Singapore was founded in 1819 after the land was ceded by Sultan Hussein of the Malaysian state of Johor to the British East India Company. The city’s location on the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula was identified by Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, commonly known as the ‘Father of Singapore,’ as the ideal place to establish a British trading post. During the 19th century the city became a focal point for trade in Southeast Asia, growing exponentially in the process. Today, Singapore is one of the great modern cities of Asia.
Discover the many facets of this dynamic city-state where centuries-old traditions continue in the shadow of skyscrapers. Delve into Singapore's past in Chinatown where soothsayers consult cards to predict the future and the scent of exotic soups blends with the sight of arcane medicinal treatments. Visit the oldest Chinese Temple in Singapore, the Thian Hock Kheng Temple, dedicated to the Goddess of the Sea. Marvel at the elaborate façade of the Sri Mariamman Hindu Temple, where sacred cow figurines crouch on the roof and an annual fire-walking contest is held.
Stroll in the city's National Orchid Gardens, just inscribed onto the UNESCO World Heritage Site list, where terraces showcase the largest orchid display in the world: 60,000 plants, over 700 species and 2,100 hybrids including the National Flower of Singapore, Vanda Miss Joaquim. See the city's Colonial heritage in all its splendor as you drive past Parliament House, the Supreme Court, Raffles Hotel and City Hall. Wind up over 300 ft. to the top of Mt Faber for sweeping panoramas of the city, port and islands where offshore refineries make this an important petroleum center. Whether you view Singapore as a dining, shopping or cultural mecca, this overview reveals there's much to explore in the Lion City.
*Please note you must dress appropriately for visiting religious sites, with shoulders and knees covered as a general rule.
Founded in 1973, Singapore Zoo is known as one of the most beautiful zoological parks in the world. Here the animals roam freely in open and naturalistic habitats. Spread over 26 hectares, Singapore Zoo is nestled in the lush Mandai Rainforest and contains over 300 species of mammals, birds and reptiles.
This optional tour offers a unique opportunity to join a Night Safari at Singapore Zoo, where you’ll guided around the world’s first nocturnal zoological park. More than a thousand animals appear to roam freely in a seemingly vast habitat, from the massive Burmese Gaur (the largest of wild cattle) and the beautiful African Bongo, to the majestic Malayan Tiger and diminutive, boldly striped Banded Civet.
Discover beautiful and unusual fauna on board a silent electric tram, then explore further on foot through the jungle trails for a close encounter with wildlife. The canopy of jungle trees, some towering over 40m above the park, complements exotic ferns and palms, while other plants exude superb fragrances, all providing a dramatic backdrop for the animal residents of the Night Safari.
Covering over 100 hectares and containing vast glasshouses replicating the planet’s various habitats, Gardens by the Bay are a true horticultural wonderland.
One of the iconic buildings at the Gardens is the Flower Dome, a 1.2-hectare (3.0 acres) glasshouse that creates a mild, dry climate and features plants found in the Mediterranean and other semi-arid tropical regions (e.g. parts of Australia, South America, South Africa). It is also home to a collection of plants from the world’s areas and showcases how plants have evolved to thrive in arid environments.
Enter the Cloud Forest, a mysterious world veiled in mist and see a 35-metre tall mountain covered in lush vegetation shrouding the world’s tallest indoor waterfall. Ascend to the mountaintop in comfort by lift before descending via two walkways in the clouds for an aerial view of the canopy and mountainside below. Learn about unique biodiversity and geology of cloud forests and the environmental threats they face within the nine unique zones in this cool-moist Conservatory.