The city state of Singapore is one of the most interesting and inspiring city of all South-east Asia. Officially called the Republic of Singapore, it is a set of islands located in the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, south of Thailand. Singapore is said to be the world’s most globalised city, with a long history of immigration and a big expatriate community. It has today a population of around 5 million consisting of Chinese, Malays, Indians, Caucasians and with about 40% of the city being foreigners both students and workers. It is the world’s second most densely populated city right after Monaco. This cosmopolitan city, which is part of the four East Asian Tigers (with Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan) also play a fundamental role in the finance and international trade world. Its port is one of the busiest in Asia and the country is considered one of the world’s most technologically advanced. It has the number one spot on the quality of life list across Asia, and is on the 11th position worldwide. The latest Singapore statistics claimed a GDP growth of 17.9% for the first half of 2010, which would represent the fastest-growing economy in the world.
- Introduction to Singapore
- Singapore Tourism
- History of Singapore
- Top districts in Singapore
- Top places in Singapore
- Photographs of Singapore
Tourism represent a huge chunk of Singapore’s economy. Being one of the most popular points of entry in Asia it has over 10 million visitors each year. In 2005, the city completed the built of the Sentosa complex, one of the biggest theme park of its kind, which boosted the country’s touristic reputation. Furthermore, the unique architectural design of the Marine Bay complex combined with reforms to partially legalise gambling, may only have a positive impact on the city tourism industry.
History of Singapore
The city-state of Singapore was Founded as a British trading colony in 1819 by Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles. It then briefly joined the Malaysian Federation in 1963 and by 1965, expelled by its adopted country became independent. This fact, makes Singapore the only country in history to gain independence against its free will. In the next 60 years, mainly due to the country’s first Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, it became one of the world’s most modern and prosperous cities, developing solid infrastructures and building reliable public transportation systems (subways, sky trains) and highways. It has today a perfect mix of European, Chinese, Malay and Indian influences. It has all the advantages of an industrialized city combined with an amazing tropical climate, a wonderful Asian cuisine and lots of green spaces and swimming pools.
Singapore’s City centre, also referred to as the Central Business District can be easily compared to the down-town of any big metropolis including NYC, London or Tokyo. It’s centre consists of the beautiful Riverside district where skyscrapers are being built one after the other, of the famous shopping Orchard Road and the smaller but very interesting Bugis Street, Chinatown and Little India.
The Riverside also called the Civic District contains the majority of all the city skyscrapers. It is where you may find the city’s top restaurants, bars and exclusives boutiques.
Orchard Road is Singapore shopping paradise with shopping malls one after the other. Many are dozen level high and some are even open 24 hours. Some believe it might be the most densely shop populated area in the world.
The Chinatown district is a popular area south of the river, with a strong Chinese community and filled with many good value shops, restaurants and pagodas.
The Little India district, situated north of the Riverside is another culturally rich place of the city ideal to enjoy spicy Indian cuisine or for a made to measure piece of clothing.
The Bugis Street district is another famous place for shopping enthusiast offering a multitude of bargain markets, shopping malls, restaurants and nightspots. It is said to be the largest street-shopping location in Singapore.
Outside the city centre
The East Coast is largely a residential district of Singapore where the world famous Changi Airport and the red light Geylang district are located. The west coast of the island is mostly known for the Sentosa island, which during the last decade underwent a huge transformation from a military fort into a world class Disneyland-type resort. Ideal for a kids day out but offering grown up attractions as well such as gambling and the Universal Studio.
Top places in Singapore
Singapore is a city that offers so much from incredible hotels to shopping to a variety of amazing Asian cuisine. Although there are so many wonderful attractions one can visit, some of our favourite include:
- Marina Bay Sands
- Helix bridge
- Singapore Flyer
- National Museum of Singapore
- Sunttec City
The Merlion, the emblem of the city is a mix of a fish body with a lion’s head. Designed by Mr Fraser Brunner in 1964 it symbolises the legend of the rediscovery of Singaporu.
The Marina Bay Sands
The Marina Bay complex is the newest arrival of Singapore’s marina district and might well soon become its symbol. This architecturally unique complex offers a 2,560-room hotel, a huge casino, various high end shopping malls and "celebrity chef" restaurants, theatres, an Art & Science museum and one of Asia’s biggest convention-exhibition centres. It is said to be the world’s most expensive casino development reaching a total cost of around S$8 billion
One of the most breathtaking piece of the Marina Bay complex is the Sands SkyPark. A structural masterpiece floating on top of the three hotel towers 200m in the sky. With its 12,400 square meters of space, it is the world’s largest observation deck and can accommodate up to 3900 people. It offers unprecedented views of downtown Singapore, especially at night. The very long infinity pool is the cherry the tops this remarkable engineering wonder.
The Helix Bridge also known as the Double Helix Bridge located in the Marina Bay is a pedestrian bridge linking the Marina Centre with Marina South. It resembles the double-helix structure, with different colours lighted at night representing the four bases of DNA .
The Singapore Flyer is currently the biggest observation wheel in the world, even a few meters bigger than the famous London Eye. (However Shanghai is currently building a taller version). It offers breathtaking views of every side of the City.
National Museum of Singapore
The National Museum of Singapore is the oldest and one of the most interesting museum of the city. It offers numerous permanent exhibitions including the Singapore History Gallery showing the country’s presidents and multiple “Living” galleries about fashion, food and photography. It also constantly expose special exhibitions such as the portrait photography gallery.
Suntec City is one of the largest commercial developments in Singapore and is filled with various shopping centres and offices. It was designed by Tsao & McKown Architects which incorporated some essential feng shui principles. It is located in the Marina Centre, constituted of five buildings (plus the convention centre) arranged in such as way to resemble a person left hand. In the heart of the complex is the Fountain of Wealth appearing like a golden ring in the palm of the hand. It is said that going around the fountain 3 times clockwise by touching the water with your right hand will grant your wish.
Singapore is definitely one of the most interesting places in the World. It is a must when visiting Asia. Being one of the highest developing economy, this city-state had surprised us in the past and I’m convince it will continue in the future.
Photographs of Singapore