RED HOT DEAL FOR SINGAPORE ...
For less than AU$1000, you can get return flights to Singapore, four nights’ accommodation and breakfast every day.
Escape Travel has just released a hot deal priced from $949* departing Perth, from $975* departing Melbourne, from $985 departing Adelaide, from $989* departing Sydney and from $995* departing Brisbane.
The price include return economy airfares flying Malaysia Airlines, four nights at the new 3-star Value Hotel on Thomson in a Standard room and a continental breakfast daily
The Value Hotel on Thomson is the largest of the chain in Singapore and is located at the junction of Balestier and Thomson Roads, with easy access to the CBD by bus and train.
Prices are valid for sale until November 30, 2010 and valid for travel from January 25 to March 31, 2011.
*Subject to change and availability at the time of booking.
Phone Escape Travel on 1300 799 783 (within Australia) or visit www.escapetravel.com.au for bookings and details.
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24 hours in ..... Singapore
It has an international reputation as a shoppers’ paradise, and when Singaporeans tell you shopping is a national sport in their country, they’re not joking. Modern air-conditioned shopping malls and traditional markets are literally everywhere, and the Singapore experience is very much a “soft landing” into Asia.
From the efficient underground train system and regulated and inexpensive taxis, to its tree-lined streets and overall cleanliness for a busy city (there really is no litter anywhere), it is the model of efficiency which has earned it the nickname “the Switzerland of Asia”. But that’s not to say it lacks charm and diversity. (Photographs by Ben Hall)
* Shopping on Orchard Road
The undisputed epicentre of Singapore’s shopping world is Orchard Road. Named after the many nutmeg and pepper plantations which lined the streets in the 1840’s, it’s a leafy boulevard which stretches from Plaza Singapura in the east to Tanglin Mall in the west. Singaporeans will tell you that everyone shops on Orchard Road, especially if they’re in the market for clothes or shoes, but here you can just as easily find Chinese calligraphy and Thai silk, along with a Prada handbag or an iPod. Orchard Road can be a daunting prospect to an untrained shopper. It stretches for more than a kilometre-and-a-half and has three train (MRT) stations covering two-thirds of it; if you have the energy - not to mention deep pockets - you could easily spend a couple of days here exploring. Air-conditioned, underground walkways run almost the entire length of Orchard Road, providing respite from the tropical heat and humidity.
* Tuck into noodles in Chinatown
Although European, Malay and Indian culture remain an integral part of Singapore, its heart and soul is undoubtedly Chinese, and a visit to Chinatown is the best way to get acquainted with the dominant culture of Singapore. Street vendors hawk everything from fruit and vegetables to slabs of meat, fast food, Bhuddist symbols, lucky charms, shoe repairs, hair cuts, massages, and fortune telling. It’s also where the locals meet and eat, which is an essential part of Singaporean life, and a meal at one of Chinatown’s busy food halls is an experience which is uplifting for the soul, and very easy on the wallet. In the chaos, clattering and confusion ordering the food may seem a little tricky but a simple point-at-the-food-you-want strategy works perfectly well.
* Wander through Little India
A great escape from the rampant consumerism is the tiny enclave known as Little India. As you emerge from the train station, it’s like arriving in the centre of Mumbai and it’s a vibrant and intoxicating slice of a culture that has not just survived, but thrived, in the heart of modern Asia. Little India has become one of Singapore’s major attractions thanks to the fact that it’s not only an authentic snapshot of the sub-Continent, but it’s also the island nation’s finest example of a preserved historical district. From the main drag of Serangoon Road, which stretches for almost a kilometre, there is a complex network of smaller streets and alleyways. Here, the sari and gold shops provide an explosion of colour, the aromas of the spice shops and perfume shops compete, the smell of vat-cooked curries hang in the air, and the sounds of shrill Indian pop music blaring from shop fronts becomes a soundtrack.
* Chill out on Sentosa Island
Singapore also offers a slice of beach life to escape the city on Sentosa, just off the southern tip of Singapore. It’s a tropical island with rainforests, white sand beaches and wildlife and after a sightseeing/shopping frenzy on the mainland, it’s a welcome relief to be overlooking the South China Sea with tropical birds cartwheeling above. Rainforest covers 70% of the 500-hectare island and is home to monkeys, peacocks, monitor lizards, parrots and other native flora and fauna. But it’s actually part-wildnerness/part-theme park and set in amongst the natural beauty are more than 30 man-made tourist attractions such as the revolving cabin of the Sky Tower which offers a 360 degree view of Singapore and the southern islands. And there’s Asia’s first Universal Studios, the Wave House which has wave pools for learners and experienced surfers, Dolphin Lagoon, Underwater World, Butterfly Park and Insect Kingdom, and a range of top hotels and restaurants.
* Sip tea at the Raffles Hotel.
Whatever you do during the day, this is the quintessential Singapore experience and the Raffles sums up the city’s vibrant colonial history. Named after Singapore’s founder, Sir Stamford Raffles, the hotel opened in 1887 with 10 rooms spread across two wings. With its garden setting and classical architecture, the hotel has since morphed into an icon where famous names in literature such as Somerset Maugham, Herman Hesse and Rudyard Kipling have stayed in one of its many rooms that come complete with public verandas for inspiration – one of the first in Singapore back then. Raffles Hotel’s The Long Bar is also home to the legendary Singapore Sling, originally concocted by Ngiam Tong Boon, one of its bartenders.