Finish off your heritage walk with some of Singapore’s striking contemporary architecture: the Norman Fosterdesigned Supreme Court, the Esplanade Theatres or the flower-shaped ArtScience Museum, reached via the quirky Helix Bridge, shaped like DNA’s double-helix. The backdrop for all this is the Marina Bay Sands Hotel, one of the world’s most photographed hotels. Designed to resemble three decks of cards, it’s joined together at the 57th floor by a stunning SkyPark with the world’s highest infinity pool, a lounge and bar. Anyone can visit the SkyPark Observation Deck for stunning 360-degree views of the harbour and skyline, but the pool is open only to hotel guests. Rooms are pricey — more than $250 a night even in low season (summer-early fall). Singapore is extremely clean. You’re not allowed to bring gum into the country, and the U.S. State Department’s travel advisory warns about physical punishment for vandalism. (I unthinkingly popped a soda open on the subway, then quickly hid it in response to other passengers’ disparaging stares.) But ethnic and traditional neighbourhoods are a little less sterile and more colorful than downtown streets. Chinatown is dotted with temples and buildings attesting to the rich heritage of Malay-born Chinese who immigrated
Raffles Hotel’s iconic Sikh doorman stands at the ready.