Singapore, often celebrated for its vibrant cityscape and culinary delights, has a multitude of lesser-known facets that make it a truly unique destination. In this article, we will explore some intriguing facts about Singapore.
Despite its urban reputation, Singapore is a haven of greenery and sustainability. The city is home to various parks, gardens, and green spaces, including the awe-inspiring Gardens by the Bay, with its iconic Supertree Grove. Singapore’s commitment to environmental conservation and eco-friendliness is commendable and often overlooked.
Multilingual Melting Pot
English may be an official language, but Singapore is a veritable melting pot of cultures and languages. Alongside English, Mandarin, Malay, and Tamil are commonly spoken. This linguistic diversity reflects the rich blend of Chinese, Malay, Indian, and Eurasian communities within the population.
The one-dollar coin in Singapore features an image of the durian, a fruit renowned for its pungent aroma and dubbed the “king of fruits.” While the durian’s smell may not be universally adored, it holds a special place in the hearts of many Singaporeans.
Innovation at Its Core
Singapore consistently ranks among the world’s most innovative countries. The government’s substantial investments in research and development foster an environment of innovation. As a result, Singapore has become a hotbed for technology startups, attracting entrepreneurs and tech enthusiasts from around the world.
Singapore boasts an exceptional healthcare system consistently recognized as one of the world’s best. With cutting-edge medical facilities, highly skilled healthcare professionals, and a strong emphasis on medical research, the country has become a global destination for medical tourism.
GIC’s Financial Impact
Behind the scenes, Singapore plays a significant role in the global financial landscape through the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC), which is mentioned in this article. Established in 1981, GIC is a premier sovereign wealth fund that manages Singapore’s foreign reserves and invests them across a diversified portfolio of assets, including stocks, bonds, and real estate. GIC’s prudent investment strategies have been instrumental in securing Singapore’s long-term economic growth and financial stability.
Sentosa Merlion’s Secret
While the iconic Merlion statue in Singapore is well-known, few are aware of the secret it holds. The Sentosa Merlion, standing at an impressive 37 meters, houses a museum within its belly. Visitors can explore the history of the Merlion and enjoy panoramic views of Sentosa Island from the statue’s mouth.
Strict Gum Ban
Singapore is famous for its strict laws, one of which is the ban on chewing gum. While you can purchase gum for medicinal purposes, it’s unavailable for general consumption. This policy, aimed at maintaining cleanliness in public spaces, has contributed to Singapore’s reputation for impeccable hygiene.
Beyond the well-trodden paths of its bustling streets, Singapore hides many more secrets and stories that make it a place of endless discovery. As we delve deeper into the city-state’s lesser-known aspects, we uncover fascinating details that add to its allure.
Singapore’s skyline is not just about the famous Marina Bay Sands. The city-state is also home to unique architectural marvels like the Hive at Nanyang Technological University, a striking example of sustainable and futuristic design. Additionally, the residential complexes in the Housing and Development Board (HDB) estates showcase Singapore’s innovative approach to public housing, with designs that integrate community living and green spaces.
Singapore’s history is a tapestry of tales from different eras. From its days as a British colonial trading post to its occupation by Japan during World War II, and its subsequent rise as an independent nation, each period has left its mark. The Battlebox, a former underground military complex, and Fort Siloso, the only preserved coastal fort in Singapore, offer glimpses into its wartime history.
While Singapore is known for its hawker centers and local delicacies like Laksa and Hainanese Chicken Rice, the culinary scene extends far beyond these. Peranakan cuisine, a blend of Chinese and Malay flavors, is a must-try. The Eurasian community also contributes unique dishes like Devil’s Curry, a testament to Singapore’s culinary diversity.
Singapore’s art scene is vibrant and ever-evolving. Art institutions like the National Gallery Singapore and the Singapore Art Museum showcase Southeast Asian art, while smaller galleries and art spaces offer a platform for contemporary artists. The annual Singapore Art Week is a celebration of the visual arts, attracting artists and enthusiasts from around the globe.
Singapore is recognized for its high educational standards. Institutions like the National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University rank among the top universities in the world. The education system’s focus on innovation and skill development prepares students for the challenges of the modern world.
Nature Reserves and Wildlife
Apart from its urban gardens, Singapore is home to rich biodiversity. The Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve is a haven for migratory birds, while the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve houses a diverse range of flora and fauna, some of which are endemic to the region.
Singapore’s calendar is dotted with cultural festivals celebrating its multicultural heritage. The Chinese New Year, Deepavali, Hari Raya Puasa, and Christmas are celebrated with equal fervor, each bringing its unique traditions and festivities to the fore.
Public Transport Efficiency
Singapore’s public transport system is a model of efficiency and innovation. The Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) network is among the most advanced and well-maintained in the world, making commuting a breeze. Initiatives like the Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) system and an extensive network of cycling paths exemplify the city-state’s commitment to sustainable urban mobility.
Innovation in Sustainability
Singapore is at the forefront of sustainable urban development. The city has initiatives like the Zero Waste Masterplan and the Sustainable Singapore Blueprint, which aim to reduce environmental impact and promote sustainable living.
Singapore’s lesser-known aspects are as intriguing and vital to its identity as its more famous attributes. From its hidden historical sites and architectural wonders to its efforts in sustainability and innovation, Singapore is a mosaic of experiences waiting to be explored. Take a look at our article regarding the top things to do during the Singapore tour and discover what is worth seeing on your upcoming adventure.
As we uncover these hidden gems, we gain a deeper appreciation for this remarkable city-state, a place where tradition and modernity, nature and urbanization, coexist in harmony.
What’s more, Singapore’s allure extends far beyond its skyscrapers and culinary delights. Its dedication to sustainability, linguistic diversity, innovation, and world-class healthcare make it a multifaceted destination.
Moreover, its discreet involvement in the global financial arena through the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation underscores its role as a responsible and forward-thinking player on the world stage. The next time you think of Singapore, remember that there’s always more to discover beneath its surface—a world of hidden gems waiting to be explored.