This tiny island is the chameleon of Southeast Asia, a cultural melting pot.
Overview: With a mix of Chinese, Indian and Malay cultures, with an icing of English thrown in for good measure, Singapore is a fun blur of culture—and an excellent Asian destination for first-timers.
Crowd: Visitors arrive mostly from China, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia and the UK. Expect to bump into a large number of expats from the UK and the US.
Agenda: Eat as much as you can and try everything, even if you may not recognize it. Drink in both the ancient temples and the modern architecture, with edgy skyscrapers set against revived colonial-era buildings infused with modern glamour.
Essential: Plan for an afternoon at Gardens by the Bay exploring its two big biodomes, walking among the giant, tree-shaped towers, and side-stepping the bevy (or “romp”) of otters who seem to have the run of the place.
Timing: The best time to visit is from February to October, but bear in mind that May and June can get very hot. November to January is the rainy season.