Budget or boutique travel: Singapore
What: Cosmopolitan, world city in a tropical setting
Why: Singapore assaults the senses with its sights, sounds and smells. An ethnic and cultural melting pot, the city state boasts a fabulous variety of food, shopping and sightseeing within a dynamic, thriving urban landscape.
Visitors can eat like kings (or queens!) with very minimal outlay in Singapore thanks to the island-wide network of Hawker centres and food courts. For as little as $S4, a hearty serving of favourites such as Laksa, Satay, Mee Goreng, Roti Prata, Chicken Rice and Kway teow awaits. Centrally located Lau Pa Sat is a good starting point, with Satay by the Bay and the shopping-centre based, Food Republic chain, also worth a look
Ibis Singapore Bencoolen - three-star hotel, with good access to the MRT (island-wide train network), Orchard Road (shopping) and food courts. From $A107 per night.
Despite its highly urbanised nature, Singapore is a surprisingly "green" country with many natural environments to be explored - often for free! The beautiful Botanical Gardens in Cluny Rd, offers 74 hectares of tropical luxuriance. For a look back into Singapore's past, take a bumboat to Pulau Ubin, a small relatively undeveloped island off the coast of Singapore. Leaving from Changi Point, the journey costs a mere $3 and is a bit of an adventure in itself. If all this is too much and you are craving some air-conditioning, head to Mustafa's department store in Little India where anything and everything can be purchased at relatively little cost.
English High Tea at the Goodwood Park Hotel - fabulous buffet afternoon tea within the old world charm of the Goodwood, $42 per adult; Sunday Champagne Brunch Mezza9, Grand Hyatt Hotel - featuring an international buffet, with a mightily impressive desert bar and free-flow champagne. Bookings essential, prices starting from S$148++.
Singapore has a wealth of luxury hotels - check out The Fullerton, Marina Bay Sands and the ultimate, Raffles Hotel. Prices can start from around $600 per night.
Indulge in a spa treatment at one of the many luxury establishments on Sentosa Island. Whether it is a massage, a facial, full body scrub or detox session, an array of luxury providers are all-too-ready to assist. Look for Accor's Singapore Resort & Spa, Amara Sanctuary Resort, ESPA.