Guide to Singapore, discovering the tiger of the Orient
Fifty years and not hearing them. Or, if you prefer: a beautiful fifty-year-old. Singapore has recently celebrated its first half century of independence and the Lonely Planet, the most famous of the tourist guides, has honored it by defining it as the place that travelers from all over the world must see absolutely. But what does this island of just over 40 km wide offer within easy reach of Malaysia and in the middle of the crowded arena of rampant Asian nations? Pretty much everything. Because Singapore has mixed Orient And Westtemples and skyscrapers, Buddha And Allah, stylists and merchants. And he brought them together. Becoming one of the capitals of the modern world. With many surprises for those who visit it. Here’s one Singapore guide minimum: to understand the tiger of the East
Guide to Singapore: the new neighborhoods
Marina Bay is the new iconic district of the city. It’s a Singapore guide must necessarily start from here. Everything here is big. Indeed, huge. Skyscrapers, palaces, attractions. It seems like the dream of a giant who is never satisfied. And after giving himself a gigantic new building, he continues to build. Here you can admire the panorama of the city from the top of the Singapore Flyer, one of the largest Ferris wheels in the world which offers, for those who do not suffer from vertigo, the possibility of having dinner at a height of 165 metres. Better to choose windless days.
Not only that: the Marina Bay Sandsa colossus formed by three paired skyscrapers on the roof of which, about two hundred meters high, there is an enormous terrace, the Skyparkwith palm trees, restaurants and a infinity pool. Three times the size of the Olympic one, you can splash around in the cool of the monsoon. Inside, a mess, a five star hotel from a few thousand rooms, hundreds of shops and even an indoor flowing canal. There are also the gondolas gliding indoors between the designer windows. Attention: the gondoliers are not from Venice. And the boats glide on rails immersed in the water.
Singapore Guide: Gardens by The Bay
One hundred and one hectares for 220 thousand plants. Here in two numbers i Gardens by the Bay, the new gardens overlooking the bay. Recently inaugurated, they have changed the face of the city. These huge green spaces offer themed paths, covered greenhouses, a network of streams and several ponds in the center of which are the Super Trees. They aren’t actually trees but vertical gardens between 25 and 50 meters tall that rise up against the skyline of skyscrapers. These artificial trees they are covered by plants of about 200 different species.
And on the top there are also restaurants and spaces for relaxation. For those who loved the film Avatar is like being inside the film. The Gardens also offers a huge space intended for a flower market and four areas dedicated to the cultures that make up the mix Singapore: Malay, Chinese, Indian and English. Botany enthusiasts would never want to leave: there are hundreds of orchids and they are all different. A Singapore guide in addition to skyscrapers, it should have an chapter dedicated to flowers.
Singapore guide: Chinatown and Little India
Temple Street it was once the red light district of Chinatown. Today it is one of the trendiest areas, full of restaurants, people and shops. All in the heart of the old Chinese quarter founded by Sir Raffles, the governor who arrived here when Singapore was little more than a den of sailors and cutthroats. The firm common sense of Sir Raffles was enough to transform it in a short time into the safe of Her Majesty the Queen of England and into the most lucrative base of the India Company.
The lord, who still today ogles in frowning statues in front of the overwhelming skyline of the city, had a passion for business and established strict rules: the various ethnic groups – Chinese, Indians, Malays – each divide up their own neighborhood and the sidewalks have roofs and porches. Two centuries have passed since then but all this is still valid. So even though the world has changed, the various neighborhoods resist – Chinatown indeed, but also Little India – and each has maintained its own soul and style. Chinatown in particular, after its recent revitalization, is a splendid place for shopping or lunch among the old houses that used to be shops, apartments, coolie houses with rooms to rent, cafes and opium dens.
Two kilometers of paradise: at least if you love shopping. A guidebook to Singapore for the fashionistas is bound to lead you here. This street is the real commercial heart of Singapore and here, one after another, are the greatest shopping centers of the country. And perhaps of the entire Far East. Here are the flagship stores of western designers and oriental tailors as well as any other kind of luxury. The most sensational – twenty-nine floors of luxury and storefronts – is probably the Ngee Ann Citywith an unmistakable red color and temple shape.
Towers and shopping
The twin towers and the connecting building are entirely covered in marble, the main entrance dares two huge silver columns and guarded by two majestic dogs imported from China, a symbol of prosperity. All the signatures are present inside the mall: remember your gold credit card before entering. Not far away the Tanglin Shopping Centre it is the right place to look for antiquities at certainly not favorable prices. A curiosity that no Singapore guide will be able to hide: the terrible climate almost all year round. That’s why the malls of Orchard Road they are connected by elevated and underground tunnels and passages. To be able to do shopping until exhaustion. You will run out of money: but at least you won’t have sweated.
Once there were warehouses, warehouses and docks for ships. Now any guide of Singapore it will tell you that there are skyscrapers, hotels, trendy restaurants and countless bars. In the evening the dark struggles to fall chased away by the thousands of lights. Clarke Quay it was one of the city’s ports, on the river Singapore. Today it is one of the liveliest and trendiest areas. Impossible to establish which is the right place, the only thing is to wander around and be ensnared by the scent. Also because there are probably few areas in the world with such a concentration of different cuisines. Then there is a sort of covered gallery (with ubiquitous puffs of air conditioning to cool the heat) where willing pop groups play Western music in the evening. It makes you want to dance: but it’s easy to find yourself soaked in sweat.