This year marks the 200th anniversary of Stamford Raffles' founding of Singapore, and the Lion City is commemorating its bicentennial with a number of high-profile events and openings.
In its seventh edition this year, the I Light Singapore festival (formerly I Light Marina Bay) takes place over four weekends, from Jan. 28 to Feb. 24. According to the Singapore Tourism Board, the festival features "a series of innovative and interactive light art installations" around Marina Bay, and this year, the centerpiece will be a 10-minute multimedia show chronicling Singapore's founding.
Technology is also front and center in BalikSG, a series of interactive tours that enable visitors "to revisit significant events in [Singapore's] history" via an augmented reality app, according to the tourism board.
Launching this month along the Singapore River is the Reflections on Singapore trail, where visitors "experience the Singapore River area in 1819, through the eyes of Raffles and the pioneers who arrived at that time." In June, a second trail will launch at Fort Canning Park, with augmented reality technology enabling visitors to see the area as it was during the heyday of Fort Canning, which was constructed in 1861 to protect Singapore's harbor.
Another piece of Singapore history, the Raffles Hotel Singapore, is wrapping up a two-year renovation this year. The Lion City's grande dame hotel, which opened in 1887, will now offer three suite categories (Residence, Promenade and Studio) and new dining concepts.
Singapore's Changi Airport this year will see the opening of the Jewel Changi mixed-use development, fronting the airport's Terminal 1. The 10-floor complex (five levels above ground, five below) will feature the country's largest indoor collection of plants; the 131-foot Rainfall Vortex, said to be the world's tallest indoor waterfall; and the Canopy Park attraction with gardens, walking trails and dining outlets.
For more on Singapore's bicentennial, see www.visitsingapore.com/en and www.bicentennial.sg.