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Singapore, Singapore

Once a sleepy fishing village, Singapore has blossomed into an industrial powerhouse with a diverse and surprising character. Sample a plethora of different cuisine in this multicultural capital or feel your wallet get lighter in the glistening malls of Orchard road. No trip is complete without a visit to the iconic Raffles hotel; we recommend sipping a classic Singapore Sling whilst the sun sets.

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Just alongside Singapore's central business district there is an oasis filled with flowering trees, green ferns and wafting palms with prodigious leaves. This is the Cloud Forest glasshouse, one of three recently opened public gardens that overlook the glistening Marina Bay. Home to some 130,000 plants found in cooler regions all around the world, its cool, moist conditions are a welcome respite from the arid air – replicating a climate typically 1,000 to 3,500 feet above sea level.

Singaporean streets are increasingly lined with greenery to shelter residents and grateful tourists from the sweltering tropics. If you’ve spotted the verdant bushes and plump boughs draping over office blocks and street corners, it’s all thanks to the efforts of landscaping policies from the local government. Little wonder that the orchid is the national emblem for this garden city of Asia.

Each of the spectacular botanical houses is a showpiece in modern architecture and design. Taking horticulture to dizzying new heights are the garden's 'supertrees': a grove of giant, vertical gardens encircled with exotic ferns, vines and bromeliads that are truly breath-taking when lit up at night. And if you want to understand the multicultural heritage of Singapore, stroll through the colonial-themed heritage gardens, with homages to Indian, Malay and Chinese culture.

(A visit to the Gardens by the Bay will cost $20 for adults and $12 for children, outdoor gardens open 5am – 2am, conservatories 9am – 9pm)

[Link: http://www.gardensbythebay.com.sg/en/plan-your-visit/visitor-information.html#!/hour-admission]

 

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Tiong Bahru is Singapore's oldest hipster suburb, with heritage dating right back to the 30's art deco buildings that line its streets. True to its name (Tiong is Hokkien for tombs and bahru is Malay for new) the area has recently been reborn to cater for its trendy residents with artisanal coffee shops, slick design studios and concept eateries.

Key to the re-imagination of the area is serial entrepreneur Cynthia Chua, brainchild of grooming chains The Strip and Browhaus. Her newly opened 40 Hands café is an Australian style coffee joint, selling Fairtrade beans, freshly made sandwiches and squeezed juices.

If you don't fancy a latte, the Tiong Bahru food market on Seng Poh Road is regarded as one of the finest in Singapore. In a city where hawker centres are held in high esteem that's no small boast. Nibble on char siew pau pork buns at Tiong Bahru Pau and shark meat fritters with sticky sauce at 178 Lor Mee. The respected local food guide Makansutra bestowed its "divine" rating on the Hokkein Prawn Noodles stall, as well as Chwee Kueh and Jian Bo Shui Kueh stalls, both of which serve excellent rice cakes.

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Resorts World Sentosa is a family resort of epic proportions, encompassing Southeast Asia’s first and only Universal Studios theme park, the biggest spa in Asia, 2,000 hotel rooms, and an endless parade of dining, shopping, and entertainment options.

Try to budget a full day for Universal Studios Singapore, and be sure to visit S.E.A. Aquarium, the world’s second-largest aquarium and home to more than 800 species of marine animals. Other popular attractions include Adventure Cove Waterpark, which has a hydro-magnetic coaster; and a wave pool known as Bluewater Bay. For those looking to rest and relax, ESPA, a luxe wellness sanctuary built on 10,000 square metres of lush greenery, is just minutes away.

As for accommodation, options run the gamut from standard hotel rooms, to specialty lodgings such as glass-paneled underwater suites, and treetop lofts perched atop a canopy of native trees.

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Passengers departing the UK, and aged 12 to 15, are exempted from the UK Air Passenger Duty (APD) Tax, effective 1 March 2016. We are currently updating our system to reflect this change. Passengers booking online can request an APD Tax refund by contacting the local reservations office or Global Contact Centres.

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If you’re travelling with infant(s) under two years of age, or your infant(s) turns two during your trip, please contact your local reservations office or view our travelling with infants guidelines.

Each child passenger must be accompanied by an adult. For more information on bookings with children, please contact your local reservations office or view our guidelines for children travelling.

If you are booking travel for children who are travelling alone, please check the age restrictions set by the operating carrier prior to booking.
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