“Boiling” Melting Pot, Cultural Mixture
Have you ever heard of the term Melting Pot? This term is often used to describe the state of the U.S. and the numerous races which make up that country. However, this term also can be applied to describe Singapore. Indians, Arabs, and Chinese are all prominent members of Singaporean society.
Therefore, you should not be surprised to see various traditional costumes and to experience different cultures wherever you go. There are three famous cultural areas in Singapore; Arab street, Little India, and China Town. You can see typical Singaporean houses in all three of them, but as soon as you look closely at each of them, you will notice small differences in each area. Comparing the different characteristics can be an exciting part of your trip.
One of the more interesting features I saw in Singapore was the Hindu and Buddhist temples on the same block which further shows the cultural and religious tolerance there. This provides living examples we Koreans can learn from in order to become a more multinational country in the near future.
Love nature? Go to Jurong
Bird Park & the Botanic Gardens
It is obvious that Singapore is one of the smallest countries in the world. However it is also one of the most nature-friendly countries. Jurong Bird Park is one of the most famous attractions. Initially, I thought it was not that different from parks in Korea. But unlike Korea, the first thing you will encounter is a flock of parrots that are not confined in any cages or nets.
In fact, most of the birds in Jurong are not in cages. Therefore, you can feed and even touch some (although this is only allowed in a certain area, and only with Lories.) You will also find that some birds will often block your way when you enter specific areas. That is the beauty of Jurong Bird Park.
You may think that you do not need to visit the Botanic Gardens because you can already see many trees around you. But unlike normal parks in Korea, there are a huge variety of unique trees and animals for you to see. I am sure that you will be delighted once you feel the fresh breeze and sweet sunshine in the centre of the city. Alongside Mother Nature, there are also artificial beauties for you to enjoy in the garden.
Because of the wonderful scenery in the garden, newly married couples often take wedding pictures there. Can you imagine how nice it is yet? Many citizens also like to spend their free time in this peaceful environment.
Heaven for Shoppers
Famous for its shopping centres, Singapore is a Mecca for shopaholics. From traditional carpets to highly sophisticated digital products, you can find everything you desire. For luxury shoppers, Orchard Road is the perfect choice. Thousands of shops are located along the road so you can find almost every brand. Vivo City and Marina Bay Sands are also highly recommended. In Vivo City, which is a mall on the Harbour Front, you can enjoy the beautiful view of the sea while shopping. And be sure not to miss the amazing night views at Marina Bay Sands.
One of the most famous shopping places for backpackers is Bugis. Bugis Street is very similar to Dongdaemoon Market in Korea while Bugis Junction is similar to modern shopping malls in Korea. Another place that I want recommend is “Haji Lane.” Even though it is located on Arab Street, there are very trendy fashion items there.
If you are not in the mood for shopping then, just browse around the stores. Each store has unique displays which will amuse you. If you want to buy something special as a souvenir, I suggest you visit Arab Street, Little India, and China Town. You can buy handicrafts and traditional products there.
Similar Looking? But Different Taste! A Wide Variety of Food
If you were hesitant in the past to try foreign dishes in Korea because of their high cost, why not try some here? You can try traditional foods from different countries very easily and cheaply. You can check the prices of the various dishes before you enter restaurants so you do not need to worry about being ripped-off.
It will be a very good and delicious experience. Of course, your choices will not always be perfect but it is worth a try. Many Singaporeans usually have their meals in food centres. You can also visit one of these food centres and enjoy exotic tastes with just pocket money. Indian, Chinese, and Malaysian foods are the most popular, however when you miss Korean food it is also there waiting for you. After having a delicious meal, enjoy some delicious desserts! From fresh fruit juice to egg tarts. Here are the dishes I tried in Singapore.
Since Singapore is a very small country (it is as small as Seoul), it is quite easy to experience the best places in just a few days. Moreover Singapore has one of the lowest crime rates in the world. Even though I often hung around alone in the middle of the night, I felt perfectly safe. (But keep in mind that a low crime rate does not mean no crime at all!) Release your stress and enjoy a vacation in Singapore. Do not hesitate anymore, just go and have fun!