Singapore – the City, State, and Country

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Quick, what is the capital of Singapore? Don’t know? OK, can you name a city in Singapore? Still don’t know? Alright, can you name a state in Singapore? You are not alone in not knowing that Singapore is actually the city of Singapore, the state of Singapore, and the country of Singapore (well, actually the Republic of Singapore).

Although Singapore’s history goes far back beyond written history, it is a vibrant and very modern city, once known as Singapura, the Malay name which was derived from the Sanskrit word for lion city. Singapura, the lion city, is one of the four Asian tiger countries. (The Four Asian Tigers are the high-growth economies of Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan. All four economies have been fueled by exports and rapid industrialization, and have achieved high levels of economic growth since the 1960s.)

Above, the Raffles Hotel, named for Sir Stamford Raffles who founded modern-day Singapore in 1819 as a trading post of the British Empire. The national drink of Singapore is the Singapore Sling, and was first created in 1915 by Raffles Hotel bartender Ngiam Tong Boon. The world-famous drink is a gin-based cocktail that contains pineapple juice, lime juice, Curaçao, and Bénédictine. The drink also contains grenadine and cherry liqueur which gives it that celebrated appealing pastel pink color.

Prior to Raffles’ arrival in Singapore, it is believed that only about one thousand people were living on the island that is perched on the southern tip of the Malaysian peninsula. These people consisted of aboriginal Malays and a small amount of Chinese. By 1860 the population of Singapore had grown to more than 80,000 people, with more than fifty percent being immigrants of Chinese ancestry. These early arrivals came to work the pepper and gambier plantations. (Gambier is a climbing shrub native to tropical Southeast Asia. It can be used as a tanning agent, a brown dye, a food additive, and as herbal medicine.)

In the 1890s, the rubber industry became established in Singapore, which made the island a global center for rubber growing, sorting, and exporting.

It would not take long for Singapore to grow rapidly, due in part to its strategic location in the Southeast Asia region and with the naval superiority of Britain in the area. After the First World War, the British decided to build a naval base to defend their Asian interests. It would become the largest dry dock in the world. Nonetheless, due to not having enough troop and military support in Asia when World War II broke out, the Japanese invaded the Malaysian area. The confrontation ended with the Battle of Singapore and the 60,000 troop British force was forced to surrender on February 15, 1942.

During the war, there were many atrocities committed by the ruling Japanese who considered the war had been won by the surrender of Singapore. General Tomoyuki Yamashita led his troops throughout much of Asia looting the region of many culturally significant artifacts in an attempt to destroy the ancestral heritage of the countries Japan had dominated.

The Municipal Building of Singapore (above) where on December 12, 1945, the Japanese General Itagaki Seishiro surrendered to Britain’s Lord Mountbatten on the steps of the building marking the end of World War II in Singapore. After the Japanese surrendered, Singapore fell into a chaotic state of violence and disorder; looting and revenge-killing were widespread. In the meantime, General Tomoyuki Yamashita was tried and convicted for war crimes, but inexplicably not for crimes committed by his troops in Malaysia or Singapore. He was hanged in the Philippines on February 23, 1946.

After the war, Singapore remained a British colony and began to rebuild the country. In 1959, Singapore gained self-governance, and became part of the new federation of Malaysia in 1963, alongside Malaysia, North Borneo, and Sarawak. Philosophical, political, and conceptual differences led to Singapore being expelled from the federation two years later, where it became an independent country.

On August 9, 1965, Singapore became independent as the Republic of Singapore with Lee Kuan Yew becoming the country’s first Prime Minister. Lee, educated in London schools and at Cambridge, campaigned for Britain to relinquish its colonial rule, which it eventually did. He is recognized as Singapore’s founding father and is credited with the rapid transition of the nation from a “developing third world country into a developed first world country within a single generation” under his leadership.

These days Singapore is the jewel of Asia. It is clean, vibrant, ever-growing, and changing to meet domestic, world, economic and cultural requirements. Many know it as the country where chewing gum is banned, however, there is so much more to this amazing place. Part of Lee’s success in moving Singapore from a developing country into an economic powerhouse was his insistence on orderliness, tidiness, and good conduct.

Above, an MRT public transportation station at Singapore’s Chinatown

So why did Singapore ban chewing gum aside from the disgusting nature of the substance being spit in locations that typically make it to the bottom of a shoe? For one, inconsiderate people, or as some have speculated, juveniles in their eager attempt to go against the structured grain of well-behaved Singaporean society, would stick their chewed gum into the recesses of mechanisms that controlled the opening and closing of the doors on Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) rail systems. The chewing gum would prevent the doors of the train from automatically opening and closing and cause untold delays as the trains could not move.

To outsiders, the ban on chewing gum, along with caning, remains one of the best-known aspects of life in Singapore. In addition to the ban on gum, Singapore also has strict laws against litter, jaywalking, spitting, expelling “mucus from the nose” and urinating anywhere but in a toilet. And if you use a public toilet you must flush it or be subject to a hefty fine. The practice of caning came from the British colonial rule in Singapore and is still in use today. In fact, in 2016, almost 1,300 men were caned there (it is against the law to cane women in Singapore.)

Graffiti, that bothersome nuisance of most cities, is banned in Singapore which can impose that severe form of capital punishment – caning! Several years back there was worldwide outrage when an American was about to be publicly caned after being caught tagging a building. He was nonetheless given his punishment and frankly, Singapore is a better place for it. Aside from being very clean, Singapore is also a place where you feel safe, no matter the time of day or night, and no matter your gender, religion, or ethnicity.

Multiracialism is enshrined in the Singaporean constitution and continues to shape national policies in education, housing, and politics. By the second half of 2018, the estimated population of Singapore was 5,638,700 people, of which 3,471,900 (61.6%) were citizens, and about 2,166,800 (38.4%) were permanent residents, international students, foreign workers, or dependents. In the country’s most recent census in 2010, nearly 43% of the Singaporean population of legal residents and non-residents were born outside of Singapore.

There are four official languages of Singapore: English, Malay, Chinese, and Tamil, with English being the “bridge language.” Early on, the Singaporean government pushed hard to teach the English language but stressed the need to retain the “native tongue.” There is a Singaporean saying, “English for business, the native language for culture.”

Above, the statue of the Hindu God, Hanuman, at the entrance of the Sri Krishnan Hindu Temple

Ethnicity reports from that same 2010 census showed that about 75% of the residents were of Chinese descent, 13.4% of Malay descent, 9.2% of Indian descent, and 3.3% of other (including Eurasian) descent. Singapore enjoys a certain degree of religious freedom with Buddhism being the most widely practiced religion followed by about 33% of the resident population. The next-most practiced religion is Christianity, followed by Islam, Taoism, and Hinduism. About 17% of the population stated in the census that they did not have a religious affiliation.

Above, the facade of the very colorful Sri Krishnan Hindu Temple which is one of many temples within Singapore and a must-see. The temple is in the Bugis neighborhood on Waterloo Street and is one of the oldest Hindu temples in Singapore.

Above, the entrance to the Siong Lim Temple, also known as Lian Shan Shuang Lin Monastery. Among my favorite places to visit in Singapore is the Lian Shan Shuang Lin Monastery. Not only is it colorful but tranquil, peaceful, and inviting.

A short taxi ride from anywhere in Singapore will take you to the temple. The monks are friendly and the experience is unforgettable, whether you practice the religion or not.

Above, the entrance door of the Siong Lim Temple is one of many colorful places on the grounds where photography is allowed and the results are memories that last a lifetime.

Above, the gong “beater” just inside the temple is a massive carved log of a colorfully painted serpent.

Throughout Singapore, there are many temples and one could make a full day or more just by visiting them. Not only are they a delight to see, but from a cultural perspective, it should not be missed as part of your visit to the Lion City.

Above, the reclining buddha inside the Siong Lim Temple makes just one of the many statues that can be found all around Singapore.

Above, an ornately carved lion turtle made of fine-grained green granite inside the Siong Lim Temple.

Above, a mythical lion dragon, made of ceramic tiles adorn the side of a building near Raffle’s Hotel.

The dragon is common in Asian cultures and represents power and control over the elements such as water, rainfall, typhoons, and floods. The dragon also symbolizes good luck for people who have proven themselves worthy of it.

The lion, above, seen in Singapore’s Chinatown, has long been a symbol to the Chinese who first learned of these animals during the Han period (206BC – 220AD), either as their empire expanded westward into Central Asia, or maybe when Chinese merchants encountered them during their travels. Soon the lion was looked at as being the protector of the dharma, or Buddhist law, and a talisman to ward off evil. Buddhist sermons are symbolically known as “the lion’s roar.”

Above, the lion dance is a traditional dance in Chinese culture and other Asian countries in which performers mimic a lion’s movements to bring good luck and fortune. You will most likely encounter a lion dance as the performers bid good fortune on a new business or restaurant grand opening, as is seen above, in Chinatown.

Masks are used in the Chinese culture to bring blessings, and good tidings, as well as to protect against evil spirits and ward off mishaps and disasters. The Chinese believe that masks help facilitate the communication between mortal man and the immortal gods. Many can be found on display or for purchase in Singapore’s Chinatown.

In the year 1330, Chinatown was visited by the sailor Wang Dayuan when he came to Singapore, then called Temasek. He noted in his log that there was a Chinese community there and this would go on to become one of the first written records documenting the early history of Singapore.

Chinatown would eventually go from a place that had family-owned shops and eateries on the ground floor, with family living quarters on the subsequent floors above, to a major tourist destination. By the 1980s plans were underway to modernize this community and its narrow streets. Many opposed the redevelopment as some of the long-time residents faced uncertainty about their future and the ever-growing high-cost of living in such an expanding, prosperous city as Singapore.

As part of Sir Raffles original early 1800s Plan of Singapore, the Chinatown area was a division of British colonial Singapore “where Chinese immigrants resided.” Of course, as Singapore continued to grow, Chinese immigrants began to settle in other parts of the island as Chinatown became overcrowded. After the founding of Singapore in 1819 Chinatown’s congestion continued until the 1960s when many residents, contrary to some of their wishes, were relocated by Singapore’s governmental Housing Development Board.

After the redevelopment plan of the 1960s, Singapore began an even more aggressive modernization program and many of the dilapidated colonial buildings and tacky tourist traps would become a thing of the past. However, they were not simply torn down or destroyed, in fact, most were restored to their former elegance.

Nowadays the old style of the colonial buildings has been retained but given a facelift that is not only pleasing to look at but is an inviting place to shop and dine. Yet for those, like me who enjoyed the tacky tourist items, there is still room to find great bargains.

A stroll through Singapore’s Chinatown is an amazing cultural experience. There are numerous shops where you can buy almost anything from traditional Chinese medicines and food items to jewelry and clothing to countless souvenir items, including replicas of the famous Terra Cotta Warriors!

Chinese New Year is an especially great time to visit Singapore’s Chinatown. There are red and gold decorations everywhere and hawkers have their stands set up to entice you to purchase their traditional New Year’s celebration items.

One of the traditional items during the Chinese New Year festivities are the Asian cured meats and sausages. And most notably is the world-famous bak kwa which can be purchased at the Lim Chee Guan shop that is located in the Chinatown Heritage Centre at 203 New Bridge Road. Be prepared for a wait but be assured that the wait is worthwhile.

Food plays a key role in Singaporean culture and the variety there is infinite. From traditional eggs boiled in aromatic teas to delicious, spicy chili crab and everything in between, your culinary journey will be elevated as your taste buds will be tempted from Chinatown to Little India to the hawker markets and fine dining restaurants and hotels.

Spice is the variety of life in Singapore where chili plays a principal role in many dishes. Above, a merchant chops red chili into flakes that will be a major component in Singapore’s famous chili crab.

As a traveler, you have to like the sights, the sounds, the smells, the food, and the culture of any place that you visit. Of course, you probably must like to do some degree of shopping. With Singapore’s huge diversity of cultures, all of the above await you. My personal favorite of course is eating and enjoying the local cuisine, and chili crab paired with a Tiger beer is at the top of my list. These hard-shell crabs are smothered and cooked in a delectable chili sauce that is not too spicy and out of this world. Chili crab has been promoted by the Singapore Tourism Board as one of Singapore’s national dishes and can be found in seafood restaurants all over the island. No trip to Singapore is complete without trying this dish.

Another one of those must-try Singaporean essential dishes is the durian. Now let me warn you that this so-called king of fruits is not for everyone. In fact, it is banned in most public places like offices, taxis, theaters, workplaces, sports stadiums, well, just about every place except the places where you can buy them or in your own home. Why are they banned you ask? Well, the durian has a reputation, a rather smelly reputation. In contrast, however, it has a creamy, delectable taste which is how it became known as the king of fruits. They say it is like eating delicious strawberries while doing your business on the toilet!

Above, the prickly skinned durian is filled with several pods that contain a creamy fruit which makes a wonderful pudding. Once, on a trip to Singapore, my resident acquaintance took me out for chili crab at a well-known seafood restaurant. He decided to bring along a large durian for our after-meal dessert. Once we were seated inside the restaurant, people began looking around puzzlingly. We enjoyed our meal of delectable chili crab which we washed down with wonderful Tiger beer not understanding why the other patrons were constantly looking around so inquisitively.

After our delicious chili crab meal, my friend took the durian out of the bag and began cutting away to reach the creamy pods inside. In short order, the waiter came over to us asked that we let him take the durian away since many people were complaining. However, we never found out if the patrons, almost all of them were locals, were complaining about the smell or were anxious to get some and the restaurant had none to offer! You see, the durian is a favorite of most Singaporeans.

While we are speaking about food, let’s stay on that theme and discuss some of the more exotic of the eatable items. Sure there are most of the typical foods in Singapore that you can find in North America, Europe, and in fact much of the world. But in Singapore, there are so many unique fruits and vegetables and they are so fresh! Of course, most hotels offer standard fare and mixed buffets with Asian, American, and European items in case you are feeling that while in Singapore you will find nothing but weird and exotic food items. But if you are coming to this island, why not try as much of the local cuisine as you can? (Above is the delicious dragon fruit which has a center that is similar to kiwi fruit.)

Another favorite of the locals and a personal favorite of mine is the rambutan. It is similar to lychee and is most delicious. Although a bit intimidating from the outside, the inside has an opaque fruit that is amazing.

Another delicacy and a favorite of locals, and in fact most Asians, is the buried egg. Some versions of these preserved eggs are called century eggs, hundred-year eggs, thousand-year eggs, millennium eggs, skin eggs, or black eggs. These are a typical Chinese preserved egg that is made by processing duck, chicken, or quail eggs in a mixture of clay, ash, salt, quicklime, and rice hulls for several weeks to several months, depending on the method of processing. Through the process, the yolk becomes a dark green to grey color, with a creamy consistency and strong flavor due to the hydrogen sulfide and ammonia present, and the egg white becomes a dark brown, translucent jelly with a salty flavor.

Living in a land that is completely surrounded by water, your culinary tastes naturally gravitate to the abundance that the sea provides. In most Asian countries the fare that the oceans provide is the main staple of many meals. Methods of preserving the bounty of the ocean are to cure them, pickle them, salt them, or simply to dry them as in the case of the dried sea cucumbers above.

Above, the pomelo is the largest fruit from the citrus (Rutaceae) family and the principal ancestor of the grapefruit. It is a natural fruit that is native to Southeast Asia and has a similar taste to a sweet grapefruit. Most varieties have a rosy pink to dark red interior and are commonly consumed and used for festive occasions throughout Southeast Asia, especially during Chinese New Year.

Although you can find all sorts of exotic fruits and vegetables in Singapore’s many markets, there are also the more familiar varieties. You will notice, however, the great quality that is offered for sale. Care is taken by the farmer, the pickers, and the distributors to ensure that they arrive at the point of sale in perfect condition.

Let’s take a step back to when you first arrive in Singapore. Presuming that you arrived by air, you landed at Changi Airport. The flight was long no matter if you came from Europe or North America, even if you happened to fly direct on Singapore Airlines. And even if you managed to get some sleep on the airplane, when you arrive you are still tired and a bit groggy from being in the air for so long. Then you get off the airplane and the first thing that you notice is the fragrant smells of orchids and other flowers. Then your senses take in the wonderful nature that is Changi Airport, from the cleanliness to the spectacular waterfalls to the great abundance of delightful exotic flowers that fill the airport. It is a botanical garden to itself! As one of the world’s busiest airports by international passenger and cargo traffic, it is currently rated the World’s Best Airport by Skytrax, the first Airport in the world to do so for eight consecutive years.

After your arrival in Singapore, you must surely get out in the streets and get a feel for exactly where you are. You are in the tropics and you most likely have crossed the Tropic of Cancer unless you came from down under in which case you crossed the Equator. Take that in! And take in the initial sights, sounds, and smells of your newfound environment. If you have not already done so, start a travel log, and at each opportunity, or at the end of your day, enter in the events that you encountered. On your journey to Singapore, you will encounter many new and exciting things, from the places that you will see to the people that you will meet to the food that you will eat. There will be times when your senses are very much overloaded and having a travel log to look back on will fill you with many memories.

If you are like me, you will enjoy the many photographic opportunities that Singapore provides. In an early visit to Singapore, I chanced upon Mr. Yeo Ban Kok, who was a traditional mask maker and puppeteer in Singapore’s Chinatown. Unfortunately, this national treasure is no longer with us but my opportunity to photograph him will remain with me as a lasting souvenir.

On the theme of souvenirs, a matter that is subjective from person to person, and can range from a postcard memory to a photograph to something very exotic. Some choose to simply enjoy the ride and take nothing but memories, and in Singapore, the variety of visual memories is endless.

As the years have passed, and as is the case of most highly developed countries, the native handicrafts of that nation become less and less. The cost to produce them is too high and the craftspeople have long ago given up the time-consuming, laborious tasks that yielded little return in the tourist markets. Such is the case for Singapore where at one time many items were made within the country. Now, most goods come from nearby China, Malaysia, or Indonesia where labor costs are much lower. Above, these are glass globes that have a small hole at the bottom where artists have used a tiny brush with perhaps only one or two bristles to paint exceptional images on the inside.

In Singapore, there are many ethnic districts where you can find items particular to that culture. With a country as diverse as Singapore you can find products that come not only from China and the nearby countries of Malaysia and Indonesia but from Vietnam, India, Borneo, Korea, and the Middle East.

Let’s talk a little about what to see in Singapore and how to go about getting to the sights and attractions. If you are part of a packaged tour group your itinerary is probably already planned out for you and you will certainly see the major attractions of the city. However, if you are on your own, getting around in Singapore is easy and there are many places that you will enjoy getting to via public transportation or simply by foot. As a word of caution: this is the tropics. It rains here a lot, and it is hot and humid. Most hotels offer umbrellas so make sure to bring one on your sightseeing or shopping excursions. Remember to bring water! Sure, there are numerous places to purchase beverages and food almost anywhere in the city, but it doesn’t hurt to carry an ample supply of water.

If you are heading out on foot and/or public transportation, pick up a map from your hotel before heading out. In fact, it is a great idea to plan out your day the night before so you can avail yourself of all that Singapore has to offer. Also, grab a hotel business card in case you want to get home via taxi. Hand it to the driver and he will take care of the rest.

As part of Singapore’s overall revitalization plan, and as part of your sightseeing tour, you must pay a visit to Clarke Quay. It was named after Sir Andrew Clarke, Singapore’s second Governor and Governor of the Straits Settlements from 1873 to 1875, who played a key role in positioning Singapore as the main port for the Malay states of Perak, Selangor, and Sungei Ujong.

But what exactly is a quay? It is simply a term for a loading dock, typically along a riverside. Clarke Quay is a former loading area which is also now the name of a road along the quay. As part of Singapore’s redevelopment program, the quay has been converted into a wonderful pedestrian mall full of eateries, shops, and amusement centers. Here you can easily hop on board a boat for a pleasure cruise along the Singapore River, a worthwhile undertaking.

The Singapore River has been the center of trade since modern Singapore was founded in 1819. During the colonial era, nearby Boat Quay was the commercial center where barges would transport goods upstream to warehouses at Clarke Quay. The Dutch played a key role in world commerce at that time and many bumboats* jostled for docking space beside Clarke Quay.
* The name “bumboat” comes from the combination of the Dutch word for a canoe—”boomschuit”, and “boat.”

As the substantial waterway commerce continued well into the latter half of the 20th century, the Singapore River began to get very polluted. The watercourse was so contaminated that it bubbled at times from the waste. The government stepped in and made the decision to relocate cargo services to a new modern facility in Pasir Panjang. The bumboats and lorries departed to their new home but Clarke Quay fell into a state of near dilapidation.

Singapore’s enterprising nature did not take long to recognize the potential of the site around Clarke Quay. Soon scores of lorries could be seen removing debris from the abandoned quay and hauling it to use as landfill around the island. Of course, this added to an existing problem. Singapore, having almost 5.7 million residents, makes it the second greatest population density in the world. Having that many people in such a small space can create a great amount of rubbish which has to be taken someplace. As such, Singapore’s overall territory, comprised of one main island, 63 satellite islands, and one outlying islet has increased by 25% since the country’s independence as a result of extensive land reclamation projects.

Despite the landfill issues, Singapore recognized the need to retain its cultural history, and almost overnight the area around Clarke Quay was transformed, not by a so-called slash-and-burn process where buildings are flattened and rebuilt in a fashion contrary to the original and historical design, but rather in a restoration process that kept the intent of the fundamental concept of this “key” quay.

Nowadays Clarke Quay is a favorite destination for not only visiting business people and tourists but also locals who enjoy a nighttime stroll along the waterway which is no longer smelly and gurgling from pollution. It shows what sound civil judgment and planning can do in just a short time and the benefits of those wise decisions.

As you continue your trek throughout Singapore you will see how rapidly this marvelous country has gone from a simple fishing and plantation environment to a spectacular nation that stands at the top of culture, commerce, finance, innovation, education, and technology. Yet at the same time, it retains its originality, culture, and history, all the while dealing swiftly with undesirable side effects.

Singapore has been called the Lion City since its inception, but with its approach to sustained positive growth and a keen leadership in the Asian region, perhaps its new title should include the financial ox, a symbol of a strong economy.

This magnificent sculpture at the Parkview Square building on North Bridge Road in Singapore attests to the strength of this small island nation, a strength that builds on positive energy yet does not use its strength as an aggressor, but rather as an example of constructive leadership and forward-thinking.

As a nation of nearly 6 million people, housing, as well as other social problems, are sure to exist. Where Singapore was once a low-cost site for manufacturing, has now turned into a location where product innovation and development plays a key global role. Groundbreaking ideas are turned into solid concepts that can be quickly transformed into inventive products that can be manufactured not only in one of Singapore’s many industrial parks but at sites in other countries where Singapore entrepreneurs have either partnered or established state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities.

Among the numerous sights of Singapore are not only the many temples but the numerous and colorful other religious places of worship. These places are sacred and care should be taken before entering them. Understand the rules of entry, what to wear and what not to wear, and how to behave in these hallowed places. To treat them as anything other than a place of respect would not be tolerated. As with the Masjid Abdul Gafoor mosque shown above in Singapore’s Little India, one must remove their shoes before entry.

Above, this is the Masjid Sultan, the impressive Sultan Mosque near Arab Street, and is the focal point for Singapore’s Muslim community. The mosque is considered to be one of the most important mosques in Singapore with its prayer hall and spectacular golden domes being the main attraction. It is located at Muscat Street and North Bridge Road within the Kampong Glam district of the Rochor Planning Area in Singapore.

As your discovery tour of Singapore leads you back to what locals refer to as the CBD (Central Business District), you will find Chijmes, which is the church that really isn’t a church anymore. It was originally a convent, started by four French nuns in Singapore in the 1850s, and was called the Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus. The name comes from an acronym of Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus, where the “MES” was added intentionally to make the name sound like “chimes”. Today, the courtyards and cloisters house restaurants and shops, and the original Gothic Chapel is still standing; with its dramatic arched ceilings, fine plasterwork, and stained glass, it is one of Singapore’s most dramatic event venues.

And so our tour of Singapore ends with a visit to the world-famous performing arts center, also known as the Esplanade Theatres or simply The Esplanade. It is rumored that the original design, presented to the public in 1994, was developed during a sort of brain freeze during the early design phase. Unable to come up with a concept that was not only unique but timely, the designers took a break to enjoy a refreshment of that king of fruits – the pungent and loveable durian. What better to represent Singapore? Immediately after the design was released, it drew all sorts of public criticism that included accusations that the design did not take into account that Singapore’s climate and tropical location would make the building a very large greenhouse. But that never happened.

Others claimed that it looked like “two copulating aardvarks.” Still, others called the unique architectural design as looking like the eyes of flies! But most people, critics and otherwise, instantly recognized the design as their beloved durian tropical fruit. Hence, the building with its two circular glass shell structures looking like spikes on two halves of the fruit is colloquially known to locals as “the big durians.”

Our tour of Singapore ends with the knowledge that this unique city-state-country has so much to offer and the fact that we have only touched briefly on the many great features of this special place. So if you have a love of travel and enjoy unique foods and experiences, consider a trip to Singapore, it would be one of the most memorable drops in your bucket!

All photographs are the copyright of Jim Jackson Photography and Nida Jackson Photography. Please contact me with any questions, comments, or for authorization to use photos or for signed, high-resolution prints.

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