Sleepless in Singapore

Dead grannies aren't perhaps the most obvious subject for a festival, but they do things differently in Asia. Between August 9 and September 6, Singapore is celebrating the festival of the Hungry Ghosts. All over town, people will be ensuring that their ancestors are well provided for in the spirit world and have no need to come back and trouble the land of the living. The offerings include "hell money", cakes, and fruit - red is an auspicious colour so only the reddest apples and the most perfect oranges are chosen - and incense, candles and joss sticks are burned. It's all very jolly with banquets and Chinese opera in the streets to make sure the ghosts have a good time and go away appeased.

Singapore is a great choice for a first trip to Asia as it has all of the intriguingly different culture in a clean and safe environment. Cox amp; Kings has a five-night break at the Shangri-la Singapore, including return flights with British Airways and transfers for pound;1,375 (discounts for children under 12). The hotel is set in 15 acres of tropical gardens near Singapore's main street, Orchard Road, and has an outdoor pool, fitness centre, pitch and putt golf course and tennis courts. Details: 020 7873 5000 or www.coxandkings.co.uk.

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