Singapore Fun Facts

January 23, 2024

Paul Kay

Have you been to Singapore? You should add it as a destination vacation. Singapore is both a city and a country. It is a sovereign city-state located in Southeast Asia. It is unique in that it is a single city that functions as an independent country. The entire land area of Singapore is considered one urban area, and the city itself is the capital and the largest city of the country. Singapore is one of the smallest countries in the world in terms of land area. However, despite its small size, it is densely populated and packs a lot of economic, cultural, and social significance into its compact territory. It also has a very interesting and diverse history.

Sang Nila Utama at Raffles Landing Site

Its name came from Sang Nila Utama, a Srivijayan prince of Palembang during the 14th century.  The Prince was on a hunting trip near the mouth of the Singapore River and saw a lion which was considered to be a good sign.  

Singapura at night in Singapore

The location of the lion was named Singapura meaning Lion City in Sanskrit. The above picture is the statue found at Merlion Park near the Central Business District. The Merlion is part-lion and part-fish. The Merlion’s fish-like body symbolizes Singapore’s origins as a fishing village. The head represents the city’s original name of Singapura (lion city in Sanskrit). 

Sir Thomas Stamford Bingley Raffles

The city was ruled by many kings as a trading post for the Chinese, Arabs, Portuguese and English.  One of the English traders had a significant influence.  His name was Sir Thomas Stamford Bingley Raffles.  He saw the significance of the port city for trading and wanted to protect it from the Dutch and Portuguese.  In 1822, Raffles essentially was the city planner.  Traders came from China, Europe, Asia and Arabia so he divided the city into quarters for each ethnic group of traders.

Raffles Hotel Singapore

Today, Sir Thomas is known for his name on the iconic hotel. This is where you should go to try an authentic Singapore Sling. The Singapore sling is a gin-based sling cocktail developed sometime before 1915 by bartender Ngiam Tong Boon, who was working at the Long Bar in Raffles Hotel, Singapore.

The Japanese occupied Singapore but handed it back to the British after the war.  In 1963, Malaysia was formed, which merged Malaya, Singapore, Sarawak, and North Borneo into a single country.  For Singapore, the merger was short-lived and less than two years later, it left to become an independent nation.

Singapore at Sunset

Today, Singapore is a very small but very vibrant country at the tip of Malaysia.  You can easily enter Malaysia for a tour, and you’ll see differences as soon as you enter Malaysia.  Singapore may be small, but it is hugely productive and clean.  When we visited, there were strict rules about litter, swearing and many other public decency rules.  

There is nothing prohibitive about the country for a tourist.  They welcome tourism and have plenty to offer everyone.  Some of the top attractions in Singapore are:

Marina Bay Sands Hotel is an integrated resort fronting Marina Bay and is one of the world`s most expensive standalone casino property

  1. Marina Bay Sands: A luxurious hotel and resort with a rooftop infinity pool offering panoramic views of the city.
Madeline in the Botanic Garden in Singapore
  1. Singapore Botanic Gardens: This is a 164-year-old tropical garden located at the fringe of the Orchard Road shopping district in Singapore. It is one of three gardens, and the only tropical garden, to be honored as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  2. Sentosa Island: A resort island with a variety of attractions, including Universal Studios Singapore, S.E.A. Aquarium, and a Merlion.
  3. Orchard Road: Singapore’s famous shopping street, lined with malls, boutiques, and department stores.
Riverwalk Singapore
  1. Clarke Quay: A historic riverside neighborhood with a vibrant nightlife scene and an array of dining and entertainment options.
  2. Chinatown: A culturally rich neighborhood with historic temples, traditional shops, and delicious street food.
Merlion Singapura Singapore
  1. Merlion Park: A iconic park featuring the Merlion statue, a mythical creature with the head of a lion and the body of a fish.
Elephants at Singapore Zoo
Singapore Zoo
  1. Singapore Zoo: A world-famous wildlife park with over 2,800 animals from more than 300 species.
  2. Universal Studios Singapore: A theme park featuring rides and attractions based on popular movies and TV shows.
  3. Singapore Flyer: It is the world’s largest giant observation wheel.
Kusu Island
  1. Kusu Island: Located approximately 4 miles off the coast of Singapore, this culture-rich destination is home to picturesque views, ancient relics, sacred temples, and live tortoises

The economic climate of Singapore brings plenty of high-tech firms to the country to manufacture goods. The big ones include Meta, Apple, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Salesforce, HP, Twitter, IBM, Visa, VMWare, PayPal, Oracle and Zoom. There are plenty more. 

For hotels, we can recommend The Grand Hyatt and the Andaz. We love them both.

We enjoyed visiting the country for many reasons.  Singapore is essential a city-state.  When you are in the country of Singapore, you are in the city as well.  Singapore is small.  Malaysia is about 500 times bigger than Singapore, yet the GDP is about the same.  

Singapore is a wonderful place to visit. From there, you can easily fly to Bali, Kuala Lumpur, Vietnam, Manila and even Australia. We have been to all of these places and more. Keep coming back to our blog to see more reviews and history about the world of travel.

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