Singapore – city with a peculiar destiny
Once, part of Malaysia, Singapore boasts splendid nature and affluence. That is why artists liken this city to the beauty sleeping on the seashore. Singapore that attracts tourists from around the world is also known as the amber city. Majestic nature helps one forget the troubles by taking the person somewhere magical. The city makes one feel free and safe. On the other hand, worldwide, Singapore is acknowledged as all-around highly advanced, unique destination.
Ancient and modern city
Considered one of the cradles of civilization, the city-state of Singapore has a distinctive destiny. Until early XIX century Singapore used to be a part of Malaysia. Recognizing strategic geographic location of Singapore and being the gateway to the South-East Asia, the British started to consolidate their presence here. As of then, the city began its dynamic development and transformation into the regional trade hub.
During the World War II, the Japanese invaded Singapore. In the wake of the war, the British turned the city into a UK dominion. Nevertheless, Singapore joined Malaysian Federation in 1963 and declared its independence in 1965. Since then, the city started to develop at a higher pace. With scarce natural resources, authorities managed to attract foreign investors that in a short time made Singapore one of world’s most developed industrial centers of the world.
Singapore is a modern city. Almost entire population is well-housed and employed. Electronics industry in the country is highly advanced. Most leading manufacturers or their subsidiaries are present in the country. Albeit a tiny state, most advanced nations could only dream of the foreign trade volumes of Singapore – estimated at 460 billion USD, with a good half of those products comprised of electronics.
Singapore is also one of Asia’s biggest commercial, financial and industrial centers; hence, the name Switzerland of the South-East Asia. The title is well justified because Singapore hosts 130 major banks with extensive clientele – world’s richest people prefer Singapore to Switzerland.
Favorable strategic and geographic location, sitting at the crossroads of maritime routes, made Singapore a leading trade center of the world. This destination has become a trading arena for different countries. Moreover, Singapore is one of the largest port cities in the world. It handles some 150-200 (mainly cargo) vessels per day. That makes it the second largest port in the world in terms of volumes of cargo processed.
Currently, the Chinese account for 75% of the population while the Malays are 14% of the general population. Religious composition of the population is as follows: 32% Buddhist, 22% Daosist, 17% Muslim, 13% Christian and 3% Hindu. Despite the variety of ethnicities in the country, the principal language in the country is Malay. English, however, is considered an unofficial language on the island. Classes in higher education institutions are taught in English. In secondary schools, English is taught as one of mother tongues. Nevertheless, Malay and Chinese are used as official languages. In the areas of residence of ethnic minorities classes are delivered in native languages along with English and Malay. In a nutshell, a person without proper command of English would be difficult to come across.
Splendid nature contributes to the longevity of Singapore’s citizens. People leave well into their 70s and 80s. Birth rate is quite high; 7.91 births per every 1000 citizens. Conversely, death rate is just 3.41 per every 1000 population.
Singapore’s climate is tropical but with peculiarities of its own. Average yearly temperature is 28-36 degrees. Mildness of the climate attracts tourists all year round. Singapore gets rainy weather in October-February, but it only adds to the beauty of nature. Splendid nature and world class leisure facilities appeal to tourists. According, to recent estimates some 12-15 million tourists visit Singapore annually. Singapore is also a city of nature reserves. 70 hectares Bukit-Tima Reserve, boasting virgin tropical forest, and 20 hectares Jurong Bird Park are the most popular among tourists. Its animal sanctuary is also probably one of a kind while Sentosa and other islands offer various leisure facilities. In a word, Singapore is one of the most captivating and picturesque destinations, Asia’s amber city-state.