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Singapore: A Foodie's Haven

clock 27th December 2017 | comment0 Comments

 

South East Asia is known for delicious and diverse cuisine that has become popular the world over. For many people, this is reason enough to visit this incredible part of the world, and if this applies to you, it’s likely that you might be struggling to decide just which areas to visit. The answer to this dilemma could well be Singapore. With influences from China, India, Malaysia, and Europe, many argue that food in Singapore offers the best of a number of cultures. Discover incredible places to eat and things to try, on a cruise in Singapore.

Raffles Hotel

Even if you haven't heard of much traditional Singaporean food and drink, we'd be willing to bet that you do know about their signature cocktail: The Singapore Sling. Thought to have been created by a bartender in 1915, in Singapore this drink is synonymous with Raffles Hotel - a stunning colonial hotel which is home to the Long Bar, where said bartender rustled up this delicious concoction. The main ingredients of this refreshing cocktail are gin, pineapple juice, and grenadine.

Laksa

This classic is said to have been brought to Singapore by the Peranakan people – those who immigrated to the Malay region from China, between the 1600s and 1800s. As such it has become well integrated into the cuisine of Singapore, and today remains a firm favourite among both locals and tourists. Essentially laksa is a noodle soup (or broth), made with spices, coconut milk, and usually chicken or fish.

Maxwell Food Centre

Singapore is known among food lovers for its hawker (street food) stalls. These offer affordable and yet delicious meals and great variety. Hawker stalls can be found here, there, and everywhere, but you will also come across centres which are known for this type of cuisine, such as Maxwell Food Centre. Here there are over 100 stalls selling all kinds of Singaporean favourites, and indeed some more modern and even international dishes.

Abacus Seeds

Having originated with the Hakka Han, or Han, people of China, abacus seeds are sometimes referred to as Hakka abacus seeds. They are similar to gnocchi, but instead of potato they are made with yams. They are a tasty and fairly versatile creation that can be found in various dishes with noodles, prawns, chicken, and vegetables. They are said to represent wealth, and so are often found in meals at celebrations such as New Year.

Kueh

Kuehs are traditional, bite-sized snacks that can be sweet or savoury. These too are especially popular among the Peranakan people, and can most commonly be found in supermarkets and coffee shops. They also frequently make an appearance at food festivals. Look out for favourites such as sweet steamed sponge, meat dumplings, and mini crepes made with sugar, coconut, and pandan leaves and juice.

Michelin Star Hawker Stall

Like many of the world’s big cities, Singapore is home to a number of Michelin-star rated restaurants. But what makes this location slightly more unusual, is that it boasts Michelin-star holding street food stalls! Both Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodle, and Liao Fan Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodle have been awarded this prestigious status, making Singapore one of the only places on earth where you can get a Michelin-star meal for about £3.

Pau

Singapore’s pau are known elsewhere in Asia as ‘bau’, ‘baozi’, and ‘mantou’, or to English-speakers, ‘steamed buns’. They are often stuffed with barbecue pork, however in Singapore potato, chicken, or beef curry are also popular fillings. These can be found at stalls or in restaurants, and are a really tasty option for lunch, or a snack to see you through until your evening meal.

Today, food is a highly regarded and significant part of Singaporean culture, and is something that the locals take great pride in – and rightly so. Foodies will not be disappointed with what they find here, and will hugely enjoy the countrywide celebration of cuisine. For an extra-special treat, consider a Singapore cruise in July, and see what’s in store at the annual Singapore Food Festival.

Find out more about things to do in Singapore.



Best Firework Displays to See on a Cruise

clock 27th October 2017 | comment0 Comments

Fireworks are seen all over the world to celebrate anything from great communal occasions like New Year, to smaller, personal events such as birthdays and weddings. They are also widely used to mark historic anniversaries in a number of different countries. We take a look at some of the best firework displays across the globe which can be seen during a cruise!

Bastille Day, Paris

An important public holiday in France, Bastille Day – on July 14th – commemorates the beginning of the French Revolution in 1789. On this day, The Storming of The Bastille took place – when rebels attacked the state prison. It is seen as a pivotal event in the revolutionary process, and as such is celebrated each year with great gusto all over the country. The main event however, is largely considered to be the magnificent fireworks display which lights up the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Consider a cruise to France next July and be a part of this fantastic event.

Independence Day, New York

Another well-known occasion, during which fireworks dominate the sky, is the United States’ Independence Day - colloquially known as the Fourth of July. On this day in 1776, The Continental Congress decided upon the precise and final wording of the Declaration of Independence; and therefore the end of British control over the 13 colonies. Again, this date has become widely accepted as the birth of the USA, which is recognised and celebrated all over the country. Towns in every state put on firework displays on all different scales, but Macy’s in New York are renowned for their show in particular. Sit back on the deck of a ship on a cruise to New York and enjoy the spectacle of lights overhead.

Festa del Redentore, Venice

On the third weekend of July, Venetians celebrate the end of a terrible, epidemic plague which occurred in 1575 until 1577. The disaster was declared over on July 13th, an announcement that has been celebrated every year since. Festa del Redentore translates to the Feast of the Redeemer, a name which was chosen because of the Church of the Redeemer that was erected in hopes of saving the city from the plague. The Saturday night of the weekend sees all manner of people out and about, with a special focus on the grand finale of the evening – a majestic firework show which can last up to an hour. Take a cruise to Venice to witness this remarkable night.

Guy Fawkes Night, London

Of course the firework-focussed event we are all most familiar with is our own; the commemoration of Guy Fawkes’ attempt to blow up parliament on 5th November in 1605. The population of London actually began to recognise and celebrate this day in the very same year, by lighting bonfires to show support of their King who had been saved. Every year since, towns all over Britain acknowledge this historic night by burning the ‘guy’ on bonfires and putting on fireworks displays. There are some spectacular shows all over, however it is often thought that the best place to see them is in the location of the original event: London. Take a cruise from the UK to see some amazing fireworks at this time of year.

 

Cruise lines sometimes host their own celebrations, where fireworks are the main event, for example for special anniversaries. For example, back in 2015 Cunard put on a stunning show to commemorate their 175th anniversary:

In addition to these beautiful events, fireworks are seen in many other areas of the world. Why not consider seeing a display in Asia, where fireworks were created in the first place? Take a look at some of the most fantastic opportunities to see displays in Asia, with the best places to see in Chinese New Year, and even the magnificent fireworks festivals in Japan.



Spotlight on Malaysia

clock 26th September 2017 | comment0 Comments

Malaysia is an interesting and exciting country, with a mainland uniquely separated by the South China Sea.

The destination offers a beautiful blend of cultures, with European, Chinese, Indian, and Malay influences impacting on the architecture, food, and general atmosphere of the place. Visitors are spoilt for choice when it comes to how and where to spend their time, and it is likely that a return trip (or indeed trips!) will be necessary to see everything.

 



Kuala Lumpur

 

The capital of Malaysia is undeniably enchanting and invigorating. Here you will find some fantastic shopping opportunities, fascinating museums, impressive modern architecture, and not forgetting the delicious food. Both upscale restaurants and tasty street food can be found peppered throughout the city.

 

Sarawak

 

Located on the Island of Borneo, this Malaysian state is home to some incredible wildlife. Go on safari to see orangutans, crocodiles, all kinds of species of birds, and other beautiful creatures. If you have time, visit Gunung Mulu National Park where you can see more wildlife, including an immense colony of bats.

 

Cameron Highlands

 

This stunning area of Malaysia will bring a breath of fresh air – literally. Located at between 1,100 and 1,600 metres above sea level, the Cameron Highlands boast simply remarkable vistas, with bright green rolling hills stretching as far as the eye can see. The land was developed when the British were in Malaysia, to enable an escape from the heat of the lowlands.

 



George Town

 

On the island of Penang, George Town demonstrates the influx of cultures that have been present in Malaysia. There are colonial buildings, mosques, and Chinese style buildings all within this small town. Take in all the sights, visit the museums, and spend time in cafes and restaurants serving everything from otak otak (steamed fish curry), to cakes and ice cream.

These are just four of the top spots to visit in Malaysia, and it is entirely possible that you will want to spend all your time exploring only one of them considering how much they have to offer. The country truly has something for everyone; you just need to think about the kind of holiday you’re after before deciding where to spend your time.

Could Malaysia be the next adventure for you? Find out more about our Asia cruises and start planning your holiday today, and be sure to sign up for our new Asia brochure.



A day in Siem Reap

clock 4th November 2015 | comment0 Comments
What are the cheap things to do when your cruise calls in Siem Reap for just one day? [More]


Everything you need to know about Burma

clock 15th October 2015 | comment0 Comments
Top tips for planning your trip to Burma. Top things to do in Burma. [More]


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