Beyond its picturesque skyline and bustling city center, Singapore has countless places to explore. Follow this article to discover interesting facts about the green cosmopolitan city of Singapore.
1. It is not a single island, but a city made up of 64 islands.
Did you know that Singapore has as many as 64 islands surrounding the main island? Among these are Sentosa (the largest of the coastal islands), Pulau Ubin, St. John’s Island and Sister Island. What does that mean for travelers? That means more fun in the sun!
2. Home to the world’s first night zoo
Singapore’s Night Safari, the world’s first night zoo, offers a night-time Singapore experience. She is a 35-hectare park that opened in 1994 and features over 1,000 animals in their natural, nighttime environment.
Hop on the tram and take a 40-minute tour of the park’s main attractions. Take a leisurely stroll along the four interconnecting walking trails within the park. You can have a different experience that cannot be experienced at other zoos.
3. City of (Artificial) Waterfalls
The first man-made waterfall was created at Jurong Bird Park in 1971, according to the Singapore Wildlife Conservation Group. Falling from a height of 30 meters, this waterfall is said to be the tallest of all Bird Park waterfalls to date.
Not only this. Cloud Forest at Gardens by the Bay is also the pinnacle of new exploration. A massive 35-metre waterfall sits at the heart of a misty greenhouse designed to grow plants from tropical mountainous regions.
No trip to Singapore is complete without a visit to the world’s tallest indoor waterfall. Situated in a retail and lifestyle complex at Jewel Changi Airport, HSBC Rain Vortex rises to 40 meters high and is surrounded by lush indoor gardens.
4. Locals speak singleish as well as English
Don’t be surprised if Singaporeans sometimes add ‘lah’ and ‘leh’ to their sentences. Singapore’s colorful local language, Singlish, is an integral part of Singapore’s daily conversation.
Singlish is a colloquial, catchy language and a language influenced by Singapore’s multiculturalism. Other examples are the singularity term chope, which means ‘to reserve a seat’. Locals often pick up their seats at hawker centers with bins of tissue!
Singaporeans also refer to taxi drivers and hawker center stall owners as ‘Aunties’ for aunt and ‘Uncles’ for uncle. This is a friendly term for older ladies and gentlemen. Still, it should be used wisely. This word can refer to someone’s age, so if used incorrectly, it can upset the first person you meet!
5. Singapore Launches First F1 Night Race
The annual Grand Prix season since 2008, Singapore hosts a variety of concerts, racing and entertainment activities for Formula 1 fans and visitors of all ages.
The main event, the Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix, set a new record in racing history as the world’s first night F1 race. The winding Marina Bay Street Circuit has remained largely unchanged. Floodlights illuminate the track to enhance Singapore’s night scene. According to F1, the Marina Bay Street Circuit also boasts more corners (23 total) than any other circuit in the F1 race schedule.
6. One of the Greenest Cities in the World
Singapore, a city of skyscrapers, is also a city filled with lush vegetation. Nearly half of Singapore’s area (about 700 square kilometers) is covered in green. In addition to numerous parks and gardens, plants are growing in unexpected places. For example, PARKROYAL on Pickering is famous for its concept of a hotel in a garden and a four-story vertical garden.
Not only this. The nature reserve is also rich in biodiversity. There are over 2,100 species of vascular plants in Singapore. In particular, the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve is said to have more tree species on just one hectare than found in all of North America.
7. A UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to unique plants
Inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2015, Singapore Botanic Gardens has a history of over 150 years since its establishment in 1859. Over 100 years older than modern Singapore!
The most popular attraction here is the National Orchid Garden, home to thousands of orchids and highly valued ‘Very Important Plants (VIPs)’. The garden’s more than 200 hybrid orchids are named after high-status visitors to Singapore, such as Nelson Mandela and the British Crown Prince, as well as celebrities such as actors Jackie Chan, Xun Zhou and Yong-Jun Bae.
Another fun fact: Singapore’s first botanical garden, opened in 1822, is situated on a sloping area known as Fort Canning Hill. In 1829, only 19 hectares of gardens were closed due to rising costs. The land has been used for various public projects, including Armenian churches, schools, and hospitals.
8. Have fun exploring neighborhoods not frequented by tourists
In addition to historic hotspots such as Chinatown, Kampong Gelam and Little India, there are many more colorful places to explore in Singapore.
Tiong Bahru is lined with Art Deco-style buildings and trendy eateries and shops. Also, Joo Chiat/Katong has colorful shops and traditional stalls selling food.
A more modern neighborhood is Everton Park, with coffee shops, cafes, ice cream parlors and other must-see eateries.
9. Singapore always has something to celebrate
Don’t worry about discovering new and fun entertainment. Cultural festivals, major sporting, lifestyle and art events are fun year-round.
The annual HSBC World Rugby Singapore Sevens will be held at Singapore Sports Hub, valued at S$1.3 billion.
At the Singapore Food Festival in July, foodies can savor traditional Singaporean cuisine and the best of Mod-Sin (modern Singapore) cuisine with a modern twist on traditional cuisine.
10. The City of Lions Might Actually Be Inspired by Tigers
You may have heard of the Merlion, the symbol of Singapore. The Merlion is a mythical creature with the head of a lion and the tail of a fish.
A little-known fact is that this Merlion was inspired in part by the city’s Sanskrit name, Singapura. Singapura means ‘Lion City’. This Sanskrit name is thought to have been coined by Nila Utama, the Prince of Sumatra. In the early 14th century, he ruled Temasek, a settlement on the island of Singapore.
While hunting the animals, the prince noticed a strange animal that was moving fast. His advisers called it a lion. However, there were no records of lions living in Singapore. What he saw was probably a tiger. This is because the tiger was an animal that was only seen in the wild in Singapore until the 1930s.
So now you think you know everything about Singapore? Think again. Check out our 10 must-dos and more fun-packed city itineraries. You will be able to enjoy your upcoming Singapore trip to the fullest.