People I met who love Singapore and visit there frequently love the reliably warm climate, the safety and the beauty of Singapore. Add fantastic food and many unique attractions and it clearly a wonderful place to frequent. My visit to Singapore was courtesy of a professor from Nanyang Technical University who is collaborating with my husband. The chance to talk with our host has also provided insight as to what it is like to live in Singapore, a place that mixes many cultures and races into a cooperative and peaceful mix.
Following are some of the memorable places that my husband and I enjoyed visiting.
We started at Nanyang Technical University with its huge stretches of green, interesting architecture, and an outstanding academic reputation.
Elliott’s Antiques LLP located in the Raffles Hotel Arcade (328North Bridge Road #01-19, Singapore 188719) Elliot’s website, was a place that drew us in, like a magnet. Stepping inside was like being in a museum but the items could be seen up close and they were beautifully displayed. Should we ever be in the market to purchase items of this kind, we would not hesitate to purchase here. For items as expensive as these, the authentication this shop provides would be very important. We also enjoyed talking with Taye.
Knowing that tea at Raffles Hotel Singapore is a long-standing tradition in Singapore, we decided to experience afternoon tea in the Tiffin Room at this famous and historic hotel. This was the first hotel in Singapore. It was owned by the Sarkies Brothers and named after Sir Stamford Raffles, Singapore’s founder and opened on December 1, 1887. The Tiffin room dates to May of 1892. The tea was amazing including, in addition to the three tiers of sweets on our table, a buffet, fruits, dim sum, sweets and more, with a musical background of beautiful harp music. Reservations need to be made as far in advance as possible.
The history of Raffles is long and involved with the city, itself. The Singapore government designated Raffles Hotel a National Monument in 1987. In addition to hosting famous individuals beginning in 1921 with Somerset Maugham,Charlie Chaplin, Maurice Chevalier, Frank Buck and Jean Harlow, Noel Coward and many heads of state, Raffles Hotel hosted Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh during their state visit to Singapore from 16 to 18 March 2006.
In 2010 Raffles Hotel was pleased to launch the book Memoirs of a Raffles Original, featuring the story of its Resident Historian, and his unique relationship with the Grand Dame. Mr Leslie Basil Danker is the only person in Singapore to have personally experienced the many incarnations of Raffles Hotel, in his 37 years of service. In this wistful and humorous autobiographical account, he retraces his nearly four decades of service; from his humble start in the maintenance department tending to clogged toilets to becoming its very first Resident Historian, sharing the hotel’s storied past with celebrities, dignitaries and VIPs.
A visit to Raffles Hotel Singapore is fascinating. There are 15 restaurants where you can eat, shops of all kinds and beautiful rooms with ceilings so high that my friend who stayed there remembered them for years. Raffles Hotel Singapore Website
Equinox Restaurant atop the Swisshotel the Stamford Singapore with an amazing view of Singapore and fantastic food.Equinox Restaurant Restaurant
Gardens by the Bay, a unique garden and educational experience, which opened on June 29, 2012, is vast and dramatic. Plan several hours. Gardens by the Bay Website
Asian Civilisations Museum, an Asian perspective with beautiful collections – “a place where Asian cultures come alive”. Asian Civilisations Museum Website
National Museum of Singapore, immersion in Singaporean History, local artists on display and more. The unique Ipad guide offers stories about the people who developed Singapore told in their voices. This is a chance to gain insight about Singapore’s past.National Museum of Singapore Website
Chinatown, looking the way Singapore looked when it was young, boasts a Hindu Temple, A Buddist Temple, lots of outdoor shopping, many souveniers and great restaurants. We found a vegetarian Restaurant, simple and declicious. It was Eight Treasures Vegetarian, 282A South Bridge Road, Singapore 058831) Phone: 6565347727 Eight Treasures Vegetarian website
Tanglin Shopping Centre at 19 Tanglin Road, Singapore, 247909, is an alternative to the huge shopping malls that stretch in every direction. It is older and smaller. We found it a fascinating place to visit with art galleries ranging from antiques to modern artists. There were several restaurants and a ballet school and more in addition to other shops.
A visit to Singapore is likely to please visitors from neighboring countries and those from the other side of the world.
Photos: Barbara or Leon Keer unless otherwise specified