One thing that amazed me is the fact that the citizens are very well-disciplined. And this made their country definitely unique than anywhere else in Asia (as far as I know). Besides, surveillance cameras are everywhere and being a visitor, you wouldn’t want to get caught with your misbehaviors, don’t you? In addition to that, and by happening to rarely see some policemen around, we were told that law enforcers dress themselves as civilians so as not to bother the locals and foreign visitors. Unless those policemen are in civilian clothes, their presence would mean lots of enforcement around, thus, lots of trouble.
Singapore has been successful in attracting a lot of tourists, coming especially from its neighboring Asian countries. When we were there, most of our fellow visitors were from India and the Philippines . Most of Singapore ‘s tourist destinations are ideal for family fun and experience, thus, you could hardly see anyone on a vacation going alone. Their attractions are not only designed for adventure but most importantly, for education. And this has become a good attracting factor for them because their visitors were not only there to watch and take pictures. But, to learn.
Where to Stay
The town centre, near Orchard Road, is only a few minutes away from a mind-boggling array of restaurants, fast-food outlets, ice-cream parlours, cinemas, arcades, and shops, shops, shops.
There are many luxury hotels in this area – such as the Four Seasons Hotel Singapore, the Shangri-La Hotel Singapore and the Singapore Marriott Hotel – but if you’re on a tight budget or have a very large family, there are many cheaper options available. For mid-range hotels, there’s the Allson Hotel, or the Carlton Hotel Singapore. There are also the ever-reliable YMCAs — one is located at the eastern tip of Orchard Road, and the other on Stevens Road.
Another ideal area to stay in is Sentosa – Singapore’s offshore island theme park. There’s the Beaufort Hotel as five-star choice, or you can rough it out in hostels and guest houses. Your kids can spend one or two full days just wandering around the island, with its many theme sites and attractions.
Most of the hotels are family- and children-friendly, with large rooms and other amenities on hand. The larger hotels often have a day-care nursery or offer baby-sitting services and some are attached to, or near, 24-hour convenience stores. Many hotels offer to book you on day tours, or operate special bus tours of their own — so you can see all the sights without too much of a hassle.
Where to Go
A must for the children is Singapore’s world-famous Night Safari. This fascinating zoo is special in many ways – it features only nocturnal animals housed in their natural surroundings, without cages or barbed wire. Book yourselves on the tram ride that will take you on a winding journey through the deep jungle, thick rainforest or dusty savannah – all in the dark of night.
The Singapore Zoological Gardens and Jurong Bird Park also feature animals in their natural surroundings. These are ideal places to introduce your children to wildlife, and even to have a picnic. The night safari, zoo and bird park hold regular daily shows featuring seals, boa constrictors or parrots doing clever and amusing stunts. If you’re game for it, you can also arrange for your family to have breakfast with the friendly orangutan of the Singapore Zoo.
If you’re hankering after the wide open spaces there’s always the Botanical Gardens, a large and beautiful landscaped park where you can choose to wander in the Tropical Plants and Jungle section, the National Orchid Garden, or the Palm Trees section. Families are often seen having a picnic in these scenic surroundings.
Don’t forget to set a day aside for Sentosa, Singapore’s island based theme park. You can get there by taxi, ferry or – most fun of all — by cable car. At the island, you can visit Underwater World, a spectacular aquarium where you can see all kinds of fishes, sharks and giant squid; Volcano Land, where you journey to the centre of the earth; Fantasy Island, a huge pool with slides, rides and waterfalls; and lots more.
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Sentosa has a few pretty, artificial beaches, but if you want the real thing you can bring your family down to East Coast Park. Besides lazing at the beach, you can go para-sailing, wind-surfing or roller-blading and cycling along the special pathways by the sea. There are great food centres and seafood restaurants at East Coast Park, too.
Fun for Kids
Don’t miss the highly entertaining animal shows at the award-winning Singapore Zoo.
Go wakeboarding and spin around the waters of Singapore
Cool off with a big splash at the Fantasy Island, Sentosa.
Make friends with a pink dolphin. Visit the Dolphin Lagoon at Underwater World, Sentosa.
Take a bumboat ride from Changi Point and explore rustic Pulau Ubin on a rented bike. Bring along camping equipment if you want to spend the night star gazing.
Come face-to-face with a cougar at the Night Safari.
Visit the world’s largest fountain at Suntec City. It is believed that walking clockwise around the fountain 3 times while touching the water will bring luck and good fortune.
Instead of a lazy dip in the hotel pool, why not be energetic and go water-skiing at the Kallang Basin.
Visit the Singapore Science Centre for an educational and entertaining experience.
Saddle up a horse on Sentosa and enjoy an exciting horse ride on the resort island.
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