Learn about Singapore's unusual confluence of Chinese, Indian, and Malay cultures at the Asian Civilizations Museum. The 11 exhibit halls are filled with more than 1,300 works of art, rare antiques, and cultural artifacts in a wide range of subjects, from the maritime history of Singapore to the impact of Hinduism and Buddhism.
Wander through the Bugis Street Night Market, which is situated along a walkway through Bugis Village, opposite Parco Bugis Junction. The three-story indoor market has over 100 stalls, which sell a variety of goods: casual clothes, accessories, bags, CDs and more.
Cruise the Singapore River in a traditional Chinese bumboat, a low-hanging wooden vessel with a brightly painted bow, and learn the pivotal role the river played in Singapore's economic development. Steam down the river and visit the Finger Pier, Tanjong Pagar Terminal, and Brani Terminal, for a glimpse of daily operations at the second busiest port in the world.
Stroll along the Singapore River to Clarke Quay, home to restored warehouses dating back as far as the 1880s, which have been converted into shops and restaurants.
Attend a performance at the Esplanade Theatre, a futuristic, domed structure that overlooks the Marina Bay waterfront. Since its opening in 2002, the Esplanade has provided a world-class venute to host all sorts of performances, from Chinese opera to jazz festivals, classical Indian dance to pop concerts. Additionally, the Esplanade features a variety of rotating exhibitions, from contemporary art to modern cinema.
Visit Eu Yan Sang Medical Hall, one of Singapore's most respected centers for traditional Chinese medicine. Stop in for a cup of ginseng tea, and browse the shelves of exotic, dried ingredients said to remedy almost any malady known to man. Consult with a staff member for an on-the-spot diagnosis, and have them prescribe something for your ailments.
Visit an indoor “hawker” center, where myriad vendors serve Singapore’s justly famed street food, a local obsession. Specialties include barbecued crab and deep-fried baby squid; for dessert, try goreng pisang, which are banana and yam fritters.
Explore Little India, a bustling neighborhood centered on Serangoon Road. Here, countless shops and stalls sell all sorts of Indian items: fresh flower garlands, glittering bangles, multicolored saris and textiles, and all the manner of Bollywood movies and soundtracks.
Explore Orchard Road, the main thoroughfare of central Singapore. Its high-end department stores, broad sidewalks, and stately trees recall New York's Fifth Avenue or London's Regent Street; virtually every international luxury brand is represented. For products with a more local flavor, browse the outlets of independent designers and smaller labels clustered nearby in the Club Street–Ann Siang Hill district.
Stroll through the Singapore Botanic Gardens, which was founded in 1859. Here you can join a tai chi session or just leisurely walk through the lovely, manicured greenery located right in the center of Singapore. The Gardens have spectacular displays of tropical flora and fauna, in addition to several wonderful sculptures and architectural touches.
Experience the myriad tastes of Singapore at a local cooking school and spice garden. Tour the grounds with the founder, sample fresh, organic spices, and learn about Nyonya cuisine, a uniquely Singapore style which fuses Chinese ingredients and cooking techniques with Malay flavors.
Visit the Singapore Zoo for their famed Night Safari, which allows you the rare opportunity of seeing nocturnal animals in their element. The zoo is a 170-acre park home to 160 species, 50% of which are endangered species from Southeast Asia, including the greater one-horned rhinoceros, the barasingha, or Indian swamp deer, and the red dhole.
Immerse yourself in the art of preparing and serving Chinese tea. Sit back and watch carefully as the staff shows you how to pour and appreciate a proper cup. You can also buy a wide variety of teas and elegant utensils here.