A year of learning Singaporean
Trip Start Jul 01, 2009
50Trip End Sep 20, 2010
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Location: Roughly 1 Degree or 85 miles north of the Equator (1 17' N, 103 50' E).
Days: A near consistent 12hrs year round. 7am sunrise and 7pm sunset.
Weather: Tropical rain-forest climate with no seasons. High humidity. High roughly 87 deg F, low 75 deg F, year round. Some haze and bad air quality due to brush fires in Indonesia Aug to Oct. No hurricanes/typhoons (most hover between 10 and 30 degrees from the equator).
Land Mass: 63 islands, including mainland Singapore (also an island).
Land Area: 271 sq mi (roughly ½ size of Oahu, Hawaii). Due to ongoing land reclamation projects started in the 1960's the land area has grown 50 sq miles. This is evident by countless trucks filled with dirt on the freeways and new construction developments around Marina Bay south and Marina Barrage areas.
Highest Natural Point: 545 feet (Bukit Timah hill)
Population: Roughly 5 million (5X's population of Oahu). 42% of population are foreigners (6th highest in the world). 2nd most densely populated country in the world (after Monaco).
Ethnicity: Of the 3.7 million Singaporean citizens 74% Chinese descent, 13% Malays, 9% Indian, Eurasians, Arabs and other groups form the remaining 3-4%
Religion: 42% Buddhism, 15% Islam, 15% no religion, 15% Christianity, 8% Taoism, 4% Hinduism, 1% Other.
Official Language(s): English, Malay, Chinese (Mandarin), and Tamil (Indian). English is most dominant language. School children must learn English and one other official language.
Culture: Diverse mix influenced by all ethnicity's including large foreign population. Country sponsored festivals/holidays celebrate the important days within each religious and ethnic group, thus promoting the diversity of the Singaporean people.
Military Service: All males at 18 or after schooling have 2 years of compulsive service. After that there is a reserve obligation until age 40 (enlisted) and 50 (officers).
Economy: Singapore is a modern highly developed cosmopolitan world city that has been rated as the most business-friendly economy in the world. It has one of the busiest ports in the world and is the worlds 4th largest foreign exchange trading centers (after London, New York, and Tokyo). The world bank ranks Singapore as the worlds top logistics hub. Singapore claimed the fastest-growing economy in the world, with a GDP growth of 17.9% in the first half of 2010.
Quality of Life: Has been ranked as having the best quality of life in Asia and eleventh overall in the world
Cost of Living: Singapore is expensive. It ranks around 10th for most expensive city to live in the world (Highest in USA is New York at #22 in world).
Tourism: Singapore has invested greatly in promoting tourism. In recent years bringing in and developing the first ever night Formula One competition, hosting the first ever Youth Olympic Games this year, and legalizing gambling at 2 large resorts are just a few of their efforts. With the development and partial opening of the most expensive casino in the world (The Sands at Marina Bay, US $5.9 Billion) the city has invested in a city wide integrated light show and expanded waterfront attractions that will surely soon make it onto best of and must see tourist lists around the world.
Well those are the facts I never knew. Later I'll post my impressions of my year and then some in this country. Now off to Universal Studios! Yay!
Here's some photo's from yesterday night along Clarks Quay.