When you think of Singapore, you think of an eco-friendly high-tech city that’s known for its beauty and wealth, but it wasn’t always like that.

The first mention of the area dates back to the 3rd century by the Chinese, and for hundreds of years, Singapore was governed by the Malay until the Europeans came. First, it was the Portuguese, then it was the Dutch until the British took control over much of the island in the mid-19th century. During WWII, Japan invaded and the people of Singapore suffered greatly under the harsh leadership for several years until Japan was defeated. In 1965, Singapore became a free nation, separating itself from Malaysia.

The Singapore we know today only began to grow rapidly and modernize in the 1980s, 1990s and into the 2000s—the famous Marina Bay Sands opened in 2010 and the Gardens by the Bay in 2012. Aside from those two famous areas, Singapore is full of other amazing places to see and explore. If you plan on heading to this green city, here are a few spots we think you may want to check out.

Kampong Lorong Buangkok

Kampong Lorong Buangkok in Singapore

(Image source: Wikipedia)

Singapore is full of high-rises, yet a small part of the past still lives on in Kampong Lorong Buangkok, the last traditional village that still stands today. The village features small homes in different colors, mosque, channel, and narrow streets made of dirt. Kampong Lorong Buangkok is located in the northern part of Singapore in the suburbs, and you can get there via bus or taxi.

NOX-Dine in the Dark

NOX dine in the dark in Singapore

(Image source: NOX-Dine in the Dark)

Singaporean dishes are exquisite, and although you can find delicious eats almost anywhere in the city, we recommend a completely unique dinner experience at NOX-Dine in the Dark. As the name suggests, your entire meal is served by waiters that are blind or visually impaired in complete darkness, heightening all your other senses. Each dish is plated to the T—elegant, sophisticated—it’s a work of art.

MacRitchie Reservoir Park

MacRitchie Reservoir in Singapore

(Image source: Farrel Nobel / Unsplash)

Aside from the botanical garden and Gardens by the Bay, Singapore has so many other parks to explore, including the MacRitchie Reservoir Park. There, you can rent a kayak or canoe, hike various trails, and capture the beauty of the surrounding rainforest. It’s the oldest reservoir in Singapore and also hosts various performing arts shows and sacred ceremonies, so if you do happen to encounter either of these, stay and watch.

Really Really Free Market

Singapore Really Really Free Market

(Image source: Singapore Really Really Free Market)

The Singapore Really Really Free Market is unlike any other market you’ve been to. The first of its kind began in New Zealand and was then embraced by other places in Asia. The main concept is to give, and everything is free. Yes, really free. You can find books, clothes, toys and other knickknacks as well as people performing and providing services such as haircuts. If you come here, make sure to bring something you can give in case you might discover something you like—a trade. You can find more information on their Facebook page with details on when and where the market will pop up. Even if you don’t plan on taking anything, it’s still interesting to see what people are offering.

Singapore is one of those destinations you have to visit at least once. It’s beautiful, green and quiet (for the most part), with a rich culture, delicious eats and friendly people. If you’re heading to Singapore, we hope this guide can help you have an even better experience.

If this or any other destination speaks to you, we’d love to help you get there in comfort in business class and save you up to 70% off. Submit a flight request or contact your agent and we’ll find the best dates to travel there!