With stronger ringgit, why not visit ‘boring’ Singapore and enjoy Peranakan-Chinese cuisine!

Picture Credit: By Jan [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Is Singapore such a boring place to visit? A recent survey by lifestyle publication Time Out, which has conducted a spot research to discover the most exciting city on earth said Singapore ended in the 31st spot, not even in the top 30 in the list of the most exciting cities in the world.

It is however ahead of Istanbul, Turkey which indicates that Istanbul, known as a popular destination is not what it seems to be.

Singapore, apparently dropped towards the bottom partly because its residents rated it lowly for culture, and partly because it seems to have been dogged by the old suggestion that the city is dull said the survey.

A Time Out response to the British newspaper The Telegraph said it is all not bad news for Singapore since its dining and drinking offerings shine, with 92 per cent of people rating the city positively for eating. Of that percentage, 42 per cent believe food in Singapore is amazing.

The Time Out City Life Index runs every year.

It questioned 15,000 people in 32 global metropolises, and they were asked to rank their home conurbation on variables such as food, drink, affordability, friendliness, culture, happiness and liveability.

But the concrete city has a bit of everything for almost everyone and in this long week of festivities that is ahead of us, why not pay a visit to Singapore?

Afterall, the ringgit is shining after it is now said to be the best performing currency in the entire Asia region!

Safest city in Southeast Asia?

For the armchair traveller – those who think Singapore is not worth the trip – it will be a discovery.

Singapore’s roads and shopping or housing areas can be squeeky clean. There are barely any police cars seen around, minus the occasional by-stander in some sort of uniform at cross roads.

And yet, it is probably the safest city to visit in Southeast Asia.

The Telegraph reminded readers of the “notorious ban on (most forms of) chewing gum – and the even more infamous fines of up to $700 for spitting the stuff on the pavement” – which it says does not help to reinforce the views that Singapore is ‘visitable’.

“It makes Singapore seem to be a rigid stick-in-the-mud. Or it would do if there was any mud to stick in, in a city where street-cleaning is almost an artform”. Fine!

Oh, it is also the city of ‘fines’, do not forget that.

Undeserved character assasination

However, we agree with The Telegraph that this character assassination is undeserved of such a great place to be.

Its culinary scene is diverse and impressive. Let us indulge in the good sense the British newspaper tried to bring to the notion of traveling to Singapore:

Telok Ayer Market is a lively hub of grub stands where, if you can’t find it, they can probably source it from somewhere if you give them a few minutes.

Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodle, a food stall on Crawford Lane in Kampong Glam, takes things even further – despite its informality, it was awarded a Michelin star in 2016.

There are windows-and-doors Michelin-starred restaurants too, some 29 in total, including Candlenut Kitchen, which serves Peranakan-Chinese cuisine (comodempsey.sg/restaurant/candlenut), and Lei Garden, with its Cantonese fare (chijmes.com.sg/lei-garden-restaurant) in City Hall.

There is splendid architecture too, of course – you only need to glance at the artificial super-trees of Gardens by the Bay (gardensbythebay.com.sg) to see the sort of zeal for the new and the inventive which might make you think “hmm, not really boring at all”. Singapore Art Museum (singaporeartmuseum.sg), meanwhile, is a shiny treasure trove of contemporary culture.

But we can’t get over the dishonorable mention for Istanbul – which rolled in last in the list amid talk that “people here aren’t happy at all – they think their city is a rip-off, and that it’s unsafe.”

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