Last updated on March 19th, 2020
Singapore, officially the Republic of Singapore, is an island city-state in Southeast Asia. It has a total area of 719 square km. Its capital and largest city is Singapore (city-state). English, Tamil, Malay and Chinese are its official languages. Its official currency is Singapore dollar (SGD). In 1819, Singapore was founded as a British trading colony and since then it has grown into a prosperous and tax-friendly country. Singapore is the world’s third most densely populated region behind Macau (a Special Administrative Region of the Republic of China) and Monaco. Singapore was occupied by Japan during World War 2. Today, it is titled as “the easiest place to do business” by the World Bank.
62 Interesting facts about Singapore
1. Singapore is conquering Asia sand by sand….literally. Singapore has been accused of buying too much sand from Malaysia, Cambodia and Vietnam. It led to several protests and blockades on sand trade after countries found chunks of their land being shipped off to Singapore.
2. Singapore is very passionate about toilets. The Singapore government tabled a UN resolution to designate 19th November as the World Toilet Day. It not only got the support of 122 other countries but the World Toilet Organization was formed on 19th November 2001, in Singapore.
3. Singapore can teach the world some lessons in honesty. The tiny city-state is the least corrupt in Asia and the 5th least corrupt country in the world.
4. In Singapore, parents teach their kids good manners while the government teaches the parents some. Singapore actually had a government-backed National Courtesy Campaign, since 1979, where Singaporeans were taught ethics and mannerisms. However, in 2001, it changed to the Singapore Kindness Movement.
5. Singapore has its national tree planting day on 7th November every year. Everyone from the Prime Minister to foreign diplomats to ordinary citizens’ plant trees on this day. Singaporeans even adopt and name trees for their children as birthday gifts or wedding presents.
Flag of Singapore
6. But when Singapore plants trees, it plants them in style. The government opened up a series of manmade solar-powered trees, up to 50 meters high, in the ‘Gardens at the Bay’ project. It is now a cultural symbol and a tourist hotspot.
7. More than 80% of Singapore’s population lives in government-subsidized houses while the home ownership rate in Singapore is a staggering 92% (The highest in the world).
8. Usain Bolt may be the fastest sprinter in the world, but Singaporeans are collectively the fastest pedestrians on the planet.
9. In Singapore, stop chewing your gum if you see the police. Or simply don’t carry one. Currently, it is banned except without medical prescription.
10. Caning is actually still a legal form of punishment in Singapore. If you are caught vandalizing the tropical paradise, you won’t be able to sit properly for a few weeks.
11. Car lovers are almost broke in Singapore. Car use is heavily discouraged by the government and car owners have to pay additional 1.5 times the car price to get their car certified.
12. Catch 30 male giraffes and stack them on top of each other. Climb onto the top giraffe to get a wonderful view of Singapore. Alternatively, just take a ride in the world’s second highest observation wheel, The Singapore Wheel. At 165 m, it missed the first place by just 2 meters.
13. Dream high but build low. Singapore has a limit on the height of its buildings- a fair 280 m. There are three buildings in Singapore exactly 280 m in length.
14. If you are born a man in Singapore, you have to handle the big guns once you reach 18. Singapore has compulsory military conscription of 1-2 years.
15. Elevators in Singapore have Urine Detection Device, and if it detects the smell of kidney filtered water, it locks the doors until the police arrive. Singapore has passed a very specific law which prohibits urinating in the elevators.
16. Singapore punches well above its weight. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIRP), it’s the world’s 5th largest arms importer.
17. The Reporters without Borders, an agency that evaluates press freedom across nations, had a hard time reporting from Singapore. They ended up placing the island nation at 153 among 180 nations.
18. It’s a crime to not flush the public toilet after use in Singapore.
Singapore on the map
19. The Hort Park in Singapore is the first Park dedicated to exclusive gardening niche and is a gardening lifestyle hub in Asia.
20. Though Singapore is a city state, it consists of 63 smaller islands.
21. The five stars in the national flag of Singapore represents the ideals of democracy, peace, progress, justice and equality. The color red signifies brotherhood while white represents purity.
22. The Singapore Grand Prix Racing Circuit is not only Asia’s first one but also held the first ever F1 night-race in its 2008 inaugural race.
Singapore facts for kids
23. Singaporean kids are smarter than the rest. They collectively topped the global math-and-science-education ranking, by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
24. Children and plants are the heart and soul of Singapore. The first garden in Asia, dedicated to children, is the Jacob ballas children’s garden.
25. Legend has it that Pulau Ubin, an island of Singapore, was formed when a pig, an elephant, and a frog had the challenge to see who would reach the shore of Johor first. All of them failed and were turned into rock, which is today the island.
26. The Singapore zoo is a tropical paradise, filled with animals from all over the equatorial belt. It is named the best zoo in Asia and the third best in the world, by TripAdvisor.
27. Singapore government had a mascot, Singa the Lion, to promote kindness among Singaporeans. Unfortunately, he had to resign with a heavy heart. He also wrote and signed a heartwarming resignation letter.
28. Ainan Celeste Cawley, of Singapore, is a record holder for being the youngest child ever to pass O-level chemistry, at 7 years old. At 9 years he cracked the Physics “O level certificate”, too.
29. You have heard about the legendary mermaid but did you know that the national icon of Singapore is The Merlion, a creature that is half lion and half fish.
30. Every school kid in Singapore knows the legend of Sang Nila Utama, the prince who founded the Kingdom of Singapura, in 1299. In an almost similar ending to Hollywood flick, “Life of Pie”, the prince braved stormy sea to reach the island, where he had a vision of a lion.
31. Singapore has an amazing thrill ride called the Megazip or the Flying bat, of Sentosa Islands. It lets people experience life through the eyes of a flying bat.
32. Singapore’s National Stadium, has the world’s largest retractable dome, at 312m in diameter. The huge canopy can shelter 55 thousand fans from rain and the sun alike.
33. Singapore has two days dedicated to its children. While 1st October is celebrated for children below 12 years, the Youth Day is celebrated on the first Sunday of every July, for teenagers.
Facts about Singapore’s history
34. Singapore has changed it’s time zone 6 times since 1905. To avoid further confusion, simply build your own sundial in Singapore.
35. The only tropical garden with a UNESCO World Heritage Site tag is the 156-year-old Singapore Botanical Garden. With 4.5 million annual visitors and a National Orchid Garden, it is the mother of all botanic gardens.
36. During 1940-41, Singapore was a theater of World War 2, with about 1,00,000 odd soldiers fighting in this tiny nation. Ironically, none of them were native to Singapore. The British were defending an attack from the Japanese forces.
37. Singapore is a result of Independence with Independence. While the British left Singapore to Malaysia in 1963, the City state became a sovereign country only in 1965.
38. The funny thing about the independence of 1965 was Singapore didn’t not fight its way out; rather it was thrown out of Malaysia by democratic voting.
39. Singapore had a brief name change. Syonan-to, which means the Light of the South, was the name given to Singapore under Japanese occupation.
41. The history of Singapura is recorded in great details in the Sejarah Melayu or the Malay Annals. It is a text that narrates the history of the entire Malay Peninsula.
42. Singapore’s first name was Temasek which literally meant sea town. A name which holds good even today.
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