Your comprehensive travel guide to Singapore - All in one place!
Singapore has been described as a playground for the rich. But Singapore offers more than just high-end shopping malls, luxury hotels, and fine dining. There is also a vibrant history and diverse ethnic quarters to discover, along with many family-friendly attractions and lovely public spaces that make visiting this slightly futuristic city worthwhile. Singapore is one of the easiest and most comfortable countries to navigate in Southeast Asia.
Singapore's strategic location at the southern tip of the Malaysian peninsula has ensured its importance, which is greater than its size might seem to justify. Singapore consists of the island of Singapore and some 63 islets within its territorial waters. The main island is about 42 km from west to east and 23 km from north to south. Singapore's Central Business District actually spreads across both the central and southern parts of the island. The Singapore cityscape looks magnificent, particularly at night when buildings are brilliantly lit. Offshore, there appears to be another city all lit up because of the many ships anchored there. Singapore is one of the busiest seaports in the world.
Many of the city's attractions are clustered closely together. Orchard Road, the shoppers' haven, is located in the northern part of the city center. Chinatown, where you'll find Boat Quay, is just to the southeast of Orchard Road, while Little India is northeast. Sentosa Island, with its many amusements, is directly to the southwest of the city center.
The population of Singapore is a melting pot of complementary ethnic groups, consisting of 77% Chinese, 14% Malay, 8% Indians, 1% Eurasians, plus a sprinkling of people of other descent. Though each of these racial groups still remains distinctive, for instance, in celebrating their own festivals and religious events, they open-heartedly share and celebrate other cultures, too. This acceptance, sensitivity and respect for other cultures are in clear contrast to the strained ethnic relations that exist within many of its neighbouring countries. The festivals themselves are extraordinary, too. These highly colourful events are centred on religion, age-old myths and family traditions. All year round the ethnic quarters and temples of Geylang, Little India and Chinatown come to life. These carnivals of music, dance and food even spill out into the surrounding suburbs, town centres and shopping malls.
Singapore has a population of about three million, 2.7 million of whom are citizens and permanent residents. The other three hundred thousand are mainly foreign workers. The Chinese constitute about 78 percent, the Malays 14 percent, the Indians 7 percent, and others 1 percent of the population. The ethnic composition of the population has been relatively stable.