Singapore is a Southeast Asian “city state” at the bottom of the the Malay peninsula. It’s made up of 60 plus islands, with Malaysia to the north and Indonesia to the south. Modern Singapore got its start as a trading post for the East India Company in the early nineteenth century.
According to National Geographic Singapore, is “the great success story of modern Asia.” Or, as put by our professor and trip leader Dr. Bill Berry, “Singapore is an object lesson in what a country can be.” To be sure, there’s a steady counter-narrative around its “draconian” laws, rules and fines, but I’m finding myself fascinated by this ultra modern blend of cultures, languages, people and industries.
There are four official languages in this country of about five million people: English, Chinese (Mandarin),Tamil, and Malay. That’s pretty astouding if you ask me.
Check out the slideshow on National Geographic’s city guide for Singapore. Below is a Sikh guard standing in front of the famous Raffles Hotel (named after Sir Stamford Raffles of the East India Company).