Many people marvel at the beauty of Singapore and her progressiveness. Way before becoming the cosmopolitan city of today, Singapore was just a humble fishing village, inhabited by an indigenous settlement.
Today. Singapore is a bustling cosmopolitan city of high-rise buildings, landscaped gardens and heritage-rich precincts. Home to a harmonious blend of culture, cuisine, arts and architecture, Singapore is rich in contrast and colour. In fact, you would find that Singapore embodies aspects of both East and West in many interesting ways.
Located in Southeast Asia, Singapore has a land area of about 710 square kilometres, making her one of the smallest countries in the world and the smallest in the region. Although small in size, Singapore commands an enormous presence in the world today with its free trade economy and highly efficient workforce. Also, her strategic location in the region has enabled her to become a central sea port along major shipping routes.
Other than having a sound business infrastructure and favourable economic climate, another factor for Singapore’s rapid growth is due to a stable and competent ruling government. Singapore is a parliamentary republic with a political system that’s centred on democracy. The current ruling party in government is The People’s Action Party (PAP), which has dominated the political process since self-government in 1959.
At present, Singapore’s population stands at slightly over five million people, with English as the main language of instruction, and a mother tongue for each major ethnicity. One of the distinctly Singaporean things you’ll notice on our island is a collage of cultures. Coming together as a society and living in harmony, there are four major races – namely the Chinese (majority), Malay, Indian and Eurasian. Each community offers a different perspective of life in Singapore in terms of culture, religion, food and language.
Being a multi-racial society, Singapore is as diverse as it is harmonious. With so much to see and do, this is perhaps best experienced through your encounters with the locals. And if you’re feeling nostalgic and looking to discover old world charm, you can explore and experience the island’s key historical landmarks or memorials. You can also embark on a heritage trail and enjoy the sights and sounds at various cultural precincts, notably Chinatown, Little India and Kampong Glam.
If you prefer the bright city lights and being amidst the hustle and bustle, there are numerous shopping malls, museums, dining and entertainment hotspots to choose from. Get into the thick of the shopping action at the iconic Orchard Road stretch, or party the night away at the Clarke Quay or Boat Quay areas, both of which offer a myriad selection of nightlife activities.
The other thing that will strike you most about Singapore is its multifarious offering of food – day or night, there will always be something to whet your appetite. With a range of dining options from Peranakan to Chinese, Indian to Malay, fusion and more, you’ll be spoilt for choice.
Beyond the history, culture, people, shopping and food, there are many more facets to Singapore’s thriving cityscape for you to discover. And these can only be experienced as you immerse yourself in the exploration of this once fishing village turned cosmopolitan city.