Singapore is an exciting, vibrant place to live for an expat. It’s a City State with influences from a variety of cultures including Chinese, European and Indian. From Singapore there is easy access to Malaysia via the Johor-Singapore Causeway or the Tuas Second Link. There are 63 Islands off Singapore providing interesting places to visit, many with sandy beaches. Singapore has four nature reserves and 300 parks. With historic places and sites to visit, plenty of arts and culture as well as shopping, food, drink, festivals and events, life here will keep you busy all year round.
Food Glorious Food!
The Singaporeans love their food and to go out to eat, or “makan” as the locals say often. When local meet they don’t so much say hello as “sudah makan” or have you eaten? And there are lots of places to dine out from the popular street food halls known as Hawker Centres to the gourmet restaurants. Hawker Centres are partly enclosed eating areas, housing food stalls that serve a choice of food and desserts, all prepared to order and reasonably priced.
Some of most popular national dishes are Hainanese Chicken Rice, Chilli Crab and Laksa - a noodle soup made with spices and coconut.
If you prefer to eat outside there are lots of places to choose from including The Halia, where you can dine amongst the lush plants in the Royal Botanic Gardens. For fine dining the restaurant that is named as the best in the city is Restaurant Andre run by Taiwanese born chef Andre Chiang who serves French cuisine. It does not take long for expats to adopt the same love of food and eating out. With the choice available you could literally be eating somewhere different every day of the week!
If you want to enjoy the view while you dine, there are a choice of dining outlets including Sky on 57 or CE LA VI and on the ground floor of the resort, is a choice of shopping outlets, restaurants and entertainment venues.
Pick a cultural festival
Many of the different cultures in Singapore have annual festivals to represent each of them. Chinese New Year is celebrated in style over two days, in and around Singapore’s ChinaTown, with plenty of colour and vibrant entertainment. Christmas is also celebrated enthusiastically.
Deepavali, or Festival of Lights, is celebrated by the Indian Hindu community in October. Head to Little India where all the colour, lights and traditions of the festival can be enjoyed. The Malay Muslim community have their own celebrations marking the end of Ramadan. At the festival of Eid, called Hari Raya Aidiliftri in Singapore, the best clothes are worn and households throw a feast for family and friends.
To really get under the skin of all things Singaporean go to the Heritagefest in May with its exhibitions, music events and stage plays that explore the country’s cultures both past and present.
Try a unique skydiving experience
If you have always wanted to try a skydive but are still not confident enough to try the real thing, try iFly Singapore. This must-do desitination offers a chance to experience a free-fall skydive simulation from 12,000 to 3,000 feet. The effect is made possible by the unique five storey high wind tunnel and an acrylic glass wall offering a view of the South China Sea. The unique technology means you can try a variety of moves such as free flying, four/eight-way formation skydiving and lots of tricks and stunts!
Shop ‘til you drop
After food the Singaporeans love shopping, especially when it comes to a bargain. There are plenty of places to shop too, from street markets to shopping malls and niche designer stores. The number one shopping area is Orchard Road, a 2.2km street and home to every store and brand you can name. For six weeks from March through to May each year the Fashion Steps Out event takes place with the latest fashions all modelled on the streets with special events, promotions and local celebrities and personalities making appearances and entertaining the shoppers.
If you prefer to shop locally then Singapore has its own sought after designers and brands. Take a trip to the Singapore Visitor Centre Orchard where you will find that everything on offer is produced in the country from bags to souvenirs and items for the home.
And, if you prefer ambling around markets then Singapore has a number of flea markets for you. China Square Central Weekend Flea Market is open every Sunday from 11am until 6pm or Fleawhere is a good place for a second hand bargain.
The Boutiques event is held twice a year in March and November. This is an upmarket event where you will find great fashions and brands.
For further information on things to do in Singapore visit https://www.stb.gov.sg/