Many people marvel at the beauty of Singapore and her progressiveness. Most impressive to note is that she was formerly just a humble fishing village, inhabited by an indigenous settlement.
Fast forward to today. Singapore is a bustling cosmopolitan city populated with high-rise buildings and landscape gardens. Brimming with a harmonious blend of culture, cuisine, arts and architecture, Singapore is a dynamic city that's rich in contrast and colour. In fact, you can even say that Singapore embodies the finest of both East and West.
Located in Southeast Asia, Singapore has a land area of about 710 square kilometres, making her one of the smallest countries in the world and the smallest in the region – hence the moniker "The Little Red Dot". Although small in size, Singapore is the second largest commercial port in the world and commands an enormous presence in the world today with its free trade economy and highly efficient workforce. Also, her strategic location in the region has enabled her to become a central sea port along major shipping routes.
Other than having a sound business infrastructure and favourable economic climate, another factor for Singapore's rapid growth is due to a stable and competent ruling government. Singapore is a parliamentary republic with a political system that's centred on democracy. The current ruling party in government is The People's Action Party (PAP), which has dominated the political process since self-government in 1959.
At present, Singapore's population stands at about five million people, with English as the main language of instruction, and a mother tongue for each major ethnicity. One of the distinctly Singaporean things you'll notice on our island is a ubiquitous collage of cultures. Coming together as a society and living in harmony, there are four major races – namely the Chinese (majority), Malay, Indian and Eurasian. Each community offers a different perspective of life in Singapore in terms of culture, religion, food and language.
Being a multi-racial society, Singapore is as diverse as it is cohesive. With so much to see and do, this is perhaps best experienced through your encounters with the locals. And if you're feeling nostalgic and looking to discover old world charm, you can explore and experience the island's key historical landmarks or memorials. You can also embark on a heritage trail and enjoy the sights and sounds at various cultural precincts, notably Chinatown, Little India and Kampong Glam.
If you prefer the bright city lights and being amidst the hustle and bustle, then you'll be delighted to know that there are numerous shopping malls, museums, and dining and entertainment hotspots to choose from. Get into the thick of the shopping action at the iconic Orchard Road stretch, or party the night away at the Clarke Quay or Boat Quay areas, both of which offer a myriad selection of nightlife activities.
The other thing that will strike you most about Singapore is its multifarious offering of food – day or night, there will always be something to whet your appetite. With a range of dining options from Peranakan to Chinese, Indian to Malay, fusion and more, you'll be spoilt for choice.
Beyond the history, culture, people, shopping and food, there are many more facets to Singapore's thriving cityscape for you to discover. And these can only be experienced as you immerse yourself in the exploration of this once fishing village turned cosmopolitan city.