This year Singapore celebrates 50 years as an independent country. At the same time, it has been named the world’s best travel destination because of it´s food, green areas, clean districts, shopping and culture diversity.
Every evening fast food vendors are rushing out to the Boon Tat Street in central Singapore with folding tables and plastic chairs to transform it into the food street. Barbecue odours start rising up among the skyscrapers. Food is essential for Singapore residents, they talk about it at lunch and they don´t mind to drive across the island to get the week’s best chicken rice or laksa. A hint for the hungry but lost traveller is simple: select the longest queue, the fame of a tasty meal spreads quickly.
Singapore has been nicknamed “Asia’s food culture city” and is a result of the country’s history with immigrants from many countries and food ihere has been influenced by various Asian countries. Find out more about dining in Singapore here.
Singapore is a city, an island and a country, it has more than five million inhabitants – and the number is constantly increasing. In just 50 years, Singapore has gone from being a swamp landscape with low buildings to become a lively travel destination. Singapore is now one of the world’s most prosperous countries and it has progressed quickly. Parts of the old Chinatown were demolished a few decades ago and new modern high buildings were built instead. It is Singapore’s charm: old and new side by side, different ethnic groups and religious communities coexist comfortably and Singapore offers an incomparable mix.
Singapore was once Malaysia’s southern tip where only a few fishing villages were located. Boat traffic became more lively thanks to its strategic position at the Straits against Indonesia. 1817 British sailed in and exclaimed Singapore as a trading and later British crown colony. Singapore began to grow as merchants and workers from across Asia immigrated to the country.
Even today people move here for work and Singapore’s harbour is now one of the world’s largest. Many international companies have their South East Asian office here because the country is modern, English-speaking and secure. There are rules for everything – chewing gum is not sold here because it can litter the streets, you can neither eat nor drink in the subway, and you definitely cannot bring Durian fruit because it smells bad.
Singapore is governed by the same party since independence in 1965: PAP (People’s Action Party) that is clearly market-oriented with elements of state control. The penalties are severe.
Chinatown is spreading south of the river. Chinese were the largest group of immigrants to come here for work at the beginning of the 1900s. Chinatown at that time was run down, consumed by opium and was known for it´s widespread poverty. Today, Chinatown is renovated, filled with souvenir shops and great restaurants and street food.
The Indian population chose to settle down a few blocks north of the river. Little India feels today like stepping into an Indian town where it smells good because of the flowers and street stalls. Several colourful Hindu temples are open for anyone. If you are lucky, you can end up in the middle of a ceremony, where the faithful Tamils pierce themselves with hooks and steel rods before they proceed through the city.
Singapore has everything to attract wealthy visitors. A couple of subway stops in south, at the Marina Bay, is Singapore’s modern down town with skyscrapers. These include the spectacular Marina Bay Sands, a three-legged 57-storey hotel, with the world’s highest infinity pool on the roof. Next door is the world’s largest indoor garden in two domes and super large artificial trees at Gardens by the Bay. Changi Airport in Singapore has been voted as the world’s best airport several years in a row. Another attraction is Sentosa Island with Universal Studios, Casino, cable car, zipline, parachute jumping indoors and clean white sandy beaches.
Although Singapore today is a bustling international metropolis you will notice locals strolling slowly along the streets, almost draging their feet, and you will soon understand why: the slightest movement outdoors results in a sweat attack. Here is a tropical heat with high humidity. The only time you will need a jacket is when going out in cold air-conditioned restaurants or department stores. Read about pampering in Singapore here.
Entire Asia is within the reach in Singapore in terms of culture, nature, food and religion. And they co-exist side by side perfectly: there is no state religion, but Hindu and Buddhist temples and churches are often built next to each other.
Everything is within reach in this city and you should definitely explore amazing Singapore.