Singapore
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About Singapore

Singapore is located on a small island at the southmost tip of the Malaysian peninsula. The city state has developed greatly over the past 50 years, from a colonial transit port to the main financial and technological hub it is today. Its port, however, is still one of the largest five in the world and a major source of income for the country. Singapore also houses one of the largest airports in the Southeast Asian region, making it a popular transit location.

Although Singapore possesses very little historical sites, there are many modern-day landmarks. The Marina Bay Sands hotel, casino and shopping mall in the shape of a ship carried by three towers is the most well-known one. Other famous landmarks are the Merlion statue, the Singapore Flyer (Ferris wheel) and the  colonial Raffles Hotel, home to the original Singapore Sling.

Interesting facts

  • Singapore has its own tropical island. It is named Sentosa and lies in the southern part of the Singaporean harbour. Apart from some (artificial) beaches, it also houses the Universal Studios Singapore theme park.
  • With a population of about 5.5 million people on a little over 700 square kilometer, Singapore is one of the most densely populated countries in the world.
  • Most Singaporeans speak a version of English known as ‘Singlish’. This ‘dialect’ is a mixture of mainly English, Malay and Hokkien Chinese, plus many of the other foreign languages spoken in the city. Singaporeans are quite proud of their ‘language’ and will appreciate any questions you have about it. Do not try to mimic the frequent use of the ‘la’, ‘lo’, ‘leh’ tags though, you’ll only make a fool of yourself. 

Living in Singapore

A true global city, Singapore has something to offer for everybody. Almost anywhere in town you can find big shopping malls selling everything from basic needs to luxury products. Most of them also host a large food court offering scrumptious meals for next-to-nothing (compared to Northern European standards). Singapore also is home to a large expat community, which might have contributed to its bustling nightlife. Be prepared, though: the Singaporean government levies a very high tax on luxurious consumer goods like alcohol and cigarettes.

Singapore has a very extensive public transportation network. Its central ‘nerve’ is the city’s MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) that runs from east to west and north to south. Within the city there is an extensive bus network, although it is rather involved to find a complete map of it. Finally, the city’s public transportation line is directly connected to the Malaysian border in the north, making it easy to pay a quick visit to Singapore’s big neighbor.

Top 3 activities

  • Visit the Marina Bay area, especially at night. There is a daily fountain-light show at 20.00h and 21.30h, and the fully-lit business district and Marina Bay Sands hotel provide a marvellous sight.
  • Have dinner at one of the very many hawker centers around town. The idea is simple: sit down at these open-air food courts and order something from any of the surrounding stalls. Search online which food courts are known for which dish: Chomp Chomp food court, for instance, is famous for its barbecued delicacies (such as barbecue stingray).
  • Eat chicken rice, Singapore’s national dish. It consists of Hainan roasted chicken or pork served with rice that is boiled in

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