Singapore Commonwealth Walkway

Singapore / Asia

SINGAPORE Singapore is a sovereign island state and the largest port in maritime south-east Asia, as well as being one of the busiest in the world.  It is composed of 60 small islets which form a diamond-shaped island.  When translated, Singapore means ‘Lion City’.  This was because a Malay Prince saw a lion on the coastline from his ship.  For this reason, Singapore has the iconic Merlion (sea lion) at Marina Bay.  In 1819 Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles (1781-1826), Lieutenant-Governor of the Dutch East Indies negotiated a treaty whereby Johor allowed the British to locate a trading port on the island, leading to the establishment of the British crown colony of Singapore in 1819.  During World War II Singapore was conquered and occupied by the Japanese between 1942 to 1945.  When the war ended, Singapore returned to British control.  Singapore eventually gained independence in 1965.  Its population is diverse, on account of considerable past immigration.  Singapore is often referred to as ‘Instant Asia’, offering tourists insight into the cultures brought to it by immigrants from all parts of Asia. Chinese predominate, making up some three-quarters of the total.  Malays are the next largest ethnic group, and Indians the third.  Due to this diversity, four languages are recognised on the island: English, Mandarin Chinese, Malay and Tamil, with English remaining the main medium for administration and education.  However, Mandarin is also strongly promoted and one-third of the school population are taught in this language.  Tourism has become increasingly important to Singapore’s economy and there has been considerable investment in hotels and shopping centres.  Capital Singapore is both a country and its capital.  Like Hong Kong, Singapore is a city-state and therefore does not have a capital city because it is already one big city. Singapore is often recognised for its mainland Pulau Ujong which houses the majority of Singapore’s population and economy.  The mainland island is separated from Peninsular Malaysia to the north by Johor Strait and is 18 square miles. Fun Facts
  • Singapore is home to the world’s first night zoo.  It was opened in 1994.  Here you can take a 40-minute tram ride through the zoo and see 1,000 animals in a naturalistic setting. 
  • It is a city of man-made waterfalls.  Singapore has the world’s tallest indoor waterfall – at Jewel Changi Airport.
  • The National Anthem of Singapore can be found on the back of the SGD 1000 note, written in micro text.
  • Buildings in Singapore are not allowed to be higher than 280 metres.
  • There is a law against not flushing the public toilet after use for which a fine of SGD 150 is charged. 

6.4 miles / 10.3 kilometres

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