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Singapore, full of activities
- 5 days
- All seasons
- General public
- Culture / Heritage
- Faune and flora
- Relaxation / Well-being
The city-state is a booming tourist destination. Its architecture, nightlife, culture and urban/natural approach form a set of points of interest for its visitors.
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- Singapore City
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Details of the stay: Singapore, full of activities - 5 days
Day 1 : The Battle of Singapore
Singapore, the main British military base in the Far East, fell into Japanese hands during the Second World War in less than a week. From February 15, 1942 to August 20, 1945, Singapore was occupied by the Japanese. This visit is essential to understand this painful period in Singapore's history.
Changi: The Changi Prisoner of War Camp was built by the Japanese occupiers on the east of the main island of Singapore, on the site of three former British barracks after the island's conquest on 15 February 1942. In this prison camp, the Japanese quickly regrouped almost all of their allied prisoners of war (the British, Australians and Dutch) as well as many civilians. Today the Changi Museum traces the history of the Second World War and gathers testimonies of these prisoners of war. The morning can be devoted to visiting Changi's sites (museum, Changi beach, Johore Battery, Selarang Barracks).
After lunch in Changi Village, we head to the former Ford assembly and assembly plants built in 1940, now converted into a "Ford Factory" museum. It was there that the deed of surrender from Singapore to Japan was signed on 15 February 1942.
Bunker Battle Box: In the morning, visit the "Battle Box", a bunker built by the British in 1936 in Fort Canning Park to serve as the underground headquarters of the Military Command. It was there that Lieutenant-General Percival decided to surrender to the Japanese. The visit of the 26 rooms of the bunker is enhanced by propaganda posters, reconstitution of soldiers, sound effects and all in the cool since we are 9 m underground.In the afternoon, visit another bunker in Labrador Park and underground tunnels. Finally, the last stop of the visit is Bukit Chandu (the opium hill) where there is a magnificent colonial house restored as a museum, retracing one of the last battles fought by the Malay Regiment ("Askar Melayu") against the Japanese.
Day 2 : Singapore and architecture
There is a story behind each building and to discover them, follow the guide!
From Marina Bay Sands, Singapore's new architectural icon with its three towers connected by a 200-metre high park, to the Armenian church andhôtel Raffle'sthe Ministry of Information and Communication with its 911 multicoloured windows, the Jamae Mosque in Chinatown or the Capella Hotel designed by British architect Norman Foster, over one or two days, choose a number of buildings and discover their history.
Day 3 : Singapore's artistic side
Over the past ten years, Singapore has been emerging on the world artistic map. Museums, galleries, exhibitions, the artistic life in Singapore is growing year after year. Although there are no museums in Singapore comparable to those in Paris or New York (yet?), the offer remains interesting.
Over two days, here is a program that alternates between museums and galleries.
Modern art: we start with a visit to the Singapore Museum of Art (SAM) for a first contact with modern art in Singapore and Southeast Asia. With a permanent collection of more than 7,500 works on display on a rotating basis, the museum prides itself on being the public institution with the largest collection of modern and contemporary art in Southeast Asia. Then you can go to the annex of the Singapore Art Museum, called 8Q SAM (located about 88 steps from the SAM), which opened in August. Sculptures, installations, photography and video are in the spotlight. Only living artists are exhibited.
Then head to the Raffles Hotel, which houses the Chen Hampe Gallery. Owners Ben and Angie have already successfully completed their first gallery in Tanjong Pagar. They follow very young artists and others who are already sold abroad (Raffles Hotel Arcade, Unit 01-04, 328 North Bridge Road). For more established artists, visit the Artfolio gallery and its neighbor Connoisseur, specialized in contemporary Chinese art. And while you are at the Raffles Hotel, take the opportunity to visit the small museum dedicated to him. You will be able to discover the mythical hotel once frequented by tigers, Joseph Conrad, Rudyard Kipling and Noel Coward.
Then go to the Ode to Art gallery (located in Raffles city, opposite the Raffles hotel) which exhibits many contemporary Chinese artists. You will find a wide selection of modern sculptures.
In the afternoon: direction Gillman Barracks, these former British army barracks converted into art galleries. You will find major international galleries such as Sundaram Tagore Gallery, Michael Janssen Gallery, Mizuma Gallery, ShanghART Gallery and recently the Pearl Lam Gallery. You can have a coffee at Masons' which plays on the colonial spirit for decoration.
National Art: visit the Singapore National Museum, which is dedicated to the history of Singapore, but also has an extension dedicated to contemporary art. Then head to The Substation Centre, Singapore's first independent contemporary art centre. Cross the street and stop at the Art Plural gallery. Essential both for the beauty of the space and for the quality of the artists presented there. Then go to Orchard Road, the hotels and shopping malls on the city's most famous arterial road also house art galleries. Visit the Opera Gallery at the ION, directed by a Frenchman, which offers beautiful pieces of Asian, European and American art. It has also just opened a branch in Marina Bay Sands. The Pop and Contemporary Fine Art located at the Renaissance Palace houses a beautiful collection of famous artists such as Murakami, Warhol and Kusuma. The Mandarin Gallery houses the trendy MAD, Museum of Art and Design, which exhibits artists from Southeast Asia.
In the afternoon, direction Chinatown and the Red Dot Design Museum, it is difficult to miss this colonial red brick building. The former headquarters of the traffic police during the colonial era now houses the works of designers awarded the Red Dot Design Award, one of the most prestigious design awards in the world. Then to ReDot Fine Art Gallery, Singapore's only gallery specialising in Australian Aboriginal art, founded by Giogio Pilla in his superb Peranakan house. To close this discovery of Singapore through art, go to dinner at the restaurant of the New Majestic Hotel (one of the rooms decorated by Justin Lee) to discover modern Cantonese cuisine.
Day 4 : Singapore by night
SuperTree: to celebrate your arrival, head for Gardens at the Bay in the late afternoon. Climb up the metal flowers and you will arrive on the terrace of the SuperTree by Indochine bar (18 S$ the entrance with soda). You will have a 360° view of the city, the port and the ocean and you will see the city gradually light up until it gets dark. It's magical! Then take a walk along Marina Bay where you will find good restaurants.
Night Safari: it's probably the most fun attraction in Singapore. You will walk for two hours in the dark without feeling like you are in a zoo. There are no barriers between you and animals, only ditches. Only the cages are lit. We see bats, owls and other animals only at night. Zebras and giraffes stay awake at night. If you don't feel like walking, you can take the little train.
RoofTop Evening: like New York, Hong Kong or Tokyo, Singapore is full of bars on the rooftops. It's the best way to get a good look at it. Don't forget, Wednesday is Ladies night, meaning discount or cocktail offered for girls. Go to 1-Altitude, Ce La Vi, LeVel33 or Kini Rooftop Bar. If you are a little hungry, you can enjoy satays, chicken skewers with peanut sauce, in Satay Street at Lau Pa Sat in CBD. It's always lively.
Disco: go and dance in one of the nightclubs of the capital: Zouk, Kyo, Blue Jazz, Refuge... You have a wide choice according to your tastes and desires. Go to the "Get out" section to make your choice.
Overnight at the casino: if you still have Singapore dollars left, you can spend them at the casino on Sentosa Island. There is a huge area for blackjack and poker fans. The casino is open 24 hours a day and there are hotels, swimming pools, bars around. Everything is done to make sure you miss your flight!
Day 5 : Singapore Gastronomy
Little India: start the morning with the Little India market to awaken your taste buds with Indian spices. You can take a detour to the gigantic Indian store Mustafa to find exotic dishes, before choosing a local Laksa restaurant. Prata and curry will be your lunch. In the afternoon, walk to Bugis and Arab Sreet. After visiting the mosque and before window shopping, you can have a mint tea and an oriental pastry, or a hookah.
Discover durian: discover the exotic fruits and vegetables from Tiong Bahru's market: manggis, salak, dragon fruit... fruits that can only be found in Southeast Asia. Then have a croissant coffee at PS Café. Then join Chinatown, walk through the dried meat stalls. You will absolutely have to taste the durian, a fruit that will not leave you indifferent. Some say it smells and tastes like garbage, others love it! Also drink a fresh coconut. Once the aperitif is over, go eat small steamed ravioli filled with meat at Din Tai Fu.
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