Singapore, officially known as the Republic of Singapore, is a sovereign city-state and island country in Asia. Singapore is separated from Peninsular Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to the north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the Singapore Strait to the south. The country's territory consists of the lozenge-shaped main island, commonly known as Singapore Island which is 137 kilometers north of the equator. The country's territory has consistently expanded through land reclamation. The country is highly urbanized, and only little original vegetation remains. Singapore has developed rapidly, earning recognition as one of the Four Asian Tigers. Singapore is one of the world's major commercial hubs, with one of the busiest ports and biggest financial centre.
While Singapore is diverse, ethnic Asians predominate: 75 percent of the population is Chinese, with significant minorities of Malays, Indians, and Eurasians. English, Malay, Mandarin and Tamil are the four official languages in Singapore, and the country promotes multiculturalism through a range of official policies.
Climate and weather
Singapore has a tropical rainforest climate with no distinctive seasons, high humidity, and abundant rainfall. Temperatures usually range from 22 to 35 °C. May and June are the hottest months, with the wetter monsoon season from November to January. From July to October, there is often haze caused by bush fires in neighboring Indonesia while December and January are the coolest months of the year.
Singaporean residents also travel by foot, bicycles, bus, taxis and train (MRT or LRT). Two companies running the public bus and train transport system are SBS Transit and SMRT Corporation. Taxis are a popular form of public transport as the fares are relatively cheap compared to many other developed countries and there are over 27,000 taxis on the road. Tourists are encouraged to make use of this convenient mode of transport.
Kaya Toast, Hainanese Chicken Rice and Laksa are what people can recall when we talk about Singapore. Since 1944, Ya Kun, a coffee stall, is known for its wafer thin brown bread slices and flavourful kaya. But it was only after 2000 that the kaya toast scene took off in Singapore. Since then, there have been a slew of new coffee joints selling kaya toast when Ya Kun and Killiney started expanding with new outlets in shopping malls.
Hainanese Chicken Rice is Singapore's 'national' dish which can be found at almost every dining spot, from humble hawker centers to high-end restaurants. The recipe for the dish is adapted from early Chinese immigrants from Hainan Island, off the southern coast of China. Back in Hainan, locals call the dish "Wenchang chicken". They use a particular fowl that is bony and fibrous, and serve the chicken with oily rice. A ground green chilli dip rounds off the dish.
There are various types of laksa in Singapore – from the tamarind-tang of Penang Laksa to the curry-like Sarawak Laksa. But none is more famous than the home-grown Katong Laksa. The laksa broth offers the right balance of spice and coconut milk, a distinctive noodle soup that will tickle the tastebuds. It has a spicy soup stock the colour of a flaming sunse and topped with ingredients like cockles, prawns and fishcake.
Tourists may want to spend a day at Sentosa where you can start the day with brunch and a massage at the Capella. Then, you can take it to Adventure Cove Waterpark with kids or stroll through the S.E.A. Aquarium before relaxing with a sunset cocktail at Coastes; followed by dinner at Quayside Isle. Another popular option will be save the entire next day for Universal Studios Singapore.
Given the impact it has had on Singapore's skyline, it is no surprise that the triple-towered Marina Bay Sands came out tops in the poll with 22 out of 30 votes for Singapore's most iconic structure. Developed by Las Vegas Sands, it is billed as the world's most expensive standalone casino property at S$8 billion. It was designed by Moshe Safdie Architects and Aedas Singapore
Singapore is known as a concrete city, but the Singapore Zoo can change your stereotyping concept about Singapore. You can find cute, furry animals to cuddle and you can also spend a day with giraffes and white tigers at, and watch out for flying squirrels at the Night Safari.
Shopping doesn't get any better than in Singapore. From niche luxury boutiques to street side flea markets, you can find everything you want here in Singapore. Chinatown, with its rich history and iconic status, draws in a great mix of folks, from the expats to the locals to check out. On the other hand, at Mustafa Centre, you can find all you need from apparel, drystores, electronics, toiletries and party gear.
The annual sell out event, F1 Grand Prix should be on your bucket list. Get your tickets early and make sure that you have booked the favorite seats of the people, the ones on the grandstand facing the amazing view of the Singapore skyline, where you can see the fireworks.