Singapore is one of the few city-states in the world. If Hong Kong is a financial giant, then Singapore is the business and biotech giant of this part of the world. However, it’s got much more than that, because although its rival may be leading in the way of banking and financial services, Singapore offers real estate, entrepreneurship, a thriving technology industry the second busiest port for a gross tonnage of cargo. It’s a mixture of all the sectors and industries that you can imagine. There are wonderful design studios located right in the heart of the city, art galleries littering all over the central region, street food to die for and of course some of the best apartments to stay in while you explore. People often argue which city-state has a better skyline. Sure Hong Kong does have many commercial office buildings and corporate skyscrapers. However, Singapore has a mixture of hotels, office buildings, television and news studies and towering high rise apartment buildings. There so much variety in Singapore but if you want the best that this small giant has to offer you must stay and explore the central region.
A complex intersection
The National Museum of Singapore is east of the River Valleys county and holds a truly important place in all of the citizens. It’s a complex intersection where many ideas collide. The history of the city-state is very much in the pathways of European countries but a lot of influence still lives on of the United Kingdom. You can get the Somerset line to the museum which is a name taken from the south west of England. It’s a fantastic place to come and visit but if you really want to enjoy the wonders that are inside, you have to come in early. The museum does close late at around 7pm, but making an entire day of it to explore all the galleries, exhibitions and installations is well worth it.
One of the best exhibitions is the Story of the Forest. It’s been made in a collaboration with some of the best Japanese digital artists from a company called teamLab. It’s an exhibition that wants the viewer to totally immerse themselves into a projected forest of a mesmerizing blue hue. The starry night sky is incredibly detailed, but you wouldn’t know it unless somebody told you that the entire image is actually a collage of 69 individual drawings. Every single one of them is hand drawn. The wonderful artwork is there to represent the history of the natural beauty and landscape of Singapore. Once upon a time, it was lush vegetation and many trees were covering the land. You can imagine what it was like despite now being a massive concrete jungle.
Pitching your tent close
If you have come all this way and now want to explore the central region of Singapore, then you must pitch up a tent. It has to be close because you’re going to have to plan your use of public transport and make sure you’re locked into the rush hour traffic. Yet you don’t want to just stay in any old place and if you had the choice you would most likely even choose to be in your own place. Well, you can call a home away from home if you consider property near Potong Pasir. It’s a growing housing estate with many different options for the property. You can choose a large apartment if you’re traveling with a group of friends. On the other hand, you also have a choice of condos, tight-knit communities that live in apartment blocks. If you just want a little something to yourself, then go ahead and rent out a small apartment with an open plan. The average rent is around $450-700 but there are better and more affordable options should you want them. You are of course going to be looking at such prices because you are smack in the middle of the city-state. Everything of interest is surrounding you so you’re paying for the ideal location as well.
It’s sweet but it’s hot!
The cuisine of Singapore is much like the population. It’s a mixture of different cultures and you can’t quite put your finger on an exact style of food that the majority love. China has a huge influence but the culinary world of the city-state is largely influenced by Europe. The dining style is contemporary, with many restaurants serving meals to guests that stand to eat, and some even having an encompassing seating plan. The national dish is often just a plate of chicken and rice. You might think this is basic but look a little closer. The Singaporean style of chicken and rice is diverse in texture. Don’t allow the typical presentation of the dish to fool you. It might look as if the chicken is much like you would get at home, but after taking the first bite you’ll be surprised.
The chicken itself is first of all braised and or roasted in a sweet soya sauce. Soya sauce is very popular in this part of the world but it’s not like many Chinese recipes. Actually, because it’s sweet and sugary, it can be said that it takes influence from the Japanese style of soya sauce. After this, various vegetables are infused with red chili, which is a Cantonese influence. The young and tender chicken is also something linked to the way the early Chinese immigrants would prepare this dish. The rice is gently cooked in leaves but essentially they are steamed and not boiled. The dish is a complexity of sweetness and spice, along with very succulent rice balls.
If you are going to come to Singapore, you have to stay right in the heart of the city-state. Here, everything is within arm’s reach and thankfully, the modern apartments are very reasonably priced. Stay a little longer locally, and you can get the best experience possible. The National Museum of Singapore is definitely worth your time. While you’re here, ask any restaurant for the Singaporean chicken and rice dish, and they will know exactly what you want.