Singapore is an island country in Southeast Asia, just off the Malay Peninsula and 85 miles north of the equator. The country is young but well developed with leaning skyscrapers, diverse communities and unique buildings. Singapore has many cultures living within it, as a result there is a very diverse way of life with people speaking many languages and worshiping a number of different religions. Such a wide range of cultures makes the country very accepting of others.
In 1963 Singapore gained independence from the United Kingdom. Many of the people who lived in Singapore went there from India, Malaysia and China in seek of labouring work to earn money. After independence was granted the process of finding a single Singaporean identity began. The country has been called a society in transition because of the fact that the people who live there do not speak the same language, share religious beliefs or even come from the same culture. English is declared to be the nation’s first language, however in a census by the government, just 80% of Singaporeans were literate in English. The diverse culture can be noticed when you walk the streets to see mosques, synagogues and churches.
The main streets in Singapore are busy, colourful and filled with the inviting aromas of street food. It is here where you can devour delicious prawn noodles or a bowl of Wee Nam Kee chicken. Food from the street vendors is bursting with local flavours and is irresistible after a long day walking through the streets and shopping in the malls.
The island is small and the population is large at 5,312,400. The large population means that things can feel rather crowded in the main streets. Pedestrians and drivers have to keep to the left to ensure a smooth travel for everyone, whether on foot or in a car.
There are not too many private cars in Singapore, however taxis flood the roads. Car prices are much higher in the country and the cost for just obtaining a Singaporean certificate of Entitlement would buy you a Porsche Boxter in America. Just one in every 10 people own cars due to the expense, many choose the cheaper alternative of traveling by bicycle, on foot, bus, train and taxis.
In the dark of night the city of Singapore lights up. The stunning skyline reflects off of the Singapore River and illuminates the sky. On the river there aren’t just straight up skyscrapers, there is even a quirky building which has curved sides and looks as though a space ship has landed on top of its roof.
Singapore is warm and wet. The tropical rainforest climate means that there are no actual defined seasons. The geographical location means that the country has high humidity and lots of rainfall, with around 92.1 inches each year. The sun shines strongest in March, with the highest recorded temperature at 36 degrees. Singaporeans dress in clothes suitable for the heat and humidity, wearing T-shirts, shorts and slippers.