One of the best evening activities in Singapore is to head for Marina Bay and watch the endless and colorful show of lights over the water and the buildings surrounding it. Although, it is not as energetic as Hong Kong’s light show, it is quite lovely and entertaining.
The newly developed Marina Bay area is a great place for a leisurely stroll anytime of the day. But it’s at its best at night. There are free open-air concerts/music venues to enjoy, great street or elegant gourmet food to be had, peaceful boat rides to take and for those interested in shopping or gambling- there are venues for that or that, too.
Even in late December, the weather was really, really hot and really, really humid. I tried to do the usual on-foot exploration of the city which soon proofed to be a foolish attempt. So, a couple of sweat-drenched shirts later, I decided to take the hotel concierge’s recommendation and opted for sightseeing-on-the-wheels. I hopped on one those giant red double-decker roofless tourist buses -I have always so disliked- and shamelessly -but comfortably- passed by people, buildings and neighborhoods at the cruising speed of 30 miles per hour while letting our faces be caressed by the first breeze of the day. Admittedly, it was not my highest travel point ever and I was totally embarrassed to have become what I fear the most, “just another lazy tourist”. Those were the reasons behind wearing dark sunglasses and tilting my hat all the way forward. Nonetheless, I had to face the music and choose between staying indoors or be outdoors and see/do something.
It is easy to classify Singapore as “just another big city”. It is crowded, but not overly- it is noisy, but not too much, it is filled with tall skyscraper, but not all ugly ones. It is an Asian country, but does not resemble one for most part. While English is widely spoken; the language of most nearby countries are also spoken, their religions practiced, and their cultures present here. I would describe Singapore as a small, young, clean, culturally diverse, modern metropolitan with beautiful boulevards, orderly drivers, great seafood and one of the world’s best International airports. To me, the most attractive side of Singapore was its cultural and religious diversity. It is a country built by emigrants from across Asia and beyond that seem to live harmoniously and responsibly togehter. They have succeeded in establishing and mainting a stable government and a prosperous economy in less than fifty years of independence from foreign powers.
Is Singapore worth a visit? If you don’t make Singapore a destination of its own; it is definitely worth a short stop over during your travels in Southeast Asia.
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