Why would I travel to Singapore? It has never been easy to move Singapore into a top position on the tourist map. Too hot, not much nature, dirty ocean because of too many ships, almost no historic architecture, no drugs, no chewing gums. But similar to Frankfurt, Dubai or Hongkong, Singapore is one of the world’s major transit hubs for tourists, and at least worth a stay-over. 10+ million tourists do this each year. And this is what they get:
-> 30 to 33 degrees celsius in the shade all year long
-> 80 to 85% humidity every day
-> at least 15 days of rain each month
-> just 10% nature, but 90% urbanized areas
-> 63 islands, but tourists most likely only stay on Pulau Ujong and maybe Sentosa
-> the 3rd highest population density on earth with 7,700 inhabitants per sqkm. All in all 6 million people try to make a living in this place: 74% Chinese, 14% Malay, 9% Indian, 3% others.
Singa Pura means “Lion City”. But there never was any lion. The region used to have tigers long long time ago. But for some inexplicable reason the Merlion became something like a symbol. It’s a pure delusion. But ok, we know this from England, too. Three lions on the shirt … What about three foxes next time maybe? Would make more sense.
It still seems to be a miracle, but it was actually just smart planing and disciplined execution: Within 40 years Singapore went from a corruption driven 3rd world place to a top notch 1st world destination. Singapore has undergone transformations of epic proportions. And this is still work in progress. The modern $3 billion Marina Bay Sands area is now the focal point of the bay with casinos, science museum, free light shows, shopping and dining options that meet highest standards. Singapore hosts elite sport events such as Tennis WTA and Formula 1, it got Universal Studios, Little India, Chinatown, Sentosa and even a bit of colonial-style architecture with the Raffles Hotel from 1887. Another such glimpse of the old Singapore one can still find in Joo Chiat/Katong. This area lets you stroll past heritage shop houses stuffed with Peranakan culture. In Teong Theng at 369 Joo Chiat Road you can find still some wonderful retro rattan furniture in such old colonial shop house. This may be the oldest rattan furniture shop in Singapore. It’s quite charming. Other than that: well … it’s not easy to find a serious reason to travel to Singapore. You might better book a ticket to Gili or Krabi instead.