When Raffles rolled into Singapore, locals steered clear of Fort Canning Hill, then called Bukit Larangan (Forbidden Hill) out of respect for the sacred shrine of Sultan Iskandar Shah, ancient Singapura's last ruler. Today, the hill is better known as Fort Canning Park, a lush retreat from the hot streets below. Take a stroll in the shade of truly enormous trees, amble through the spice garden or ponder Singapore's wartime defeat at the Battlebox Museum.

The former command post of the British during WWII, Battlebox's eerie subterranean rooms explore the fateful surrender to the Japanese on 15 February 1942. Japanese Morse codes are still etched on the walls.

Fort Canning Park hosts several outdoor events and concerts throughout the year, including Ballet under the Stars (September) and Films at the Fort (August).