Visiting Singapore for two days has been an unexpected pleasure. After twelve years I could see many changes especially in the Marina Bay Area. A new skyline, gardens in every direction, no traffic congestion, fast and efficient trains, unique street art and sculpture. And of course a newly reopened Raffles. There is a lot to do in Singapore but because it is small you can move around easily and see many things.
To stay at Raffles is a privilege and delight. Opened in 1887 by two Armenians and now owned by the Qatar government Raffles continues to epitomise the charm and grandeur of old Colonial England. With its recent reopening the crowds were queuing for a Singapore Sling at the Long Bar and High Tea in the Tiffin Room. With dazzling new but classic furnishings Raffles in 2019 looks majestic and its 500 staff are obviously enjoying the experience of working in this world class establishment. So if you have the chance, pay a visit to Raffles for an experience of a lifetime.
Fort Canning Park
Fort Canning is one of many green spaces in the heart of Singapore and the venue for the bicentennial celebrations for Singapore. Outdoor cinema, theatre and music events are popular on the extensive lawns at night and during festival times but in the freshness of early morning there are few people about. You can see the site of the signing of the Singapore Treaty in 1819 and the original Botanic Garden established by Stamford Raffles.Or you can see the cannons and read about the formation of this military fort through the nineteenth century and up until the time of the Japanese occupation.The Battle Box bunker used in World War Two is a key attraction. Walking around these beautiful gardens involves some step climbing but it is worth seeing the fragrant Spice Garden and the fountains, sculptures, palms and more as you wander through a piece of Singapore history.
National Museum of Singapore
When it becomes hot and humid a visit to a museum or art gallery can be a good idea. The National Museum is a fine example of a modern museum using the most appropriate kinds of interactive tools. I was able to satisfy my curiosity about how Singapore developed so quickly into an economic powerhouse and how its inhabitants live so harmoniously together despite diverse ethnic origins. The archival footage of interviews with Lee Kuan Yew has prompted me to read his memoirs.
Walking in Singapore
Walking and jogging in Singapore is safe and obviously encouraged with many carefully marked paths winding through parks and along waterfronts. The Singapore River is about 3 kilometres in length and it can be fun to take a boat ride or to walk along Clarke Quay especially at night when the restaurant scene is buzzing. Towards Marina Bay and along the esplanade pathways take you past modern sculptures with amazing views including the architectural icon of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel with the boat replica connecting three towers on on top. And there is a rooftop swimming pool here which is the longest in the world at 150 feet. The Helix Bridge is another architectural delight to walk across.
Gardens by the Bay
Gardens by the Bay was opened in 2012 and is a series of gardens and conservatories along an extensive waterfront area. Light shows every night illuminate the super dome trees and surrounding buildings. These gardens represent a clever tourist attraction and an eco friendly development. No wonder Singaporeans are proud to live in such a comfortable city.