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46Isea&iISPRING-SUMMER 2010IN THE EVENT.TIME YOUR TRIP TO COINCIDE WITH THESE HIGHLIGHTSWORLDGOURMETSUMMIT11 - 25 AprilInternational Michelin-star chefs join to host celebrity dinners and share top culinary tips at master classes.www.worldgourmetsummit.comSINGAPOREINTERNATIONALFILMFESTIVAL15 - 24 AprilThis festival brings Asian cinema into the spotlight with screenings ofindependent films and May - 13 JuneThe hottest ticket for performingarts in the Far East, this juxtaposes glittering stars of Asian and Western dance, theatre and May - 25 JulyThe annual event when the city's boutiques,malls and department stores offer dizzyingdiscounts. - 11 JulyTop crews from across the world compete in beautifully decorated boats to theinvigorating beat of drums and Whet your appetite with Singapore's Asian-fusion flavours at this annualepicurean extravaganza. MID-AUTUMNFESTIVAL14 September Cultural shows and a vibrant parade of dragon dances and fireworks abound.FORMULAONE: SINGAPOREGRANDPRIX24 - 26 SeptemberA nightime thrill of 'Festival of Lights', Deepavali welcomes in the Hindu New Year. Singapore's Little India blazes with diyas (clay pots),fairylights and garlands.

SPRING-SUMMER 2010I sea&iI47cityguideThe Stamford, which used to be the tallest hotel in the worldand remains the tallest in Southeast, drink, much as you can. All cuisines of the world gather hereand food festivals take place almost year-round. Enjoy thefood courts where stalls serve a one-dish specialty. If you queuealongside the locals you'll be sure to get the best ones. Also,try the breakfast treats with 'kaya' coconut paste toasts and soft-boiled eggs served with 'kopi', the Asian version of milky coffee,at Ya Kun Kaya Toast. And don't miss the Sunday brunches in thetop hotels: favourites include Raffles, Mezza9 at Grand Hyatt,the Four Seasons, Shangri-Laand Fullerton. For dim sum,try Crystal Jade at Paragon. Many restaurants alsotransform into lounges or bars, including IndoChineor LesAmis (an unsurpassed French restaurant). For an Italian fix,indulge yourself at Prego(at the Fairmont Hotel) or Domus(atthe Sheraton hotel); whilst the best Japanese in town is Tatsuyaat Goodwood Park Hotel.DRINK.the island has it all, from famed Irish pubs such asOrchard Road's Muddy Murphy's(the best Shepherd's Pie andlive music) to the elegant Post Bar at the Fullerton Hotelto thetrendy wine bar Que Pasaat Emerald Hill. This small street offOrchard Road features a row of old Peranakan shophousesturned into quaint bars like N°5. Clarke Quay, Boat Quay,Empress Place or One Fullertonare classic choices, but ClubStreetin Chinatown offers a relaxed atmosphere, whileMohamed Sultan Roadhas a more local touch. Luxury hotelsare good for socialising, with favorites being New Asiaon the71st storey of Swissôtel The Stamford, and the Bar & BilliardRoomat Raffles Hotel.DANCE.Zoukis a world-class club beyond the shores of theisland state where guests dance to the beat of famousinternational DJs every weekend.The Velvet Underground,on the same premises, is a sophisticated alternative for fansof soul music.see and shopSEE.Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay, the two concertandtheatre halls that look like halved durians were inaugurated in2002 and quickly became landmarks in the same vein as theSydney Opera House or Hong Kong Convention and ExhibitionCentre. They are located in the riverside area. Take time to viewsome of the island's Colonial buildings, which include RafflesHotel, St Andrew's Cathedralor the Cathedral of the GoodShepherd(the oldest Roman Catholic church in Singapore), andspot the Colonial houses known as 'black & whites'. Stroll downOrchard Road, pay a visit to Chinatownand Little India, andhead for Singapore Port- one of the world's busiest.SHOP.until you drop. Favourites include Ngee Ann CityandThe Paragonalong Orchard Road, Chinatown and Little India,and the local markets in the island's many neighbourhoods. Iflacking time, Changi Airportis open for shopping 24 hoursa day, 365 days a and dareDO.with no less than 19 golf clubs on an island that is roughly700 square kilometers (250 square miles), golf is a nationalpastime. The most celebrated are the private clubs of TanahMerah, Raffles Country Club, Laguna Nationalor Sentosa GolfClub, which hosts the Barclays Singapore Open and has two18-hole courses. Also make time to visit the magnificentBotanic Gardens- a jewel in the heart of the city, with afabulous rainforest and National Orchid Garden.DARE.The famous Pepper and/or Chilli Crabs are hot but tasty.Find them at restaurants along the beach at the East CoastSeafood Centre, such as Jumbo Seafoodor Long BeachSeafood. The more extreme adventurer can trya durian with itsspiky shell and a smellworse than most French cheese. Its odourcan be so disturbing that it is forbidden to carry durians in public,yet it remains a delicacy to locals. The daring can also walkSingapore's red-light district in the Geylang area, where thereare great joints for late-night food.nOpposite, clockwise from top left:Raffles City; market food; the city at night; classiccolonial architecture;island flora; SriMariamman Temple;durian fruit; a Chinese temple; ChangiAirport; the EsplanadeAT A GLANCE.Best travel time:temperatures range from 24°C in the morning to 32°C in the afternoon,year round. It is best outside the rainy seasonCurrency:Singapore Dollar (SGD)Language:English (the local version, Singlish, is difficult to follow but amusing) Chinese (in many dialects), Malay and Tamil Culture:the clubs, restaurants, bars, boutiques and parks all reflect Singapore's sophisticated yet cosmopolitan vibe, which is an intriguing mix of Chinese, Malaysian,Indonesian, Indian and European - both old and newPhotography: istockphotoSingapore is a cityworth visiting, anappealing place to live ,and a countryfrom which to learn