Travel is an exciting experience for most but for some, the uncertainty and fear that accompanies travel to a foreign destination can be enough to stop them from ever leaving their own backyard!
The idea of arriving into a country that looks different and smells different, where people eat different food, and especially countries where they speak another language, can be very intimidating. Finding a destination that offers a foreign experience but with some soothing home comforts can be difficult but there is such a place – Singapore!
Sitting off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, Singapore offers an exotic Asian experience combined with the reassuring notion that many locals speak English, hotel standards are comfortable and western food is readily available. Having been originally founded as a British trading colony in 1819 there is good reason why British travellers should feel comfortable here but there is more to this special country than first appearances. It’s current status as one of the most vital business hubs in Asia has ensured Singapore’s development into a modern and world class destination for travellers from all over the world.
It is a country where new meets old, historical meets youthful, and tradition meets all things new. Take a look at the Raffles Hotel, first establish in 1887 and still functioning today as a full service luxury hotel, and then compare it to the Marina Bay Sands, opened in February 2011, it offers everything you could ever dream of from a flashy, modern hotel.
When it comes to meals Singapore again offers a choice for all taste buds. Many of the tourist restaurants, especially those in hotels or the popular Boat and Clarke Quay, offer modern western dishes in combination with local menu’s including some of the best fresh seafood I have ever tasted! If you would prefer to get a more traditional experience, there are a number of food courts, food halls and hawker stalls spread across the city that will give you an opportunity to share a meal with local Singapore residents and at a fraction of the price.
Despite being the second smallest country in Asia you are sure to be surprised by the abundance of activities available in this dynamic little island. It is world a famous destination for shopping and cultural events yet in only 20 minutes you can be trekking through the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve or Scuba Diving at the popular Pulau Hantu dive site.
As a tropical location Singapore gets hot and at its worst it gets unbearably hot and humid! During the wet season (November – January) it may rain every day but this is only for short bursts and then replaced by a throbbing sun. The driest time of the year to visit is May to July but remember to drink plenty of fluids especially if doing any physical activities.
Singapore’s geographical position means that it is a great starting place to explore other neighbouring regions such as Malaysia, Sumatra and Borneo. There are a number of transport options to get you to these places so there is no excuse why you should restrict yourself to staying just in Singapore. Hopefully you will be a little more travel confident and might just take that next step.