Singapore – The (Mer)Lion City
Are you someone who loves cities more than the rural? Are you someone who loves latest technology? Are you someone who absolutely LOVES shopping? Well, if you answered any of these as YES, then Singapore is for you!
Actually, Singapore has many things that attract tourists from all over the world, making it an amazing destination for your next vacation. Sited off the southern tip of Malay Peninsula, Singapore is made up of 63 islands and is thus known by the sobriquet Island Country.
Legend has it:
Singapore got its name when a prince of the Sumatran Srivijaya Empire, Sang Nila Utama, was sailing in the waters around Singapore in the 1200s. He was hunting on one of the islands in the region, when he chased a deer and in the process saw another island, not too far away; one with white beaches that looked like a sheet of cloth. He was told that the island was called Temasek (Singapore’s traditional name).
Once on Temasek, the king began his hunt again and saw an animal with an orange mane. His minister told him that is was a lion, or ‘singha’. Believing that it was a good omen, the prince decided to stay in Singapore and named the island ‘Singapura’, or, ‘Lion City’.
Today, we know that Singapore was never home to lions, but it was home to the Malayan tiger. Also, becoming one of the most tourist visited attraction is the Merlion, with the head of the lion that represents Singapore’s strength and confidence.
People & Culture:
Singapore is mostly inhabited by people from various countries including China, Indonesia, Middle East and Malay Peninsula, thus, making it a country of mixed culture, customs, tradition and language. The multifaceted culture of the region is also reflected in its authentic food, a unique mix of Malay, Chinese, Indian and Western elements.
Well, like we said, if you love shopping, this is where you need to be! There is an annual Singapore Shopping Festival that attracts people from all over the world.
Apart from that – owing to the diversity in culture, festivals of China, India and other countries are celebrated with enthusiasm in Singapore.
The most eminent festivals of the region include Hungry Ghost Festival, Hari Raya Puasa, Art Festival and Chinese New Year. Singapore Food Festival, Chingay Parade and Singapore Grand Prix are other popular events that would interest you. A lot of the cultural activities in the city have a leaning to the Chinese calendar. The Chinese New Year is one of the major attractions here.
According to the Constitution of Singapore, the four official languages of Singapore are Malay, Mandarin, Tamil, and English, while the national language is Malay.
We strongly recommend street food! However, if you’re looking for some help, you could opt for these three noodle dishes that stand out in Singapore cuisine. “Fried Hokkien mee”, fried egg noodles with prawns, sliced pork and gravy, “Nonya laksa”, rice noodles served in a coconut prawn broth and “Char Kuey Teow”, fried rice noodles with prawns, chinese sausage, lard and cockles.
Best time to visit:
Due to its proximity to the Equator, weather in Singapore usually remains sunny with high temperature and humidity. There are no distinct seasons; however, what does vary greatly is rainfall. So, whenever you plan to go, do carry an umbrella!
The National Anthem is printed in microtext on the back of the $1000 note
There were no lions in this lion city
It is one of the three surviving city-states of the world