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Influenced by the shimmering waters of the Singapore River, Boat Quay is a ravishing waterfront wonderland. One of the best spots in Singapore for outdoor dining, Boat Quay has come a long way from when the area was still a cargo-loading bay. Entrenched in a long-standing history, the quay was once a teeming centerpoint of aquatic trade as part of the Port of Singapore. An expansive spot for entertainment, scintillating bars and restaurants which serve timeless cuisines, from Italian to Thai, Boat Quay is much characterized by a solid night-time revelry. An invigorating, luminescent canvas come night, the quay is dotted with several gleaming establishments and vibrant houses, which are popular hang-out points for locals, expatriates and tourists alike. Rather than cargoes of trade, the riverside is today awash with tables set up for alfresco dining. This picturesque, though busy stretch offers great views of the Singapore River and part of the colonial district, greatly embodying the increasingly commercial and cosmopolitan vigor of the country.
This 1910 building evokes the serenity of its era in its arched verandas, balanced symmetry, and dignified proportions fashionable in 19th-century England. A Sri Lankan figurine of Buddha, Islamic art and calligraphy, South-east Asian tribal wood carvings and other ethnographic collections trace Singapore's diverse cultural and religious origins to all over Asia. The Asian Civilisations Museum, however, leans heavily towards Chinese cultural heritage, with two-thirds of the galleries focusing on artifacts from China, with jade, ceramics, bronzes, and folk art, dating from the Neolithic Age to the 20th century.
Although largely scarred by redevelopment, Chinatown today still contains pockets of genuinely old shophouses where age-old trades like clog-making and calligraphy continue to be practiced. Paper effigies of cars, houses and other material objects are still being made for the deceased; these are then burnt, in the belief that they will raise the standard of living of the deceased in the next world. The many tea houses are a wonderland for the tea connoisseurs, as they do not just enable one to taste the authenticity of Chinese tea, but also promises an insightful escape into the the traditional art of tea-brewing. A stirring nexus of pleasant sights and aromas, Chinatown, at once, strikes as a bright scarlet canvas which is a soulful amalgam of history, culture and ancient architecture. Sheltering a treasure trove of religious places of worship including the Thian Hock Keng temple and Sri Marriaman Temple, Chinatown is embellished with various winding thoroughfares adorned with vibrant, historic establishments which have captured the imaginations of many. This teeming quarter also hosts a hive of hawkers, markets and restaurants serving up delectable, traditional cuisine. Its buildings awash in an amalgam of traditional, Victorian and Baroque architectural styles, Chinatown is especially enlivened with a million lights and fiery hues of red and golden during the Chinese New Year.
Located at the waterfront near the junction of Raffles Avenue and Bay Avenue, the Youth Olympic Park opened in 2010 to commemorate Singapore hosting the inaugural Youth Olympic Games. It has become the city's first art park and features 27 creative works by young Singaporean artists. Highlights include a landscaped maze, sculptures, and an inscribed poem titled "Lion Heart". The park is illuminated overnight and features an interactive hopscotch game that lights up when you step on the tiles. The park is located at the entrance to the Helix Bridge and offers great views of Marina Bay.
The Singapore Flyer, the Asian cousin of the London Eye, has been stirring up excitement within the country since its inauguration in 2008. Towering close to 165 meters (541 feet) above the city, the Flyer bursts with metropolitan glitz as its multi-colored lights dot the edge of the city-center. This Ferris Wheel is ornamented with huge cabins from where visitors appreciate the cityscape. Touted to be one of the highest in the world, the Singapore Flyer affords a breathtaking aerial view of the Malay Archipelago, which offers incredible scenery that includes the tropical landscapes of nearby islands. Embodying the increasing cosmopolitan vigor of Singapore, the Flyer is a magnificent canopy bathed in substantial design and architectural excellence.
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.
After the British dispersed the Malay floating village at the mouth of the Singapore River in the 1840s, they settled in Geylang Serai, retaining a strong Malay identity right up to this very day. Here lies the home of Singapore's best Malay trades and food, with casual and inexpensive eateries and quaint shops selling traditional wares dotting the district. Other highlights are the Geylang Serai Market and the Haig Road Hawker Centre. For good bargains in a more modern atmosphere, check out the outstanding array of textiles at the Joo Chiat Complex and Tanjong Katong Complex.
River Safari, a part of the Wildlife Reserves Singapore offers a unique experience, in that, the only river-themed zoological park in all of Asia. Featuring more than 5,000 species of animals, that thrive in freshwater habitats, River Safari is home to several mysterious creatures such as giant river otter, giant salamander and numerous endangered animals such as Mekong giant catfish. The place also boasts of one of the greatest freshwater aquarium exhibits in the world, that include rare marine species like arapaimas and manatees. Not to be missed when at River Safari is the Amazon River Quest Boat Ride.