The gateway to South East Asia, Singapore’s cosmopolitan feel is part of this tropical city-state’s charm. The ex-British trading post is now a global financial hub, but it’s not all skyscrapers and suits. In the Civic District, the Raffles Hotel stands majestically, while across the river lie the futuristic architecture and gardens of Marina Bay. Known for being super-clean, which it is, Singapore is often called clinical, which it’s not. Walk through Chinatown to experience the chaos and bustle of street life, fortune tellers, and food vendors, or wander from spice store to fabric merchant in Little India. The city's renowned zoo and the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve are both to the north of the city, while old and new come to life in Kampong Glam’s Arab quarter as carpet traders and halal cafes sit alongside new bars and boutique shops. Singapore bursts with energy at every turn.