To say that I enjoy visiting Singapore is a huge understatement...I absolutely love it! To me, Singapore is one of those places that offers nearly everything that I could hope to find in a city/country, and then some. It has; warm and friendly people, a community that consists of of multiple cultures, has breathtaking sites, interesting architecture, is politically friendly, is clean, has a lot of sunshine and is surrounded by water and above all - is safe to walk around in day or night. All of this (and much more) make this an ideal place to visit.
Tourism in Singapore is a major industry and contributor to the Singaporean economy, attracting 13,171,303 tourists in 2011, over twice Singapore's total population. It is also environmentally friendly, and maintains natural and heritage conservation programs. Along with this, it also has one of the world's lowest crime rates. Singapore also has nearly every type of attraction you can imagine; Universal Studios, Underwater World (similar to Sea World), the incredibly beautiful Gardens by the Bay, the world-class Esplanade concert hall (where we have seen the likes of Natalie Cole, k.d. lang and the Count Basie Orchestra, Jurong Bird Park, the famous Night Safari (a zoo that you visit by train at night), a botanical gardens that has one of the largest collection of orchids in the world, the Singapore Flyer the Marina Bay Sands Hotel & Casino and many more that we have yet to see.
One of the things that I most love about Singapore is that it truly is a melting pot of many cultures throughout the world and therefore, has a lot of diversity that consists of nearly 5 million people which is made up of Chinese, Malays, Indians, Caucasians and Eurasians (plus other mixed groups) and Asians of different origins. During our visits over the years we have met some incredible people from literally all over the world who are each contributing in one way or another to the overall makeup of this beautiful country.
When we first arrived we spent a quiet weekend on the small island of Sentosa - which is still considered to be a part of Singapore and is accessible via a single, long-narrow bridge that connects the city and this small resort island. Our hotel was located in Sentosa Cove and sits directly in the heart of a neighborhood of multimillion-dollar homes built around an upscale marina. Each morning we would take a walk around the area and marvel at the the sites of some of the most luxurious boats and homes that we have ever seen. We are talking about a true high-rent district! In fact, we learned that a 2-bedroom condo starts at $30 million (US) dollars. Yes, you read that correctly! Seriously, where do these people get their money?
From there we moved over to another marina area - this one situated in Singapore and near many of the attractions that I listed above. (Below is a view of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel and Marina district from our hotel room.)
In-between meetings we were able to get out for a bit each day to see and experience some old and new sites. One of our favorite "new" adventures was a visit to the Art & Space Museum. The featured exhibit was Rae & James Eames. While we were familiar with the name Herman-Miller, we had absolutely no idea as to who Rae & James Eames were and their impact on the design world. Both Rae and James were talented artists and designers in their own rite, but it was their combined efforts that made legendary contributions in the areas of design, photography, film and textiles. Here is a link to the exhibit if you are interested in learning more about this incredible couple.
After an amazing week in one of our favorite places, it is now time to make our way back home.
Next stop - Las Vegas were we will spend some time visiting my family and slowly ween ourselves into winter and the ensuing cold, wet weather that awaits us in Portland. If you are interested in seeing a few more photographs of our time in Singapore click here.