In celebration of Singapore’s 47th birthday, here is a list of reasons why I love Singapore.
It has been almost 3 months since I started living here. My initial thought before moving is that I would definitely feel suffocated in such a small country. Since I will not be working, such thought was strengthened. But after some time, I realized that this “little red dot” has more to offer than I expected.
1. City in a Garden
Urban planning in Singapore is superb. As I have mentioned on my earlier posts about this country, gardens and parks are everywhere in Singapore. There will always be one close to your area. The greenery adds to the feeling that Singapore is not cramped up despite its urban development. Highways are lined up with heritage trees and even residents of HDBs and condominiums have their own small in-house gardens. Theme parks and well-kept zoos are also favorite attractions here. The Singapore Botanic Gardens, Singapore Zoo and Jurong Bird Park are must-visits.
2. Cultural Diversity
For such a small area, it is amazing that Singapore’s population is much more culturally diverse as one would expect. Such diversity is manifested into its rich cultural heritage. One of its slogans, Where Worlds Meet, is a perfect description of what you will encounter once you set foot here. Because of this diversity and openness, Singapore is a friendly host to expats and tourists alike.
3. The Strong Sense of Statehood
Some say that Singapore is not really a country but a company that is why they have to continuously emphasize their statehood. I used to say that too. Whatever criticism against it, this set-up works perfectly for this small country. The pride of being an independent nation is always on TV and print advertisements especially with the National Day celebrations in the air. So, even for a foreigner like me, the manifested pride of Singaporeans is quite infectious. Check out the this year’s theme song and video for the National Day Parade which was held yesterday, August 9, 2012.
4. Organized Information for All
Information dissemination in Singapore is well-organized, always updated and readily available. Where to go, how to go, what to see, guidelines can easily be found in the internet making planning before any trip easy. Bus and MRT routes are also available together with their arrival and departure times. This makes commuting very convenient and weekends well-spent. These organized information are also vital for tourists.
5. Public Facilities and Infrastructures
Speaking of convenient commuting, public transportation, facilities and infrastructures in Singapore are managed properly and maintained regularly. Maintenance workers are up and about at night after the rush hour that is why you cannot see them often so as not to hinder the daily movement of people with their constructions, maintenance, etc.
6. Cityscape and the Marina Bay
The skyline of Singapore, especially at night, is truly breathtaking. People flock around Marina Bay for spectacular laser shows or just to while the night away watching the lights of the buildings, the Singapore flyer and their bright reflections on the water. You can also opt for a river cruise if you want to see the cityscape from a different perspective.
7. International Hub and the Airport
Having the most awarded airport and known as an international hub, it is convenient and oftentimes cheap to travel to its neighboring countries. Singapore makes a great first impression with its state-of-the-art international airport offering services to make traveling convenient. Orchids, the national flower of Singapore, decorate the lounges, massage chairs are free of use, restaurants, coffee shops and boutiques make the wait for connecting flights more bearable and they have free shuttle services that go around the city if you have a few hours to spare.
8. Hawker Centers
With hawker centers around, it seems that there is a year-long food festival in the country. A variety of dishes, Chinese, Indian, Malay and even Western cuisines, are available in very affordable prices. But I think the ambiance—the aroma of the food, the noise of chattering people—adds up to that exotic experience of eating at a hawker center. The diversity of this country truly reflects everywhere, especially in their food.
9. The Great Singapore Sale
I arrived here on the first day of the Great Singapore Sale and it really brought out the shopper in me. With jaw-dropping discounts and other promotional freebies, this almost 2-month long sale is seriously tempting. I was surprised with how cheap the price tags could be of items that are usually expensive in the Philippines. No, I didn’t deplete my pockets.
10. Sentosa Island
With a mere area of 1.5 square miles, this southern island of Singapore boasts a number of attractions, theme parks, beaches, hotels, restaurants and a golf course, among others. Claiming to be Asia’s Favourite Playground, a day is not enough to enjoy all the amenities of this island. A common tourist spot, it also houses Singapore’s Universal Studios.
Last night, we went to see the National Day celebrations at Marina Bay and the fireworks display was really spectacular. I wish I could have taken a better video of it. But here’s the best I could get.
What do you like most about Singapore?