Day 1 – USA to Singapore
Today you will begin your Swain Destinations customized itinerary. Please note, international air has not been included in this package price.
Day 2 – Welcome to Singapore
Upon your arrival, a private driver will transfer you directly to your hotel by private vehicle.
A fresh and fashionable metropolis, Singapore is a city, an island and a country all rolled into one. With what started as a melting pot of Arab merchants, Malaysian settlers, Indian businessmen and Chinese traders, Singapore’s signature vibe is now an exciting blend of cultures. Textile warehouses and crowded food markets blend seamlessly with striking glass towers and high-class hotels. Relive Singapore’s Colonial past by sipping a Singapore Sling under the whisper of ceiling fans at the legendary Raffles Hotel, or shop for sarongs on Arab Street. Have fun in the sun at Sentosa Island, celebrate on luxurious Orchard Road, or visit Singapore Zoo and see why it gives San Diego Zoo a run for its money.Starting Accommodation:
Novotel Clarke Quay (B)
Day 3 – Singapore City Tour
Explore the city by driving round the Civic District, passing by the Padang, Cricket Club, historic Parliament House, Supreme Court and City Hall. Next, stop at the Merlion Park and enjoy the impressive views of Marina Bay. Do not miss out on the picture-taking opportunity with The Merlion, a mythological creature that is part lion and part fish. Visit Thian Hock Keng Temple, one of Singapore's oldest Buddhist-Taoist temples, before driving past Chinatown.
Stop by a Local Handicraft Centre and observe craftsmen at work up-close. Proceed to the National Orchid Garden, located within Singapore Botanic Gardens, which boasts a sprawling display of 60,000 orchid plants. The final stop at Little India will entrance you with the scent of joss sticks, jasmine and spices.Starting Accommodation:
Novotel Clarke Quay (B)
Day 4 – Peranakan Trail with Popiah Making
Today's colorful journey is into the history, lifestyle and unique character of the Peranakan, the descendants of the very early Chinese immigrants to the Nusantara region. The Peranankan partially adopted Malay customs in an effort to be assimilated into the local communities.
Over the centuries, the Peranakans have evolved a unique culture that maintains many Chinese traditions, such as celebrating the Lunar New Year and the Lantern Festival, while adopting the customs of the land they settled in, as well as those of their successive colonial rulers. There are traces of Portuguese, Dutch, British, Malay and Indonesian influences in Baba culture.
The craft of making traditional popiah skin is a fast vanishing trade. Take a step back in time and visit a quaint humble pre-war shop house in the conservation area of Joo Chiat. This nondescript shophouse has been the heart of popiah skin making operation even before World War II. For over 70 years, this shop has been making popiah skins the traditional way using a family recipe handed down from their forefathers in Fujian province, China. Watch how popiah skin masters twirl dollops of dough in mid-air and coax paper thin popiah skins out of baked dough on a searing hot pan. Savor a sampling of this great tasting popiah. Guests will get to try their hand at rolling up the perfect popiah roll.
Take a walk through the Spice Garden which sits on the original site of the first Botanic Gardens and uncover the intricacies of spices and herbs that go into Peranakan cooking. A fascinating Display of Peranakan costume, embroidery, bead work, jewelry, porcelain, furniture and craft work provides insight into the captivating culture of the Peranakans.
Novotel Clarke Quay (B)
Day 5 – Round Island Tour
Journey north to Kranji War Memorial to pay respects to the countless World War II heroes. Unveiled in 1957, the memorial commemorates over 20,000 men and women who gave their lives for freedom in WWII. Next is a visit to Bright Hill Temple, a famous Chinese ancestral place of worship and admire its spectacular architecture.
Lunch will be served at a local restaurant before proceeding to Changi Chapel & Museum to gain an insight into the memories and lives of both prisoners of war and civilian internees who survived the Japanese Occupation. The Changi Chapel is a symbolic replica of the original chapel found in the Changi Prison. Drive past the Johore Battery and view a replicated 15-inch 'Monster Gun', the largest to be installed outside Britain during World War II.
End the tour marveling at the modern developments of Gardens by the Bay. The park, spanning 101 hectares, is home to over a quarter of a million rare plants.Starting Accommodation:
Novotel Clarke Quay (B, L)
Day 6 – Singapore to USA
A private driver will meet you at your accommodation to be transferred to the airport for your flight back to the USA.