Singapore is a great destination to visit in Asia. Known as the Garden City, it is the perfect place to include on a journey in Southeast Asia. Here are a few quirky facts about this small, but multi-ethnic country.
- Singapore consists only of one main island and 63 other tiny islands. Most of these islands are uninhabited.
- Singapore is among the 20 smallest countries in the world, with a total land area of only 682.7 square kilometres. The USA is about 15,000 times bigger.
- Apart from Monaco, Singapore is the most densely populated country in the world, with 6,430 people per square kilometre.
- Singapore became the 117th member of the United Nations on September 21, 1965.
- Symbolism of the National Flag: Red symbolizes universal brotherhood and equality of man, while white signifies purity and virtue. The crescent moon represents a young nation on the rise and the five stars signify the ideals of democracy, peace, progress, justice, and equality.
- The national flower is Vanda Miss Joaquim, was first discovered in 1893 by Agnes Joaquim, an avid gardiner of Armenian descent. The orchid is a natural hybrid between V. teres and V. hookeriana.
- The Merlion, a half-fish, half-lion beast, is a fitting symbol of Singapore. The “Singa” or lion represents the animal that a Sumatran prince saw which resembled a lion, and the fish is a tribute to the country’s history as “Temasek”, the ancient sea town.
- Singlish, a Singaporean patois mixing English with the odd phrase of Chinese, Malay, and even Tamil, has two entries – lah and sinseh – in the online version of the Oxford English Dictionary.
- Although English is the official working language and the most widely used, the national anthem “Majulah Singapura” is actually sung in Malay.
- The flying fox, also known as the Malayan flying fox, is the world’s largest bat with a wingspan of up to 1.5 metres. It can be found on Pulau Ubin, one of the islands off mainland Singapore.
- Singapore is a stopover point for thousands of migratory birds travelling the East Asian Flyway.
- The country is home to the world’s first night zoo, the Night Safari.
- Despite being largely urbanized, Singapore is the largest exporter of ornamental fish (25% of the world market).
- The Bukit Timah Nature Reserve contains more species of trees than the entire North American continent.
- Singapore has a very flat terrain and the highest natural point is Bukit Timah Hill, at only 164 metres tall.
- Buildings cannot be higher than 280 metres. There are presently three buildings of that height: OUB Centre, UOB Plaza, and Republic Plaza.
- The world’s highest man-made waterfall, standing at 30 metres, is located at the Jurong Bird Park.
- The largest fountain in the world is located in Singapore’s Suntec City. Made of cast bronze, it cost an estimated US$6 million to build in 1997.
- The buildings of Suntec City have been built in the shape of a palm of a hand, symbolizing good “feng shui”.
- The first Singaporean film to be shown at the Cannes Film Festival was director, Eric Khoo’s 12 Storeys, in 1997.
- More Singaporeans are born in the month of October than any other month of the year.
- Nearly 9 out of 10 Singaporeans live in public housing flats.
- The most common Chinese surnames are Tan, Lim, and Lee.
- There are more than 3,000 kilometres of roads. Stretched end to end, they can cover the distance from there to Hong Kong.
- The Singapore Sling was first served in 1915 at the Long Bar of the Raffles Hotel. The ingredients are gin, Cointreau, cherry brandy, Dom Benedictine, pineapple juice, Grenadine, Angoustura bitters, and limes.
4-Day Singapore Fling
12-Day Exotic South East Asia
3-Day Raffles Hotel – Stay of Distinction