Created by Lynn May Gosselin.
One of the coolest international cities to visit, Singapore is perhaps one of the most efficient and sterile cities on the globe.
Known for rigid rules and laws for those living and visiting, the city is not cold as one would think but warm and inviting for all. The lion city is a great destination any time of the year. It’s the epi-centre of art, architecture, commerce and cuisine; both Tetsuya Wakuna and Mario Batali have both opened hot new spots recently. For Formula 1 lovers, the Singapore Grand Prix is an event not to be missed. The cars take off, September 19 – 21 this year. The city is bustling and electric with the anticipation of famed racecar drivers touching down and zooming through the streets. September is a wonderful time to explore the island city-state because the temperatures are still warm and inviting. Singapore is a great fall destination for those looking to prolong the summer just a little bit longer and there is much to do beyond the racetrack.
Tracks from the air
Singapore is well known to have an incredible after work, bar and nightlife. Boasting many hip and trendy watering holes, if you are looking for an afternoon drink, you will be spoiled for choice. On many of the immense towers that loom over the river water and city below, you will find some happening bars, most with inspiring vistas of the distinct Singapore skyline. In September, the streets are set up well in advance of the Formula 1 race and as such, as the sun sets, the track is lit up at night, making this a wonderful view to take in while sipping some bubbly. Try these on for size – 1-Altitude, Level 33 and The Pinnacle @Duxton.
Try getting a reservation to one of the top, hot dining spots during race time and you might come up disappointed as everything is booked up. Don’t despair, some of the best food in Singapore can be found at one of the many hawker centers where the locals dine all the time. These local open-air food courts are alive and bustling at lunch with business people scoffing down noodles and rice and into the evening, grab a cold beer, find a seat at an empty table and take in the atmosphere. You can’t visit Singapore without a visit to a hawker centre or two or three. And the price, you can’t beat. A plate of noodles goes for about $3. Found all over the city, everyone has his or her favorite so ask around. Try Lau Pa Sat Festival Market to start.
Where are the elephants?
Did you know that the Singapore Sling really did originate in Singapore? Famous around the world this cocktail comprised of lemon juice, gin and cherry brandy can be sampled in bars all over the city. However, you can kick, back and enjoy the original Singapore drink in the original location at the Raffles Singapore Hotel Long Bar. This high energy, old world, dark wood bar is the spot to drink the famed beverage. Find a table and sit down to a bucket full of peanuts, to be shelled as you eat and the dropped on the floor. The Long Bar is like taking a step back in time to the old colonial days of Singapore. Historic photos decorate walls and make for a great visual history of this classic hotel. The Long Bar is always packed and busy with a great vibe.
Tucked away from the racetrack is lovely Chinatown. This vibrant part of the city is worth walking through to take in some of the most eclectic architecture in the city. The colors are alive with bright reds, yellows and more. Temples pop out of nowhere as you round the corner, open for visitation. Music plays through the streets as you explore the nooks and crannies of the great neighborhood. Depending on when you are doing your exploring, you may stumble across a night market with glorious food stands, trinkets and souvenirs.