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Singapore is clean, safe and efficient and the inhabitants are as proud of this as they are of the city’s great financial heart beating around the clock. The harbour is the busiest in the world and capital flows on the stock exchange. All the world’s banks, insurance companies and investors are represented here. In 200 years, Singapore has gone from being a deserted island to an eminent industrial nation and major financial power, as reflected in the flourishing townscape. A good start for anyone who wants to experience Singapore today, with its mixture of old and new, is to have a drink on Boat Quay in the late afternoon. The renovated harbour district is packed with bars and restaurants. People from the financial district also meet here after work to socialise. Another traditional watering hole is Raffles Hotel, built in the Colonial style. Is there anything more embedded in mystic than to drink a Singapore Sling in the hotel’s Long Bar? It is a fantastic environment for a drink, the perfect way to experience Singapore and perhaps the very best way of all to experience the meeting between the city’s exciting history and modern times. Anyone who is looking for the original Singapore might like to head for the crowds of Chinatown where fortune-tellers, calligraphers and temple visitors are a permanent feature of everyday life. In Little India you will find the best Sari fabrics and lots of exciting spices. Don’t miss the small shops on Arab Street either.
Singapore is a hectic metropolis with bustling street life. There are many sights to see here, and you can experiences everything from a drink at legendary Raffles Hotel to meeting tigers at one of the world's finest zoos.
Singapore is an unparalleled city when it comes to food – a number of major Asian cuisines blend with the best of the Occident. Indian, Malay, Japanese, Chinese and Singapore’s own cuisine meets in Singapore and the result is a fantastic choice, both in terms of the number of restaurants and the quality. In Singapore, you can eat cheap and tasty at one of the hawker centres, which used to be open air complexes selling a variety of foods, and are today slowly being replaced by indoor air-conditioned food courts.
Kopitiam - meaning "coffee shop" in Hokkien - are the local variety of neighbourhood cafes, and can be found all over the island. They’re not just good for breakfast, but will serve a nice light meal any time of the day. Outlets offering breakfast as well as other savoury delights are the historic Killiney Kopitiam and the relatively new Toastbox franchise.
Those who want to dance and enjoy themselves all night long have plenty of options in Singapore. Often, the visitor who is looking for something to drink in Singapore, is tipped off to try a Singapore Sling at Raffles, but there are lots of other alternatives.
Locals joke that shopping is a national sport in Singapore, and there really is an enormous range in all price brackets to choose from. The artery of Singapore’s shopping life is naturally Orchard Road, where the largest and most well-known department stores are lined up. Moreover, there are lots of shopping centres and markets around the city.
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