The city-state of Singapore: futuristic, smart, well planned, safe, clean, perfect, cited as one of the top cities to live and work, wealthy, civilised.The other side of the coin: an economy based merely on shopping, malls and restaurants anywhere you go (even when you walk to the subway), a modernity that erases heritage even in this new country.
This island country was founded as a trade port by British at the beginning of the 19th century. During the second World War it was invaded by Japan, at the second half of the 20th century gained its independence from Britain; situated at the end of the Malay peninsula, it was forced to be independent, involuntarily, due to its ethnic character. Mentioning its ethnic character we understand mainly Chinese, Malays, Indians, the former has an unwritten superiority. The official language is English and everyone under fifty years speak it fluently. Though the country gained independence only in 1965 how come it could become one of the wealthiest countries on earth in such a short time and named as one of the Asian tigers of the region, it is what surprises you about Singapore.
As for some travel tips, three to four days would be enough to get to know the main attractions of Singapore. The first place you’ll see in Singapore will be the award winning Changi International Airport, it will take you aprox. twenty minutes to get to downtown (you can pay with your credit card to the taxi). The public transportation in Singapore is easy to use, in fact people are encouraged to use the public transportation, the car prices are extremely high. Do not think that you’ll be able to take a taxi easily as you raise your hand as in most of the metropoles; there are certain taxi stops where you can wait for a taxi to arrive or call a taxi booth; that’s why people use often the Uber. Metro is efficient, clean, air conditioned and it takes you every where.
You can spend your first day to enjoy the skyline of the city, starting from the famous Gardens by the Bay, Marina Bay Sands, the promenade along the river to the Merlion Square. If you are into arts you will find museum such as National Gallery, Asian Civilisations Museums, The Arts House, Singapore Art Museum, Arts and Science Museum, all worth visiting. The Botanical Gardens are a Unesco Heritage site and the home of the famous orchids, spend a half day in heaven. You may visit Sentosa Island or Pulau Ubin, other islands at the south. As for the colonial heritage and ethnic neighbourhoods visit Chinatown, Little India, Arab Street, and the colourful streets of Tiang Bahru. Singapore is a shopping and food republic, no doubt you will find tones of restaurants and malls. Welcome to Singapore!