Though physically small, Singapore is an economic giant. It has been Southeast Asia’s most modern city for over a century.
Singapore blends Malay, Chinese, Arab, Indian and English cultures and religions. Its unique ethnic tapestry affords visitors a wide array of sightseeing and culinary opportunities from which to choose. A full calendar of traditional festivals and holidays celebrated throughout the year adds to its cultural appeal. In addition, Singapore offers luxury hotels, delectable cuisine and great shopping! The island nation of the Republic of Singapore lies one degree north of the Equator in Southern Asia. The country includes the island of Singapore and 58 or so smaller islands. Because of its efficient and determined government, Singapore has become a flourishing country that excels in trade and tourism and is a model to developing nations. The capital city, also called Singapore, covers about a third of the area of the main island.
Located at the tip of the Malay Peninsula, Singapore’s tropical climate welcomes both leisure and business travelers year round. The island republic’s excellent infrastructure enables visitors to enjoy its many sites and attractions in a safe, clean and green environment. Award winning Changi Airport provides airlinks to major cities around the world. The train and subway systems are clean, fast and efficient. In addition, its state-of-the-art cruise terminal has established Singapore as one of the premier cruising centers of South East Asia and an exciting port of call on any Asian cruise itinerary.
In the city, there is no need for a car. Public transportation is excellent and walking is a good way to explore the city . All major attractions are also accessible by tour bus. Since the city is only 60 miles (100k) from the equator, the tropical temperatures do not vary much. Rainfall is fairly evenly distributed through the year. No matter when you choose to visit, warm weather will be abundantly available. The visitor is struck immediately by Singapore’s abundance of parks, nature reserves, and lush, tropical greenery.
Singapore’s progress over the past three decades has been remarkable, yet the island has not been overwhelmed by development. Visitors will discover a wealth of historical treasures from the past, in the beauty of older buildings, values and traditions that have survived in the face of profound social and geographical change.
Lacking any noteworthy natural resources, Singapore’s early prosperity was based on a vigorous free trade policy, put in place in 1819 when Sir Stamford Raffles first established it as a British trading post. Later, mass industrialization bolstered the economy, and today the state boasts the world’s second busiest port after Rotterdam, minimal unemployment, and a super efficient infrastructure. Almost the entire population lives in upscale new apartments, and the average per capita income is over US$12,000. Singapore is a clean, safe place to visit, its amenities are second to none and its public places are smoke-free and hygienic.
Good To Know
Pongal is a four-day period festival, which is celebrated widely in Southern India. The Indians in Singapore also celebrate it with grandeur at the beginning of the auspicious month of Thai. This festival is celebrated as a thank you to the sun god, Surya, for the harvest and the riches of life. During Pongal, Little India is lit up with various events and competitions. People also exchanged gifts and wear new clothes during this festival in Singapore.
The first day of Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival in Singapore, falls on the new moon day. The Lunar New Year (as it is also called) is of great significance to the Chinese who clean their homes to get rid of the bad or the ill-fortune and make way for good luck. The celebration of this grand festival in Singapore continues for 14 days starting on the eve of the New Years. During this time, the Chinese locals visit their families and decorate their homes with red and gold colours. They also exchange gifts and give kids Hong Bao (red envelopes). The Chinatown comes to life through the celebration of festivities. Lion and dragon dances performed as a part of the celebration.
Thai is a month in Tamil calendar, and Pusam is the name of a star. During the month of Thai, Pusam star is at its highest point in the sky. Thus, the Thaipusam festival is celebrated during the full moon day. In Singapore, devotees walk from Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple to the Sri Thendayuthapani Temple. The celebration continues for two days, the eve of the day, and the day itself. It’s a festival for the devotees to fulfil their vows. Some devotees carry spiked Kavadis (altars) that pierce through their torso while other devotees carry pots of milk that are later poured over the Vel (a divine javelin).