Country - Singapore
Singapore Country Information
Serious businessmen may think of Singapore as a potential commercial centre suitable for expanding their business overseas or establishing new ventures; when a layman is allowed a chance to spend a lavish free holiday trip his immediate vociferous choice would be nothing else but Singapore-and-Singapore-alone !
Singapore has been the much sought-after destination for business magnates of rigid tenacity as well as for the pleasure-seeking holidayers for the past several decades. It is an eclectic focal point of academics, finance, healthcare, life expectancy, manufacturing, technology, trade, logistics and international tourism. The standard of living is said to be of world-class. The Human Development Index was 0.932 ranking 9th in the world as of 2017. Singapore stands 2nd in the world in terms of EODB (Ease of doing Business) after New Zealand as per the World Bank ratings. No wonder that Singapore is the first name that springs up in the mind of foreign businessmen while extending their overseas corporate presence or commencing a new venture. The spirit of holidaying is omnipresent in the country making it as the natural choice for revelling and enjoying multifarious ways of entertainment.
The island city of Singapore is situated in close proximity at the southern tip of Malaysian Peninsula. The southern border of Singapore is a coastline with the confluence waters of South China Sea and Strait of Malacca that separate Singapore from Riau islands of Indonesia. The air travel distance between Singapore and Malaysia is 234 miles or 377 kilometers.
The triumphant saga of Singapore from a developing phase to the developed status in the lifetime of a single generation can be mainly attributed to the adorable stewardship of its founding father Lee Kuan Yew. Singapore became a sovereign state in 1965 delinking itself from Malaysian peninsula and emerged pretty quickly between 1960s and 1990s as one among the four economically prosperous nations including Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan known as Asian Tigers. The praiseworthy consistent achievement of growth rate at 6% in the transition period has kept aloft the living standard of people, surpassing that of its peers.
The total population was 5.6 million as per the estimate in 2018 and the average density of population was 7804 per square kilometer. The per capita GDP (PPP) was US$ 98014 ranking third in the world. The country has market based economy creating business-friendly milieu on the land. The total quantum of exports in 2017 was US$373.3 billion and the chief items of exports were integrated assemblies, processed petroleum oils, unwrought gold, phones, computers and material related to semi-conductors. The main commodities of imports were machinery and equipment, mineral fuels, chemicals, foodstuffs and consumer goods. The gross value of imports was US$325.75 billion with a trade surplus of US$ 47.55 billion.
Singapore is never short of sightseeing places to amuse tourists, since its independence. The etymological meaning of Singapore, the Lion City, is exhibited by the 28-foot Merlion white statue which has body of fish with a thick-maned lion head. Sitting majestically on a high pedestal, with its forked tip of fishtail curved on to the belly like a hair-pin, the half-opened mouth of the lion head jettisons a narrow stream of water into a pond in front of it. The Merlion statue is considered as iconic symbol of Singapore city. Whenever a mention needs to be made of Singapore by the tourism department, the symbol of Merlion often appears as a brand icon of the country. At present, there are five Merlion statues spread across the city, the biggest of them located in Sentosa Island, reaching a height of 37 meters.
The Singapore Botanical Gardens is the only botanic garden in the world that opens at 5.00 AM to midnight everyday which does not levy any admission fee except for the National Orchid Garden. One gets to see a collection of more than 60,000 species of plants and orchids in the National Orchid Garden. The native plant Tembusu, aged 150 years is the special tree in the park.
The Jurong Bird Park is tightly packed with entertaining activities of brightly colourful birds. The front portal greets the visitors with a curved archway adorned with bright pink flowered tendrils. Yellow bellied bright blue winged parrots are the eye-pleasing attractions just a little ahead of the entrance into the area. Inside the park, there is a pool amphitheatre which is the epicenter of merriment. The amphitheatre is in the shape of a stadium and the spectators from the gallery shout in cheerful jubilation watching the various skills displayed by colourful parrots and other birds. It is a common knowledge that parrots are capable of repeating words uttered by humans and other short sounds. The well-trained parrots in the Jubong Bird Park have an edge over normal parrots and are capable of singing at a stretch all the four lines of the world famous song “Happy Birthday to You”. More importantly, the anchor of the bird show collects the name/s of the spectators whose birthday coincides with the day of the show and urges the parrot to include the names of birthday boys/girls in the third line of the quartet “Happy Birthday to You (Mr. or Mrs)…xxxxxx..”. Parrots singing the entire lengthy lines of the quartet, duly uttering the name of the spectators in the third line without damaging the original tune of the song are the highlight of the show. As if this is not enough to amuse the audience, parrots recite the English numerals from one to ten at-a-stretch slowly and clearly, without being prompted by anybody. Colourful birds of other species too keep the spectators guffawing by their innumerable aerobics, no inferior to those performed by gymnasts in a circus. Apart from the bird show, the vivid colours of birds of various species make for a pleasant feast to the eyes. It is a beautiful paradise of countless birds !
Sentosa Island is one of the widest theme parks in the city, built for the sole purpose of fun and recreation for visitors. The major attractions include sprawling Resorts World, the Universal Studios, Tiger Sky Tower, Singapore Butterfly and Insect Kingdom and one of the largest collections of marine animals called SEA aquarium.
The Crane Dance Show at the Resorts World happens every night displaying different water jets illuminated with various colours around the slow-moving crane like structures. The show tries to narrate visually a love story of birds which can be seen free of cost.
Certain shows are not mere constrained for watching; viewers too have a chance to take part in the activities. Siloso beach is abuzz with recreational games in the sandy shores. Out of them, beach volley ball attracts most number of visitors and participants. People of both genders get tempted to join the beach games, more particularly hunks and babes with chiselled bodies of perfect shapes attained by regular physical work-outs.
The Universal Studios is a huge campus encompassing innumerable sites of entertainment. The inner roads are mainly meant for pedestrians and personal vehicles are prohibited on the inner precinct. A quick view of all the places can be had by gliding in trollies hanging below the elevated robust skyway pipe-tracks that run through the entire area. Visitors come across several shopping malls and ornate building complexes which entertain children and grown-ups. The models of cartoon characters like minions, crowned frog prince in the middle of a pond, green statue of Shrek at the entrance of a Royal castle, ominous portal leading to Jurassic Park akin to that in the Hollywood movie of the same name, larger than life statues of Egypt sphinx, pharaohs, phoenixes and weird animal structures found in hieroglyphics of Egypt murals, water-world with a wide range of aquatic activities, boat rides, sci-fi city embellished by massive robotic humanoid structures, fortresses with outer conical canopied pillars in German style are a few of the numerous attractions inside the campus.
The Helix Bridge links Marina Bay to Marina centre and is located next to Benjamin Sheares Bridge alongside the vehicular Bayfront Bridge. The three towers connected with one another in their rooftops by a canoe-shaped structure is another landmark of Singapore. Gardens by the bay is an area housing artificially built giant tree-stem like structures in the middle of which is a highly elevated semi-circular banistered skywalk to facilitate viewers to watch the green space and the hustle-bustle of dynamic city from an altitude.
Singapore is also home to cultural museums, Hindu temples painted in vivid colours and Buddhist monasteries. The city is a compact world of diverse culture, multiple religions, entertainment, hard work, serious business activities and earnest governance perpetually committed to consistent multifaceted progress and prosperity.