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My "Working" Holiday Here are some of the amazing things that I have done during my time Down Under. Share in my experience by reading my articles or viewing my photo galleries.

Singapore

SINGAPORE | Friday, 2 March 2007 | Views [1001]

I started and ended my first exlporation into southeast Asia on the island/city state of Singapore. "Singapura" or Lion City is situated at the southern most tip of the Malay peninsula, and was named so for the lions spotted by the prince of Sumatra after landing on the island during a thunderstorm. Originally a small fishing village along the China-India trade route, Sir Stamford Raffles landed on the mainland in 1819 recognizing its potential as a trading post. After signing a treaty on behalf of the British East India Company, Singapore eventually became a British crown colony. During World War II, after losing the battle of Singapore, Britain surrendered the island to the Japanese but it was repossesed three years later. The people gained independence from the UK in 1963 and later from Malysia in 1965 marking the birth of the Republic of Singapore. It has developed into a major manufacturer and exporter of electronic equipment, as well as the 4th largest foreign exchange center in the world.

Blending many cultures, ethnic groups and religions, Singapore embraces the traditions of its people. Most Singaporians have either Chinese, Malay, or Indian roots. English is considered the first language and is used to teach in schools, but most people are mutli-lingual. It has to be the cleanest metroplitan city I have ever been to. Almost zero litter and extremely safe, I wandered freely at all hours. Some offences can lead to heavy fines or caning, including chewing gum, ouch!!!

The central business district is situated near Marina Bay at the mouth of the Singapore River where tourists go to have their picture taken with the Merlion (half lion, half fish). Meandering up the esplanade you pass Boat and Clark Quays which have been developed into nightclubs and restaurants respectively, where you can sip on the famous Singapore Sling. A leisurely stroll through the Botanic Gardens offers a bit of green in the highrise laden cityskape and an opportunity to admire the National Orchid Garden. This magnificent collection houses over 1000 species of orchids and 2000 hybrids including the VIP Orchid Garden, which displays hybrid orchids from the breeding program that have been named after diplomats and their spouses in an effort to promote goodwill between the nations. But one of the highlights of the city has to be the Singapore Zoo where certain animals (birds and monkeys) roam freely, and the first, the only Night Safari where you can observe the animals in the surroundings after the sun goes down. A truly unique experience, but far better for memories than photos : (, so you'll have to use your imagination a bit.

Enjoy Singapore through my lens in these photo galleries -> Singapore Botanical Gardens, National Orchid Garden, Sights of Singapore, the Singapore Zoo, and The First, The Only Night Safari.

Tags: On the Road

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