenade is home to this carnival by the river. Festivities include fireworks, food, carnival rides and live entertainment.

12 FebChingay 28 Parade. Floats, marching bands, performers and lion and dragon dances in one of the grandest street parades to celebrate the Chinese New Year. Begins at 6 pm. Orchard Road.

Sundays in FebruaryArts in the Park. Twice a month, musical and theatrical performances are held in one of Singapore�s parks. For times and venues, contact the Singapore Tourist Promotion Board, phone 736-6622.

Wednesdays and Fridays in FebruaryChinese Opera Extravaganza. The Chinese Theatre Circle performs twice weekly, 7:45-8:30 pm, with English and Chinese subtitles provided. Makeup demonstrations begin at 6:15 pm. Gas Lamp Square, Clarke Quay. For more information, call 433-0113.

MARCH 2000

4 MarHorse Racing. The Singapore International Cup, the world�s sixth richest race, takes place at the Turf Club, Kranji Course. For information, call 736-6622.

16 MarHari Raya Haji. Public holiday.

Sundays in MarchArts in the Park. Twice a month, musical and theatrical performances are held in one of Singapore�s parks. For times and venues, contact the Singapore Tourist Promotion Board, phone 736-6622.

Wednesdays and Fridays in MarchChinese Opera Extravaganza. The Chinese Theatre Circle performs twice weekly, 7:45-8:30 pm, with English and Chinese subtitles provided. Makeup demonstrations begin at 6:15 pm. Gas Lamp Square, Clarke Quay. For more information, call 433-0113.

APRIL 2000

16-30 AprSingapore International Film Festival. Feature-length films and shorts from more than 25 countries are screened. Various venues. Continues through 1 May. For information, call 738-7567. Daily program is printed three weeks prior to the festival.

21 AprGood Friday. Public holiday.

Sundays in AprilArts in the Park. Twice a month, musical and theatrical performances are held in one of Singapore�s parks. For times and venues, contact the Singapore Tourist Promotion Board, phone 736-6622.

Wednesdays and Fridays in AprilChinese Opera Extravaganza. The Chinese Theatre Circle performs twice weekly, 7:45-8:30 pm, with English and Chinese subtitles provided. Makeup demonstrations begin at 6:15 pm. Gas Lamp Square, Clarke Quay. For more information, call 433-0113.

Throughout AprilSingapore Food Festival. Let your tastebuds explore tantalizing cuisines as diverse as the Singapore people. Various venues.


archoo search :



  Other Professions


  Architecture by Country


  Join Our Newsletter


  AECasia Product System


I add your listing I about us I add your listing I advertising I contact us

copyright 2002  [email protected]