The Garden City of Asia

Constantly innovating, Singapore is a place that dazzles with its newness.

Preserving tradition, from old buildings to local cuisine, is important to people here, but everywhere you look, something is being upgraded, cleaned or renovated. This makes Singapore a fascinating destination, one that’s superbly easy to get around and full of constantly changing sights, sounds and scents.

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Taste a blend of cuisines

First things first: one of the most important things to do in Singapore is eat. This city-state’s unique mix of Chinese, Indian, Malay and many more cultures has resulted in an infinitely inventive cuisine.

Begin with one of the island’s signature dishes, Chili Crab, at local popular restaurant chain Jumbo Seafood, where the crabs are extra-meaty and the sauce extra-spicy. Add the Black Pepper Crab, another specialty, and cool your tongue afterwards with a chilled lemon jelly or honeydew sago.

Breakfast in Singapore means kaya toast. A sweet paste made from eggs, palm sugar and coconut cream, kaya is spread on toasted white bread or steamed buns, and it’s best accompanied by a kopi: coffee with sugar or condensed milk added. You’ll find both served in chain coffee-shops all over the island, but it’s worth seeking out the 75-year-old Tong Ah Eating House for its famous house-made kaya.

Hawker centres (open-air complexes in which many local food stalls are gathered) are an essential thing to see in Singapore. Tiong Bahru Market is home to dozens of vendors selling all kinds of filling and delicious dishes, from wonton noodle soup to duck porridge to Hainanese chicken rice, and most will cost under 5 Singapore Dollars. The surroundings aren’t fancy (there’s no air conditioning, just fans working overtime), but the exceptional food is well worth it.

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