World / Asia


Singapore skyscrapers at night
Singapore skyscrapers at night (13 Sept 2010)
© Timothy Tye using this photo

Singapore, or officially the Republic of Singapore, is an island nation in Southeast Asia. It is located at the southern tip of the Malay peninsula. It is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor, but is linked to the country by the Causeway and the Second Link. The Singapore Straits separates it from the Riau Islands of Indonesia.

Singapore Self-Guided Walking Tours
Singapore Self-Guided Walking Tours
Photo: Ramir Borja (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported)

Geography of Singapore

Singapore covers an area of 710 sq km (274 sq miles), and is expected to further increase its size over the next decade through land reclamation. The country has a population of around 5 million people. With a population density of 7,022 per square kilometer, it is one of the most densely populated country in Southeast Asia.

Singapore is a highly developed country and is presently the fastest growing economy in the world, with the economic growth of the first half of 2010 expected to reach 17.9%. It also enjoys the third highest GDP per capita in Asia after Japan and Hong Kong. With 42% of the population being expatriates and foreign workers, the country has the 6th highest percentage of foreigners on its soil in the world.

The Helix Bridge with Marina Bay Sands
The Helix Bridge with Marina Bay Sands
Author: William Cho (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic)

The Republic of Singapore comprises 63 islands. Apart from the main island, other major islands include Pulau Ubin, Sentosa, Jurong Island, and Pulau Tekong. The highest natural point in Singapore is Bukit Timah Hill, which is 166 meters (545 feet) above sea level.

VivoCity at night
VivoCity at night
Author: © Sengkang

Singapore experiences a tropical rainforest climate, with fairly constant temperature throughout the year. The country is relatively wet, with an average of one in three days being a rainy day. The wettest month is December followed by November. The driest month is February followed by January. Average temperature hovers between 24°C (75°F) and 31°C (89°F).

Singapore is a major tourist destination. A total of 10.2 million visitors come to Singapore in 2007. To buoy the tourism sector, the Singapore government granted licenses to two major resorts developments to operate casinos in Singapore. But before you head out and try to play these casino games, I would advice you to practice first on your gaming skills and tactics and read more about it. Every year the Singapore Food Festival is held in July to showcase Singapore cuisine.

History of Singapore

Singapore was first mentioned in the 3rd century, when it appeared in Chinese chronicles as pu luo zhong which is a transliteration of Pulau Ujong, which means "island at the end [of the peninsula]".

During the 13th century, it was called Temasek, which means "sea town". A century later, the ruler of Palembang named Sang Nila Utama, sailed close to the shore of the island. He saw a beast which resembled a lion, causing him to call the island "Singa Pura", which in Sanskrit means "Lion City". This was later written as "Singapura" in Malay, and transliterated as "Singapore". The lion that Sang Nila Utama saw could well have been the Leopard Cat (Prionailurus bengalensis) a common wild cat that still roam the forests in Pulau Tekong off the northeast coast of the island.

As with Penang, Singapore was little more than a pirate haven, with small pockets of Malay settlements. Archaeological excavation on Fort Canning revealed pre-colonial settlements on the island. That hill was known then as Bukit Larangan (Forbidden Hill), and the locals were afraid of going up there, lest misfortune should fall on them.

Pottery fragments from the Bukit Larangan Archaeological Site
Pottery fragments from the Bukit Larangan Archaeological Site (13 Sept 2010)
© Timothy Tye using this photo

History of Modern Singapore

The modern history of Singapore began with the arrival of Sir Stamford Raffles in 1819. In little time, the island quickly surpassed Penang and Malacca as the main trading post for the British in the Far East. The island thrived as a free port, and attracted peoples from across the region. Raffles segmented the newly established town according to racial lines: the Europeans get the choicest land, where the Civic District is located today; the Chinese inhabited what becomes Chinatown; the Indian settled in what's today Little India, and the Malays settled around the palace of the Sultan in and around Kampong Glam.

Singapore was under British administration until World War II, when it was occupied by the Japanese from 1942-45. Following the war, it returned to British rule. By then, the spirit of nationalism and the urge to be independent were bubbling under the surface. Singapore became a self-governing state in 1959 with Lee Kuan Yew as its first prime minister.

On 16 September 1963, Lee led Singapore into the newly formed Federation of Malaysia, which comprised the former Malaya, Sarawak, British North Borneo and Singapore. Brunei, which was initially expected to join the federation, decided eventually not to. The marriage lasted less than two years, and on 9 August, 1965, it was ejected from the federation following racial tension, becoming the Republic of Singapore.

Old Singapore poster on the celebration of Malaysia Day
Old Singapore poster on the celebration of Malaysia Day (13 Sept 2010)
© Timothy Tye using this photo

History of Post-Independence Singapore

The period immediately after gaining independence in 1965 was a volatile time for Singapore. This was a country without any natural resources. Its prime minister was just 35 years old. There was racial tension among the races and unemployment was high. To top it off, Britain was pulling out its troops, causing a loss of 50,000 jobs.

Prime Minister Lee and his cabinet tackled the most pressing issue first, that was, to unify the different races and create a Singaporean identity. Four national languages namely Malay, Chinese, Tamil and English, are recognised. The Housing and Development Board began a program to built homes for the people, with the aim that every unit should be owner occupied. Industrial estates were created throughout Singapore, with port and shipbuilding facilities established in Jurong.

Forty Years After Independence

Today Singapore is an envy of all its neighbors. A free market economy, the country is now a newly developed nation that enjoys a stable political and industrial climate. It has a highly educated workforce necessary to support its role as the financial hub of the region. Singapore today enjoys the highest standard of living in Southeast Asia, and one of the highest in the world.

Sago Street
Sago Street
Author: Terence Ong (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported)

Streets of Singapore

  1. Anson Road
  2. Battery Road
  3. Bayfront Avenue
  4. Beach Road
  5. Bideford Road
  6. Bonham Street
  7. Boon Tat Street
  8. Bras Basah Road
  9. Bukit Timah Road, Upper Bukit Timah Road
  10. Buyong Road
  11. Cairnhill Road
  12. Cavenagh Road
  13. Cecil Street
  14. Central Boulevard
  15. Chulia Street
  16. Claymore Road
  17. Clemenceau Avenue
  18. Club Street
  19. Coleman Street
  20. Collyer Quay
  21. Cuppage Road
  22. Devonshire Road
  23. Dunearn Road
  24. Eu Tong Sen Street
  25. Finlayson Green
  26. Fort Canning Tunnel
  27. Fullerton Road
  28. Grange Road
  29. Havelock Road
  30. Killiney Road
  31. Kramat Road
  32. Marina Boulevard
  33. Market Street
  34. Maxwell Road
  35. Mohamed Sultan Road
  36. Napier Road
  37. New Bridge Road
  38. North Bridge Road
  39. Nutmeg Road
  40. Orchard Road
  41. Outram Road
  42. Oxley Road
  43. Paterson Road
  44. Penang Road
  45. Pickering Street
  46. Raffles Avenue
  47. Raffles Boulevard
  48. Raffles Quay
  49. Robinson Road
  50. Sago Lane
  51. Sago Street
  52. Scotts Road
  53. Shenton Way
  54. Somerset Road
  55. South Bridge Road
  56. Stamford Road
  57. Tanglin Road
  58. Telok Ayer Street
  59. Temasek Avenue
  60. Tiong Bahru Road
  61. Waterloo Street
Kallang River
Kallang River
Author: Terence Ong (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported)

List of Rivers and Canals

  1. Geylang River
  2. Kallang Basin
  3. Kallang River
  4. Rochor Canal
  5. Rochor River

Pulau Brani
Pulau Brani
Author: Terence Ong (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported)

Islands around Singapore

  1. Pedra Branca
  2. Pulau Anak Bukom
  3. Pulau Bajau
  4. Pulau Berkas
  5. Pulau Biola (Violin Island)
  6. Pulau Brani
  7. Pulau Buaya
  8. Pulau Bukom
  9. Pulau Bukom Kechil
  10. Pulau Buloh
  11. Pulau Busing
  12. Pulau Damar Laut
  13. Pulau Damien
  14. Pulau Hantu
  15. Pulau Jong
  16. Pulau Keppel
  17. Pulau Ketam
  18. Pulau Malang Siajar
  19. Pulau Palawan
  20. Pulau Pawai
  21. Pulau Pergam
  22. Pulau Sakijang Bendera (St. John's Island)
  23. Pulau Sakijang Pelepah (Lazarus Island)
  24. Pulau Salu
  25. Pulau Samulun
  26. Pulau Sarimbun
  27. Pulau Satumu (One Tree Island)
  28. Pulau Sebarok (Middle Island)
  29. Pulau Sekudu (Frog Island)
  30. Pulau Seletar
  31. Pulau Semakau
  32. Pulau Senang (Barn Island)
  33. Pulau Sentosa
  34. Pulau Serangoon (Coney Island)
  35. Pulau Seringat
  36. Pulau Seringat Kechil
  37. Pulau Subar Darat (Sisters' Islands)
  38. Pulau Subar Laut (Sisters' Islands)
  39. Pulau Sudong
  40. Pulau Tekong
  41. Pulau Tekukor
  42. Pulau Tembakul (Kusu Island)
  43. Pulau Ubin
  44. Pulau Ular
  45. Pulau Unum
  46. Sultan Shoal

Singapore Post, Killiney Road
Singapore Post, Killiney Road
Author: © Sengkang

Getting to know Singapore

  1. Singapore Flag
  2. Singapore National Anthem
  3. Singapore Birdlife

Practical Tips for visiting Singapore

  1. Taking the Bus in Singapore
  2. Taking the taxi in Singapore
  3. Driving in Singapore
  4. Emergency Numbers
  5. Reporting Breakdowns
  6. General Information Services
  7. Credit Card Emergency
  8. Hospital Contacts
  9. Dial-a-Cab
  10. Car Rental Contacts
  11. Bank Contacts
  12. Chambers of Commerce
  13. Employment Agencies
  14. Law Firms

Singapore MRT

  1. List of MRT Stations
  2. EZ-Link Fare Card
  3. MRT East West Line
  4. MRT North South Line
  5. MRT North East Line
  6. MRT Circle Line
  7. MRT Stations

City Districts and Neighbourhoods in Singapore

  1. Chinatown
  2. Financial District
  3. Kampong Glam
  4. Little India
  5. Orchard Road

Tourist Sights in Singapore

  1. Chinatown Heritage Centre
  2. Haw Par Villa
  3. Marina Bay Sands
  4. Night Safari
  5. Resorts World Sentosa
  6. Sands SkyPark
  7. Singapore Cable Car
  8. Singapore Flyer
  9. Singapore Zoo
  10. Underwater World
  11. Universal Studios Singapore

Self-Guided Walking Tours

  1. Tour the Historic Streets of Singapore
  2. Little India Walking Tour
  3. Telok Ayer Street Walking Tour
  4. Civic District Walking Tour

Shopping Malls in Singapore

  1. 313@Somerset
  2. CityLink Mall
  3. DFS Galleria
  4. Far East Plaza
  5. Far East Square
  6. Forum The Shopping Mall
  7. Funan DigitaLife Mall
  8. International Building
  9. ION Orchard
  10. Liat Towers
  11. Little India Arcade
  12. Lucky Plaza
  13. Meritus Mandarin Singapore
  14. Mustafa Centre
  15. Ngee Ann City
  16. Orchard Central
  17. Orchard Plaza
  18. Orchard Point
  19. Pacific Plaza
  20. Palais Renaissance
  21. Paragon Shopping Centre
  22. Peninsula Shopping Centre
  23. Peninsula Plaza
  24. Plaza Singapura
  25. Raffles City
  26. Scotts Square
  27. Serangoon Plaza
  28. Shaw House & Shaw Centre
  29. Suntec City
  30. Tangs Department Store
  31. The Adelphi
  32. The Centrepoint
  33. The Heeren Shops
  34. Tekka Market
  35. VivoCity
  36. Wheelock Place
  37. Wisma Atria

Museums & Art Galleries in Singapore

  1. Army Museum of Singapore
  2. ArtScience Museum
  3. Asian Civilisations Museum
  4. Fuk Tak Chi Museum
  5. Live Turtle & Tortoise Museum
  6. National Art Gallery of Singapore
  7. National Museum of Singapore
  8. Peranakan Museum
  9. Pop and Contemporary Fine Art
  10. Red Dot Design Museum
  11. Science Centre, Singapore
  12. Singapore Art Museum
  13. Singapore Discovery Centre
  14. Singapore General Hospital Museum

Churches in Singapore

  1. Armenian Church
  2. Bukit Panjang Gospel Chapel
  3. Cathedral of the Good Shepherd
  4. Church of Our Lady of Lourdes
  5. Church of St Peter and St Paul
  6. Church of the True Light
  7. Foochow Methodist Church
  8. Kampong Kapor Methodist Church
  9. Orchard Road Presbyterian Church
  10. St Andrew's Cathedral
  11. St George's Church
  12. St Joseph's Church
  13. Telok Ayer Chinese Methodist Church

Chinese Temples in Singapore

  1. Beo San Hood Chor Temple
  2. Buddha Tooth Relic Temple
  3. Hock Siew Tong Temple
  4. Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple
  5. Leong San See Temple
  6. Poo Thor Jee Temple Temple
  7. Sakya Muni Buddha Gaya Temple
  8. Seng Wong Beo Temple
  9. Sin Chor Kung Temple Temple
  10. Tan Si Chong Su Temple
  11. Thian Hock Keng Temple
  12. Yueh Hai Ching Temple

Mosques in Singapore

  1. Abdul Gaffoor Mosque
  2. Al-Abrar Mosque
  3. Angullia Mosque
  4. Hajjah Fatimah Mosque
  5. Jamae Mosque
  6. Keramat Habib Nor Mosque
  7. Keramat Iskandar Shah Mosque
  8. Malabar Mosque
  9. Nagore Durgha Shrine
  10. Omar Mosque, Kampong Melaka
  11. Sultan Mosque

Hindu Temples in Singapore

  1. Shree Lakshminarayan Temple
  2. Sri Krishnan Temple
  3. Sri Layan Sithi Vinayagar Temple
  4. Sri Mariamman Temple
  5. Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple
  6. Sri Vadapathira Kaliamman Temple
  7. Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple

Synagogues in Singapore

  1. Chesed-El Synagogue
  2. Maghain Aboth Synagogue

Historic Sights in Singapore

  1. AIA Tanjong Pagar Building
  2. Capitol Building
  3. Central Fire Station
  5. City Hall
  6. Clifford Pier
  7. Cupolas of Fort Canning
  8. Eu Yan Sang
  9. Former Attorney-General's Chambers
  10. Fort Canning
  11. Fort Canning Archaeological Excavation Site
  12. Fort Canning Centre
  13. Fort Siloso
  14. Gates of Fort Canning
  15. House of Tan Yeok Nee
  16. Hwa Chong Institution
  17. Jinricksha Station
  18. Lau Pa Sat
  19. Macdonald House
  20. Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Hall
  21. Malay Heritage Centre
  22. MICA Building
  23. Murray Terrace
  24. Old Supreme Court Building
  25. Raffles Hotel
  26. Sally Port, Fort Canning
  27. SCCCI Building
  28. Sculpture Square
  29. St James Power Station
  30. Tan Teck Guan Building
  31. Tanjong Pagar Railway Station
  32. The Fullerton Hotel
  33. Thong Chai Medical Institution
  34. Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall

Monuments in Singapore

  1. Cenotaph
  2. Civilian War Memorial
  3. Dalhousie Obelisk
  4. Indian National Army Monument
  5. Lim Bo Seng Memorial
  6. Merlion Statue
  7. Raffles Landing Site
  8. Tan Kim Seng Fountain

Modern Architecture of Singapore

  1. 8 Shenton Way
  2. Capital Tower
  3. Carlsberg Sky Tower
  4. CPF Building
  5. DBS Building
  6. Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay
  7. Fountain of Wealth
  8. Fuji Xerox Towers
  9. International Plaza
  10. Liat Towers
  11. Marina Barrage
  12. Marina Bay Financial Centre
  13. Marina Bay Sands
  14. Marina Bay Suites
  15. New Supreme Court Building
  16. OCBC Centre
  17. One Marina Boulevard
  18. One Raffles Quay
  19. Orchard Parade Hotel
  20. OUB Centre
  21. Parliament House of Singapore
  22. Pinnacle@Duxton
  23. Reflections at Keppel Bay
  24. Republic Plaza
  25. Sands SkyPark
  26. The Concourse
  27. The Gateway
  28. The Sail @ Marina Bay
  29. UOB Plaza

Parks in Singapore

  1. Admiralty Park
  2. Ang Mo Kio Town Garden East
  3. Bedok Reservoir Park
  4. Bukit Timah Nature Reserve
  5. Chinese Garden
  6. Choa Chu Kang Park
  7. Dhoby Ghaut Green
  8. Duxton Plain Park
  9. Esplanade Park
  10. Hindhede Nature Park
  11. Hong Lim Park (Speaker's Corner)
  12. Jurong Bird Park
  13. Labrador Nature Reserve
  14. Marina City Park
  15. Night Safari
  16. Padang
  17. Pearl's Hill City Park
  18. Queen Elizabeth Walk
  19. Singapore Botanic Gardens
  20. Sungei Buloh Nature Park
  21. Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve
  22. Telok Ayer Green

Localities and Suburbs of Singapore

  1. Ang Mo Kio
  2. Ann Siang Hill
  3. Bedok
  4. Bidadari
  5. Bishan
  6. Boat Quay
  7. Boon Lay
  8. Bukit Batok
  9. Bukit Merah
  10. Bukit Timah
  11. Changi
  12. Chek Jawa
  13. Chinatown
  14. Choa Chu Kang
  15. Clarke Quay
  16. Empress Place
  17. Esplanade
  18. Financial District
  19. Hougang
  20. Jurong
  21. Kampong Glam
  22. Marina Bay
  23. Marina Channel
  24. Pasir Ris
  25. Paya Lebar
  26. Punggol
  27. Robertson Quay
  28. Sembawang
  29. Sengkang
  30. Sentosa Island
  31. Simei
  32. Singapore River
  33. Tampines
  34. Thomson
  35. Toa Payoh
  36. Tuas Peninsula
  37. Woodlands
  38. Yishun

Additional Travel Tips

  1. Cycling in Singapore

Singapore Central Business District as viewed from Chinatown
Singapore Central Business District as viewed from Chinatown
Author: Someformofhuman (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

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