Southeast Asia

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Taman Mini Indonesia Park
Taman Mini Indonesia Park is a must-try for families visiting Jakarta or anyone looking to schedule one day in their city holiday plan to appreciate the rich arts and cultural diversity of the whole Indonesian islands. It’s one of the most unique amusement parks in the world and offers a great break away from the hectic metropolitan scenes. The park boasts multiple pavilions, each representing the unique architectures, traditional costumes and performing arts of the different islands. From the arching roofs of traditional Sumatran houses, eloquent moves of Javanese and Kalimantan traditional dancers, to the ornate wood carvings and heritage textiles from the Nusa Tenggara Islands.
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National Monument
The main Sudirman-Thamrin avenues in Jakarta lead to the Merdeka Square, where in its center stands the National Monument (also known as Monas or Monumen Nasional) which houses the first red-and-white flag flown at the Proclamation of Independence on 17 August 1945. This flag has now become threadbare, and so nowadays on Independence Day ceremonies, the original flag is taken out but only to accompany the replica flag to be flown in front of the Merdeka Palace. The 137 meter tall National Monument is obelisk shaped, and is topped with a 14.5 meter bronze flame coated with 32 kilograms gold leaf. Within the pedestal is a museum depicting in diorama Indonesia’s fight for Independence as well as the original text of the Proclamation of Independence. A lift takes visitors up to the look-out platform at the base of the flame for a grand view of Jakarta. Surrounding the Monument is now a park with a musical fountain, enjoyed by the Jakarta public on Sundays for sports and recreation. Deer roam among the shady trees in the park.
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The Thousand Islands
The Thousand Islands can be one of the destinations for residents in Jakarta to spend their holidays. Many objects and interesting spots can be enjoyed in the administrative districts of DKI Jakarta. From marine tourism to history. Destinations that can be visited on the Thousand Islands are Ayer Island and Bidadari Island which have floating cottages, Kelor Island which has Fort Martello as a historical heritage, Untung Jawa Island with a number of beaches and marine parks, and Pari Island which has beautiful white sandy beaches. There is also Tidung Island which has many tourist attractions and is famous for its love bridges, Pramuka Island with beautiful sea panoramas, exotic Semak Daun Island, Kelapa Island, and Harapan Island with its marine tourism destinations. Then, there is Sepa Island which allows tourists to walk freely surrounded by fish on the seabed without using a marine walk, Putri Island which has an underwater aquarium, Macan Island which is specifically designed for tourists, and Pelangi Island with its beautiful white sand.
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Dunia Fantasi
Dufan or Dunia Fantasi is one big complex with the beach that I’ve talked about earlier. This is the biggest amusement park in Indonesia (probably? There is also Trans Studio Makassar and Bandung too, I have never been there so I am not really sure). Playing around for a full day in Dufan is like a short getaway from the busyness of Jakarta. I can tell that going to Dufan for some Indonesians who live on another island than Java is like a dream come true. As for me, spending one day with a bunch of friends in Dufan is definitely going to be a super fun day! Don’t go there on the weekend since it will be ridiculously busy.
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Jakarta National Museum
Located on Medan Merdeka Barat, the National Museum is the pride of Jakarta, providing visitors an insight into Indonesia’s long history in cultural heritage from prehistoric days up to today. Having recently been expanded, the museum houses an impressive collection of no less than 109,342 objects covering Indonesia’s Prehistory, Archaeology, Ethnography, Numismatics-Heraldic, Geography and Historical Relics. Here are statues and stone inscriptions discovered on sites throughout the archipelago starting from the first century AD, a complete collection of batik cloths and woven textiles produced through the years in the different islands. While on the top floor one finds displayed the collection of gold and silver ornaments and jewelry once owned by the rajahs and sultans of the archipelago.
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Fauna Land Ecopark
Faunaland is a zoo located in Ecopark Ancol, North Jakarta and stands on an area of ​​approximately 5 hectares consisting of land and water. Faunaland carries the concept of Papua which is a fusion of the continents of Asia and Australia so as to create the beauty of the flora, fauna and cultural arts of the region. This concept presents unique and rare animals from various regions in Indonesia, especially eastern Indonesia and also countries in the world. The land is packed in such a way that visitors can experience an experience that cannot be obtained elsewhere. Visitors can interact directly with most animals in Faunaland. That is because most animals are placed and released in open space. Visitors can also enjoy the cultural richness of the land of Papua which is seen from a variety of original carvings of the Asmat tribe and visitors can circle Faunaland with a canoe accompanied by Papuan regional songs. In addition, visitors will be presented with educational shows with the concept of "Natural Behavior" with the aim that visitors can be educated about the animals in Faunaland.
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Jakarta Maritime Museum
This Museum holds the collection of maritime artefacts collected from throughout the Indonesian archipelago from Sumatra to Papua. It has traditional and modern boats with all the necessary gear and equipments, the different kinds of underwater life available, the large variety of fish, Indonesia’s maritime heroes, a collection on the history of the Indonesian Navy, and the KPM shipping between Batavia-Amsterdam.
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Ancol Dreamland
Ancol Dreamland is part of a huge tourism resort on the Jakarta Bay that comprises multiple amusement parks, making it a must-visit for families on holiday in the capital city. While it isn’t likely you’ll be able to experience all of the different highlights in a single day, each entertainment feature are destinations on their own. The park was home to Indonesia’s own Sea World until 2014, but continues to attract crowds to its ‘Fantasy World’, full of endless thrill rides. Considered the largest of its kind in Southeast Asia, the Ancol Dreamland tourism resort also features an international championship golf course, a hotel resort and Ocean Dream Samudra. The latter serves as an edutainment marine theme park much in place of the closed Sea World, featuring eight different regular shows including a dolphin show, together with saltwater and freshwater aquariums and even an adjoining bird park.
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Jakarta Performing Art Theater
Gedung Kesenian Jakarta is a heritage building from Dutch colonial days, where artists regularly perform traditional and modern drama, concerts, and musicals. Built in 1821 its construction is in neo-renaissance style and was called the Theater Schouwburg Weltevreden or the Pasar Baru Theater since it is located just across the popular Pasar Baru shopping center.
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Tanjung Kait Beach
Before going to Thousand Islands Regency, it is better to drop by in Tanjung Kait Beach. It is a popular coast in Tangerang, actually. For those who are looking for a unique sea view, such location should be your choice. The location is in Tanjung Anom Village. It is famous for its fishermen settlement and exceptional structures. Somehow, many photographers choose it as their photography objects. Though, the beach doesn’t feature white sand and clear water. That means it is not suitable for swimming. Once you reach Tanjung Kait Beach, you can see several “Panggung” houses. These are located near to the water. Usually, tourists gather in these houses for eating and witnessing sea scenery. Near to those structures, you can see a traditional pier. It seems fragile, but it is not. Some local boats are parked near to it. Visitors are allowed to rent a boat to explore the beach. Not to mention they can use it to reach nearby islands in “Kepulauan Seribu”, especially Untung Jawa Island.
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The Puppet Museum
Museum stands on the former New Holland Church holds a collection of rocks, home furnishings and pictures from the past related to Jakarta. The museum was established in connection with the incidence of awareness in Indonesia in general, especially the lovers of puppets, that art and rich culture of high value, not only to own but also should be preserved, developed and constructed and utilized for the nation.
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The Mata Elang International Stadium
Located within Indonesia’s largest recreation park, the Taman Impian Jaya Ancol’s Carnaval Beach has a large open area, perfect for outdoor musical concerts and other shows. The popular heavy metal band Iron Maiden successfully performed here to a most enthusiastic crowd.
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The Grand Palace
The dazzling, spectacular Grand Palace is undoubtedly the most famous landmark in Bangkok. It’s one must-see sight that no visit to the city would be complete without. It was built in 1782 and for 150 years was the home of the Thai King, the Royal court and the administrative seat of government. The Grand Palace of Bangkok is a grand old dame indeed, that continues to have visitors in awe with its beautiful architecture and intricate detail, all of which is a proud salute to the creativity and craftsmanship of the Thai people. Within its walls were also the Thai war ministry, state departments, and even the mint. Today, the complex remains the spiritual heart of the Thai Kingdom.
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Wat Arun
Wat Arun, locally known as Wat Chaeng, is situated on the west (Thonburi) bank of the Chao Phraya River. It is easily one of the most stunning temples in Bangkok, not only because of its riverside location, but also because the design is very different to the other temples you can visit in Bangkok. Wat Arun (or temple of the dawn) is partly made up of colourfully decorated spires and stands majestically over the water. Wat Arun is almost directly opposite Wat Pho, so it’s very easy to get to. From Saphan Taksin boat pier you can take a riverboat that stops at Pier 8. From here, a small shuttle boat takes you from one side of the river to the other.
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Bangkok Khlongs and Canals
The 'Venice of the East' nickname in fact predate Besso's scribblings by hundreds of years. However, though it is unclear when exactly the phrase was born, it is clear that no tourist guide since (book, person or website) has been able to resist this captivating cliche. Like Burma's 'Mandalay', it evokes the romance of the Orient, only Bangkok-style: of languid sampans drifting down tree-lined canals, of stoic locals living next to them in floating wooden shophouses, of city life before the advent of tuk-tuks and traffic jams. But does the Venice of the East still exist? Yes and no. Many canals were drained or filled because of the risk of cholera they posed, or to make way for badly needed roads. Unlike the city's Chao Phraya River, little or no trade passes along those that remain. However it's not a tale of total stagnation. In places remaining khlongs are, though pungent, still picturesque. Old bridges survive, crooked houses still crowd the waters edge. For a few measly baht you can whiz past them, engulfed in noise and heat and fumes, rancid water flying toward you as the boat surges forwards (for speed and sheer exhilaration they put Venice's gondolas to shame!). Or take a gentle stroll along canal paths, peeking with every few steps into a new home, stepping as you go over shoes or passed elderly ladies watering potted plants.
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Sukhumvit Road in Bangkok
Bangkok’s Sukhumvit Road and the surrounding district is one of the best known localities in the Thai capital. Unlike some districts in the city you won’t find beautiful temples or palaces here; Sukhumvit Bangkok is better known for its Westernised feel and consists of bars, restaurants and shopping malls that you’ll find alongside sois that are filled with even more bars (salubrious and otherwise) and massage parlours. The sex trade is difficult to ignore with prostitutes almost everywhere you look, and you wouldn’t come to Sukhumvit Road for the traditional Thai culture, but even so, it’s one of the most visited neighbourhoods in the city. So why the interest? Read on to discover our recommendations for amazing places to visit on Sukhumvit Road in Bangkok.
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Khao San Road
Khao San Road - The popular book 'The Beach' famously described Khao San Road as "the centre of the backpacking universe". Judging by the truth-seeking travellers who converge here it's a phrase that sums it up pretty much perfectly. On Khao San itself and the streets either side, you can shop, exchange tales and prepare for you next stint on the backpacker trail. Packed into a 1 km-long strip are budget guesthouses and mid-range hotels, internet cafes, bars, restaurants, massage parlours, travel agents, bookshops, market stalls, tattoo shops and much more. So much, in fact, that the people, peddlers and party spirit have spilt over into nearby Soi Rambuttri. With its carefree, anything-goes vibe, it's quite unlike anywhere else in Bangkok.
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MBK Shopping Center
MBK Center is probably Bangkok's most legendary shopping mall, popular with both tourists and locals, and busy with shoppers every day. There are eight floors packed with 2,000 shops that sell everything from clothing, fashion accessories, handbags, leather products and luggage to furniture, mobile phones, electric appliances, cameras, stationery and DVDs. Launched in 1986, MBK Center is a beehive of activity, especially on weekends, when half of Bangkok converges to shop for bargains. It's not as up-market or stylish as neighbouring Siam Discovery, Siam Centre and the glitzy Siam Paragon, but it offers a mind-boggling range of goods spread over 89,000 square metres and is considerably less expensive. On the ground floor of MBK, you will find lines of stalls selling fashion, shoes and handbags, fast food outlets and a Tops Supermarket, with an open space dedicated to sales offering prices discounted by 30% to 50%. As you move up the levels you’ll find enclaves of products almost randomly placed. Part of the fun of MBK is exploring the long straight paths looking out for things that take your fancy. As a rough guide, fashion is mostly on the lower floors, a mass of electronics on the 3rd and 4th floors, with home furnishings and souvenirs on the 5th and 6th.
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Wat Saket
Wat Saket in Bangkok Old Town is an Ayutthaya-era shrine with a gleaming gold chedi in Bangkok. Also called the Golden Mount, it occupies an 80-metre-tall man made hill that was built during the reign of King Rama III. The temple welcomes worshippers year-round, though it’s busiest during its annual temple fair in November, during Loy Krathong. The temple grounds have mature trees and typical Buddhist structures such as a main prayer hall, ordination hall and library. Wat Saket was the capital's crematorium and the dumping ground for some 60,000 plague victims in the late-18th century. At the base of the Golden Mount, you’ll find an unusual cemetery covered in vines and overgrown trees. It emits a rather spooky out-of-era vibe. Once you arrive at the top of Wat Saket, you’ll be surrounded by a wall of bells and panoramas of Bangkok Old Town.
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Chatuchak Market in Bangkok
You may think you’ve visited some pretty amazing markets in your lifetime, but we’re fairly sure that none will come close to beating the sheer size and variety found at Bangkok’s Chatuchak Market. It really is a sight to behold, and it’s arguably the best place in the whole city to buy souvenirs and all manner of other things. But beware; the size, heat, and crowds of thousands of people are not for the faint hearted though our guide to Chatuchak weekend market in Bangkok should help you navigate and survive this awesome place!
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Lumphini Park
Lumpini Park (or Lumphini Park) is one of the largest green spaces in central Bangkok. Founded in the 1920s, this inner-city park spans over 500,000 sq m and is home to various flora and fauna. Over the years, it's become a popular gathering spot for Bangkok residents, who would gather for a round of jogging, light workouts, aerobics, and leisure activities throughout the day. Lumpini Park appeals to just about everyone – you'll often find the elderly practising tai chi and couples lounging by the lakeside, as well as 9-to-5 workers relaxing on benches and enjoying exercise in the evenings. On weekends, this green space is often populated by families and the cheery sounds of children. Lumpini Park's onsite facilities include paddle boats, playgrounds, and an outdoor gym. Before sunset, you can sweat it out at Lumphini Park's free aerobics sessions and high-energy techno tunes. There's also a basketball court if you want to shoot some hoops. Local jazz outfits (sometimes a classical orchestra) often perform during late Sunday afternoons.
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The Artist House
The Artist's House (The Artist's House) is a centuries-old house turned gallery in Thonburi, across the Chao Phraya River. Owned by Khun Chumpol Akkapantanon, it’s an excellent spot to escape from the city’s modern buildings and hectic traffic for a day. Baan Silapin (and its neighbourhood) dates back to the 1800s. A boardwalk leading to the gallery is lined with shops, cafes, local restaurants, and a temple. You can also spot many unusual and human-sized statues painted in white, red and black sitting by the water. The Artist's House has a tall, white stupa dating back to the Ayutthaya period standing in the backyard. You can see plenty of traditional paintings, masks and, puppets throughout the building. It’s most popular for hosting traditional Thai puppet shows, where intricately-made puppets are manipulated by artists dressed in black. Shows take place on a small wooden stage every day at 2pm, except Wednesdays. It’s a good idea to call in advance as the theatre sometimes performs in other parts of the city, usually during special events.
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Asiatique The Riverfront
Asiatique successfully combines 2 of the most popular shopping experiences in the city: a night bazaar and a mall. Around 10 minutes downriver from Saphan Taksin BTS station, this once-bustling international trade port transformed into a huge replica warehouse complex with over 1,500 boutiques and 40 restaurants. Open from 5pm, spending an evening here is no problem: you’ll have good fun browsing the boutiques, picking up gifts or something for yourself. You’re also guaranteed to find something you’d like to eat and if this isn’t enough entertainment, nightly highlights range from Calypso ladyboy cabarets to classic Thai puppet shows.
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Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya
The charm of ancient city of Ayutthaya Thailand continues to gain tourists’ attention as a historic attraction. Not only the old moments but also the new things that shine. When it comes to historical buildings, Ayutthaya travel is well known for temples and palaces. But in addition to that, a variety of food is also another magnet. You can find fresh river prawns, fish, noodles, and even the never-miss dessert like cotton candy wrap. So, remember to plan your eating trip whenever you visit Ayutthaya. Ayutthaya is one of Thailand’s historical and majestic highlights. The capital of Thailand, then known as the Kingdom of Ayutthaya, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya was a glorified as one of the biggest cities in Southeast Asia and a regional power for 417 years.
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National Museum of Singapore
If you have time to visit only one place to learn about the history and culture of Singapore, this is probably it. The National Museum of Singapore tells you the intriguing story of this country in a manner that is both fun and rewarding. Imagine standing in the midst of a vast darkened space surrounded by a massive video montage showing everyday life in Singapore while a rousing symphony plays in the background. That’s just a taste of the immersive experience you can expect here. The museum hosts a dynamic range of events throughout the year—from art installations and festivals to performances and film screenings—in addition to presenting exhibitions involving historically and culturally important collections of artifacts. One of the latest immersive art installations – Story of the Forest by teamLab allows visitors to experience the treasured collections of the Museum being brought to life through a spectacular digital presentation.
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Sentosa Island
Sentosa Island is a man-made island that was built for fun and recreation. The best attractions in Sentosa Island all share one thing in common: fun, and lots of it! This man made island, accessible via a small bridge from the main Singapore island, is jam-packed full of entertaining things to do, many of which are geared towards families with young kids. The many attractions on offer at Sentosa include the expansive Resorts World, Universal Studios Singapore, Tiger Sky Tower, Singapore Butterfly & Insect Kingdom, and one of the largest collections of aquatic animals in the world, SEA Aquarium, all of which continue to draw repeat visitors from all over Asia.
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Universal Studios Singapore
Southeast Asia's first Hollywood movie theme park, Universal Studios Singapore™, features an enticing selection of attractions, rides and entertainment for families and thrill seekers. Indeed, 18 out of the 24 movie-themed rides here were designed just for the Singapore park. There are seven uniquely-designed zones, each themed after icons of the movie world. You will find the renowned Hollywood Walk of Fame at the Hollywood zone. As you venture into New York, the landscape evolves into impressive city skylines, including a mockup of a subway entrance. Here, you can step onto a movie set and experience the destructive force of a hurricane, with special effects produced by Steven Spielberg.
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Merlion Park
You’ve probably seen images of Singapore’s national icon, the mythical Merlion with the head of a lion and the body of a fish. The Merlion's body symbolises Singapore's humble beginnings as a fishing village when it was called Temasek, which comes from the same root as the word tasek ('lake' in Malay). Its head represents Singapore’s original name, Singapura, or ‘lion city’ in Malay. Today, you can glimpse this legend at Merlion Park. Spouting water from its mouth, the Merlion statue stands tall at 8.6 metres and weighs 70 tonnes. This icon is a must-see for tourists visiting Singapore, similar to other significant landmarks around the world.
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Night Safari
As dusk falls, the shutters open at the Night Safari, welcoming you into a world of nocturnal creatures and their dimly-lit habitats. Opened in 1994 and located next to the Singapore Zoo, the Night Safari is the world’s first safari park for nocturnal animals. This wildlife park is spread across seven distinct habitats, each home to its own array of fascinating creatures. Your eyes will take a while to adjust to the darkness here, but once they do, you’ll be greeted by over 2,500 resident animals from over 130 species – including many indigenous to the region, such as the endangered Asian elephant, Malayan tapir and Malayan tiger. The animals live in 35 hectares of dense rainforest. Friendlier creatures such as deer roam freely in the park while fiercer ones like leopards are kept behind barriers. For those who prefer exploring the park on wheels, a 35-minute tram ride with live commentary takes you across seven geographical zones of the world, from the rugged Himalayan Foothills to the swampy banks of Equatorial Africa.
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Thian Hock Keng Temple
Beautifully restored, Thian Hock Keng Temple, which is dedicated to Mazu, the Goddess of the Sea, is the oldest Chinese temple in Singapore. Built-in 1839 with the support of prominent members of the Hokkien community, such as philanthropist Tan Tock Seng, Thian Hock Keng Temple is Singapore's oldest Chinese temple. Dedicated to Mazu, the Goddess of the Sea, early Chinese immigrants came here to give thanks for their safe passage across the vast waves of the South China Sea. At the temple, take in the remarkable architecture in the traditional southern Chinese style. Keep an eye out for the detailed carvings and sculptures of dragons, phoenixes, and deities, as well as the colorful broken porcelain on the roof ridges, a Fujian decorating technique. Amazingly, not a single nail was used in the original construction of the temple, which is now a gazetted national monument and managed by the Singapore Hokkien Huay Kuan.
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Clarke Quay
Clarke Quay and the surrounding Riverside area presents Singapore’s most exciting nightlife scenes, as well as a handful of excellent restaurants good for dining by the waters' edge any time of day. Lining the two riverbanks just upstream from the administrative and financial districts, old colonial shop-houses and moored Chinese junks of Clarke Quay and Boat Quay have been converted into chic pubs, restaurants and nightclubs.
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MINT Museum of Toys
MINT Museum of Toys houses a world-class collection of vintage toys and collectible items in an international award-winning contemporary building on 26 Seah Street. Since its inauguration, the museum has expanded its collection, amassing over 50,000 items, 8000 of which are on display in the museum. The toys and items hail from over 40 countries and range in date from the 1840s to 1970s. These are displayed across the rooftop, basement and 4 thematic levels of the museum: Outerspace, Characters, Childhood Favourites and Collectables. The collection is made up of various key collections, including Batman, Dan Dare, Japanese character and space-related toys, and collectibles. In addition to toys, the museum houses a collection of confectionary vintage tin boxes, large-item displays, such as Mobo horses and pedal cars, as well as original enamel advertising signs. Over the years, these have been incorporated into various exhibitions and programs run by the museum, serving as windows into the past as well as inspirations for the present. Today, the MINT Museum of Toys serves diverse and expanding audiences, including tourists, families, collectors, artists, and students. It continues to fascinate and inspire the imaginations of audiences, taking them on a journey of rediscovery to rekindle that Moment of Imagination and Nostalgia with Toys (MINT).
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Gardens by the Bay
A nature park spanning 101 hectares (250 acres) of reclaimed land[2] in central Singapore, adjacent to the Marina Reservoir. The park consists of three waterfront gardens: Bay South Garden, Bay East Garden and Bay Central Garden. The largest of the gardens is Bay South Garden at 54 hectares (130 acres).
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