Singapore

16th March 2007 at 00:00
Jesmine Chung teaches at Bukit Panjang Government High School in the west of Singapore

Favourite place when you have time off?

My favourite pastime is shopping. I like unusual things, particularly fashion. Far East Plaza is a good place to source for such clothes. Another place is Bugis Village. The shopping centres in Chinatown are good too.

When's a good time to come?

Anytime. However, October to December may get a bit wet because of the rainy season. Singapore celebrates its National Day on August 9 and there are celebrations throughout the nation for the whole month, with parades and concerts.

Lunchtime treats?

I like Japanese food. Some of the more affordable places with succulent Japanese food are Sun with Moon Japanese Cafe, Sakae Sushi and Waraku.

Evening delights?

I don't usually hang out at night. However, there is a new nightspot (discopub) in town called St James Power Station which is popular. Many media events and fashion shows have been held there since its opening last October.

Tourists who like to indulge in the local gourmet delights should make a trip to Newton Food Centre and also to Clarke Quay where there are restaurants and nightspots along the Singapore River.

Don't miss

Sentosa Island. Most tourists spend a day there. Apart from the beach, there is a wax museum, butterfly park and underwater world attraction.

In town, hop on the Hippo Tour - it's an open top double-decker bus that takes tourists around Singapore. Many companies run heritage tours, visiting Chinatown (Chinese), Kampong Glam (Malaysian) and Little India (Indian).

Visitors beware

Avoid Geylang at night as this is a red-light district that is plagued with prostitutes soliciting for male customers. The flipside of this is that Geylang is also well known for its good food and durians - with choices aplenty. Durian is our national fruit. It's quite big with thorns. Inside each seed is a fruit in itself. Sometimes it is sweet, sometimes a little bitter, depending on the season and where it was grown. It has a strong smell that some people don't like.

Remember to bring or buy

Umbrellas - because the weather in Singapore can be quite erratic

Find out more

The Singapore Tourism Board, London (020 7437 0033, www.visitsingapore.com) often shows special travel packages from the UK and has details of all Singapore's hotels.

How to get there

Singapore Airlines (www.singaporeair.com) flies from London Heathrow to Singapore three times a day and from Manchester to Singapore five times a week.

Price to the planet

Offset the climate cost of a return flight to Singapore for pound;24.26 per adult (www.climatecare.org)

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