Singapore Swing: How to Enjoy a Perfect Lion City Layover
Small and perfectly formed (and ordered), Singapore is one of the world's finest layover destinations.
HOW TO ENJOY A PERFECT LION CITY LAYOVER
Small and perfectly designed, Singapore is one of the world's finest layover destinations. The tiny island nation punches above its size for several reasons. It is a hub for international air travel — with an airport rated as the best on the planet, and is a gateway to fabulous nearby destinations such as Desaru Coast in Johor, Malaysia, and Bawah Reserve Indonesia, one of Asia’s most sumptuous private island resorts. Singapore also harbors a famously vibrant culinary and drinking scene and offers a mélange of Malay, Chinese and Indian cultures. Here are a few ideas on how to savor a short and sweet stay in the Lion City.READ MORE
EAT, DRINK AND BE MERRYKeong Saik Road
In Singapore, speakeasy bars and hip dining venues open with the regularity of a ticking metronome. A current hotspot in Chinatown is Keong Saik Road and its immediate surroundings. The area is home to a plethora of internationally-lauded venues including the Michelin-starred Burnt Ends, high-end Japanese Kyuu, and Papa Doble Singapore, a sleek, clubby spot inspired by writer Ernest Hemingway that has cemented a spot in the World 50 Best Bars list. For more dining and libations head to Club Street and Ann Siang Hill. Highlights in this enclave range from the Thai-flavored Savanh Bistro + Lounge to natural wine haven Le Bon Funk. Or make for Hong Kong Street where a non-descript entrance hides 28 Hong Kong Street, one of the first Singapore bars – and still among the best – to adopt the characteristics (no signage, a drawn curtain hiding the bar) of a speakeasy.
MORE TO EXPLOREJoo Chiat
The great thing about Singapore is how manageable it is. It is easy to strike out from prime addresses like Raffles Singapore and The Fullerton Bay Hotel to different sights, areas, and attractions. Shopaholics will head for Orchard Road, a retail hub with some of Asia's most impressing department stores and malls. Culture buffs will love world-class museums and galleries like the National Gallery Singapore and the ArtScience Museum near Marina Bay. Experience a grittier side of Singapore in neighborhoods like Little India and Joo Chiat. With its heady sights, smells, and sounds, Little India has always been a magnet for those seeking the less sanitized side of Singapore. Joo Chiat, meanwhile, is a center for Peranakan (Straits Chinese) culture and is home to colorful period architecture and some of the island’s best hawker cuisine.
BACK TO NATUREMacRitchie Reservoir
Densely populated Singapore is surprisingly rich in places to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. For an easy break from the urban whirl, take a day trip to the island of Pulau Ubin. Stepping off the bumboat that transports visitors to the island is like going back in time and the tiny outpost is one of the country’s few remaining throwbacks. Part of the fun of the Pulau Ubin experience is just following your nose and biking along its myriad lanes. The island’s ‘must-visit’ attraction is the Chek Jawa wetlands, encompassing several ecosystems like a seagrass lagoon, coral rubble, mangroves, and coastal forest. Other prime spots in Singapore for nature-lovers include MacRitchie Reservoir, where a range of hiking loops take walkers deep into the island’s green heart, and Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, the centerpiece of which is the 163-meter-high Bukit Timah.
OPEN WITHOUT QUARANTINEVaccinated travelers can travel to any of these destinations right now. Armenia
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