Stepping out in Singapore

Smoke billows up from fiery barbecue plates laden with rows of prawn and beef skewers, while diners sit at long tables with cheery plastic tablecloths and jugs of beer in Singapore’s famous Satay Street.

Smoke billows up from fiery barbecue plates laden with rows of prawn and beef skewers, while diners sit at long tables with cheery plastic tablecloths and jugs of beer in Singapore’s famous Satay Street.
It’s just outside Lau Pa Sat, a restored historic hawker market that dates from the 1830s, where you’ll find everything from local favourites like tender Hainanese chicken rice to North Indian, Filipino, Vietnamese, Korean and Japanese food.

They say Singaporeans purchase their homes based on the proximity to favourite hawker centres and it is easy to see why. Filled with small, family run stalls, these centres offer myriad flavours.

Whether you are looking for a spicy laksa broth, chilli crab or kaya toast, a visit to a hawker centre is the perfect way to satisfy your hunger and thirst at easily-affordable prices.

Multi-cultural Singapore, with its vibrant mix of Malay, Indian, Chinese and European influences is an easy but interesting choice for Australian travellers.

With an eight-hour flight time from Brisbane’s award-winning International Airport, a Singapore stop works equally well as an extended weekend trip or much needed journey breaker. The similar exchange rate between Australian and Singapore dollars makes shopping easy, and the country’s low crime rate means visitors are safe to explore most parts of the island. Taxis are easy to hail and an inexpensive mode of transport.

While there is plenty to explore, it is hard to miss the Supertrees at Gardens by the Bay, a nature park spanning 101 hectares of reclaimed land in central Singapore, adjacent to the Marina Reservoir. There’s nothing quite like a stroll along the 128-metre-long OCBC Skyway that links the trees 22 metres off the ground.

Step in to the Gardens by the Bay Flower Dome and enjoy the colourful floral displays. Equally amazing is walking from the top the of world’s tallest indoor waterfall down 35 metres through the surreal, mistfilled Cloud Walk and Treetop Walk.

Soaring 57 levels above the heart of the city, the Marina Bay Sands SkyPark Observation Deck is well known as a popular Singapore vantage point. However there’s a different, even higher skyline view at Jaan Restaurant on the Swissotel Stamford Singapore’s 71st floor. Named in Asia’s Top 50 Restaurants list, Chef Kirk Westaway teases the palate with stunningly innovative dishes at Jaan showcasing the best local produce.

At the base of Marina Bay Sands, high-tech interactive artwork awaits at Future World in the ArtScience Museum.

Using cutting-edge digital installation, art, science, magic and metaphor combine in an absorbing immersive experience for both adults and children.

History buffs should not miss a chance to skip back through history and experience life in The Battlebox inside Fort Canning Hill. This once top-secret underground bunker was built to be a bombproof and self-sufficient command centre for British-led troops in Singapore during WWII. It was from here that the British made the momentous decision in 1942 to surrender Singapore to the Japanese forces.

While Singapore is an easy city to travel around, it helps to stay close to the action so you can pop out to a food court or sightsee at whim. Sofitel Singapore City Centre, a blend of local culture and French art de vivre, is located between historic Chinatown and the lion city’s vibrant central business district. Hotel highlights include a 30-metre infinity pool with an urban landscape background, surprising Chinese and French dishes at Racines and an executive lounge, Club Millésime which caters for almost any whim.

Take your Sofitel room mobile phone with complimentary calls to ten countries with you as you walk to Singapore’s Chinatown. This is where mosques sit next to Hindu and Chinese temples and it’s easy to pop from a hipster bar into a medicinal hall. You won’t miss the soaring spire of Singapore’s oldest Hindu temple, Sri Mariamman, located in the heart of Chinatown.

Singapore’s flat landscape makes bicycle or electric scooter tour a fun way to explore. Take to the city via footpaths, parks and quiet streets with Let’s Go! Bike Singapore. The Singapore Historical tour will guide you through the backstreets of Chinatown, around one of the city’s oldest housing estates, and alongside Singapore River to the quaint streets around the Malay stronghold of Kampong Glam. There are views of the mythical Merloin, Marina Bay and Raffles Place.

Getting to Singapore from Brisbane is an easy flight on Singapore Airline’s multiple daily A350 service, which offers a Premium Economy cabin service.

Whether you are a foodie, an action seeker or an explorer, Singapore will capture your imagination with its colourful and constantly changing experiences. It’s time to find out what this city will reveal to you.
The writer travelled with the assistance of Singapore Tourism Board and Accor Hotels.

Images by Kerry Heaney and Singapore Tourism.