TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 21 October 2013
"Singapore" is published by DK Eyewitness Travel Guides. The letters DK stand for Dorling Kindersley. The second and revised edition appeared in 2003.
The book is edited by Chu Lip Sin. The text is written by several contributors. The main contributor is Jill A. Laidlaw.
I have visited Singapore on two occasions. I used this book as my starting point on both occasions. In my opinion it is a useful and compact volume.
As the front cover says, this book covers art galleries, festivals, gardens, temples, shopping, nightlife, and architecture.
The text is illustrated by more than 600 three-dimensional drawings, maps and photos. All illustrations are in colour.
Four chapters cover four topics: history, highlights, where to stay, and where to eat.
Four chapters cover four districts in the centre of the city:
** The Colonial Core and Fort Canning (pp 42-59)
** Chinatown and the Financial District (pp. 60-69)
** Kampong Glam and Little India (pp. 70-83)
** Orchard Road (pp. 84-89)
One chapter which is called "Further Afield" covers several sites outside the centre of the city (pp 90-107).
Each chapter opens with a map and a presentation of the sites which you can find in this chapter.
From the first district - "The Colonial Core and Fort Canning" - I will mention Raffles Hotel, Raffles Landing Site, and the War Memorial Park. In addition, I wish to recommend the symbol of Singapore, the Merlion Monument, and Fort Canning Park, where you can visit the Battle Box.
From the second district - "Chinatown and the Financial District" - I will mention a Chinese temple, Thian Hock Keng, a Hindu temple, Sri Mariamman, and a mosque: Jamae Mosque.
From the third district - "Kampong Glam and Little India" - I will mention a mosque, Sultan Mosque, and a Hindu temple: Sri Veeramakaliamman.
From the fourth district - "Orchard Road" - I will mention the Tangling Shopping Centre, Centre Point Shopping Centre, and Plaza Singapura.
From the chapter which is called "Further Afield" I will mention four sites:
If you go west, you can visit the Chinese and Japanese Gardens (page 96). If you go north, you can visit the Kranji War Memorial (page 92). If you go east, you can visit Changi Village and Prison (pp. 106-107). If you go south, you can visit Sentosa Island (pp. 104-105). I wish to recommend two sites on this island: a museum (Images of Singapore) and the old British fort (Fort Siloso), which is preserved as an open-air museum.
At the end of the book you will find a survival guide with practical information, travel information, a street finder, and a general index.
There is a lot of information in this book (many sites and many topics). If you wish to complain, you can say that the information provided about each site and each topic is quite limited. This book is short when it comes to text, because the editor has devoted a lot of space to the illustrations. This book is not so much for the person who wants to read; it is designed for the person who will appreciate the visual aspect.
The Eyewitness Travel Guides from Dorling Kindersley have a slogan, which appears on the bottom of the front cover and is repeated on the back cover: "The guides that show you what others only tell you."
"Singapore" was published in 2003. Obviously, it is not up-to-date on every aspect. For instance, it does not say anything about casinos. Therefore I will add a brief note about this topic: in 2006 the government of Singapore decided to legalize casinos, and today there are two casinos in Singapore:
** Marina Bay Sands
** Resorts World Sentosa
Both resorts are huge and opened in stages in 2010, 2011, and 2012.
For some people Singapore means shopping during the day and going to a casino during the night. For others, such as me, it offers a chance to study the history of the place, which is interesting and sometimes tragic, as well as the different religions, which have played and still play an important role in the life of the city.
"Singapore" is easy to navigate. With "Singapore" in your hand, it is easy to navigate the city of Singapore.