A gateway to Asia and beyond, Singapore is a young, dynamic nation and a cosmopolitan city of possibilities. We are home to a bustling Central Business District, the famed shopping belt Orchard
Road, a vibrant arts and entertainment scene, lively dining and drinking spots, and various must-see attractions. We are inspired by our rich culture and heritage, yet geared for the future. But what makes Singapore truly a great city? Passionate Singaporeans. Our can-do spirit and drive for excellence
push us to chase our dreams and make Singapore a better place. We have been put on the world map by the likes of para-swimmer Yip Pin Xiu, who broke the world record to win gold in the 2016 Rio Paralympics, and director Anthony Chen, who bagged a series of international awards for his debut film, Ilo Ilo. If anything, these people are living examples that any dream can become a reality with passion and determination.
We are proud of these achievements, but even prouder of our sense of community, diverse cultures, rich heritage, and all the quirks that make us who we are. Most of all, we love being Singaporean, and we’re excited to share our passion for Singapore with our visitors.
OLD MEETS NEW IN SURPRISING WAYS
In Singapore, history is alive and well; through an active conservation programme, we have found a way to grow as a modern city while continuing to honour the work of early immigrants who designed and erected our colonial architecture. Heritage enclaves exist alongside skyscrapers, and the iconic Marina Bay area (see Neighbourhoods, Lifestyle Precincts, p77) evokes a city of the future with landmarks like the Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay, Gardens by the Bay, Marina Bay Sands
TALES & LEGENDS
l According to legend, Singapore got its name when Sang Nila Utama, a prince from Palembang, Indonesia, caught sight of a lion while out hunting. l He established a settlement on the island where he saw the animal and named it “The Lion City” or Singapura, from the Sanskrit words simha (lion) and pura (city).
Did you know?
Modern Singapore was founded in the 19th century by Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, who negotiated a treaty with the local rulers and established Singapore as an entrepôt for trade. l In 1959, Lee Kuan Yew became the first prime minister of Singapore. A nature lover, he introduced the “garden city” vision in May 1967 and earned himself the unofficial title of “Chief Gardener” as he encouraged treeplanting and the creation of parks and green spaces all over the island. Today, we are home to more than 300 parks, four nature reserves and the awardwinning super park Gardens by the Bay