Top 6 Places to Visit Near Singapore

Way back in 2006, an international master-plan design competition was launched to seek world-class designs for the garden. The end result: a spectacular “City in a Garden” at Gardens by the Bay. Showcasing plant life from all over the world, ranging from species in cool climates to tropical forests, Gardens by the Bay is a marvel of what technology and horticulture can do when combined. Also, be sure to scope out Gardens by the Bay’s “supertrees” in the Bay South garden. They’re solar powered, and visitors can actually walk between several of the 50 meter high trees to view the gardens from dizzying heights.

Sentosa Island

Just 20 minutes from the central city of Singapore lies Sentosa Island, which is brimming with activities for any type of traveler. On a cable car ride to the island from Mount Faber, you can soak up some of the most breathtaking views Singapore offers. If you’re a fan of all things aquatic, catch glimpses of rays, sharks, and dolphins at the S.E.A. Aquarium. The island even offers a delve into Singapore’s history through an interactive exhibit with actors, 3D projections, and a virtual boat ride to whisk you through the story.

Sands Skypark

If an observation deck with sweeping views from 57 stories above the city doesn’t take your breath away, you may need to check your pulse. An infinity pool, several lounges, and a few restaurants constitute Sands SkyPark Observation Deck, which sits atop one of Singapore’s most iconic casinos. To truly enjoy, skip the always-crowded pool area and head to SkyPark’s Flight Bar & Lounge instead. (We’re told it has some of the best Cuban cigars around.)

Mustafa Centre

You thought malls had to close? Think again. Mustafa Centre, located in the heart of Singapore’s Little India, stays open 24 hours a day (perfect to burn some midnight fuel). As one of the largest shopping centers in the world, the Centre sells absolutely everything you could imagine. Clothing, jewelry, electronics, food – if you want to buy it, it will be sold to you. Just be prepared to battle the crowds, as everyone else wants to see this marvel of capitalism just as much as you do.

Beng Hiang Restaurant

For a real treat of a meal, dine at Hokkien restaurant Beng Hiang, which has been serving hungry diners since 1978 to much acclaim. Specialties include signature noodles, fish maw soup, and braised pork belly. This place is a Singapore institution, so most diners are regulars who come back again and again — especially to celebrate special occasions like birthdays or anniversaries. So we recommend making a reservation in advance to avoid wait times.

Singapore River

This is a special, hidden treat for travelers: If you go to restaurant or take a river cruise along the man-made Singapore River, which cuts through the center of the city, you can see pleco fish on the steps of the river when it runs low. That’s right, the fish just hang out, partially submerged. It’s the perfect way to relax and enjoy the totally amazing way Singapore’s flora and fauna blends in seamlessly with its ultraurban ways.

MacRitchie Nature Trail

Just three miles from the center of Singapore lies the MacRitchie Reservoir Park, home to the famous MacRitchie Nature Trail, one of the best hikes in Singapore. You’re more than welcome to venture onto the trails on your own, or you can join one of the free walking tours, which almost guarantees an encounter with one or more of the macaque monkeys that call the forest home. Great for nature enthusiasts and exercisers alike, you’ll be stunned how wild Singapore can get just minutes from the city center.

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