When it comes to traveling, every visitor has a default priority. Some chase after food trends, while others look for underground cultures. Whatever motivates your journey, look to Singapore with fresh eyes as we present you the different facets of the city.
// THE LION’S ROAR //
Once set up a colonial trading port, Singapore has grown into a modern-day commercial gateway through which other cities in the region may be accessed. This vibrant city keeps a global standard with its efficient infrastructure, contemporary architecture, and entertainment options. At the same time, Singapore retains traces of its history as physical witnesses to the island’s journey from its humble beginnings to its present day glory. Let’s travel through time to see what made the island city’s iconic spots so special in the present time.
THE STRUCTURE of ION Orchard pays homage to Orchard Road’s history. Semblance of tree trunks and foliage are evident in the shopping mall’s exterior curvatures and lofty height. A few doors down the road, Orchard Central introduces a different shopping concept. The mall organizes its vendors in clusters according to product types in order to give shoppers a richer experience based on their interests and needs.
Orchard Gateway houses library@orchard, where some 100,000 literature titles are focused on lifestyle, design, and the applied arts. The strategic location of the library gives a nod to the marriage between commerce and the arts, as witnessed in the vibrancy of Orchard Road today.
South of the island, Marina Bay Sands (MBS) is the latest and largest development undertaking to include various commercial elements under one expansive roof. MBS was a multi-billion dollar project that commenced in late 2006. It began operating in stages in 2010. Prior to the MBS project, Marina Bay first saw the building of public parks, now replaced by Gardens By the Bay, and luxury hotels such as the Pan Pacific and the Mandarin Oriental in the 1980s.
One of the highlights at Marina Bay Sands is the ArtScience Museum, which has been created as a learning and entertainment hub in the complex. The building is reminiscent of an open lotus flower, complete with its naturally lit interiors and open concept.
One of the latest additions on Keong Saik Road is Potato Head Folk, which takes up the entire four floors of a corner building. Culinary enthusiasts can now enjoy the gourmet burgers of Three Buns on the first two floors, while evening fun can be had at Studio 1939 Lounge on the third floor; the top floor is occupied by the alfresco Rooftop Garden.
Duxton Road and Duxton Hill were first and foremost a wealthy residential area to the upper-class Chinese migrants. However, with the ever-increasing number of immigrants, the two roads could not escape from the urban poor population for long. All throughout 19th and 20th Century, cheap brothels and opium dens plagued the area.
When all is said and done, Singapore does pack a punch as a traveling destination. Amidst Singapore’s strive for progress, this former colonial trading port also recognizes the value of its heritage, and is now consciously working to allow the old and the new to exist with one another.
The next time to set foot in Singapore, let the roads lead you to the many wonders that is the Lion City.
Originally appeared in the January-February print issue of PathWay magazine.