The Lion City
Long inhabited by fishermen and pirates, Singapore was founded as a British trading colony in 1819 by Sir Thomas Raffles. Officially independent since 1965, the Lion City has become a leading centre for international commerce and finance, a Southeast Asian powerhouse and one of the world’s most prosperous countries.
Due to a strategic location, Singapore has always been a place where foreign cultures have intersected. With its diverse population of Chinese, Malays, Indians, Asians of various descents, and long history of immigration, Singapore is home to a true mix of cultures. The presence of such varied backgrounds is gloriously evident in the island’s diverse architecture, ethnic enclaves, religious buildings, and cuisine.
Behind its veneer of skyscrapers, bustling street life, and sophisticated transit system, lie centuries-old traditions that are totally unique to Singapore. Buddhist temples sit cheek by jowl with Islamic mosques, and modern shopping malls lie around the corner from the wonderful chaos and hawkers of Chinatown.
Dining, along with shopping, is said to be the country’s national pastime. Singaporean cuisine is an example of the country’s diversity and cultural diffusion. Its street food hawker centers and incredible selection of top quality restaurants alone, are valid reason to visit Singapore.
With its world-class museums, and recent government efforts to boost the country as a centre for arts and culture, in particular the performing arts, Singapore now is a thriving cosmopolitan gateway between the East and West.