Singapore is clean, safe and efficient and the inhabitants are as proud of this as they are of the city’s great financial heart beating around the clock. The harbour is the busiest in the world and capital flows on the stock exchange. All the world’s banks, insurance companies and investors are represented here. In 200 years, Singapore has gone from being a deserted island to an eminent industrial nation and major financial power, as reflected in the flourishing townscape. A good start for anyone who wants to experience Singapore today, with its mixture of old and new, is to have a drink on Boat Quay in the late afternoon. The renovated harbour district is packed with bars and restaurants. People from the financial district also meet here after work to socialise. Another traditional watering hole is Raffles Hotel, built in the Colonial style. Is there anything more embedded in mystic than to drink a Singapore Sling in the hotel’s Long Bar? It is a fantastic environment for a drink, the perfect way to experience Singapore and perhaps the very best way of all to experience the meeting between the city’s exciting history and modern times. Anyone who is looking for the original Singapore might like to head for the crowds of Chinatown where fortune-tellers, calligraphers and temple visitors are a permanent feature of everyday life. In Little India you will find the best Sari fabrics and lots of exciting spices. Don’t miss the small shops on Arab Street either.