If you come from a country that is cold and dark in December, then Christmas in Singapore may seem slightly surreal.
The decorations are there, the streets are lined with reindeer, but all the snow is fake and Santa is wearing sunglasses. Festive ornaments hang from the palm trees and cheerful elves hand out candy canes in the ubiquitous shopping malls. There is definitely nothing gloomy about Christmas in Singapore!
A multicultural metropolis, Singapore has a very strong Western influence, which means that Christmas is not as foreign a concept here as it is in, for example, China or Japan. If you are planning a trip around Asia for the holiday season and you’re worried that you will miss out on that authentic Christmas spirit, then Christmas in Singapore is a great choice.
Why Spend the Holiday Season in Singapore?
Singapore is a huge transport hub, so it is easy to incorporate a trip to the “Lion City” with any number of other destinations. Singapore is also the shopping mecca of Southeast Asia and the famous Orchard Road (in the city’s shopping district) is spectacularly decorated with an incredible display of light and colour to rival that of any major city.
Due to its historical connection with British culture, as well as the large number of expats living in Singapore, there is an enormous array of restaurants serving traditional holiday fare from around the world, so you won’t have to miss out on the roast turkey with stuffing and brussels sprouts.
However, any trip to Singapore is incomplete without sampling some of its amazingly diverse street foods representing the very best of Asian cuisine from across the region. Diversity is the keyword to why Singapore is such a great destination for a Christmas holiday. You can enjoy Indian, Chinese, Malaysian cultures, and many more, while not missing out on some of your own traditions.
What to Do and Where to Go
Many local Singaporeans spend their Christmas at a hotel restaurant or one of the city’s many carveries, so you will need to book a long time in advance. Why not try the Christmas day brunch at the legendary Raffles hotel? Most hotels will also have events such as Christmas markets, Christmas carolling, and of course you might get to meet the “real” Santa Claus if you are lucky (rumour has it that Old Saint Nick loves a good Singapore Sling).
The Gardens by the Bay is 101 hectares of park next to Marina Bay Sands, and is extravagantly decorated with light installations and a carnival like atmosphere for Christmas. This is definitely a great place for children, with many family-friendly activities and games. Similarly, the impressive decorations on Orchard Road are a must-see for visitors to Singapore in December.
If all this isn’t enough to keep the kids entertained, then you could visit Universal Studios Singapore. This theme park is also chuck-full of Christmas themed activities and decorated in a fairy-tale like atmosphere.
In conclusion, Singapore is probably the best place to spend Christmas in Southeast Asia. If you want to escape the darkness and gloom, but still want some of that authentic Christmas cheer, then we can’t think of a better place to go. It is also very easy to combine a trip to Singapore with a visit to any number of Southeast Asian destinations such as Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos or Hong Kong.
We hope you enjoyed this short guide to Christmas in Singapore. If you have any questions or suggestions, please leave a comment. We would also like to take this opportunity to wish you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from everyone at Buffalo Tours!