Singapore – Asia 101

Marwa Grimes

So Asia intrigues you and you would like to visit some of its countries, but you are afraid that the cultural barrier will be to high and you might, how to say it right, ”get lost in translation.” Well I might offer a solution – Singapore

Singapore is city state based on 63 islands and it is the smallest country in Asia. We might compare Singapore with Vatican City and Monaco, but only territory wise because it has a population of approximately 4.9 million. Quite a large number for a city state! Its economy is based on exporting improved imported goods. Singapore is also one of the Four Asian Tigers and has become one of the world’s leading financial centers. They understood that as a small country they have to find a certain niche to successfully compete in the international market.. In general they have a very highly educated labor force. Global economic crisis has hit Singapore very hard because of the decreased export levels worldwide. The standard of living in Singapore comparing with other Asian countries is very high which means that the crime level is comparatively low. Although considered an active business center Singapore actual differs from other Asian cities of that size. Singapore is more mellow and less frantic like, for example, Tokyo, but after all it is definitely Asian.

Singapore is a popular tourism target for many reasons, but in my opinion the main reason is the language as English is one of the official languages. The general population of Singapore consists of various nationalities like; Chinese, Malays, Indians and many others. So you are able to experience the Asian flair in an environment where you can easily understand what people are saying and more important they understand what you want. You can taste the various Asian cuisines in the local Hawker centers and get a glimpse of Asian lifestyle. One of the things I regret in my life is that I was too young when I visited Singapore on my way to Australia. I was not able to experience the possibilities Singapore has to offer.

If you are fond of Asia visit Singapore, but remember that this is only an introduction of Asia. To experience every part of Asia you must travel to countries where English is not the official language and where the culture might shock you, but that is up to you because Singapore might turn out all that you need.

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