24 hours Singapore: travel tips for express tourists

    24 hours Singapore: travel tips for express touristsA day in Singapore: short itinerary to discover the most interesting places of the ancient and cosmopolitan city of the lion.

    Singapore is the capital city-state of the Republic of the same name in the heart of South East Asia, nestled between Malaysia and Indonesia and spread across the sea in a system of around 60 small islands. The thousand-year history of the city has its origins in the turbulent events of the Malaysian region between autonomous kingdoms and dominations from Java and Siam up to European colonial domination from the 1965th century. After achieving independence in XNUMX, Singapore has become one of the most densely populated cities and cosmopolitan of the world, now hosting 5.550.000 inhabitants, over 40% of whom are foreign citizens.

    Singapore is often considered one of the best travel destinations in the world and attracts thousands of tourists every year for its culture which blends together Chinese, Malay, Indonesian and Indian characters in a unique melting pot; once you have overcome the impact of its Asian city appearance, you discover its thousand faces and remain fascinated by its ancient traditions. If you are traveling in this region and can only dedicate a 24-hour visit to the "lion city", these brief indications are for you.

    Discover ancient Singapore starting from the city's ancient commercial heart, the Singapore River, in the past the main urban artery where departing and arriving goods passed. Today the central part, in the Downtown Core, has been extensively redeveloped, the waters of the river restored and many of the traditional boats, the sampans (or sanpans), have been rebuilt, on which it is possible to take an evocative tour. Furthermore, along the shores of the Singapore there are many floating places where you can find refreshment and even shops where you can go shopping.

    Also in the downtown area, the destination for art lovers is National Gallery of Singapore, the most important art museum in the state, which preserves the collection of modern art from South East Asia and the city's artistic district, in an architectural context that combines the neoclassical elements of the colonial buildings with the experimentation of recent years . A short distance from the National Gallery is the Padang, the city's central public park, which stands on the site where the country's independence was proclaimed in 1965. The large park is one of the most central green areas where you can walk and relax, and is also home to one of the largest cricket grounds in Singapore.

    Remaining in the Padang and moving your gaze towards the bay you can admire the view of the futuristic Marina Bay Sands, the structure of 3 skyscrapers joined by a huge aerial platform. Opened in 2010, the luxury resort has become one of the most photographed spots in Singapore and its lights create a sight to behold before leaving the city.

    To immerse yourself in the ancient city, a stop not to be missed are the Hindu and Chinese temples, located in the South Bridge area of ​​Singapore. The Hindu temple Sri Mariamman it is the oldest Indian place of worship in the city, built by immigrants from South India at the beginning of the 19th century and dedicated to the goddess Mariamman, protector of the sick and the infirm; the temple is a riot of colors and adorned with many statues typical of Hindu craftsmanship and in addition to being an important place of worship it was also the point of reference for the entire Indian population in Singapore to have contact with the motherland. One of the most evocative times to visit is during the fire walking ceremony during the celebrations for the goddess in October.

    To discover the Chinese heritage, the temple of Thian Hock Keng it is the ideal destination; Dedicated to the sea goddess Mazu, the temple was built by Chinese immigrants to Singapore in the 1830s, as a good omen for crossing the South China Sea, and was even recognized by Emperor Guang Xu as a place of worship of great importance. The subject of a recent restoration, the temple can now be visited and it is possible to admire the decorations typical of the southern Chinese style.

    On a 24 hour tour in Singapore another destination of great interest is the prestigious Botanical Garden, a treasure chest containing almost 20.000 different species of plants from across the Asian region. The result of an inexhaustible collection that began in 1800, the botanical garden of Singapore has been recognized by UNESCO and if it is a wonderful and relaxing walk for the visitor, it is also a very important center for botanical research. Inside, not to be missed is a tour of the orchid walk, where almost 60.000 splendid flowering plants will frame your visit and is often the venue for outdoor concerts.

    To conclude a quick visit to Singapore, a visit to Orchard Road is a must: this central avenue of about 2 kilometers is in fact the heart of the city's shopping. The name of the area derives from the fact that throughout the 1800th century it was a cultivated area for the spice trade, and you would have found a continuous coming and going of rickshaws and loaded wagons heading to the port, while today among its shops you can find every kind of articles and cinemas, clubs, hotels and restaurants offer every service for the visitor. The area is always very busy due to the tourists who visit it, but the road is at its best during the Christmas period, when an extraordinary lighting system truly makes it a wonder for the eyes.

    Some practical notes: Singapore is in an equatorial area, the average temperatures fluctuate between 23 and 34°C without the presence of distinguishable seasons during the year. The rains are abundant and the air humidity is always very high. Before leaving it is advisable to get vaccinated against hepatitis A and B and yellow fever.

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