Singapore: the place to be in October 2012
By Emily Wickstrom
During October 29–31, 2012, some of the best minds in the fabric and home care industry will gather at the Shangri-La Hotel in Singapore for Singapore 2012, AOCS’ World Conference on Fabric and Home Care. This rare meeting of minds will continue the conversation that began at the 2010 Montreux World Conference, a premier industry event that is held every four years in Montreux, Switzerland. Will you be among them?
Sometimes called the “little red dot,” for the way it appears on many world maps, Singapore is surprisingly big in the world economy. In 2011, the World Bank Ease of Doing Business Index ranked Singapore as the easiest place in the world to do business—ahead of both Hong Kong and New Zealand. Singapore also ranked third in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report and was the third-fastest growing economy in the world in 2010. Its vibrant culture not only draws on its own rich and unique history but is also a showcase for innovation and design that spans the east-west divide.
As a destination, Singapore defies its geographical size. There are endless things to do and see, which allow visitors to customize their experience to their preferences. Whether you like art and culture, nature and adventure, or eating and shopping, you will find it in Singapore!
Need more convincing? Here are 10 things in Singapore that you do not want to miss.
Singapore is one of the most cosmopolitan places in the world, with a diverse blend of people and cultures. Almost all of the locals speak more than one language, with English, Chinese, Malay, and Tamil all considered to be official languages of the country. Singapore is known for its mixture of diversity as well as its cohesiveness, which is evident in the profusion of dining and entertainment options.
No matter what you are hungry for, you can satisfy your craving in Singapore, where food is taken very seriously. The country’s diversity is reflected in its dining selections, highlighted by local cuisines of Chinese, Malay, Indian, and Peranakan. Must-try dishes include Hainanese chicken rice, nasi lemak, and ayam buah keluak.
Looking for some nighttime diversions? You can find that in Singapore as well. Local music acts take center stage nightly at venues like Timbre @ The Substation and Shanghai, while popular bar/lounges for tourists include Boat Quay and Clarke Quay. For even more excitement, check out St James Power Station, an entertainment complex with 10 venues, each of which features a different music genre.
Singapore is well known for its art scene, with museums, galleries, and exhibitions scattered throughout the city. Most recognized is the Singapore Art Museum, which hosts a large collection of modern and contemporary Southeast Asian art. Other places to check out include the Red Dot Design Museum (innovative design concepts), the NUS Art Museum (social history and the art of Asia), and the Art Retreat (modern Asian and European art).
World-class shopping is abundant. Whether you’re looking for bargains or just like to browse, Singapore will not disappoint. The main shopping district, Orchard Road, is in walking distance of the Shangri-La Hotel and features shopping centers with high-end items and the latest trends. Those who are looking for cultural shopping should check out the districts of Kampong Glam, Little India, and Chinatown.
Sentosa Island is a great destination for fun, as it is home to popular attractions such as Universal Studios Singapore, Songs of the Sea, Tiger Sky Tower, MegaZip Adventure Park, and Sentosa Wave House. For a panoramic view of the city, check out the Singapore Flyer, the tallest Ferris wheel in the world, or take a ride on Singapore’s cable car.
Those interested in learning about Singapore’s history will find several options. Five heritage centers—Chinatown, Chinese, Civil Defence, Eurasian, and Malay—allow visitors to experience different eras and key historical moments. Museums to look into include the National Museum of Singapore, Peranakan Museum, Asian Civilisations Museum, and the Army Museum of Singapore.
The island of Pulau Hantu is home to lagoons and sheltered beaches, while Bukit Timah Nature Reserve is considered Singapore’s oldest rainforest with over 500 species of animals and over 840 species of flowering plants. Another popular destination is Bukit Batok Nature Park, with walking trails and lookout points to breathtaking views. The Singapore Botanic Gardens are internationally renowned and a tourist hot spot.
Singapore is a global leader in several areas. It has the third-largest petroleum refining center, is the world’s fourth-leading financial center, and offers the second-largest market for casino gambling. Singapore’s port is the busiest transshipment port in the world, and the country is home to the largest number of millionaire households per capita in the world.
Singapore’s famous skyline features several architectural highlights. The Esplanade—Theatres on the Bay is a unique structure with two spiked shells that are said to look from afar like the eyes of a fly or a giant durian fruit. The Arts House, the oldest government building in Singapore, was originally built in 1827 and features a bronze elephant in front. The Helix Bridge is a modern marvel, as the pedestrian bridge is curved—the first of its kind.
As you can see, there is plenty to see and do in Singapore. We are looking forward to visiting this one-of-a-kind destination and hope you will join us for Singapore 2012, the World Conference on Fabric and Home Care. Visit singapore.aocs.org for travel tips and helpful sightseeing links.
Emily Wickstrom is a marketing and public relations specialist at AOCS. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Singapore 2012 at a Glance
29–31 October, 2012
Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore