Singapore is home to some of the most amazing sites in the world. Sentosa, Marina Bay Sands, the Botanic Gardens and our internationally-feted airport could easily rank among them but there are some places and experiences that are truly unique.
Here are some places, sights and experiences in Singapore that you should not miss or should encounter at least once in your lifetime.
The Last Kampong in Singapore:
The last cluster of kampong or village-style living on the mainland of Singapore can be found in Kampong Buangkok, not far from high-rise HDB flats in the area. Kampong Buangkok is home to a mix of 30-odd Chinese and Malay families.
Kampong Buangkok remains as authentic as it did 40 years ago, with livestock walking around freely and children fishing during their free time. For a peek into the life of Singaporeans 40 years ago, be sure to pay this peaceful village a visit before Father Time catches up with the kampong that’s been frozen in time.
Kampong Buangkok, near Gerald Drive (off Yio Chu Kang Road)
World War II Legacy:
Singapore’s only preserved coastal fort, Fort Siloso, stands an emblem of the darkest times in Singapore history. Sadly, it was built as a fortress to protect Singapore from Japanese naval forces, with multiple large canons facing the open sea, but it was quickly made redundant as the Japanese advance came through the thick tropical jungles in the north.
Fort Siloso is home to the country’s largest collection of World War II artefacts. You can discover more about Singapore’s poignant World War II history with re-enactments, tram rides through history and guided tours.
World-Famous Food Culture:
Maxwell Hawker Centre
Singapore is known around the world for its smorgasbord of food originating from a host of ethnicities. Enjoy authentic Singaporean food at the famous Maxwell Hawker Centre, a confluence of various popular hawker dishes.
Be spoilt for choice with over 100 food vendors presenting the best delicacies. Many must-try dishes have been publicised in various media, including Tian Tian Chicken Rice (that won in a competition against Chef Gordon Ramsay), Zhen Zhen Porridge and even Shanghai Dim Sum.
1 Kadayanallur Street
Shinto Shrine Ruins:
Syonan Jinja in MacRitchie Reservoir
Even many Singaporeans don’t know that deep within the forest of MacRitchie Reservoir lies the ruins of a Japanese Shinto shrine called Syonan Jinja.
The shrine dates back to World War II, when it was built in the name of the Japanese Soldiers who lost their lives during the invasion of Singapore.
Sadly, the Shinto shrine was destroyed by the Japanese before they left Singapore. Today, a little of its eerie remains still reside in a clearing, including a series of stone steps and a water trough.
Why not go on an adventure and seek it out?
Singapore Zoo & River Safari
Globally-renowned as one of the best rainforest zoos and river safaris in the world, Singapore’s Wildlife Reserves is something to be proud of. Be sure not to miss the unparalleled experience the Singapore Zoo and River Safari have to offer, such as free-roaming animals, beautiful natural enclosures and what has been described as “exceptionally happy” animals.
Top Amusement Park in Asia:
Universal Studios Singapore
Singapore’s very own movie-themed amusement park, Universal Studios Singapore, offers thrills and fun experiences like no other. Ranked as No.1 out of the Top 25 Amusement Parks in Asia by TripAdvisor, you are guaranteed a whole day of fun with your friends or family.
Highlights include the Shrek 4D ride, The Transformers 3D ride, the Steven Spielberg Movie Experience, the Sesame Street Spaghetti Space Chase and the Revenge of the Mummy Rollercoaster Ride. Immerse yourself in the worlds of your favourite characters beyond the screen.
Resorts World Sentosa, 8 Sentosa Gateway, Sentosa Island
Largest Indoor Wind Tunnel in the World:
Experience flying in the world’s largest wind tunnel right here in Singapore. iFly brings you all the thrills and exhilaration that
you would get from actual skydiving, in indoor safety.
iFly Singapore also boasts several Guinness World Records set by its experienced iFlyers. At about one-fifth the cost of actual skydiving, iFly gives you an experience like no other.
The Only Night Race in the World:
F1 Grand Prix Singapore
The F1 Grand Prix in Singapore is the only night race in the world and is famous for bringing F1 Grand Prix as well as entertainment fans a unique sports and party experience.
Feel the rush as the spectacular machines zoom by, and catch A-list international performers in town to entertain you. Last year’s edition saw Rihanna and The Killers, among others.
This year, Singapore GP has confirmed that Jennifer Lopez and Robbie Williams will perform at the event.
These are just some of the incredible sights and experiences in Singapore. Who says you need to leave home to have fun? Plan for these experiences with your friends and family soon.
By Basil Lee