Singapore: Also think about art and culture
Monday 27, January 2014
It’s known as a financial hotspot, but this Asian tiger is moving on from money and becoming well known in its newest currency, art and culture.
Mention Singapore and what often comes to mind is business; it’s one of the world’s fastest-growing wealth-management hubs and a leading financial centre.
But the culture and arts scene is moving quickly up the ranks too. Two weeks ago, on August 9, it marked National Day with a colourful parade celebrating the city-state’s history. From this weekend until August 31 it is holding its annual Night Festival, when the heritage district comes alive with spectacular outdoor light installations, music, dance, art and aerial performances. The fun isn’t for one week or one month only – there’s something to sate the appetite of the hungriest culture vulture all year long.
Singapore is easy to get around with great public transport and it’s pedestrian friendly – it’s the sort of place you can wander and not mind when you get lost. But there’s so much to see you have to start somewhere, and a good place to choose is the ArtScienceMuseum at Marina Bay Sands.
Inspired by a lotus flower, it is surrounded by a beautiful lily pond, with great views of the Bay. With 21 gallery spaces over 50,000 square feet, there is room for permanent as well as international travelling exhibitions. There’s an emphasis on entertainment as well as education; Mummy The Secrets of the Tomb exhibition has a 3D film experience that had me ducking my head as some of the contents of the cartonnage coffin came flying out of the screen. It’s described as a ‘virtual unwrapping’ of the 3,000-year-old mummy of the Egyptian temple priest Nesperennub, and it was like watching an episode of CSI as the secrets of the mysterious burial practices were revealed.
More and more travellers think that researching and planning a European city break is half the fun and they're not interested in pre-arranged trips or escorted tours. Self-guided tours offer a lot of advantages but require some guidance and good resources.
With the recent wild fires, disrupting flights and increasing air pollution, environmental quality is a growing factor in attracting tourists.
The hotel price comparison site www.trivago.co.uk has put together a list of the fifteen most spectacular hotel rooftop terraces in the world.