Not sure if Marco Polo, that celebrated explorer of the East, ever got to the area we now know as Singapore; however, he has given his name to a series of guidebooks to aid a distant generation of travellers.
It’s true that there are many guide books and all of them, I feel sure, have merit. This particular Marco Polo guide to Singapore does seem one of the most practical. This is a slim and concise volume with a sturdy cover. One might enjoy one of those famous thick blue guides while one is planning a trip but nobody wants to carry a book as big as a bible in the heat and humidity of the tropics.
The Marco Polo guide has a section of ‘Best Of’ recommendations. This is such a vibrant city that I am sure you will be adding your own recommendations in the blank Notes section. Marco suggests hotels, unique restaurants, night life and other stylish options for the enthusiastic traveller. Singapore is a young city. Yes, it has history but it also has energy. Singapore has lots to occupy the children: there are beaches, pools, zoos as well as gardens and the Singapore Flyer.
There is so much to do and see and taste in Singapore. One can be overwhelmed. This guide allows the visitor to plan an itinerary but will also give confidence to change that along the way. The Metro in Singapore is easy to negotiate and one of the cleanest that I have ever seen. There is a Rapid Transit map at the back of the guide and it’s difficult to get lost.
There is a wallet attached to the back cover and that contains the street map. It has places of interest marked and also has 3 self-guided walking tours. One can find a romantic walk, a cultural stroll or a garden ramble. One might need that exercise after enjoying some of Singapore’s diverse culinary delights.
Singapore is a paradise for food lovers. There are plenty of fine-dining restaurants and I can vouch for the quality of the restaurants listed in this guide. There are also more economic eateries and these can be found in Hawker Centres listed here. Marco Polo also offers some very handy Insider Tips, not only in the Food and Drink chapter but throughout the book. There is also a Do’s and Don’t’s section which will give you a heads-up… at least on the Don’t’s. There are few of these in this remarkably safe country but they are good to know.
Marco Polo Singapore is compact but the visitor will find a wealth of information that will ensure a stay filled with fun, food, comfort and unique entertainment. Singapore can be a smart, jet-setting, glitter-filled adventure and appropriate high-spots are listed here; or it can be a gentle introduction to an exciting city where one can explore without the need of a bank loan.
Travel guidebook review by Chrissie Walker © 2018