If there is one country that has seen impressive growth in the last decades: it is Singapore. Amidst its economic development, tourism also plays a big role. There are many fun facts about Singapore that attract visitors every year and keep on surprising them.
It will provide you with a glimpse of what you can expect and how you can plan your trip. So, if you are thinking of traveling to Singapore, you are in the right place. Here are some Singapore facts that will kickstart your exploration.
Historical Facts About Singapore
Singapore is a relatively young and modern country, which is why it does not have a longstanding history for you to explore. However, the impressive growth of this island nation is not without reason. Here are some Singapore history facts that you should know:
Chewing Gum Has Been Banned For A While
Whoever wants to chew gum in Singapore will need to get a medical prescription from a doctor. This might seem bizarre, but the country has banned chewing gum for a long time now.
That is because it is incredibly difficult to clean gum, and it causes littering, which is why it has been banned.
Rumor has it that the straw that broke the camel’s back was an incident that led to a delay on the important railway transport system. Someone had stuck a piece of gum between the metro doors causing a technical issue that did not allow the door to close fully.
Since The 20th Century, The County Has Changed Time Zones A Lot
Since the 20th century, the country has kept on changing its time zones at least six times since the 1900s. Currently, you will notice that the time zone of Singapore is GMT+8, which syncs with the time zone of Malaysia.
This is for the convenience of travelers and operational efficiency between the governments of both countries. However, this is technically inaccurate because the country should have a time zone of 7.5.
Singapore Comes From The Word Singapura In Sanskrit
Singapore was not always like this because it used to be known as Temasek, and it was a fishing village back in the day. However, it was later given the name of Lion City (Singapura in Sanskrit). That is why you will notice that the head of the lion is an important symbol in this country.
Cultural Facts About Singapore
The Singapore culture is a little strict because the country has set the highest standards for itself. Here are some facts about Singapore culture that you need to know.
People Are All About Business Here
According to the World Bank, Singapore is not a challenging place to set up your business. That is because the country is a great financial and trade hub. If you are thinking of setting up a business, then Singapore will prove to be an easy place to do so.
The business language is English, and locals can set up a new company through a fully online process. It also has a relatively supportive startup ecosystem with resources to encourage innovation.
If You Don’t Flush A Public Toilet, You Will Get A Fine
Singapore is all about cleanliness, and you will notice this when you enter the country. Because of this, there is a law on flushing the public toilet. If you don’t flush a public toilet, you will receive a fine of 150 Singaporean Dollars that you will have to pay.
There are many laws and fines against these seemingly minor acts of crime, such as littering. Although most of them are not strictly enforced, Singapore has built such a strong societal culture that these acts are frowned upon in public.
Hainese Chicken Rice Is A Must-Try Dish
You have to try the local cuisine of Singapore while you are in the country, and Hainese chicken rice is an important part of it. You will find it across a lot of street hawkers and famous places. The dish consists of fragrant rice, juicy chicken, and a chili sauce for a burst of flavor.
Although the dish originated from Hainan China, Singapore has made it part of its own. In fact, food in Singapore is a blend of cuisines from multiple region, reflecting the cultural diversity of early immigrants that settled here.
You Will Not Find Many Private Vehicles
Private vehicles are not a common sight in Singapore because the country discourages their use. If you want to own a car in Singapore, you will have to pay more than 1.5 times the original price of the car. This is why many people can’t even afford to get a private vehicle.
There is a COE (Certificate of Entitlement) permit needed to own a vehicle, which is both expensive and competitive to bid for. The government only allocates a limited quota each year to control the number of vehicles on the road.
Interesting Facts About Singapore For Kids
Kids will benefit from knowing about Singapore because there is much to learn from this country of high efficiency. Here are some interesting Singapore facts you can teach kids at home or in school.
Military Service Is Mandatory
Men in Singapore have to serve in the military after they complete high school. Besides that, they need to keep coming back for training till they reach the age of forty. Such service has been an important part of the country for a long time now.
Shipping Is An Important Part Of The Country
As a small country, Singapore relies on imports for many things, which is why shipping is important. For example, the country imports freshwater, sand, and much more.
The country is also known for exporting its high-quality goods, such as integrated circuits, gold, and refined petroleum. Singapore’s shipping industry accounts for around 7% of the country’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product.)
The strategic location of the country in South East Asia also makes it a strong trading and shipping hub.
Littering Equals A Huge Fine
The people of Singapore and the government see littering to be a big offense. That is why even if you litter a small object, you will have to pay a fine of over 300 SDG. Besides that, littering with bigger items will mean you will get a Corrective Work Order, which means you will have to clean an entire area wearing sweeper clothes.
Fun Singapore Facts For Travelers
Despite the small land area, Singapore is nothing short of spectacular. Without even considering the plethora of delicious food to try, there are endless things you can do in this country. Here are some of the top fun facts about Singapore you will love.
The Country Consists Of Sixty-Four Offshore Islands
Most people think that Singapore is just one island, but you will find around 64 offshore islands here. These include many you can visit.
The most popular island is Sentosa, so be sure to make your way there while you are in the country. This is like a resort island that is home to clean beaches, Universal Studios, SEA aquarium, and many more attractions. It warrants a full day to check out.
Experience A Night Zoo For The First Time
Singapore is the country that has the first night zoo in the world, known as the Singapore Night Safari. Make sure that you book this tour to experience something that is hard to find anywhere in the world. The zoo has more than a thousand animals and a great environment that you will love.
It Is Known For The First Ever F1 Night Race
The country was the first one to host a night race in F1 back in 2008. This happened on the Singapore Grand Prix Racing Circuit, and the Grand Prix has been back on track since 2022.
If you are a fan of F1, this night city racing circuit is extremely scenic. It goes around the cultural landmarks and tall skyscrapers that Singapore is so famous for.
There Is A Lot Of Greenery Throughout The Country
While many people think Singapore is synonymous with skyscrapers, but you will also find a lot of green spaces. That is because almost half of the country is covered in greenery, with beautiful trees and shrubs lining the roads and neighborhoods.
There are also endless gardens and parks that you can visit to spend a relaxing day. Some of which are iconic landmarks in Singapore such as Gardens by the Bay and the Singapore Botanical Gardens.
LEARN MORE ABOUT ASIA
Common Facts About Singapore
There are some general facts about Singapore that a lot of people are familiar with or might have heard of.
The Merlion Represents The Origin Of Singapore As A Fishing Village
The Merlion is half fish and half lion, and it is a mythical creature that is also symbolic of Singapore. Back in the day, Singapore used to be a fishing village and you can still find fisheries today in some places.
Buildings Can’t Be Higher Than 280 Metres
Despite the number of skyscrapers in the country, the buildings in the country are not allowed to be higher than 280 meters. This is purely for safety reasons. Singapore is relatively small geographically which means it is important to consider the proximity to the airport.
Only the tallest building in Singapore, Tanjong Pagar Center breaks the limit at 290 meters. The builders of this skyscraper had to get special permission for this construction.
The National Anthem Can Be Found On A Bank Note
You will find the national anthem of the country on the back of 1,000 SDG. The text is very small in micro print, which is why you will have to pay attention to notice it.
Other Interesting Facts About Singapore
Finally, here is some other interesting information on Singapore that you will love to know.
Changi Airport Provides Free Movie Screenings
If you are having a layover or flying out from Singapore, you can enjoy a movie screening at Changi Airport. Both Terminals 2 and 3 have 24/7 cinemas screening 2D movies, and they are free to enter.
Many travelers even go to the airport early to check out the amenities in the airport. It is no coincidence that Changi Airport has constantly been ranked the best airport in the world.
There Are Manmade Waterfalls Everywhere
Although Singapore does not have an immense amount of natural landscape and resources, the country makes up for it by creating some impressive ones.
There are loads of manmade waterfalls throughout Singapore. The first one was built in the 70s at Jurong Bird Park. And the most unique and popular one is arguably the massive one right at The Singapore Jewel (which is part of the airport).
Be sure to check out some of these waterfalls and enjoy their beauty.
Majority Of The People Are Financially Stable
The people in Singapore are relatively well-to-do, and rightly so because the nation does have quite a strong work culture. It is estimated that 1/6th of the people in the country have assets worth more than one million US dollars. It is not common to find such a high rate of assets worth in many other countries.
Discovering More Fun Facts About Singapore
These are just some of the interesting facts about Singapore to know about. There is so much to learn and explore in this great nation. You can discover more by visiting the country firsthand. From its interesting culture to its diverse cuisine, Singapore is a one-of-a-kind destination that features a good amount of natural and artificial beauty.