Singapore is city-state in Southeast Asia that makes up world’s busiest port. The trade has helped this British trading colony to become one of the most prosperous countries of the world after its independence. It is a stopover trade destinations with a fusion of modern infrastructure combined with the medley of Chinese and other Asian influences. And getting in easier than one would imagine due to very mild entry requirements.
It is second most populated city in the world. But it takes cares of its own and almost half of the city is covered in greenery, with parks, lakes and reserves taking up a lot of the city space. It is as clean as it is self-contained. The centre is located in the south of the city.
Populated by Malays, Chinese, Indians and a large group of workers from world over, Singapore if a microcosm of Asia. It has become a respite for those escaping the poverty of the Asian mainland and is more than just “a shopping mall with a seat in the UN.” Singapore has some very strict societal restrictions that have loosened over the years to expand the entertainment activities for the constant tourist inflow on the Island.
Singaporean food is legendary. It provide cheap food from all over Asia in good quality with various means to entertainment. It caters to a diversity even in its small number.
Malay has been written in constitution as the National language but nearly every individual, at least those below the age of 50 uses English in their day to day lives. All the schooling is done in English and even the boards and signs are in English, mostly British English. Singapore’s other official language is Mandarin and Tamil which are used mostly by the Chinese and Indian Singaporean people. The official Chinese script used is the simplified version from Mainland China. This is used for all official publications (including local newspapers). However more and more effort are being to bring English into mainstream with media and English TV shows. So asking for directions in English wouldn’t bring blank stares in Singapore, at least not from the younger population.
Due to the demographic diversity, Singapore also have a religious diversity. The constitution guarantee religious freedom to all its citizens. Buddhism is their biggest religion constituting about 33% of the population. Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Taoism are professed and practiced in large numbers also. However there are other religion beside these “big five”. Sikhs, Zoroastrians, Jews, Baha’is and Jain form a minority while 17% of Singaporeans claim no religious affiliations.
Lying so close to the Equator, Singapore has a sunny weather with no apparent change in seasons. Rainfall is a regular, almost daily occurrence thought the heaviest rainfall is observed between November to January. Thunderstorms are common and unpredictable so a umbrella comes handy to save both from the rain and the sun. The buildings are fully air-conditioned as the outside atmosphere can be exhausting at any given hour.
Singapore is a hot mess. So it is advisable to carry light clothing along with a deodorants as the high humidity guarantees sweaty despite the constant reprieve from air-conditioning. As mentioned an Umbrella is a best friend while you are in Singapore.