I think I can say, I am quite a frequent visitor in Singapore. I have been there over 20 times, and it made my feelings strong and solid when it comes to what I love and hate about this country. Though, the word “hate” is far too strong to be used. I rather should say “I don’t like”.
So let me share with you my views on this small, however so powerful country. And to leave you with good memories, I will start from the things I do not like, followed by the things that stole my heart.
10. They are over-regulated
Unfortunately I am observing that in its excellence, Singapore becomes over-regulated. At the moment everything has its own rule, and that penalties for breaking them are quite high. Of course, I do understand the necessity for that, however, in my opinion, it does not leave much space for the creativity and innovation.
9. It is expensive
Yes, in my opinion Singapore is one of the most expensive cities not only to visit but also to live in. Unless you wanna go very “local”, your experience will cost you quite a bit. When it comes to living expenses, buying a car or a house is not an option for most of the people, and even renting an apartment is a very expensive process compare to the other countries.
I could mention also weather, that is always hot and humid, but since I am not British, I’ll skip this lol. OK, now let me share with you the things that each time I am coming to Singapore, warm my heart (and I am not talking about the temperature lol)
8. They speak English!
Someone may say, and “what’s a big deal?” Well, it is! You want it or not, English is the most common language used in the inter-culture communication. If you cannot speak the language of the country, you will never benefit from the various offerings it has for you. You cannot build relations with natives, you cannot benefit from cultural exchange (to its full extend), you cannot do business (as easily as you would speaking the language). OK, I must fairly admit… they speak Singlish 🙂 but you can still understand this.
7. The center of culture
For me, Singapore is like a cultural hub of the SE Asia. Most of the top international performers will definitely put Singapore on the tour list. Also local scene has a lot to offer! I always regret that during my business trips I usually don’t have enough time to enjoy the wide selection of musicals, festivals, theater’s performance, concerts etc.
6. 50-years achievements
I have been studied the history of Singapore as well of many other countries, and I must say, I very much admire what they have achieved in past 50 years. This country, from nothing, became one of the most desired places to live, work and do business in.
5. Cultural diversity
Who are Singaporeans? They are a mix of many cultures that became “one”. Here you will not feel as an outsider. No matter where you are coming from, you will feel a piece of you is already here.
Singapore as well as Japan (where I live) are the top clean countries in the world! And one cannot appreciate it until will go to any other country! Here, you will not find any rubbish thrown on the street, any pets excrement you might accidentally step in, chewing gums that will stick to your pants when you sit on the bench. Nope, not here. And big thanks for that! The other cultures should learn from them!
3. Travel hub
Singapore is a great travel hug. You not only have a hundreds of possible direct flight connections but also when it comes to travel time, you can reach every SE Asian country in just few hours. (From Japan, I need at least 6-7 hours).
Undoubtedly, Singapore has one of the most diversified cuisines in Asia. Here, you can find any kind of food that you could dream of. And no matter what budget you have, you will always find something for you. Tired of Asian food? (yes, trust me, that happens!) No, problem! Pick one of the Western cuisine, and most probably you will not even feel difference, that is was made here in Asia, not in Europe, America or Middle East.
1. Colonial architecture
This is my very, very TOP ONE. I simply LOVE the colonial buildings spread all over the city. They are well-kept, beautifully renovated and well used. Each time I take a walk, I simply cannot stop admiring the colors, shutters, so typical for this style and small restaurants and pubs that usually are inside them. Each time I’m there, I wish I could have one of those houses for myself 🙂