1. Skyscraper Infinity Pool
If it’s true that the city-state of Singapore is what you’d get if Los Angeles had been financed by the Chinese and designed by the Swedes, then the infinity pool atop the Marina Bay Sands is its little touch of Las Vegas. Reputedly the most expensive casino in the world and featuring the world’s largest public cantilevered platform, the Sands was built by an American company (hailing from Vegas, in fact). The views are fantastic and the opulence extreme, making this a must-see destination for visitors to the city.
2. The Mandai Zoo
Famous for its signature night safaris and its controversial “croc coaching” shows, this zoo is an unusual institution befitting a city designed with singular vision and breathtaking ambition. Among the various attractions during a Mandai Zoo tour is the “Breakfast with an Orangutan” program that allows visitors to meet and closely interact with the zoo’s group of friendly orangutans. Animal shows featuring token feedings with live commentaries by handlers are also a regular occurrence. Visitors seeking family friendly sightseeing should take care not to miss it.
For a tame dose of culturally sensitizing tourism, Singapore’s Chinatown is the go-to locale. Though Singapore was founded in the blood of racial conflicts between Malays and Chinese immigrants, the district is nonetheless one of the world’s oldest and largest Chinatowns, dating as it does at least to the 13th century.
4. Hawker Center Cuisine
Travelers on a budget or anyone simply jonesing for a street-level culinary fix will find the city’s many legendary hawker centers a delight. One of the main appeals of these congregations of food vendors is simple: they’re cheap. Various traditional foods are served, as well as a profusion of Chinese-influenced and other pan-Asian cuisines, and all for as little as five dollars an item.
5. The Singapore Grand Prix
Among the FIA Formula One motor race locations, the Singapore Grand Prix rivals the most famous and well-established races (including the iconic event held at Monaco). These road races are more popular in Europe and elsewhere than they are in the US, but American travelers who find themselves in Singapore during the 10 days following September 25th this year will find the event an eye-opener.