Gardens by the Bay is home to Singapore's famous vertical gardens that reach up to 50 metres. The surreal, solar-powered Supertrees feature over 162,900 plants and more than 200 species of orchids, ferns and tropical flowering climbers. Visitors can walk 22 metres above ground among the trees on the OCBC Skyway. Inside Gardens by the Bay's two cooled conservatories, there is diverse plant life from around the world to explore. The Flower Dome replicates the cool-dry climate of the Mediterranean and houses a huge collection of plants, including 1,000-year-old olive trees from Spain, while the cool-moist Cloud Forest showcases the world's tallest indoor waterfall and a 35-metre-tall mountain covered in lush vegetation. During your visit, stop for lunch at SuperTree by IndoChine, located at the top of a Supertree. The restaurant serves eastern and western dishes while providing mesmerising views of the Gardens by the Bay and beyond.
Singapore's historic Chinatown is a bustling mix of the old and new, filled with traditional shops and markets, cool cafes and Hindu temples sat right next to mosques and Chinese temples. The narrow streets with colourful buildings are perfect for a stroll to take in the lively atmosphere and observe the various traders, from family-run goldsmiths to street hawkers. Foodies can feast on char kway teow (stir-fried noodles) and satay (barbecued meat skewers) at Chinatown Food Street, while serious sightseers should check out the imposing Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum, Sri Mariamman Temple and the Chinatown Heritage Centre. This authentic slice of Singapore is a must-see made all the more fascinating for its location next to the city's shiny skyscrapers. There is also free WiFi for visitors navigating Chinatown's streets.
Singapore is completely transformed for the Formula One Grand Prix in September when non-stop action takes over the city. The annual highlight brings excitement on and off the track, with world-class entertainment (Jennifer Lopez and Robbie Williams were two of the top acts for the 2014 season) and amazing nightlife - there are more post-race parties and events than you can count! The stunning Marina Bay Street Circuit is set against the backdrop of Singapore's skyscrapers at night and is notoriously bumpy, representing a tough challenge for competitors. The 2015 Formula One Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix takes place from 18 to 20 September.
Whether you would like to grab dinner with your spare change or really blow the budget, there is plenty on offer when it comes to eating out in Singapore. Hawker food, or street food, is affordable and great for sampling authentic local dishes. Lau Pa Sat is one of the most iconic hawker centres in Singapore, dating back to the 19th century. Situated in the financial district, it's the place to try steamed dim sum, chilli crab and sizzling satay in a historic setting. For dinner at a stylish, top-notch eatery, look no further than Bacchanalia, Singapore's answer to The Fat Duck thanks to three of its chefs who worked with Heston Blumenthal. The dishes are highly creative, decadent and designed with communal dining in mind. One of our favourite places to eat in Singapore is The Blue Ginger, where you can sample the best of spicy, aromatic Peranakan cuisine. Kueh pie tee (shredded bamboo shoots and turnip in mini cups) and the fish head curry are two of the best dishes. At the Pan Pacific Hotel, Hai Tien Lo is an excellent restaurant to enjoy fine Cantonese dining with a contemporary twist. The classic dishes use age-old recipes and are beautifully presented - the Sea Perch Fillet Two Ways is delicious!
For a marvellous view of Singapore from the water go on a bumboat river tour, taking in Boat Quay, Clarke Quay and Marina Bay. Each location you pass on the 40-minute cruise has a unique design and history of its own, from Boat Quay's colourful facades to the Merlion, Singapore's icon that is half-fish and half-lion. Attractions you will pass include the Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay, nicknamed The Durian for its resemblance to the Asian fruit, and Marina Bay Sands, with its 55-storey hotel towers. Keep an eye out for Singapore's collection of bridges, including Cavanagh Bridge and its jumping boys sculpture.
Delightful Kampong Glam has a distinct quaint yet hip feel and has been the Malay-Muslim quarter since the early 1800s. Once the seat of old Malay royalty, the neighbourhood is full of character with its carpet shops, textile stores and gleaming landmark, the Sultan Mosque. Open to all visitors, the mosque is a wonderful place for calm and reflection. While in Kampong Glam, get to know Malay history and culture better at the Malay Heritage Centre and take a walk down Bussorah Mall to experience the charming cafes and street stalls. Vibrant Arab Street is an atmospheric pocket of past Singapore boasting Persian carpet shops, jewellery for sale and an assortment of handicrafts. Don't miss charming Haji Lane, with its independent boutiques, cool second-hand clothes shops and quirky outlets selling knick knacks. Bali Lane is the place to relax and enjoy the laid-back Blu Jaz Cafe.
Named after the nutmeg orchards that once lined it in the 1830s, long avenue Orchard Road is one of the world's most beautiful shopping streets with its small boutiques, iconic shopping malls, large trees and restaurants that continue for more than a mile. The one-way boulevard is a shopper's haven, offering everything from high street to designer brands. ION Orchard, Orchard Central, Knightsbridge and 313@Somerset are some of the best shopping centres. For something more traditional to take home, visit the Tanglin Shopping Centre, one of the oldest shopping centres of Orchard Road. Its specialty stores sell beadwork, accessories, furniture and antiques. Shopaholics should visit Orchard Road during the Great Singapore Sale in the summer to pick up the best bargains.
Famed for its fragrance, spices and Bollywood music blaring from the shops, Little India is one of Singapore's most vibrant and culturally authentic neighbourhoods. Take in the sights and immerse yourself in the Indian experience of this charming district where flower vendors sell jasmine garlands, incense fills the air and women don bright saris. Shop for absolutely everything at discount department store Mustafa Centre, dine in Singapore's best Indian restaurants and take a walk down one of the oldest roadways in the city, Serangoon Road.
Elegant, contemporary and luxurious, Pan Pacific Singapore provides a wonderful base for exploring the city and a sanctuary to retire to at the end of the day. Located in the heart of Marina Bay, the five-star hotel boasts sweeping views of Singapore's skyline and an array of lounging and dining spaces to keep you entertained. The Panoramic King Rooms are located on the hotel's high floors for you to enjoy the stunning views from the floor-to-ceiling windows. With a sumptuous bath, super-comfortable bed and sophisticated ash wood interiors, the rooms are an oasis from the hustle and bustle below. The dining spaces at the Pan Pacific Singapore are stylish and innovative. From traditional Cantonese cuisine in restaurant Hai Tien Lo, to refreshing salads at Poolside, the culinary experiences won't disappoint. Be sure to relax with a drink in the Atrium, located in the heart of the lobby, and experience afternoon tea, sunset cocktails and other privileges by upgrading to the Pacific Club.
Flying First Class with Singapore Airlines is as luxurious as life gets. The designer toiletries, lobster at 35,000ft and the full-sized bed make it a real experience to savour. From the moment you turn left, the wonderful flight attendants cater to your every need, serving you champagne, making your bed and bringing you Givenchy pyjamas. As one of the privileged few in First Class, you enjoy a fine-grained leather seat, your own personal cinema in the sky (a 23-inch LED screen), as well as fluffy pillows, a plush duvet and bedroom slippers. The dining is incredible. Feast on gourmet dishes by world-famous chefs, such as grilled Angus beef, Lobster Thermidor and stuffed Guinea Fowl - all served with Givenchy crockery and cutlery. First Class seats from London to Singapore start from £6,535 return per person. Economy Class fares start from £760 per person and Business Class costs from £3,150 per person.