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Standing guard at the mouth of the Singapore River is the Merlion, a mythical beast that is a cross between a fish and a lion. The fish symbolizes Singapore's close association with the sea while the lion head refers to the legendary sighting of a lion during the discovery of ancient Singapore. Created in 1972 as a tourism icon, the Merlion is especially attractive in the evenings when it is illuminated and spouts water from its mouth. Today, it has moved 120 meters (393 feet) away from its original spot, adjacent to One Fullerton. A stroll through Merlion Park yields great views of Singapore's colonial district.
A true marvel of engineering designed by the famous architect Moshe Safdie, the Marina Bay Sands Skypark is an open-air viewing deck perched 200 meters (656.168 feet) atop the Marina Bay Sands Hotel. This deck, shaped like a ship, almost seems to go against the law of gravity as it stretches on the 57th story above the hotel tower. The panoramic views of Singapore are staggering, and on a clear day, far-off islands belonging to Malaysia and Indonesia can be seen. The Skypark is the size of three football fields and also contains lush tropical gardens, souvenir stands and gourmet restaurants. Its main attraction is a spectacular infinity pool that seems as if it meets thin air at one of its longer edges. Although the swimming pool is accessible only to hotel guests, the deck can be visited by the general public on purchase of tickets.
The first step of an ambitious plan to transform Singapore into the 'Garden City' or 'City in the Garden,' the Gardens by the Bay span a staggering 101 hectares (250 acres) of reclaimed land alongside the Marina Reservoir. From its grove of skyscraping Supertrees to the space-age biodomes, these waterfront gardens are anything but ordinary. Complete with its own waterfall, the Cloud Forest replicates a tropical paradise, while the Flower Dome encapsulates quintessentially Mediterranean climes. Even more fascinating is the Sun Pavilion with its collection of cacti and the topiaries of the World of Plants. Mesmerizing works of art are scattered across the three gardens - Bay East, Bay West and Bay Central - while the Heritage Gardens showcase Chinese, Malay and Indian culture through themed natural spaces. A magical world of wonders, Singapore's Gardens by the Bay are an awe-inspiring horticultural showcase of 21st-century design.
Dubbed as the 'Champs-Élysées of Singapore', Orchard Road is a wonderland for shopping. A close-knit nexus of shopping malls, boutiques and stores, this brimming shopping boulevard stretches 2.5 kilometers (1.5 miles) long, and is said to have the largest concentration of shopping malls worldwide. Originally a nutmeg and pepper plantation, Orchard Road today is lined with ritzy malls, fashionable eateries, salons and luxury hotels from end to end. The more notable shopping centers include Ngee Ann City, Tangs Department Store, Wisma Atria, The Heeren and Centrepoint, these juxtapose with some entities of the bygone era like the Peranakan shophouses near Emerald Hill, built at the turn of the 20th Century. Peppered along the course of the road is a tapestry of scintillating establishments including art galleries, restaurants and bars which shine out in pleasant contrast with the brilliant retail establishments which frame its luxurious tenor. A canvas of unhindered luminescence and droves of excited shoppers come night, Orchard Road is a seamless amalgam of cutting-edge shopping facilities and a treasure trove of entertainment.
A man-made marvel awaits your arrival at the famous Gardens by the Bay. Aptly called the Cloud Forest, this wonderful attraction has an environment that transports you into a tropical forest. The cool temperature here is controlled using air conditioners and mist is sprayed artificially at regular intervals to create an illusion of being amidst the clouds. The mountain itself towers over 40 meters (131 feet) with an elevator placed inside it for visitors to scale the gigantic structure. A waterfall gushes down the mountain from a height of over 30 meters (98 feet). Visitors standing at the extended observation desks can feel the sprinkles from the waterfall while breathing in the tropical scents of the many ferns that are artificially grown here.
Awash with scents and sights reminiscent of the subcontinent, this is a microcosm of India where every imaginable Indian product can be found: trinkets, sarees, spices, sweetmeats, nose studs, flower garlands and anything else that an Indian household needs. Traces of Hinduism are found everywhere, from the elaborate temples to wall calendars with pictures of Hindu deities. On Sundays, Indian locals and foreign workers flock to the streets of Little India to eat, chat, shop and worship. Hard though it is to walk through the crowds, this is a unique spectacle you should not miss.
There's a new way to get to Sentosa Island – walking! The Sentosa Boardwalk connects VivoCity Mall to the waterfront of Sentosa Island via a two-way covered walkway and moving walkway. The boardwalk itself has become an attraction for its sculptures, view points, and five themed gardens featuring native Singaporean plants and flowers. Several al fresco restaurants and bars can be found along the boardwalk and have views of the open ocean. The admission fee is only collected at the end of the walkway before you enter Sentosa Island and is payable by cash or EZ-link card.
Located in Resort World Sentosa, discover the magic of the underwater world here at S.E.A Aquarium. This fascinating aquarium is one of the largest of its kind in the world. It is home to over 800 species of marine life with 100,000 animals in 49 habitats. Categorized into several exhibitions like South China Sea, Persian Gulf, East Africa and Bay of Bengal, explore the glass tunnel for 270 degree views of ocean treasures like leopard sharks, batfish and goliath grouper.
Resorts World Sentosa is an inextricable part of Singapore. This sprawling resort covers over 45 hectares (112 acres) of land and it is home to numerous attractions. Whether you have arrived here with your family, boisterous friends or you are in the company of business associates, Resorts World Sentosa promises something for everyone. Universal Studios Singapore is the major attraction of Resorts World Sentosa, if you are touring the city with little ones then this is the place for you to be. Additionally, the resort has an aquarium called the Marine Life Park. Casinos, eclectic bars, fine dining restaurants and dynamic nightlife spots are also peppered around the resort, thus offering plenty of options for those here with friends. Multifaceted banquet facilities accommodate all kinds of conferences and business meetings here.
What was once a vigilant British army base, has today established itself as a major tourist destination; a scintillating site which is a world in itself. Dotted with paved thoroughfares, luxurious resorts, hotels and excellent dining establishments, this delightful island is offers visitors outdoor revelry combined with a smattering of natural, scenic delights. Fringed by greenery and white sand beaches, this exuberant island is characterized by the presence of many theme parks, activities to cater to every type of visitor and a multitude of soaring high-rises. Sentosa is not just an adventurous wonderland, but also one of the most fascinating getaways in the country. Here, cable cars and the Sentosa Express monorail traverse the island's idyllic landscape, whereas attractions like Fort Siloso, Universal Studios Singapore and a replica of the iconic Merlion statue attest to its ever-booming touristy appeal.
The latest thrilling attraction on Sentosa Island is iFly – an indoor sky-diving simulator. The 16.5 feet (5.02 meters) wide, 56.5 feet (17.22) meters tall wind tunnel is the largest of its kind in the world and made from acrylic glass, so you can see out toward the ocean when you're flying. iFly is also completely safe and children as young as seven are allowed to take the jump. DVDs and photographs of your experience are available as souvenirs. Discounts are given for groups, bookings made in advance, and jumps during off-peak times like weekday mornings.
Mottled with a tapestry of dense woodlands, rejuvenating rainforests and water features aplenty, Singapore Zoo forges a fascinating, wild revelry where a multitude of animals thrive and flourish with pleasant solidarity. Opened in 1973, Singapore Zoo uses moats and beautifully-landscaped glass-fronted enclosures to house hundreds of thousands of animals. 28 hectares (69.2 acres) of land is divided into more than a dozen regions, featuring hundreds of species, including rare and endangered ones. The world's largest captive orangutan group lies nestled in the verdant recesses of the zoo which attaches great importance to wildlife education and conservation. Two programs, Wild Breakfast and Afternoon Tea, enable visitors to interact with and learn more about several species of animals while having their meal. Photographic opportunities, of course, abound, while other highlights of the zoo include feeding programs, elephant and pony rides, animal shows, tram rides and insightful, open exhibits.