10 Reasons to Visit Singapore in 2019
Singapore started 2019 with a bang by introducing the SG Bicentennial, a year-long series of festivities to celebrate the nation’s founding 200 years ago. As we look back on the many historical changes Singapore has underwent, we also look forward to a dazzling year of fun and festivities that await us. So, arm yourselves with a notebook to jot down these ten reasons to visit Singapore in 2019!
1. Garden in the city, or city in a garden?
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The one conundrum that locals and tourists face when we look around at the streets and urban hubs is “Is Singapore a garden in the city, or city in the garden?”. It’s hard to blame anyone for the confusion – most of the streets are lined with lush greenery that is impossible to miss.
Working towards the national vision to be a “green city”, Singapore has since gained repute for the successful blend of city and nature in daily life. Popular places to observe this blend are the Botanic Gardens, a UNESCO heritage site, and the stunning Supertrees at Gardens by the Bay. If you are looking for some therapy after a long day of shopping in the city, head to any of these places to stroll, ponder and relax.
2. The Singapore Flavour
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Food has always been a Singaporean pride and pastime, and it’s not hard to see why. The sensational collage of cultural foods ensures that one will always be able to find dishes that suit their taste buds or discover new flavours.
From Michelin-starred restaurants to hawker-centre dishes, food is a great area to savour different cultures and find affordable food for your traveller wallets. Singapore also boasts its very own Michelin-starred local fare – Liao Fan Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice and Noodle – that won’t need you to put a hole in your wallets to indulge on.
3. Melting pot of cultures
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If you want to bear witness to a piece of living history, there are many preserved sites that have since blended into the city scene and are easy to find.
In the 200 years since the colonisation of Singapore, Singapore has since grown into a multicultural city with races and religions forming the great tapestry of the nation’s history. Imprints of different cultures now coexist harmoniously in cultural sites, places of worship, preserved shophouses and cultural museums, so you can be sure to be fully immersed in the diverse tapestry of culture!
As you admire and learn about the cultures, keep your ears peeled for the local Singlish spoken around you – Singapore’s English slang infused with the lingo from existing cultures and races!
4. Explore 200 years of history
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If you prefer to look even deeper into the history of Singapore, this year will be the best time to explore just that!
The SG Bicentennial promises a year-long itinerary of historical tours and the modern reimagining of Singapore’s history to celebrate the origins of the little island-country. Alternatively, the National Museum of Singapore offers an extensive introduction to the nation’s history and the capsules of history littering the country today.
Take a journey through the history of British colonisation, immigration, war and independence, and see for yourselves what truly makes Singapore as it is today. Remember to check out the SG Bicentennial website and plan your trip for the full immersive experience of the nation’s rich history!
5. Fun all day and night
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Day or night, the fun never ends in Singapore. With a slew of activities for all kinds of people, from the adrenaline junkie to the chill indie lover, the city is the place to indulge and explore your passions.
Explore naturalist passions by visiting the three diverse zoos circling Mandai Lake Road, where the world’s first nocturnal zoo resides, or visit the S.E.A. aquarium to cool off with the marine animals.
You can also indulge your adrenaline-junkie hunger in the exhilarating rides within the Universal Studios Singapore – the perfect place to get your adrenaline pumping for the rest of your trip.
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If you want to have a break from the heat and the adrenaline, there are a multitude of streets hidden in the city that give you a wide range of revelries from the indie chic to the classy chill! You can also party alongside the Singapore River at Clarke Quay, replete with famous dance clubs and themed bars that allow you to party your night away with your friends.
6. The Natural Outdoors
Singapore may be an urbanized city with skyscrapers and HDBs cropping up everywhere, but it still maintains various natural sanctuaries to counter the busy city life and accommodate its tropical wildlife.
Put on your hiking shoes and trek along the copious forests and lakes in Bukit Timah Nature Reserve and MacRitchie Reservoir Park, which borders the largest nature reserve in Singapore. For the keen bird watchers, head to Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, the hotbed for migratory birds from September to March.
Due to the intricate transport systems, such places are easily accessible by bus and train, which makes it easy to change your scenery from the hustle and bustle of the city to the serene quietness of nature.
7. Art, art, art – civic districts
The country has been known to be a strategic position for trade and commerce, and the same can be said for Asian art. The city’s Civic District is home to a network of museums and galleries that offer both local and Asian artworks. Exciting international art exhibits also make their visit at the National Gallery Singapore, which hosts artists from the United States and Europe along Asian counterparts.
For the casual art lover looking for a picturesque Instagram moment, head to the shophouse neighbourhoods and hunt for the wall murals hidden in its alleys. Little India, Haji Lane and Tiong Bahru are hotspots for murals, though there are an increasing number of murals popping up in other neighbourhoods too. Grab a bite at one of the cafes lining the streets, ready your cameras, and take a leisurely stroll for a chill afternoon with the murals!
8. For the rustic escapist
Despite Singapore’s rapid urban development, did you know that there is still a secret countryside town (or kampong) that exists in the middle of it all? Kampong Lorong Buangkok is a preserved rustic haven from the immediacy of the city to the calming neighbourhood reminiscent of the country’s early rustic roots. It is a great getaway to experience the Singaporean ‘Kampong spirit’ of camaraderie and rest your heart from the hectic city life.
Singapore also has a collection of nine off-shore islands that’s lesser visited by the locals, but contains rich history, legends and cultures that have sprouted in the 200 years since the nation’s founding. There are also various water activities to allow one to explore the rich biodiversity of marine life circling its shores.
9. Festivals galore
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A dazzling myriad of cultural and entertainment festivals are making their way into Singapore this year, so get your calendars ready and plan your trips around these events! From music to food, art to sports, these festivals are set to greet locals and tourists all year long.
Come late September, Singapore will again host the Formula 1 World Championship night race with accompanying concerts to keep the adrenaline pumping from watching the cars whiz by. It is a perfect time that caters to a colourful spread of passions, so be sure to drop by and experience the excitement for yourself!
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The variety of choices when it comes to shopping is enough to cater to any kind of shopper, so you don’t need to fret about bursting your budget to get a souvenir for a friend back home.
Shop along Orchard Road and Marina Bay Sands, where there are numerous boutique shops and fine dining for that taste of luxury. Both are within easy walking distance from popular landmark attractions, so you can drop by for some shopping to rest from all the sightseeing.
If you are looking for artsy, indie finds, Tiong Bahru and Bugis Street offers many independent book and clothing stores with a touch of local flavour. There are also quirky cafes that allow you to rest your legs before continuing your retail therapy.