The capital city of Singapore is physically small and yet an economic giant. It has been Southeast Asia's most modern city for over a century. Public transportation is excellent and walking is a good way to explore the city. The city blends Malay, Chinese, Arab, Indian and English cultures and religions.
Forming the core of downtown Singapore is the Colonial District. Each surrounding enclave has its own distinct flavor, from the aromatic spice stores of Little India, to the tumbledown backstreets of Chinatown, where it is still possible to find calligraphers and fortune tellers, or the Arab Quarter, whose cluttered stores sell fine cloths and silks. Little Indiaís Zhujiao Centre provides visitors with a glimpse into a culture that has been part of Singapore since Sir Stamford Raffles brought Indian assistants and laborers here in the 1800ís. One can buy textiles or fragrances in the Arab district. Uniquely gruesome celebrations such as the Thaipusam Festival and the Kuda Kepang features performers who submit to ritual body piercing and flagellation. You wonít witness that at the local mall, but you can see it here in Singapore. Singapore is a clean, safe place to visit, its amenities are second to none and its public places are smoke-free and hygienic.