Multicultural metropolis, diverse architecture, delightful cuisine
Singapore has taken quite a leap in its transformation, from being once spoken of as a place boring and plain to the current reputation of a beautifully balanced metropolis. As sweet but somewhat deranged stage of early development has now become a history, this city-state has grown into a charming example of creative collaboration between Western novelty and Eastern tradition.
Although the transformation from a colonial port into a mecca of commerce was nothing short of drastic, it is still relevant to this day how the historian W. Hornaday put it in 1885: “The handiest and most marvellous city I ever saw, as well planned and carefully executed as though built entirely by one man. It is like a big desk, full of drawers and pigeonholes, where everything has its place, and can always be found in it.”
Singapore has been planned as a tax free port from day one: Sir Stamford Raffles of Great Britain established a trading station here in 1918. Although the highly conductive infrastructure of the city provided the ground for such areas as high-tech, finance and tourism to develop greatly in recent years, the major part of the city still remains to be the economy. All of that together allowed Singapore to flourish and prosper, and even though the style of administration and control assumed by the government was intrusive on most levels of life and hardly could be called compassionate, the levels of progress were immense to say the least. And so the independence came to Singapore. Most of the downtown ghetto population has moved into newly built areas and so did the village people, leaving the historic settlements to be destroyed to free up the space for new buildings.
Despite not being as distinct as some of other famous cities in Southeast Asia Singapore has its charm in being a multinational metropolis, incorporating largely Indian, Malay and Chinese cultures. Just take a walk down the street and marvel how they fade into each other almost as if you were actually switching between the countries on the go. The condensed scale though makes it much easier to compare cuisine which is absolutely delightful. The city also has a diverse architectural landscape: modern high-rises and grand constructions erected during the colonial period – right next to neat temples and aromatic medicinal shops. The arts-and-culture department of Singapore is on the cutting edge as well, history, arts, fashion – both local and international – the city is capable of providing satisfaction almost to any taste.