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Singapore - Singapore
Talk about nightlife! Singapore bubbles with party frenzy almost every night of the week. With one new establishment sprouting in the market (at least) every month, this little island boasts close to 700 clubs, bars, pubs and discos. The vibrant nightlife here pampers pub-crawlers and party-goers with a cornucopia of choices, differing in music, range of drinks, the kind of crowd or simply the ambiance they create as they seek an individual identity.
Live Music & Pubs
Along the Singapore River lies Harry's Bar at Boat Quay. Each week live bands lure a handsome crowd, mostly expatriates with their soulful jazz. Perfect for a hip night out!
A household name for soul and blues is Crazy Elephant. Blues fans pack this pub every weekend to soak in the roaring music of popular bands. The elegant Bellini Grande regularly hosts international names yet maintains its small venue charm.
For those who love to dine, wine and party all night long at one location, there are restaurants that are swiftly transformed into dance grounds right after dinner. Big international names are popular with Hard Rock Cafe still holding its appeal. Another big player is China Jump Bar and Grill, where customers are not only slapped with huge portions of food but also made to swing right off on their feet with a terrific mix of retro music. If you want to avoid the city's hustle and bustle, and yet have some fun, the Sunset Bay Beach Bar offers great ambiance. Located on Sentosa's Siloso Beach, this was the first beach pub to throw foam parties. In the evenings, it is ideal for chilling out and sipping margaritas while watching the sunset—as the name implies.
Leading in terms of size is the highly-acclaimed Zouk, with its huge dance floors and different themed sections such as Phuture, Velvet Underground and Wine Bar, all serving different crowds with their varying brands of music. In addition, the success of Zouk has been endorsed by special appearances of famous DJs including Fatboy Slim and Stacy Pullen who spin for the club occasionally.Other big names in town include the Ministry of Sound, Singapore, maintaining the reputation of the original London club, plus the 3050 square meter (10,000 square foot) Arena. The waterfront Attica has developed a loyal following and excellent reputation over the years.
Of course, entertainment in Singapore is not all about parties and booze. This vibrant city, with its multi-cultural outlook, promises a colorful calendar of festivities, performances and events throughout the year. Dates vary from year to year, however, so check with the Singapore Tourism Board and SISTIC outlets for precise dates and ticket prices. Local favorite Substation hosts a variety of art related events in town from openings to performance pieces.
Singapore is a melting pot of cultures, with Chinese, Indian and Malay ethnic groups that cultivate a unique blend of traditional performance art, music and dance. On top of this, there are always numerous performances from touring international troupes, in particular during the Singapore International Comedy Festival in March/April, the Singapore Arts Festival in June, WOMAD Singapore around August and the Singapore River Buskers Festival in November. With consistent support from the government, the Singapore arts scene has leapt onto the international platform, uplifting its cultural image.
Religious festivals abound and often provide a riot of color. Many of these offer visitors much to see, such as the processions during Thaipusam and the Birthday of the Monkey God. Singapore celebrates the Chinese New Year in grandeur, with a lively Chingay procession that produces the nation's largest street parade.
Concert Halls & Theatres
The best venue for contemporary or classical music has to be the Victoria Concert and Memorial Hall, home to the Singapore Symphony Orchestra. For an orchestra with a difference, experience an evening with the Singapore Chinese Orchestra with its splendid repertoire of traditional and symphonic Chinese music.
For those interested in dance and renowned troupes with accolades, check out the Singapore Dance Theatre with their enchanting dance movements and exuberant costumes. For more cultural dances, try the Kala Mandhir Temple of Fine Arts and Nrityalaya Aesthetics Society, both known to stage impressive performances.
Theater lovers will appreciate some of Singapore's highly acclaimed drama groups. The Necessary Stage tries out experimental works, the Theatre Practice boasts productions like King Lear, and the Singapore Repertory Theatre has a string of accomplishments, including the Golden Child by David Hwang.
An ambitious project is Esplanade Theatre on the Bay, which has gained acclaim, if not international landmark status. This tremendous center offers just about everything: theater, music, performance space of all kinds, and it's all close to the waterfront. Included is the 2000-seat theater and 1800-seat Concert Hall with a 39-foot high pipe organ and the necessary acoustics to match. This is indeed welcomed by arts fans, who have been going to smaller venues such as The Substation, Jubilee Hall and the Kallang Theatre.
Many Singaporeans are film buffs, so it is no wonder there are more than 50 cinemas island-wide. Hollywood blockbusters are shown here soon after their release in the U.S. and long before they hit European screens. Modern cinemas take the form of multiplexes, some of which, like Golden Village Yishun, feature up to ten movies at one go. Around town there is a modern cineplex at JCube and CineMania the high tech experiential cinema in Sentosa.