This is a Singapore tourist spot one has to visit to be able to feel the atmosphere of the olden days when drinking cocktails and listening to live music was fashionable.
The diversity of Singapore is so rich and specific that you might feel you have to pay close attention not to miss out on something along the way. That is how I came across a villa not far from Orchard Road that looked like emerging from the foundation of a high modern building.
Some streets are adorned with colonial style heritage buildings while just around the corner you might find lush greenery, small tropical park area, and then – the skyscrapers.
Singapore Tourist Spot
Long Bar at Raffles Villa
When going around the city you would have to notice various districts. Even though different in style and size, they still stand harmoniously side by side.
Next to the Central Business District you will come across the Raffles Place, another business area all built in white. In that strange February light, while the sky was covered with white and grey clouds, there was a strange reflection coming from this district making it even more shiny.
If you are interested in British heritage in general, there are a few buildings in Singapore you can visit: the house where Sir Thomas Stanford Raffles lived (more about Sir Raffles in the blog about Merlion Singapore), the old Parliament building, and the Raffles Villa. Try not to miss the last one, since there you will find the popular colonial-styled – Long Bar.
It deservedly bears its name since it stretches from the ground floor – where you will come across a courtyard with chairs and tables, fountain, and local girl dressed in an evening gown, singing old Western hits – over the first floor, and along the vast terrace.
You actually need to go all the way around to get to the bar where you eat peanuts right from huge sacks. While peanut shells crack under your feet, you try to juggle those elongated cocktail glasses.
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This is where the first Singapore Sling cocktails was created in 1915 and you can still try it today. If you like the atmosphere of an old 1950’s movie, you will fall in love with the place.
It is really popular Singapore tourist spot and you will often hear that “you can’t really say that you spent a night in Singapore, if not being up until dawn in the Raffles’ Long Bar”.
Tourist Places of Singapore
Night Market Singapore
And yet, after this small excursion into the past, if you continue strolling around the center, you will stumble upon another even older tradition.
The place with mixture of fast food scents, strangely shaped vegetables, but also souvenir stands, clothes of not so good quality, imitations of famous brands’ products, etc. If you come at dusk, you will witness the area coming to life like a bee hive. This is where I found postcards and souvenirs with another famous Singapore tourist spot – Merlion embedded in every possible item – from belts and lighters to key rings. This is the Night Market.
If you are interested in art and museums, the city has it all – from the Opera I mentioned earlier, to theater, and the National Gallery situated in the colonial building that once served as a church.
When it comes to means of transport, take the subway if you are in a hurry, if not – go by bus. You will have a chance to look outside and see all the diversity of the city. Taxi is also a solution – not expensive and drivers are nice.
Metro stations are spotless clean. The first level is usually transformed into a shopping mall and there are stores of all kinds selling food and clothes, while narrow passageways take you down to the station.
In accordance with everything else in the city, subway is also quite automated and well “organized”.
The “machine” will ask for your destination, sell you a ticket, and you just need to go through a small gate. With a nice and simple map of stops, it is quite easy to go from one part of the city to another, while the subway goes above the ground on the outskirts of Singapore and descends back underground when getting closer to the center.
I didn’t find it crowded or noisy, it was just pleasant. And I have to say that I was amazed by the fact that the underpasses and subway stations were extremely clean, and that citizens were so ardent standing in marked areas.
Off the beaten track
Subway was the option for visiting some locations further away from the center, that came out to be really authentic and among the most beautiful in the city. These Singapore tourist spots were not included in tours with local agencies when I was there for the first time. The entrance fee was symbolic and I spent almost the whole day in the Chinese and Japanese Garden.
I will tell you all about it in the next glimpse.
Full Singapore SERIES