Singapore is a small and affluent island known as “The Lion City” and famed for its wealthy economy, good shopping and tasty food.
Located at the southern tip of Malaysia with a mere land area of 710 km², it is one of the smallest countries in the world. Despite this, Singapore is a prosperous countries and one of the world’s safest places to live. With a population of just over 5 million, it is also one of the world’s most densely populated.
The history of Singapore’s name dates back to a 14th century legend, where a a visiting Sri Vijayan prince saw an animal he mistook for a lion and named it ‘Singapura’, meaning ‘lion city’ in Sanskrit. In the 18th century, it was established as a trading port by Stamford Raffles on behalf of the British East India Company. It soon attracted merchants from Europe, Asia and the Middle East, and Singapore is today one of the world’s busiest ports with a thriving shipping industry.
The influx of immigrants has given Singapore a fascinating mix of Chinese, Malay, Indian and Western cultures all blended into a diverse cultural melting pot. As such, food is also part of the national passion, with the abundant popularity of hawker centres and food courts to be found everywhere. Colourful thnic enclaves like Chinatown, Little India and Arab Street are testament to Singapore’s unique culture.
With a fascinating mix of modern skyscrapers, landscaped gardens and a diverse culture, Singapore is a must for anyone visiting Southeast Asia.