Singapore, the ideal city?
Tradition meets modernity in a territory of 693 square kilometres, now a city-state. While it has existed for only two centuries, Singapore boasts a thriving economy, feats of architecture and delicious gastronomy.
On an ancient trade route, Singapore gained independence from the federation of Malaysia in 1965. Often referred to as a city-state, it undeniably represents a very successful model. Its dynamism and modernity have attracted investors from around the world, making it an emblem of prosperity in Southeast Asia. This prosperity means that the city regularly tops rankings of the most expensive capitals in the world. A self-proclaimed 'ideal city', it has the haughty nonchalance of a place where people feel safe. Everything appears clean, tidy, beautifully restored. Yet amid the almost oppressive modernity, you can still find fragments of the past. From Arab Street to the Marina, from Bug is to Little India, the heart of the city makes the different cultures it hosts beat in unison.
Singapore is also called the 'garden city' as its parks and green areas are so numerous, representing almost half of the city's total area. Its trees sometimes seem almost futuristic, like the gigantic ones in Gardens by the Bay, which reach heights of 50 m.
The British naturalist Stamford Bingley Raffles, who discovered the world's largest flower, the rafflesia, is best known for having founded Singapore in 1819. Today, a beautiful colonial hotel, nearly 130 years old, bears his name. Step through the doors and you will feel carried away on a magnificent voyage through time.
Museums, bars, restaurants... Singapore is a city of diversity and refinement, in which going out is a pleasure. Everything sounds enticing. But the ride would not be complete without sampling the city's cuisine, which reflects all its cultures. For this, nothing beats a culinary stopover at Lau Pa Sat, located among the skyscrapers. In the wake of its river, through its legendary arteries, such as Orchard Road, or on its small streets that crisscross the traditional 'shop-houses' of Chinatown, Singapore is to be discovered in a thousand ways.
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© Text and photography courtesy of EnVols