Singapore is commerce-focused and has become a global business hub and home away from home for many executive travellers. The small island of Singapore is just 49km by 25km and sits on the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula – the southernmost point of continental Asia. Arriving at Changi Airport can present its challenges. The airport is large and signage is sparse – thankfully there are very patient and friendly staff who are willing to point you in the right direction.
A visit to Singapore’s commercial centre, known as the Central Business District (CBD), located on the southern side of the island is highly recommend as it looks across at Marina Bay Sands which has become the main focus of the city. If you decide to visit the casino at Marina Bay, keep in mind that citizens and permanent residents must pay a levy of 100 Singapore dollars to enter. Visitors with passports can enter for free.
Singaporean food is a combination of flavours and ingredients from China, Malaysia and India. Signature dishes include chilli or pepper crab, satay, chicken rice, laksa (soup) and fish head curry. When local clients or colleagues ask where you would like to eat in this food-obsessed city, forget the fancy restaurants and go with them to their favourite hawker (street food) stall. There are hundreds of these hawker stalls (or food courts) all over Singapore – some are great, some are good, some should be avoided.
Remember to a break from the air-conditioned hotel or office and check out the city. The 101-hectare park to the east of the Marina Bay Sands complex is home to some 250,000-plant species – most are native to the region, but two glass-enclosed, cooled conservatories (the “flower dome” and the “cloud forest”) host plants from more temperate regions of the world. There is also a grove of 25m to 50m-high metal structures called Skytrees, from which vertical gardens of ferns, orchids, bromeliads and other tropical plants hang. The cooled conservatories are open until 21:00; the free outdoor gardens stay open until 02:00, every day.
Singapore’s equatorial location magnifies the heat and humidity, and after anything more than a 10-minute walk, that sharp look you started out with will end up looking wilted and damp. So do not walk from your hotel to your office on the morning of your first meeting or big presentation. Take a taxi instead – they are plentiful, relatively cheap and thankfully air conditioned.
To book your next business trip or vacation visit Flight Centre at Shop 41 on the Ground Floor or contact them on 021 671 1791.