Sandra Scott Travels: Visit Asia’s most innovative city

Last week I asked: What Asian city is considered Asia’s most innovative? Singapore

We have been to Singapore several times and each time I am amazed by something new and unique that has opened since our last visit.

Marina Bay
Marina Bay

We stayed at the newly opened Parkroyal Hotel on Pickering with sky gardens at various levels.

Typical of Singapore the area next to the street is lined with trees and the street-length lobby has a meandering stream creating a green environment unique for a city hotel plus it is located across from a small park.

The infinity pool with colorful birdcage lounges is located on one of the sky garden levels offering an expansive view of the city.

Park Royal pool cabanas
Park Royal pool cabanas

It was especially impressive as I watched a thunderstorm roll in late one afternoon.

As one might expect from a 5-Star hotel, the service, accommodations, and food was great.

One of the things John and I love to do when we visit foreign countries is to take a cooking class.

It is a great way experience the culture.

The Parkroyal on Pickering is located a short walk from Chinatown home to Food Playground Cooking School where we made Pandan Pancakes with Coconut Filling, Chicken Satays, and Fried Kway Teow.

One day we visited the iconic Marina Bay Sands Hotel with its mind-boggling rooftop infinity pool on the 52nd floor.

Marina Bay Pool
Marina Bay rooftop pool

While access to the pool is only available to guests the adjacent Observation Deck with the same great views of Singapore is open to the public for a small fee.

The Sands, which as the name suggests, has a casino, more than 300 stores and a museum.

After a walkthrough of the shopping area we went to the ArtScience Museum.

The exhibit, The Art of the Brick, is currently featuring the artwork of New York-based artist, Nathan Sayawa, who creates large-scale sculptures using LEGOs.

After long days at his desk as an attorney he found enjoyment creating artwork from LEGOs then he discovered he could make a living doing what he loved to do so he left his law practice.

Next to Marina Bay Sands is Gardens by the Bay, an imaginative new addition to this already “green” city.

It is just one project aimed at transforming Singapore from “The Garden City” to “City in a Garden.”

Upon arriving the first thing John and I noticed were the Super Trees ranging from 75- to 150-feet in height some of which are connected by a 300+-foot skywalk.

Super Trees from Gardens by the Bay
Super Trees from Gardens by the Bay

The vertical gardens are comprised of more the 200 species of plants that offer shade during the day, but also provide solar energy, and at night are part of a sound and light display.

We took a golf cart tour of the grounds which includes Heritage Gardens with four themed gardens based on the culture of Singapore’s three main ethnic groups and colonial past.

And, that was before we went inside!

There are four main eco zones in the dome with flowers, plants and trees from around the world.

I was especially impressed with the African Baobab Trees and the Cloud Forest complete with a waterfall.

We should have planned to spend the day and stay for the nightly light and sound show.

Singapore is also home to a bird park, botanical gardens, and a great zoo with an exciting Night Safari.

It wasn’t until we were ready to leave that we learned they now have a Water Safari.

Guess we will just have to visit again.

Travel Trivia Tease™: What is Indonesia’s most popular tourist destination? Look for the answer next week.

Mexico resident Sandra Scott and her husband, John, enjoy traveling and sharing that experience with others. She also writes everyday for Examiner.com (rotating on editions … Syracuse Travel, National Destination and Culinary Travel).