by Lydia Schrandt for USA TODAY 10Best

Visit Singapore on this virtual tour

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Singapore is like a super modern microcosm of Asia, where you can experience the cultures of India, China and Malaysia without leaving the city.

Sir Stamford Raffles founded the port city of Singapore in 1819. Today, the country’s most famous building, the Raffles Hotel, is named in his honor.

If you’ve ever sipped on a Singapore Sling, you have the Long Bar at the Raffles Hotel to thank. Bartender Ngiam Tong Boon created the cocktail recipe in 1915.

The surreal Supertree Grove features a series of 12 giant “trees” standing 80 to 160 feet tall. A Skyway connects these modern marvels from 72 feet above ground.

The star of the Cloud Forest conservatory at Singapore's Gardens by the Bay is the 98-foot waterfall trickling down the fern and plant-covered Cloud Mountain.

Singapore has quickly become one of Asia’s greatest foodie destinations, thanks in large part to its hawker centres. These sprawling food courts offer several different types of cuisine, all at affordable prices.

There’s a lot to eat in Singapore, but if you had to choose just one meal, a case could be made for chilli crab. Fresh crab gets stir-fried in a savory, sweet and slightly spicy sauce.

Sentosa, an island off Singapore’s southern coast, served as a British military fortress until World War II. It was later transformed into a resort area best known for its white sand beaches.

The three Marina Bay Sands towers stand out as one of the most recognizable features of Singapore’s skyline. Hotel guests can look out over the city from the rooftop infinity pool, 656 feet high.

Orchard Road, Singapore’s most famous shopping area, gets its name from the fruit orchards and nutmeg plantations that once lined it.

Walking down Serangoon Road will make you feel like you’re in South India, complete with colorful temples and a hawker centre specializing in Indian flavors.

During the 1840s, Chinese immigrants to Singapore settled in an area southwest of the Singapore River. The community grew into one of the city’s most beloved and ethnically diverse neighborhoods.

Kampong Glam, a Malay enclave and one of Singapore’s oldest urban quarters, was allocated to the Malay, Bugis and Arab communities during the 1820s. The gold-domed Sultan Mosque overlooks the neighborhood.

Only in Singapore is the airport an attraction in its own right. Changi Airport’s four terminals are connected by Jewel Changi, a 10-floor lifestyle hub that feels like an indoor rainforest.

Nightlife in Singapore is almost synonymous with Clarke Quay. This area along the riverfront comprises a maze of pedestrian-only streets lined with restaurants, bars and nightclubs.

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