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Chaina Town
- Hotel 1929
- Hotel81 - Chinatown
- New Majestic Hotel
Geylang Seral
- Fragrance Pearl Hotel
- Fragrance Ruby Hotel
- Hotel81 - Star
Orchard Road
- Regent Hotel
Sentosa Island
- Sentosa Resort & Spa
Quays Along The River
- Copthorne King's Hotel
Arab Stree & Little India
- Fragrance Selegie Hotel


 
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- Universal Studios
- Orchard Road

Introducing Singapore

The earliest known mention of Singapore was in the 3rd century when a Chinese account named it as "Pu-luo-chung" ("island at the end of a peninsula").

History.

Little is known about the island ' s history at this time but this matter-of-fact description belies Singapore 's colourful past. By the l4th century, Singapore had become part of the mighty Sri Vijayan empire and was known as Temasek (" Sea Town ").

This was no less accurate than the 3rd century name. Located at the natural meeting point of sea routes at the tip of the Malay Peninsula, Singapore had long known visits from a wide variety of sea craft - Chinese junks, Indian vessels, Arab dhows, Portuguese battleships and Buginese schooners.

During the 14th century, this small but strategically placed island had earned a new name - "Singa Pura", or " Lion City ". According to legend, a visiting Sri Vijayan prince saw an animal he mistook for a lion and Singapore 's modern day name was born. The British provided the next notable chapter in the Singapore story. During the l8th century, they saw the need for a strategic

"half-way house" to refit, feed and protect the fleet of their growing empire, as well as to forestall any advances by the Dutch in the region. It was against this political backdrop that

Sir Stamford Raffles established Singapore as a trading station. The policy of free trade attracted

merchants from all over Asia and from as far afield as the United States and the Middle East . By 1824, just five years after the founding of modern Singapore , the population had grown from a mere 150 to 10,000.

In 1832, Singapore became the centre of government for the Straits Settlements of Penang, Malacca and Singapore . The opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 and the coming of the telegraph and steamship increased Singapore 's importance as a centre for the expanding trade between East and West.

Singapore had been the site of military action in the 14th century when it became embroiled in the struggle for the Malay Peninsula between Siam (now Thailand ), and the Java-based Majapahit Empire.

Five centuries later, it was again the scene of significant fighting during World War II. Singapore was considered an impregnable fortress, but the Japanese overran the island in 1942.

After the war, Singapore became a Crown Colony. The growth of nationalism led to self-government in 1959 and on 9 August 1965, Singapore became an independent republic.

Singapore Today

Singapore is not just one island - but a main island with over 50 surrounding islets. The main island has a total land area of about 640 square km.

But its small size belies its economic growth. In just 150 years, Singapore has grown into a thriving centre of commerce and industry. Its former role as an entrepot has diminished, as the republic has increased its manufacturing base.

Singapore is the busiest port in the world with over 600 shipping lines sending super tankers, container ships and passenger liners to share the busy waters with coastal fishing vessels and wooden lighters.

One of the world's major oil refining and distribution centres, Singapore is also a major supplier of electronic components and a leader in shipbuilding and repairing. It has also become one of the most important financial centres of Asia , with more than 130 banks. Business dealings are facilitated by Singapore 's superb communications network which links the republic to the rest of the world via satellite, 24 hour telegraph and telephone systems.

Singapore 's location, excellent facilities, fascinating cultural contrasts and tourist attractions draw an ever-increasing number of tourists.

Location

Located at one of the crossroads of the world, Singapore 's strategic position has helped it to grow into a major centre for trade, communications and tourism. Its geographical location is 156.8 km north of the equator, between latitudes 1"09' N and 1"29' N, and longitudes 105"58' E and I 04"06' E.

Over six million visitors a year come to Singapore , making it one of the few countries in the world to receive more visitors annually than its resident population.

 

The multi-raciaI nature of Singapore enriches life in countless ways, for each group retains its own culture, cuisine, costumes, festivals and religions.

Climate.

Singapore 's climate is warm and humid, with only slight variations between the average maximum of 31°C and minimum of 23°C. This makes it ideal for those who enjoy

sunbathing, swimming, sailing and other water sports. But for those who do not enjoy the heat so much, Singapore is sheltered from the worst effects of the sun with air-conditioning in almost all of its shops, hotels, office buildings and restaurants

Rain falls throughout the year, with more consistent rain coming during the monsoon season from November to January. Showers are usually sudden and heavy, but also brief and refreshing.

Click for Singapore, Singapore Forecast

People

Although geography has played a part in the success of Singapore , its mainstay is its people. Lacking natural resources, Singapore 's strength is its hardworking, adaptable and resilient population.

Singapore 's population of 2.8 million comprises 78% Chinese, 14% Malays, 7% Indians and 1% Eurasian or of other descent. The original inhabitants were Malay fishermen, but after the

arrival of Sir Stamford Raffles and the establishment of a British trading post, Singapore became a magnet that drew hundreds of thousands of migrants and merchants. Seeking a better life for themselves and their families, they came from the southern provinces of China , Indonesia , India , Pakistan , Ceylon and the Middle East . Though inter-marriages have taken place over the years, each racial group within Singapore has retained its own cultural identity

while developing as an integral part of the Singapore community.

Language.

There are l o u r official languages in Singapore : Malay, Mandarin, Tamil and English. English is the language of business and administration, and is widely spoken and understood. Most Singaporeans are bilingual, and speak their mother tongue as well as English.

Religion.

With this mixture of peoples, Singapore is also a mixture of religions. Singapore 's skyline boasts the distinctive minarets of mosques, spires of gothic cathedrals, Hindu temples vzith intricate figurines of gods and the pagoda structures of Buddhist and Chinese temples. The main religions are Islam, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism, Judaism and Zoroastrianism.

A World Of Attractions.

Singapore 's variety of attractions ranges from legacies of the island's colonial past and multi-cultural heritage to the most modern and sophisticated shopping and entertainment facilities.

The country's rich cultural background is perhaps best seen in its ethnic districts in Arab

Street, Chinatown and Little India . An extensive conservation programme means historical landmarks can still be enjoyed. Empress Place, Alkaff Mansion , Lau Pa Sat Festival Market and Raffles Hotel continue to retain their colonial charms.

The waterfront shophouses of Boat Quay and Clarke Quay offer entertainment and dining along the Singapore River . Tanjong Pagar, a restored "village" of brightly painted Peranakan shophouses, provides a vibrant mix of galleries and shops and has become something of a nightlife centre as well.

Meanwhile the Singapore Zoological Gardens , Jurong Bird Park and Underwater World Singapore offer spectacular insights into wildlife.

The theme parks of Haw Par Villa and Tang Dynasty City offer hours of excitement for the entire family.

Other attractions include the Southern Islands and their sun-baked beaches, a range of churches, temples and mosques and numerous parks and gardens which give Singapore its garden city image.

Introducing Singapore

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