Travel tips and advice for Singapore: The nine things you must do

THE ONE WALK

The Civic District adjacent to the Singapore River was laid out in 1822 and retains much of its British colonial architecture as well as two statues of Singapore's founder, Sir Stamford Raffles. Inspect the Victoria Theatre, old Parliament House and St Andrew's Cathedral. When the humidity overwhelms, retreat into the excellent Asian Civilisations Museum, which covers Singapore's pan-Asia cultural mix. See acm.org.sg

THE ONE NEIGHBOURHOOD

Singapore's most vibrant ethnic enclave is Little India, which centres on Serangoon Road and ever-bustling Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple, whose ornate gateway is topped by Hindu deities. Street art adds to the colour of the buildings. Mustafa Centre has great shopping and the Tekka Centre has a terrific wet market and hawker centre for flavoursome, Singapore-influenced Indian food. See visitsingapore.com

THE ONE GARDEN

The 50-metre-tall, artificial Supertrees at Gardens by the Bay, linked by an elevated walkway with terrific Marina Bay views, support cascades of vines, ferns, bromeliads and orchids. Yet two other attractions are even better. Cloud Forest Dome, a vast climate-controlled glasshouse garden, showcases high-mountain flora, while Flower Dome has displays of Mediterranean and semi-arid plants, and is the world's largest glass greenhouse. See gardensbythebay.com.sg

THE ONE MUSEUM

This year marks the 200th anniversary of the founding of Singapore by Sir Stamford Raffles. The National Museum of Singapore has excellent galleries that run through the story of the former colony, including its pre-British history, the Japanese World War II era and the emergence and success of the independent state. The museum's Flutes restaurant serves great Mediterranean food. See nationalmuseum.sg

THE ONE FAMILY ATTRACTION

Singapore Zoo doesn't just display all manner of creatures – huge glass panels even give you a look at hippos and polar bears swimming underwater – but has innovative programs such as a Jungle Breakfast with orang-utans and a Night Safari showcasing nocturnal animals. Rainforest Kidzworld combines petting zoos, a water park and an adventure playground. See wrs.com.sg

THE ONE HOTEL

The Fullerton Bay Hotel Singapore combines heritage piers with contemporary architecture and art to spectacular effect, and sits right over Marina Bay waterfront, taking full advantage of its light-twinkled views from guestrooms, the swimming-pool terrace and the very stylish Lantern rooftop bar. Stroll along the waterfront to Palm Beach at One Fullerton for tasty Chinese seafood. See fullertonhotels.com

THE ONE RESTAURANT

Don't be put off by the "gastro-botanical contemporary cuisine" promised by innovative chef Jason Tan at Corner House in the Botanic Gardens. It's far more delicious than it sounds, from the moment you bite into "foie gras enrobed in white chocolate" as an amuse-bouche and move on to oysters with yuzu and caviar, wagyu beef and a pandan-and-coconut dessert. See cornerhouse.com.sg

THE ONE VIEW

For a bar with a view, look no further than 70th-floor SKAI Bar. A dedicated lift shoots you aloft to a panoramic outlook over the colonial-era Civic District, uber-modern Marina Bay and downtown skyscrapers in between. Sunset is as spectacular as the inventive cocktails. Sophisticated bar nibbles include wagyu sliders and scrumptious caramelised pork belly. See skai.sg

THE ONE ESCAPE

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve is small but provides one of Singapore's last stands of ancient dipterocarp rainforest, inhabited by colourful butterflies, lizards and monkeys. Good walking trails link various viewing platforms and ascend Singapore's highest hill – which at 163 metres above sea level, is no arduous hike. A visitor centre has displays on rainforest ecology. See nparks.gov.sg

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ONE MORE THING

You could almost swim to Sentosa Island, the city's favourite weekend getaway, though you'd best take the cable car. Nature walks, golf courses, beaches, luxury resorts and spas are among the attractions. At Universal Studios Singapore you can scare yourself on the Revenge of the Mummy rollercoaster and look out for velociraptors in scream-worthy The Lost World. See sentosa.com.sg

Brian Johnston travelled as a guest of Visit Singapore and The Fullerton Bay Hotel Singapore.

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