A global success story in Southeast Asia

Is it a vibrant economic centre or a green garden city? Singapore manages to combine what at first sight seems to be mutually exclusive in a unique way. The Asian island and city state provides visitors with an exciting and extremely varied mixture consisting of an urban jungle, luxurious vegetation, futuristic architecture and colonial heritage.

* ‘Shiok’ is normally used to describe delicious food, but can apply to anything that gives people an indescribably good feeling.

A global metropolis, a melting pot of cultures and an economic powerhouse: Singapore is all this and a great deal more, too. The sovereign city state in Southeast Asia covers an area measuring approx. 730 square kilometres and has just under 6 million residents; it is therefore the most densely populated country in the world after Monaco. However, despite its skyscrapers, some of which are absolutely enormous, it surprisingly provides a green oasis where you might expect to encounter a concrete jungle. More than 50 parks and four nature reserves cover more than half of Singapore with extremely varied fauna that match the equatorial climate with its warm temperatures all year round.

Singapore is very diverse culturally and linguistically

Singapore’s culture is just as varied as its visual appearance. This is due to its eventful history, its geographical location and not least of all due to the people who live there. The Chinese account for about three quarters of the population; Malays follow with about 14 per cent. The other sections of the population include Indians and people of Eurasian descent. As a result, there are four official languages: Malay, Mandarin, Tamil and English. However, what particularly reflects the multicultural society in Singapore is the commonly used dialect known as Singlish. It stands for Singaporean English and is a mixture of the four official languages with traces of dialects such as Bengali, Cantonese and Hokkien.

The pathway to becoming a global megacity

Singapore’s development from a Malay settlement to a global, culturally diverse megacity is a real success story. It all began in 1819: Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, the trading agent for the British East India Company, signed an agreement with the heir to the throne of the Sultanate of Johor at that time. The British would support his claim to the throne and, in return, receive the right to establish a trading post on the island. The Anglo-Dutch treaty of 1824 regulated the coexistence of the British with the second major colonial power in Southeast Asia: the Dutch handed over their colony Malacca to the British, and the British allowed the Dutch to take over their colonies on the island of Sumatra.

As a result, what was then known as ‘Singapura’ became part of the Straits Settlements, the British crown colonies along the Straits of Malacca, and an important British naval base. The crown settled Chinese and Indian people there in order to meet its needs for labour. The port became a trading centre for rubber and pepper, among other things, and an important stopover point for sailing and steam ships as they travelled along the Asian seaways during the 19th century. After the Second World War, the territory received its own constitution; however, integration within the Federation of Malaya failed. The state has developed into a core element in global flows of economic goods since independence on 9 August 1965. Singapore is now an international financial centre, one of the most liberal national economies in the world – and one of the cities in the world that attracts the most tourists.

A journey full of contrasts

The fact that Singapore is a very popular travel destination for almost 20 million tourists every year is due to precisely the following attributes: its geographical situation, its extremely varied architecture and its diverse cultures. The Colonial District, for example, is the cultural epicentre with superb museums, Victorian monuments and the Esplanade Cultural Centre – Theatres on the Bay. The tropical climate, the excellent shopping facilities and the vibrant night life complete the overall picture – together with beautiful squares and tourist attractions…

What you must see in Singapore

Gardens by the Bay

The Gardens by the Bay nature park is an inherent part of the garden city of Singapore. More than 100,000 different types of plants, waterfalls and huge greenhouses attract visitors to the site located at the heart of the city on 101 hectares of artificially elevated land. The so-called ‘super trees’, huge steel trees with a futuristic look, are a special highlight at the green oasis – and they are lit up in thousands of colours at night.

Henderson Waves

The city’s highest pedestrian bridge (36 metres high) is another of Singapore’s many superlatives. The Henderson Waves Bridge is a real hit with visitors thanks to its creative design involving wave-shaped steel arches, which provide numerous niches, which serve as recreation areas. The bridge is lit up every night from 7 p.m. until 7 a.m. to create a dramatic effect.

The National Museum of Singapore

Anybody who is interested in the history and culture of Singapore should definitely visit the National Museum. Its history dates back to 1887 and it is the oldest museum in the country and one of the city’s architectural landmarks.

Jewel Changi Airport

The airport at Singapore is not only an international aviation hub for travellers (and those heading to other places too), but a real attraction in itself. Its major highlight is the HSBC Rain Vortex, the highest indoor waterfall in the world. The water cascades 40 metres down from the dome-shaped roof – surrounded by tropical plants and more than 2,000 trees.

Sentosa

The island resort off the south coast of Singapore is a local recreation area for the city state’s population. It is connected to the city via a road, cable car, pedestrian promenade and a monorail system. The numerous attractions there include the Tiger Sky Tower, which offers a panoramic view extending as far as Indonesia. Palawan Beach is lined with food stands and bars.

A culinary journey through Singapore

Eating is an important part of the country’s national identity. People often say that Singapore is the culinary capital of Asia. It is possible to find all the continent’s different types of cuisine here prepared to very high standards. Visitors just have to decide what they want.

  • Kaya toast: Kaya toast is a traditional breakfast dish. It consists of two slices of toast, or bread grilled on a barbecue, coated with butter and kaya, which is a type of jam made from coconut, eggs and sugar. It is normally served with a cup of coffee or tea and two soft-boiled eggs, which are sprinkled with a dark soy sauce and white pepper. The soft-boiled eggs are mixed into a paste and used as a dip for the kaya toast.
  • Chai tow kway: This popular dish is sold at many hawker centres in Singapore. It is a type of cake that is fried with eggs, preserved radish and seasonings. Chai tow kway is also commonly known as carrot cake, although it does not contain any carrots. This is because the words ‘chai tow’ can either mean ‘radish’ or ‘carrot’.
  • Chilli crab: The fish dish known as ‘chilli crab’ is a major component of the local food culture. Many people view it as the most important dish in Singapore’s cuisine. Mud crabs are normally fried in a fairly sweet, spicy sauce with a tomato/chilli base. Ideally, you should eat chilli crabs with deep-fried mantou bread to soak up the sauce.
  • Hainan chicken rice: Poached chicken, rice, cucumbers and chilli sauce are the main ingredients of one of the national dishes. It is very popular in Singapore and is available at hawker centres, restaurants and hotels.

Singapore, the logistics centre

Singapore is situated on the most southerly point of the Malay Peninsula. The state borders on the Straits of Johor to the north, the Singapore Strait to the south and the Straits of Malacca to the east. These important waterways alone underline the exposed position that makes Singapore a prominent logistics centre, among other things. Singapore is the top address anywhere in the world in terms of its logistics expertise and the punctuality of its services and occupies second place on the World Bank’s Logistics Performance Index in Asia. Global developments, including China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), and the relocation of production sites within Southeast Asia have caused more companies based in Singapore to expand their business activities in the region and beyond in order to tap into new flows of goods. Rhenus Singapore also offers a large number of services; these include handling airfreight, sea freight, cross-border truck transportation to any place on the Malay and Thai peninsula, customs clearance and domestic distribution. Other services include project freight for the shipping, oil, gas and machinery industries.

And what can we do for you?

Rhenus Singapore offers a large number of services, including airfreight, sea freight and cross-border truck transportation.

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Comments

For this article there is 1 comment

GwenDuenner

09/02/2022 - 09:29

I’ve always wanted to go there, sich a vibrant city! And one of the most important logistics hubs! I’ll definitely use these tips! ;)

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