Whether you’re a tourist planning to visit this enchanting country, or whether you’re a resident who’s lived in Singapore for 50 years, here are a few facts that we bet you still didn’t know for sure. So go on, and read what we’ve put together, and get back and tell us if you’ve heard of any of these facts before. If you know of any interesting facts, do share them with us. Read on!
1. Meaning of the Merlion: The Merlion is the national symbol of Singapore. The half-fish, half-lion beast represents Singapore aptly; Singapore means Lion City, so the lion refers to the city. The fish is a tribute to Temasek, the ancient sea town that Singapore once was. The Merlion is one of the top Singapore tourist attractions.
2. 3,000 Kilometers of Roads! Singapore’s roads would measure 3,000 kilometers long, if stretched out end to end. What’s more, they would actually cover the distance to Hong Kong! Isn’t that one of the coolest Singapore facts?
3. Micro-text National Anthem: Singapore’s national anthem is printed in the tiniest possible micro-text on the back of the country’s SD$1000 note. If you’ve not noticed this yet, grab SD$1000 note and take a look.
4. Named After a Lion Sighting: The strange thing is, the word Singapore, or Singapura originally, means Lion City. There never were any lions in Singapore, except now at the Singapore Zoo. Still, the city has been called Lion City for decades because a young prince called Sang Nila Utama of Palembang saw an animal he believed to be a lion while out hunting in the region. And so the city got its name.
5. 2-In-One-Country: Singapore is a State and a City, at once. The only other surviving City/States in the world are the Vatican City and the richest tiny kingdom in the world, Monaco of the Formula One races.
6. Fastest Walkers! Singaporeans are the fastest walkers on earth, according to British Council’s study on the subject. Singaporeans can walk about 6.15km in an hour on an average. Can you do that?
7. Malay Is the National Language: If you’re wondering what Singapore’s national language is, it is Malay, not English and definitely not Singlish! The country’s national anthem (Majulah Singapura) is written in the Malay tongue.
8. Youngest Brainiac: Who’s the youngest person to clear the GCE ‘O’ Level Chemistry paper in the world? It is SingaporeanAinan Celeste Cawley, 7 years and 1 month old when he took the test. He passed and that makes him the youngest in the world to achieve this mega achievement.
9. Singapore Isn’t Just One Island: The nation of Singapore is one large main island and 63 other tiny islands, most of which are uninhabited. Exciting, huh? If you want to explore these islands, best obtain your Singapore visa in a hurry.
10. Top Ghost Writer: A team of ghost writers write the hottest-selling volumes of True Singapore Ghost Stories. This team of ghost writers is known by the name Russell Lee, and people don’t know that it’s not a person but actually a bunch of people stirring up scary tomes. So far, 11 volumes of ghost stories have sold more than 600,000 copies.
11. One of The Smallest Countries: Singapore has a total land area of 682.7 square kilometers. If you want to put that in its proper context, the United States of America is about 15,000 times bigger than Singapore.Singapore is among 20 of the smallest countries in the world.
12. Singlish Made It to Oxford Dictionary! Singapore speaks a local blend of English, Chinese and Malay known as Singlish. This language is well-known internationally; two words from Singlish have actually made it into the online version of the Oxford English Dictionary!
13. Ornamental Fish: Here’s some cool Singapore information – if you’ve ever stood in awe at a large aquarium at a friend’s place, wondering where all those colorful ornamental fish came from – well, they’re likely from Singapore. Singapore is the largest exporter of ornamental fish, claiming about 25% of the world market. Did you know that?
14. More Tree Species than In North America! Did you know that there are more species of trees in the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve in Singapore than are available in the entire North American continent? Size doesn’t count for everything! Bukit Timah is one of the coolest Singapore tourist spots.
15. 280 Meter or No Construction! Did you know that in Singapore, buildings cannot be constructed taller than 280 meters, which is 918 feet. Presently, Singapore has only three buildings that are 918 feet high or less – OUB Centre, UOB Plaza and Republic Plaza.
16. East Asian Tigers: No, the term does not stand for a mafia group in East Asia. It’s a group to which South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore belong, to signify the huge amounts of economic growth experienced by these countries in the past few years.
17. Largest Fountain: Singapore owns the largest fountain in the world; it was built in 1997 in the heart of Suntec City and cost about US$6 million to build.
18. Why the Palm Shape? If you wonder why the towers in Suntec City are built to resemble the palm of a hand, there’s a good reason for it. Apparently, the open palm of the hand symbolizes good ‘feng shui’. We think this is a cool example of Singapore culture facts.
19. Best Airport since 1987! Did you know that Singapore’s Changi Airport has been winning the ‘Best Airport in Asia’ award from the Asian Freight and Supply Chain Awards Committee since 1987? That’s 28 years of excellence, a definitely impressive record!
20. 40,000 Copies in Two Months! Political cartoonist George Nonis wrote the book Hello Chok Tong, Goodbye Kuan Yew: The Untold Story and he never knew that his book would sell 40,000 copies in two months. Have you read his satirical work yet? Better!
21. The Fabulous Singapore Sling! This famous drink which is now synonymous with the city’s nightlife was first prepared and served to guests at Raffles Hotel’s Long Bar in 1915. If you’ve been curious about the Sling and what goes into it, the ingredients are pineapple juice, gin, cherry brandy, Cointreau, Dom Benedictine, Grenadine, limes and Angoustura bitters.
Singapore has many more cool facts that’ll leave you stunned, impressed and more than a little happy. For one thing, every waterfall in Singapore is manmade, including the world’s tallest indoor waterfall at the Cloud Forest, Gardens by the Bay, which drops from a height of 35 meters.