The island nation of Singapore is one of the youngest countries in the world, but it has a rich history that dates back to the third century, when a Chinese traveller deemed it “Pu-luo-chung,” or the “island at the end (of the peninsula that is Malaysia).” According to legend, this fascinating city acquired its current name in the 14th century when Sang Nila Utama, an Indonesian prince from the island city-state then called Srivijaya, sighted a lion, an animal he had never seen before, and founded a city he called Singapura, Sanskrit for “The Lion City.” The modern nation of Singapore consists of a group of islands, and though it lacks its own natural resources, it has become one of the most affluent and stable countries in Asia and has taken its place on the “A-List” of popular destinations for travellers from all around the world.
Location Is Everything
Singapore is strategically located as a link between the Indian and Pacific oceans. It is considered the “gateway to Southeast Asia” and is one of the largest and busiest seaports in the world. Though united by the use of the English language, Singapore is a blend of multicultural influences from the surrounding Asian nations, including China, India, and Malaysia, but it has strong European influences as well. Singapore’s location at the southern tip of the Malaysian Peninsula is central to many locations around Southeast Asia, and it is a popular destination for millions of travellers each year from the Americas, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Australia, New Zealand, and Europe. Also owing to its geographical location is Singapore’s tropical climate, with comfortable year-round temperatures and abundant rainfall that supports its lush, green scenery.
Leisure That Caters to All
The European influences on Singapore’s leisure and hospitality industry are seen in everything from the finest restaurants, hotels, boutiques, and spas to incredible shopping and nightlife. The leisure and hospitality sectors are known to cater to travellers’ tastes and comforts, with beauty spa and facial treatment in Singapore that rival even that of Europe. Both business travellers and holiday travellers alike can find the same pampering leisure services that they would expect in any major European city. The hotels and restaurants offer the finest European and Asian cuisine that could be expected in any first world city.
Diversity of Culture
With so many cultural influences, the shopping and cuisine in Singapore stands out like that of no other major world city. Shopping opportunities range from the crowded street markets of Chinatown to the busy shopping centres and malls of downtown Singapore, both of which offer everything from handmade goods of cultural significance to high quality designer clothing and jewellery. The same can be said of the incredibly diverse range of cuisine that the city offers, including the multicultural street food fare of bustling food courts and markets to the finest Asian- and European-style restaurant dining. The city’s nightlife has something to offer everyone. Whether it be the English- or Australian-style pubs or the happening metropolitan nightclubs, the city seems to have it all.