Travel postcard: 48 hours in Singapore

Fri Sep 26, 2008 9:13am EDT
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SINGAPORE (Reuters Life!) - Singapore has grown from a trading port founded in the 19th century to a cosmopolitan hub for financial services, and which will host the world's first Formula One street night race this weekend.

Reuters correspondents with local knowledge help visitors make the most of the country, a group of islands about eight times the size of Manhattan.


6 p.m. - A visit to Singapore is not complete without a Singapore Sling cocktail at the landmark colonial hotel Raffles, where Somerset Maugham wrote novels. The gin, Benedictine and pineapple juice drink is served by the thousands to wash down mounds of peanuts at the Long Bar, but those looking to follow the locals could instead cross the street for lychee martinis on the 72th floor bar of the Swissotel Stamford hotel.

7 p.m. - Head down the road to Chijmes, once a convent school, for dinner at Lei Gardens, one of Singapore's best Cantonese restaurants. It offers dishes from seasonal produce, facing cobbled courtyards and a cathedral. (

9 p.m. - Walk past the Padang field and City Hall, the seat of colonial government where the British surrendered to the Japanese in 1942, to Clarke Quay where former merchant shophouses line the river. Now it's a hubbub of colorful themed bars and clubs, from Highlander to Bollywood and Angkor. Perhaps end up in a wheelchair at the Clinic for a cocktail from intravenous drips.

11 p.m. - For those with energy, stroll upriver to the more laid-back Robertson Quay and clubbing mecca Zouk. Rated in the world's top ten by DJ Magazine, it brings in international DJs to spin R&B, hip hop and dance. (


9 a.m. - Start your day at the Killiney Kopitiam coffee shop on the main shopping belt Orchard Road. Favorites are soft-boiled eggs and toast with kaya, green-colored coconut jam, and coffee with condensed milk. Or soak up the previous night's excesses with laksa, noodles in a spicy coconut broth. (   Continued...

<p>A model holds a set of Formula One commemorative coins in front of the Singapore Flyer observation wheel during its presentation September 10, 2008. REUTERS/Pablo Sanchez</p>