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10 Must-See Singapore Attractions

August 27th, 2009 by

The city of Singapore offers visitors from around the globe a unique opportunity to explore the culture that has molded the city and country as it stands today.

Singapore skyline at night

While visiting, be sure to include at least a few of these attractions on your itinerary so that you, too, can gain a better understanding of this city’s diverse cultural history.

10. Singapore History Museum

Singapore History Museum Dome

The Singapore History Museum sits in a building constructed in the mid-1800’s and houses artifacts and artwork dating as far back as the 14th century. Exhibits within the museum portray the development of Singapore from the time it a mere fishing village, through British rule, and finally through its opening its doors to immigrants throughout the mid-1900’s. Permanent displays include the history of the Chinese secret society, the Haw Par jade collection, and artwork by William Farquhar.

9. Haw Par Villa

Haw Par Villa

Haw Par Villa, also referred to as Tiger Balm Gardens, is a fun theme park designed to teach visitors about the heroes depicted in Chinese legends and myths. The park was built by the brothers who created the medicinal balm we know today as “Tiger Balm” or “Tiger Linament.” While touring the grounds you’ll learn about the Monkey God, Lady White Snake, the Divine Maiden, the Nine Dragon Wall, the Laughing Buddha, and many other cultural icons!

8. Kusu Island

Kusu Island

While not as amusing from an entertainment standpoint as Sentosa Island, the outlying island of Kusu is a place rich with religious culture and ritual. The island is, according to legend, what is left of a large turtle that turned itself into a rock to save some sailors from drowning. On the island you’ll find the shrine of Syed Abdul Rahman, where childless couples leave white cloths and prayers for fertility, and the Pekong Temple, popular amongst Taoists.

7. Singapore River

2008 Singapore- River Cruise Boats

The Singapore River runs directly through the center of Singapore and for many years served as the main travel route for British traders. Many of the original structures still stand by the river but they are now overshadowed by the city’s rising skyscrapers. Even still, walking along the Singapore River is an experience you won’t want to miss. From your path you’ll have the opportunity to see several incredible monuments, statues, bridges, and museums. If you’re hungry you’ll find several traditional restaurants in which to enjoy a meal, too.

6. Palau Ubin

Palau Ubin Tropical Island, off Singapore

The island of Palau Ubin is an incredibly popular mangrove island that has become a hot retreat spot for individuals who want to enjoy nature while visiting Singapore. The island is full of mountain biking trails, traditional fishing villages, astounding seafood restaurants, limestone quarries, and beautiful Chinese temples. Nature lovers will enjoy exploring some of Singapore’s native flora and fauna while hiking, swimming, camping, and just relaxing in general on the island.

5. Places of Worship

Thian Hock Keng Temple - Singapore

The City of the Lion, Singapore, doesn’t attempt to tie its citizens down to one church. As a matter of fact, the country is filled with temples and churches representing Christian, Islamic, Jewish, Taoist, and Buddhist religious, amongst many others. Make sure you visit the Chinese Thian Hock Keng temple, the Indian Sri Mariamman Temple, the Sultan Mosque, and the Church of St. Gregory the Illuminator for a glimpse into some of the most prominent religious groups represented in Singapore.

4. Night Safari

Valentina wannabe, Singapore Night Safari

The Night Safari is the first attraction of its kind in the entire world. Individuals who visit the Nigh Safari will get be treated to the tour of a lifetime, visiting nocturnal animals from around the world in habitats as close to their natural as possible. The park, which is located near the Zoological Gardens, is split into different habits and includes animals from the African Sahara, Malaysian rainforest, and even the Indian jungle.

3. Sentosa Island

Singapore - Dragon - Sentosa Island 35.15

Visiting Sentosa Island is like visiting a gigantic theme park and is one of the most popular destinations in Sigapore for both visitors and locals. Covered with tropical forests and rolling rocky coastlines, the island is full of swimming holes, huge water slides, parks, museums, and restaurants. You may choose make a day-trip out of your visit to Sentosa Island or, if you’d prefer, book a stay in a Singapore hotel right on the island itself. From there you’ll have access to all the fun and amusement you can handle

2. Tang Dynasty City

Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, Chinatown, Singapore

Described as one of Singapore’s most prominent theme parks, Tang Dynasty City is a recreation of life in Chang’an (or Xian) during the Tang dynasty between 6 and 8 AD. The theme park features, temples, a geisha house, shops, and restaurants all constructed in the style you would have found during the Tang civilization. You’ll also enjoy the incredible wax museum, performances by Chinese acrobats, and camel rides down Silk Road.

1. Chinatown

Eateries at Colourful Chinatown, Singapore

The charming Singapore quarter known as Chinatown is full of entertaining attractions. Start by exploring some of the old Pranakan-style architecture in between trips to local tea houses. You’ll also find a number of herbal shops and night markets as well as more modern restaurants and trendy bars. The Chinatown section of Singapore represents a distinct blend of both old traditions, in the markets and shops, and modernization, in the nightclubs and entertainment venues.

Take the time to explore as much of the city as possible. You’ll find the opportunities for exploration are endless in Singapore!

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