50 Fascinating Facts about Singapore

Singapore is both an island country and sovereign city-state, located in Southeast Asia. The entire country contains one main island in addition to 62 small islands. Nearby countries are Malaysia, Indonesia, and Brunei. Singapore has an estimated population of 5,607,300 (as of 2016). Singapore’s currency is the Singaporean dollar. Being a global transport, commerce, and finance hub, it is no surprise it is the third-largest foreign exchange market. The official languages of Singapore are English, Malay, Tamil, Mandarin, and Tamil. There is no official religion in Singapore. The main four religions are Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, and Taoism in that order of popularity. However, the percentage of people with no religion is almost as high as those who are Christian. The flag of Singapore is red at the top and white at the bottom. In the top left corner, five white stars and a crescent moon form a circle.

Singapore Facts

1
On the back of the $1000 note, you can find micro-text containing the national anthem.
2
The island was named Singapura (which means lion city in Sanskrit) after Sang Nila Utama, a Palembang prince, saw what he thought was a lion. In truth, there were never any lions in Singapore back in that time. The only lions were brought in modern times for zoos.
3
All men in Singapore have to join the army for 1-2 years once they reach 18. It is mandatory.
4
Singapore is fanatical about toilets. World Toilet day, November 19th, was created after the Singapore government scheduled a UN resolution to designate the day. On November 19th, the World Toilet Organization formed in Singapore.
5
Singapore’s homeownership rate is the highest in the world at 92%! Over 80% of the population of Singapore lives in government-subsidized homes.
6
The punishment of caning is alive and well in Singapore. Think twice before vandalizing any property in Singapore or you will feel the lash of the cane.
7
For such a small place they don’t mess around when it comes to weapons. Singapore is the world’s fifth largest arms importer, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.
8
Singapore’s national icon is The Merlion, which is half fish and half lion.
9
Since 1905 Singapore has changed its time zones six times.
10
On the 21st of September 1965, Singapore became the 117th member of the United Nations.
11
The total land area of Singapore is just 682.7 square kilometers, making it one of the 20 smallest countries in the world.
12
Forget chewing gum in Singapore. Chewing gum is banned unless you have a medical prescription. First-time offenders can incur up to a $1000 fine. No gum is worth that.
13
In Singapore, apparently, the sky is not the limit. It is not legal to build a building taller than 280 meters. No skyscrapers allowed.
14
The Singapore national flag has great meaning. The red on the flag is a symbol of the equality of man and universal brotherhood. The white on the flag represents purity and virtue. In the top left corner, there is a crescent moon that signifies a young nation on the rise with the five stars, to the right of the moon, representing the ideals of equality, peace, democracy, progress, and justice.
15
Singapore contains the world’s first night-zoo called the Night Safari.
16
Car owners pay the price in Singapore. With it being such a small place, the government seriously discourages people using cars to reduce pollution. If you want the privilege of owning a car you have to additionally pay 1.5 times the car price to get the car certified.
17
Singaporeans are communally the quickest pedestrians on earth according to a study by the British Council. This could have something to do with the fact the government does not want Singaporeans driving cars.
18
Asia’s first Grand Prix racing circuit is in Singapore. The Singapore Grand Prix Racing Circuit, in its 2008 inaugural race held the first ever Formula 1 night race.
19
Singapore contributes to 25% of the world market as the biggest exporter of ornamental fish.
20
On September 30th 2000 the Guinness record for the longest human domino chain was achieved in Singapore. This amazing chain, measured at 4.2km, was created with 9,234 students.
21
Bukit Timah Hill, at only 164 meters high, is the tallest natural point in Singapore.
22
October is the most popular birth month in Singapore.
23
It is not advised to deal drugs in Singapore with it being one of the top leaders of carrying out death sentences (the majority to drug dealers).
24
Singapore is home to the biggest tropical orchid gardens, located in Singapore Botanic Gardens.
25
The 1st of October was a day dedicated to children in Singapore from 1961-2011. In 2012, Children’s Day was changed to the first Friday of October by the Singapore Ministry of Education.
26
Youth Day, a celebration for children through their teens, is celebrated in Singapore the first Sunday of July each year.
27
Are you a fan of Yakult? Singapore has the largest and most expensive bottles of Yakult in Southeast Asia.
28
Boasting the biggest retractable dome in the world, with a diameter of 312m, Singapore’s National Stadium has a huge canopy which is on hand to cover 55 thousand spectators from sun or rain.
29
95% of Singapore’s historical forests have been lost to urban sprawl. However, to combat this, Singapore has many gardens and almost half of Singapore’s land area is under green cover.
30
About two restaurants are opened every day in Singapore. This is a great place to eat.
31
Singapore does not have a capital, and is one of three sovereign city-states left in the world, including The Vatican and Monaco. There has been some disagreement with this, but a high consensus agrees that the term sovereign city-state applies to these three only.
32
Don’t forget to flush the toilet in Singapore. It is an actual crime not to and incurs a fine.
33
I am sure it has never crossed your mind to urinate in an elevator. However, if you do, most elevators are armed with UDDs (Urine Detection Devices) which will sound an alarm and close the doors tight until the police come to arrest the lawbreaker.
34
Singapore is home to the Hortpark, known as the ‘first one-stop gardening lifestyle hub’ in all of Asia. It is a park connector that links visitors to Mount Faber Park, Kent Ridge Park, and Telok Blangah Hill Park.
35
Singapore’s citizens do not need a VISA to go to the United States, China, South Korea, or North Korea.
36
Singlish, an internationally known blend of English and elements of Chinese and Malay, is popular in Singapore. Some Singlish words are even recognized by the Oxford dictionary such as wah and lepak.
37
About 80 percent of Singapore residents own cell phones. Some even own two, especially if they are employed, professionals.
38
Singapore’s Independence from Malaysia, in 1965, was not fought in a war or military battle. Malaysia democratically voted to throw Singapore out.
39
As you can tell with the toilet and gum chewing laws, Singapore is serious about cleanliness. Littering is a big no-no. You can be fined $300 for littering small items like candy wrappers when it is the first offense. Littering bigger items such as bottles or soda cans can earn you a Corrective Work Order (CWO) where you will have to wear a bright glowing green vest while cleaning up a specific area. The CWO was designed to shame offenders and hopefully make them understand how difficult it is for cleaners to keep areas clean.
40
The government-backed Singapore Kindness Movement, formerly the National Courtesy Campaign, teaches Singaporeans to be kinder to one another and encourage a more pleasant society.
41
Singapore is home to ‘the world’s second-highest observation wheel’. The Singapore Wheel just missed being the first by 2 meters.
42
Singapore’s Prime Minister earns the equivalent of USD 1.7 million yearly. The president of the USA earns less than a fourth of the this at USD 400,000 per year and has a much bigger country to run. How does this work out?
43
There are topics of discussion that are not allowed for public debate or discussion. You will be in hot water if you criticize the government in public. Make sure to research Singapore’s OB (Out of Bounds) markers before publicly speaking.
44
If you stretched out Singapore’s more than 3,000 kilometers of roads it would equal the distance from Singapore to Hong Kong.
45
The largest bat in the world, the flying fox, can be located on one of the islands off the mainland called Pulau Ubin. With an impressive wingspan of 1.5 meters, the flying fox is worth checking out.
46
Singapore’s national flower is called Vanda Miss Joaquim. In 1893 this pretty flower was discovered by its namesake Agnes Joaquim of Armenia.
47
With only Monaco and the Chinese territory of Macau, ahead, Singapore is the third-most densely populated country in the world.
48
There is not much of a variation of temperature throughout the year in Singapore. With its tropical climate, the temperature range in Singapore is between 73 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit (23 to 32 degrees Celsius).
49
Most often called Singapore Island, the largest island in Singapore is Pulau Ujong.
50
Quite a few residents (approximately 37%) of Singapore are foreign-born. Only 63% of residents are actual citizens of Singapore.

Singapore is a wealthy country with many millionaires in its midst. The economy is thriving in this city-state of 63 islands. After losing a lot of their historical forests to urban sprawl, Singapore has worked hard to create more garden environments for their people and tourists to enjoy more greenery. Their passion for cleanliness is known throughout the country. At least the cities, and just about everywhere, are clean. With new restaurants opening all of the time there are so many great foods to try, and many are inexpensive. This multi-cultural country has a lot to do and see.

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