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About city Gallery Where to stay

Located on a number of islands near Malaysian shores in Southeast Asia, the city of Singapore takes up almost the entire territory of the Republic of Singapore. In a mere 30 years, Singapore, which used to be poor and sluggish, turned into one of the most modern and charming cities in the world. Here, modernity, strict order and cleanliness meet authenticity, tradition and the Asian spirit.

Furthermore, this city-state is known around the world for its innovation, science and strict laws. Recently it has also become a real hit with European tourists.

Thanks to its small size (693 sq. m.), innovation and ever-increasing influence on business – not only in the region, but also the entire world - Singapore, home to around 5 million people, is often called “the Little Red Dot”.

Infinity Pool with Singapore Skyline
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  Infinity Pool with Singapore Skyline

The history of the city is closely related to the Malay Archipelago. In the past, Singapore (then Temasek) was a famous commercial centre that ultimately lost its power when the Port of Melaka came to prominence in the 15th century. Modern Singapore was founded by the British sailor Sir Stamford Raffles, who established it as a trading post. Many Chinese were brought over to the city by the Brits to live alongside the locals and do all the worst jobs. Soon enough, they became the majority. During the Second World War, Singapore was occupied by the Japanese, who called it Syonan-to. They hated the local Chinese, who they saw as potential allies of China, but supported the Indian and Malayan minorities.

During its independence, the city surpassed its neighbours economically and became an important centre in Southeast Asia. Singapore’s political system is sometimes called single-party democracy, as it’s been ruled by the same party since announcing independence. The style of government is reminiscent of socialist planned economy, although, in some sectors, business is allowed.

Chinatown, Singapore
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  Chinatown, Singapore

The government is very sensitive to criticism from the media. The press and billboards often carry supportive articles and propaganda. Some progressive members of the Chinese Communist Party see the city’s political system as the future of their own country.

Singapore is located on a number of islands (one large and several smaller) near the equator, which is why the temperature here is equally hot all year, and both nights and days last for 12 hours. The only difference is in precipitation, which increases during the rainy season. Singapore is characterised by short and strong downfalls. Even though there are no mountains here, the city does have a few state-protected forests and marshlands.

Every year, the city-state is visited by more tourists than there are locals. In part, this happens because of its geographical location, making it an excellent intermediary point between Europe and Oceania. Endorsed by the government, this policy led to the building of a large, modern Changi International Airport a couple of years ago. To make passing tourists stay here for longer, the city has also been building resorts that offer a wide variety of museums and fun activities.

Singapore is famous for its shopping centres, visited by thousands of locals and city guests every day. Shopping is a popular leisure activity here.

Enjoying the excellent city views from the world’s largest Ferris wheel (165 m) is one of Singapore’s most popular tourist attractions. Also, be sure to have dinner at a traditional inn or enjoy some authentic dishes sold in local kiosks. On top of that, we recommend you take a walk along the waterfront where you’ll see the famous Supertrees and the world-renowned Marina Bay Sands Hotel.

Supertree grove at garden by the bay in Singapore
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  Supertree grove at garden by the bay in Singapore

Another popular place to have good time in is the Sentosa Island that has several exotic beaches and the Universal Studios amusement park where you can see 1,500 live, multi-coloured butterflies and much more. Singapore boasts having arguably the best zoo in the world, where tourists can see white tigers and feed baby elephants and the long-snouted tapirs. Also worthy of mention are the daytime and night-time safaris where people can observe animals in their natural environment.

Singapore is basically a mix of all the world’s cultures. Since the country is home to representatives of all religions, it hosts various celebrations and has many different temples and shops tailored to different cultures. On the other hand, in comparison to the West, Singapore’s culture is quite conservative. For instance, to enter a night club one has to be at least 25 years old, and 23 to enter a bar. Smuggling drugs into the country can incur the death penalty, as can various other crimes. Punishment by whipping is also still practised here, voted in during a referendum.

In Singapore, rules are everything: bringing chewing gum into the country, as well as sodomy are forbidden. Many popular films and books are censored. To someone living in the West, getting used to such restrictions can be quite difficult.

Group of female dancers dancing at  Singapore's largest dancing street party
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  Group of female dancers dancing at Singapore's largest dancing street party

All tourists should remember the several rules that everyone in the city is subject to, and which are enforced quite severely: don’t litter, smoke only in designated areas, don’t bring any chewing gum from abroad and, even more so, don’t go throwing it on the pavement, don’t spit in the street, don’t cycle in underground tunnels, don’t bring drugs and other illegal items into the country, don’t drink or eat in the metro and buses, and make sure to put your wet umbrella into a plastic bag before entering a shopping centres and other establishments.

It might be thanks to all these rules that Singapore is considered to be one of the safest countries in the world. Due to the large number of security cameras and severe punishments for a variety of crimes, walking the streets is safe both during the day and at night, and whatever things you leave unattended tend to stay in place.

And, last but not least, the locals are extremely friendly towards foreigners and always willing to help. Since the national language in Singapore is English, even older people will be able to answer your questions.

Where to stay

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