Hear the roar of Lion City

By Sanath Weerasuriya in Singapore

Be it shopping, leisure or business, more and more Sri Lankans are heading to Singapore, the Lion City. To attract the discerning Sri Lankan, a new campaign in the form of ‘Uniquely Singapore Weekend Getaways’ has been introduced to provide that extra-special weekend package.

Launched by Singapore Airlines in collaboration with the Singapore Tourism Board, ‘Uniquely. Singapore Weekend Getaways’ offer the Sri Lankan traveller a hotel-stay and economy-class airfare all-inclusive package for Rs. 40,000 per person.

The happening place by the side of Singapore River

“The campaign is based on the fact that with a flight time of under four hours and greater frequencies to Singapore, it is now easy and lighter on the pocket for urban sophisticates to jet off to Singapore for a weekend of non-stop chill, indulgence and rejuvenation. Even if you travel to an outstation destination within Sri Lanka, the time-frame will be the same,” said Singapore Tourism Board’s Area Director for South India, Sri Lanka and Maldives, Kiran Bhandari, the key person handling the campaign.

For partygoers, this city has some of Asia’s top clubs that are open all night. Not only is there wining and dining at Clarke Quay along the Singapore River, the energetic can dance the night away in this 24-hour entertainment zone spread over 80,000 sq. ft.

Taking pride of place are funky restaurants and clubs such as the world´s largest, Ministry of Sound, offering five different music concepts. I am, however, a fan of St. James Power Station which boasts of nine distinct music stations offering Modern and Hip Hop, Latin and Cuban, Restro and Seventies, Hard Rock and Punk, Jazz Pub and the crowded Chinese Music Bar, to suit any taste.

For those seeking a quiet respite, the ‘Uniquely Singapore Weekend Getaways’ offer relaxing garden spas or an exclusive chocolate massage at popular spas and the Fish Foot Reflexology Centre at Sentosa. For weary feet, the revitalizing ‘Fish Foot Reflexology’ where Turkish spa fish nibble away dead skin on the feet is the perfect answer.

The Singapore Flyer, the world’s largest observation wheel also offers a mix of thrills as one can sip an evening cocktail and be mesmerized by the view of Singapore. For those with nerves of steel, getting lifted 60 metres into the sky in one and a half seconds before plunging back to earth on the G-Max reverse bungee, will be an unforgettable experience.

Retail Therapy reaches the height of indulgence at Vivocity (Singapore’s largest retail and lifestyle destination) and Orchard Road (Asia’s leading lifestyle street).

The Sun Festival held in the third week of October

Events like the Singapore Sun Festival and the Singapore Jewel Festival also add to the premium offerings. Held in the third week of October, the Sun Festival is an integrated lifestyle event celebrating the "art of living well" through the seven key disciplines – music, film, visual arts, literature, cuisine, wine and wellness. The Jewel Festival, on the other hand, showcases exquisite collections by leading jewellery designers from around the world.

If exploration of Singapore is top of the agenda, a one-day pass for the HIPPO River Cruise will enable the flexibility of a hop-on-hop-off tour of the city and river. ‘Underwater World Singapore’ is a must. Situated on Sentosa, it is a unique leisure attraction showcasing the rich variety of marine life found in the region. Visitors are taken on a 'voyage to the bottom of the sea', home to great shoals of fish, prowling predators and a host of other creatures. The fact that many fish living here, such as the black-tip and white-tip sharks are breeding naturally indicates that they are comfortable at ‘Underwater World Singapore’.

For Sri Lankans who are on the look out for something new and exciting, Singapore offers it all -- a plethora of refreshing and exhilarating experiences.

(The writer was in Singapore on the invitation of the Singapore Tourism Board)

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