Singapore, I must say, is one of the finest cities or countries that I’ve ever visited thus far. In layman’s language, it’s clean, neat, organized and well maintained. The people communicate well, they are friendly. Many countries envy Singapore – it’s an international finance center, one of the world’s busiest shipping ports in addition to being a major Asian air transport hub. It’s also fast becoming a home to thriving expats from the world over.
My first encounter with Singapore was during my elementary years whereby we had the Srivijayan prince Parameswara and Englishman, Sir Stamford Raffles, mentioned in our history lessons. Again, we had Singapore in our history lessons in secondary school but a different path had already set in for Singapore by that time as the little island merged with the Federation of Malaya to form Malaysia . That was in 1963. However, some social unrest and disputes resulted in Singapore’s separation from Malaysia. Singapore became an independent republic on 9 August 1965. Recollections of my first visit to the country many moons ago meanwhile, doesn’t quite reflect what it is today. The vast difference in development is obvious.
I like the way the government of Singapore preserves the country’s heritage. You can easily see and feel the old Singapore in modern Singapore. There are old buildings, but these building are sort of given a new life that they actually blend well with modern architectures. While I like the looks and designs, old buildings usually “feel” spooky and best visited with bunch of people! But either way, spooky or not, we tend to see in them a record of life, history and an irreplaceable source of creativity and inspiration.
I think it’s important for a country to preserve its heritage as this provides both identity and values. Imagine if, for example, every single name of streets and buildings were changed/altered, old buildings demolished, altered, or extended in a way that affects its character, and preservation effort is minimal? There really is not much to identify left, is there? One can always discuss the old and new of places, even people, just about anytime, but seeing surely is believing!
Modern Singapore is, well, modern! The country is trying its best to become this part of worlds’ (if not the world’s!) leisure destination. Considering the current effort of the government, it will in time to come. Just look at the SkyPark. It is 600ft up on the new Marina Bay Sands hotel. The view from top is said to be extraordinary as you can see as far as the skyline of Malaysia’s Johor Bharu and across the Strait of Malacca right up to the Indonesian island of Sumatra! We missed this!
As far as shopping is concern, it is possible to shop til you drop in Singapore 🙂 – there are abundant of shopping malls – you’ll be spoilt for choice! The same goes with eatery outlets, it’s just so easy getting the choice of food to eat – you find them in basically every corner!
Clarke Quay – love the colors
Food … Shopping …