Singapore – the very name summons visions of the mysterious East. The commercial center of Southeast Asia, this island city-state of four million people is a metropolis of modern high-rise buildings, Chinese shop-houses with red-tiled roofs, sturdy Victorian buildings, Buddhist temples, and Arab bazaars.
Founded in 1819 by Sir Stamford Raffles of the fabled East India Company, the city is a melting pot of people and cultures.
Malay, Chinese, English, and Tamil are official languages. Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Hinduism, and Christianity are the major faiths. It’s an ever-fascinating island boasting colorful traditions, luxurious hotels, and some of the finest duty-free shopping in the world.
Lying just 85 miles north of the Equator at the tip of the Malay Peninsula, the island was a haven for Malay pirates and Chinese and Arab traders.
Singapore has emerged as one of the world’s most prosperous countries. It’s a financial center, an achievement in urban planning, and serves as a model for developing nations. It’s also one of our most popular travel destinations!
Here are interesting facts;
- Singapore’s national anthem is in micro-text on the back of their $1,000 note.
- Is one of only three surviving city-states in the world. The other two are Monaco and Vatican City.
- Sang Nila Utama, a prince from Palembang, saw a creature he thought was a lion and named the island “Singapura” which means “Lion City” in Sanskrit. However, there have never been lions outside of captivity in Singapore.
- In addition to its main island, the nation of Singapore includes 63 additional islands, most of which are uninhabited.
- It’s among the 20 smallest countries in the world, with a total land area of only 682.7 square kilometers. The United States is about 15,000 times bigger.
- The red of Singapore’s flag represents universal brotherhood and equality of man while the white symbolizes purity and virtue. The crescent moon stands for a young nation on the rise and the five stars signify the ideals of democracy, peace, progress, justice and equality.
- Singapore’s Bukit Timah Nature Reserve holds more species of trees than the entire North American continent.
- Buildings cannot be higher than 280 meters. Currently, there are three buildings of that height – OUB Centre, UOB Plaza, and Republic Plaza.
- The Guinness book record for the longest human domino chain was set in Singapore on September 30, 2000. It was formed by 9,234 students and measured 4.2km. 27.
- Singapore has more than 3,000 kilometers of roads. Stretched out end to end, they would cover the distance from Singapore to Hong Kong.
- The national language of Singapore is Malay. The four official languages of the country are English, Chinese, Tamil, and Malay.
- Singapore unveiled its national flag on 3 Dec 1959, the day Yusof bin Ishak was inaugurated. Today, it is a symbol of the country’s independence. However, an interesting fact about Singapore’s flag you may not know is that its initial design did not feature a crescent moon and five stars. Instead, it had three stars, bearing a striking resemblance to the Malayan Communist Party’s flag. To prevent any potential political conflict, the government redesigned the flag into the iconic symbol we know today!
- This next interesting fact about Singapore is one for Disney fans. If you’ve ever taken the North East Line, you may have noticed the abnormally long distance between Yio Chu Kang MRT and Khatib MRT. It takes around six minutes to travel between these two stations. To put things into context, the travel time between two stations is usually around two to four minutes!
- Founded on 19 Nov 2001 in Singapore, the WTO is a global non-profit organization dedicated to improving toilet and sanitation conditions around the world.
- While at first glance a world body on toilets may sound somewhat goofy, the organization importantly highlights the worldwide sanitation crisis. The organization has been backed by 122 countries and World Toilet Day was since initiated. The organization has undoubtedly left a mark on the world!