Between futuristic skylines, thriving green spaces and a spirited local culture, Singapore has quickly become one of Asia’s most exciting travel destinations.
Malay legend says that a Sumatran prince saw a strange animal he believed to be a lion while visiting the island. The good omen prompted him to found a city on the spot of the sighting, which he called Singapura (“Lion City”). After Portuguese colonization and Dutch control, colonial Singapore was founded in 1819 as a trading post of the British East India Company. The island remained in British hands until WWII when it came under Japanese occupation before finally achieving independence in 1965. One of the most prominent global success stories, Singapore was transformed from developing nation into one of the world’s safest, prosperous and safest nations in the span of just a single generation.
Famously known as the “city in a garden,” Singapore places a strong emphasis on sustainability, green spaces and a sense of environment. What’s even more impressive is how the modern skyline and glass-fronted buildings is so seamlessly blended in with these living green spaces. Throughout the island, you’ll have your pick of both the latest in international food trends and traditional local fare that will equally leave your tastebuds tingling. Head to Orchard Road for an outstanding selection of sparkling boutiques and gigantic department stores, a striking contrast to the incense-filled temples of Little India and the city’s world-famous night markets.
Boasting one of the world’s most efficient and widespread transit systems, getting around in Singapore is incredibly easy. The island nation sits a hair north of the equator and doesn’t really change during the seasons, so expect hot and humid weather around the calendar with more showers between November and February. When it comes to eating out, open-air hawker centers, kopitiams (coffee shops) and humble food courts all serve up knockout street food at wallet-friendly prices. On the local scene, the quality of the food being served is much more important than reputation and ambiance, so don’t be surprised if you spot a group of well-dressed businessmen comfortable dining on plastic chairs with meals from a food stall.