Singapore: A Rich Cultural Hub for Asia Vacations
Asia vacations evoke images of far-off, exotic lands, and Singapore travel is no exception. A central hub of Southeast Asia and a potential home port for a number of round-trip cruises, this island city-state has plenty of hot spots and rich cultural experiences for you to enjoy. Visit Singapore on an Asia cruise and check out these attractions to learn more about the island and its unique history.
Thian Hock Keng Temple
One of the oldest, and perhaps the most important of Hokkien temples in Singapore, Thian Hock Keng was built in 1839, a detail you can learn about by reading the inscriptions on the granite tablets inside the entrance hall. As an ocean traveler yourself, you might consider giving thanks to Ma Zu, the Goddess of the Sea, to whom the main temple is dedicated.
The heart of Singapore is in Chinatown, which is made up of five distinct districts that each feature their own flavor and feel. The most iconic of these districts is Kreta Ayer. Located in the northern district of Chinatown, Kreta Ayer features traditional trades, markets, and street vendors. Other districts feature local and often upscale watering holes, hotels, and luxury restaurants for those looking for a night on the town.
Sri Mariamman Temple
While touring Chinatown, stop in at the oldest Hindu temple in Singapore. Sri Mariamman Temple was built by immigrants from South India and was popularly known as Kling Street Temple. Its construction was spearheaded by a British clerk from the East India Company in 1827. Now, the temple celebrates the fire-walking ceremony called Thimithi, a tradition that began in South India that is held annually in October or November.
An essential stop during your Singapore trip is Little India, where you can peruse spice shops, ink up with henna tattoos, or drape yourself in ceremonial flowers. Make sure that you set aside time to get a bite to eat at one of the local restaurants that feature the best curries and masalas in Singapore.
Built for Sultan Hussain Shah in 1824, the Sultan Mosque is located within the Kampong Glam district and is the focal point for Muslims in Singapore. The main prayer hall can house up to 5,000 worshipers, making the building one of the most iconic religious structures in the city. It is used daily for prayer and ceremonies and is considered a national monument in Singapore.
Visiting these sites will surely whet your appetite for even more Asia vacations and experiences — in which case you're in luck: Singapore travel is a great idea, as the island is the perfect home port and central location to sail off from on your next cruise through Southeast Asia.