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What Is Singapore Known for & Famous For
Fondly referred to as The Garden City, Singapore is considered one of the best countries in Asia, making it one of the most visited. Apart from tourists, Singapore is also a hot spot among businesspeople. And in this article, you will find out why.
Singapore is known for and famous for its unique laws, impressive cleanliness, natural attractions, and delicious food. Aside from its tourism, it has become a sought-after location for businesses because of its hassle-free procedures.
Keep reading this article wherein I’ll discuss Singapore’s attractions, food, laws, and more to further understand why it’s a well-loved travel destination.
1. Gardens by the Bay
Gardens by the Bay is Singapore’s infamous nature park that covers 101 hectares (250 acres) of land and is divided into various parts, including its main attractions, the OCBC Skyway, Flower Dome Supertree Observatory, Cloud Forest, and more.
- OCBC Skyway: The OCBC Skyway offers its visitors the chance to enjoy the captivating views of the whole garden and Marina Bay as they wander through the 128-meter walkway, suspended at 22 meters (72 feet) off the ground.
- Flower Dome: The Flower Dome is recognized as the biggest glass greenhouse by the Guinness Book of World Records. It holds over 32,000 plants and can accommodate about 1,000 people inside the facility.
- Supertree Observatory: The Supertree Observatory is another attraction in Gardens by the Bay that showcases more than 162,900 plants. Like the OCBC Skyway, visitors can get a clear view of the garden and Marina Bay at a greater height.
- Cloud Forest: The Cloud Forest is another greenhouse at the Gardens by the Bay that features an aerial walkway and a 35-meter indoor waterfall — the tallest in the world, along with an impressive assortment of plant species from different parts of the world.
Aside from Garden by the Bay’s must-see attractions, you can also shop at two of their gift shops and dine at various restaurants, such as the Majestic Bay Seafood Restaurant, The Social Kitchen, and many more.
2. Super Clean
Singapore is widely known for being one of the cleanest countries in Asia. It has zero tolerance for anything that could possibly disrupt the country’s clean surroundings and air. Strict laws are heavily imposed to ensure that cleanliness is maintained.
Laws such as no littering, no chewing of gum, and no smoking are to be followed by anyone who sets foot in Singapore.
3. Very Green
It’s no surprise that Singapore is known for being very green, given its label as The Garden City. This country features some of the world’s most stunning natural attractions, which can be seen at the Gardens by the Bay.
Not only that, but it also features various public parks that are worth visiting too. Singapore is also a country that takes sustainability seriously, which is evident in its way of living.
Singapore has parks that are popular among tourists and locals. Most, if not all, of the parks offer scenic views and serene surroundings that make for a relaxing day out if you want to take a break from crowded places.
Singapore’s best parks include:
- Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park.
- MacRitchie Reservoir.
- Fort Canning Park.
- Singapore Botanic Gardens.
- Bukit Timah Nature Reserve.
Singapore boasts a wide array of natural wonders, from one of its most famous attractions, the Gardens of the Bay, to serene parks, hiking trails, scenic reservoirs, and majestic islands.
This country offers a nature-filled adventure to its locals and visitors, wherein countless outdoor activities await — island hopping, hiking, or simply spending a relaxing afternoon at the park.
6. Street Food – Cheap Food
Like other countries, Singapore has its signature street food, which people keep coming back for. Aside from being delicious, these dishes are quite affordable, making them even better:
- Char Kway Teow: This dish consists of flat noodles, Chinese sausage, shrimp, eggs, bean sprouts, and chives tossed in chili sauce and sweet soy sauce.
- Carrot Cake: When you hear carrot cake, you would probably think about the sweet dessert with which most of us are familiar. But in Singapore, it’s considered street food. It’s made by frying a mixture of steamed radish and rice flour, along with some radish preserves, garlic, and eggs.
- Laksa: Another well-loved dish in Singapore that’s made with rice noodles, fish cakes, bean sprouts, prawns, and cockles, submerged in a flavorful coconut curry broth.
- Kaya Toast: Kaya Toast is another popular street food that consists of a knob of butter and kaya — Singapore’s infamous jam made with egg, coconut, and sugar, spread across toasted bread. This treat is often enjoyed with a nice cup of coffee and some soft-boiled eggs drizzled with black sauce.
- Hainanese Chicken: The Hainanese Chicken is Singapore’s most popular dish and is loved by many. This simple yet flavorful dish consists of poached chicken, served with rice cooked in chicken broth with aromatics, including pandan leaves and ginger and some chili sauce for dipping.
7. Hawker Centers
Hawker centers are Singapore’s version of food courts. The country has over 110 hawker centers, with an array of food selections, including the ones mentioned above.
Here are some hawker centers that you should visit:
Old Airport Road Food Centre
Established in 1973, the Old Airport Road Food Centre formerly served as Singapore’s airport before relocating to Paya Lebar, hence its name. This hawker center features over 150 food stalls that serve an array of dishes, from noodles to seafood to roasted char siew.
Here are some stalls to try at the Old Airport Road Food Centre:
- Xin Mei Xiang Zheng Zong Lor Mee: This stall is popular for its mouth-watering lor mee — a dish with noodles submerged in a savory gravy sauce, herbs, and spices and topped with fish, red chilis, and a braised egg.
- Famous Old Airport Road Oyster Omelette: Oyster omelettes are one of the dishes found in hawker centers, and this stall serves some of the tastiest versions in Singapore. The oysters are fresh and perfectly coated with flour and egg, creating a crispy exterior.
- Hua Kee Hougang Famous Wanton Mee: Although there are a couple of stalls serving wanton mee at the Old Airport Road Food Centre, this stall stands out because of its chili sauce and noodles with some tasty chicken feet and char siew.
Amoy Street Food Centre
Situated along Singapore’s Commercial Business District, the Amoy Street Food Centre has been around since 1983 and has been a go-to for people around the area. It has more than 200 stalls that serve exceptional dishes loved by many.
Some stalls to try at the Amoy Street Food Centre include:
- J2 Famous Crispy Curry Puff: A stall serving freshly-made curry puffs daily, J2 Famous Crispy Curry Puff has been highly popular because of its perfectly cooked curry puffs. This delicious savory treat comes in 4 flavors, including black pepper, sardine, curry chicken, and a crowd-favorite, yam — available in small batches. Keep in mind that these curry puffs sell out quickly.
- Ah Ter Teochew Fishball Noodles: This stall features some of the best Teochew fishball noodles you’ll ever try and is even recognized by Michelin. If you enjoy a satisfying noodle soup dish, you’ll surely enjoy their Teochew fishball noodles, loaded with pork slices, prawns, fish cake, minced meat, and liver submerged in a delicious broth.
- Fried Kway Teow: Serving its infamous noodle dish, char kway teow, Fried Kway Teow has become one of Amoy Street Food Centre’s top stalls since opening in the 1960s. Its char kway teow consists of perfectly fried rice noodles tossed in a savory dark sauce, packed with cockles, Chinese sausage, and bean sprouts.
Chinatown Complex Food Centre
Found along the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum, the Chinatown Complex Food Centre features more than 260 food stalls, including some Michelin-recognized stands. It’s also one of Singapore’s biggest hawker centers and serves top-notch yet affordable food selections.
Stalls to try at the Amoy Street Food Centre include:
- Jia Ji Mei Shi: This food stall is popular for its yam cake and chee cheong fun. The flavors of each dish are perfect and will make you want to keep coming back.
- Zhong Guo La Mian Xiao Long Bao: This stall’s Szechuan spicy wontons is a must-try, especially if you enjoy dimsum and spicy dishes. It’s made with generously-filled wontons coated with delicious vinegar and chili oil-based sauce.
- Liao Fan Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodle: Well-loved for its famous tender and flavorful soya sauce chicken, this stall is recognized by Michelin, and rightfully so. You can enjoy your chicken dish with either rice or noodles.
Chomp Chomp Food Centre
Formerly known as Serangoon Garden Food Centre, Chomp Chomp Food Centre is another must-visit hawker center in Singapore. It features food stalls that offer an array of choices that food lovers will surely enjoy.
Here are some stalls to try at the Chomp Chomp Food Centre:
- Hai Wen Yuan BBQ: A well-loved stall at the Chomp Chomp Centre, Hai Wen Yuan is often packed with customers who keep coming back for their BBQ stingray, which comes with a delicious sambal sauce.
- Ang Sa Lee Oyster Omelette: If you enjoy seafood, then this stall is for you. Ang Sa Lee Oyster Omelette serves a delicious omelette, made with fresh oysters. Although this version is not as crispy as others, it’s still a must-try, especially when dipped in the chili sauce it is served with.
- Big Big Fries: Popular for its unique take on a classic favorite snack, Big Big Fries serves 20-centimeter-handmade fries smothered with tasty sauces, such as seaweed mayo, mentaiko mayo, nacho cheese, and barbecue. Plus, it’s Instagram-worthy.
Maxwell Food Centre
Previously called Maxwell Market, the Maxwell Food Centre boasts more than 100 stalls offering various delectable dishes, from oyster cake to tapioca cake to the infamous chicken rice.
Stalls to try at the Maxwell Food Centre:
- Heng Heng Ondeh Ondeh & Tapioca Cake: A stall people frequent after a savory meal, Heng Heng Ondeh Ondeh & Tapioca Cake offers handmade tapioca cakes coated with grated coconut — a perfect dessert to end your food adventure at the Maxwell Food Centre.
- Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice: Serving what’s considered the star out of all the dishes at the Maxwell Food Centre, the Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice is often packed with regulars or first-timers who want to know what the hype is all about. And indeed, anyone who tries out this stall’s chicken dish always leaves satisfied.
- Maxwell Fuzhou Oyster Cake: This stall serves another beloved snack by locals and tourists, the Fuzhou oyster cake. It’s a fried fritter stuffed with vegetables, pork, and oysters.
Since Singapore is a country surrounded by islands, it’s no surprise that locals love seafood. One of their most loved dishes is the chili crab. Here’s a list of restaurants that serve some of the best chili crabs in Singapore:
- Jumbo Seafood.
- Tunglok Seafood.
- Mellben Seafood.
- Keng Eng Kee Seafood.
Aside from chili crab, Singapore has other delicious seafood dishes, including cereal prawns, sambal stingray, and fish head curry.
9. Kaya Toast
As mentioned earlier, kaya toast is very popular in Singapore. It’s made with toasted bread smothered with kaya jam, commonly accompanied by soft-boiled eggs with black sauce and a cup of coffee.
If you want to get a taste of the best kaya toast, visit one of these places:
- Ah Seng (Hai Nam) Coffee.
- Tong Ah Eating House.
- Good Morning Nanyang Cafe.
- Killiney Kopitiam.
- Ya Kun Kaya Toast.
10. Tiger Beer
Singapore is home to the Tiger Brewery, which produces one of the top beer brands in Asia- Tiger Beer, which is exported to more than 60 countries worldwide. This full-bodied beer is best enjoyed with some chicken wings or roasted pork.
Singapore is known for its diverse culture, predominated by Malays, Chinese and Indians. Although the country is composed of different nationalities, immense unity has been displayed throughout the years.
The practices and customs of each group are well-respected. Hence the people of Singapore live a harmonious life.
Also known as Singapore Colloquial English, Singlish is an informal form of English used in Singapore, along with the standard English language.
Here are some Singlish phrases and words commonly used in the country:
- Paiseh: It’s an expression that insinuates embarrassment.
- Alamak: It means “Oh no!” in Singlish.
- Bopian: This expression denotes helplessness.
- Merlion: It means “to vomit.”
- Buay tahan: A phrase used when a person cannot withstand something.
13. Tiny Country
One of Singapore’s nicknames is the Little Red Dot, first mentioned by Indonesia’s former late president, Bacharuddin Jusuf Habibie. Singapore is much smaller than its surrounding countries and is the smallest in Southeast Asia, with a size of 728.6 km².
Similar to Hong Kong, Singapore is known to be a city-state as it ticks all the boxes of the qualifications to be considered as one, including being an independent sovereign country, having a sustainable environment, and the ability to give its citizens economic opportunities.
15. International City
With its current economic status, it shouldn’t be surprising that Singapore is considered an international city. Its continuous innovation in all aspects greatly attracts businesses and traders outside of the country.
Singapore is comparable to other competitive countries, such as Tokyo, New York, Paris, and London.
16. Lee Kuan Yew
Tagged as the founding father of modern Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew has left a lasting legacy and influence on the country. He served as the Prime Minister for 31 years, from 1959 until 1990.
On several occasions, Lee Kuan Yew was appointed as Senior Minister and Minister Mentor after his tenure. He played a massive factor in the success and progress of Singapore because of his influential and efficient leadership. His most notable law is the banning of chewing gum in the country.
Considered one of the best countries boasting an impressive education system, Singapore takes the education of its people earnestly. Some of the most brilliant people come from this country because of its efficient and effective methods.
18. High Cost of Living
Singapore is one of the most expensive cities to live in globally. The cost of living is high due to numerous factors — rising private residential properties, education, and healthcare cost inflation, among others. An average single adult’s monthly cost of living costs approximately SDG 2,560.
19. Public Housing
Singapore’s public housing has been one of its strongest and best projects to date. With more than a million flats built, public housing has provided most residents with a place to live.
Public housing has undoubtedly improved Singapore’s situation and quality of life for a country that had a large number of settlers in the past.
20. The Merlion
When you hear Merlion, you immediately think of Singapore. It’s the country’s half-lion and half-fish statue situated at Merlion Park. This statue represents one of Singapore’s nicknames, The Lion City. You can’t go on a trip to Singapore without seeing this infamous landmark.
21. Singapore Changi Airport
The Singapore Changi Airport is considered one of the top airports in the world, and rightfully so. This airport is not just an airport — it also features impeccable facilities, such as lounges, WiFi and charging areas, shopping centers, and restaurants.
But what truly sets the airport apart from other airports are it’s not-so-common spaces, like its four-story slide, butterfly garden, swimming pool, and even a movie theater. Who would have thought these would exist in an airport, right?
22. Marina Bay Sands
The Marina Bay Sands is one of Singapore’s leading hotels, providing a luxurious stay for locals and tourists. This hotel features impeccable service and top-tier amenities, including more than 2,500 suites and rooms, an observation deck, high-class restaurants, and an infinity pool displaying scenic city views.
23. Sentosa Island
Singapore’s premier getaway spot, Sentosa Island, is an island that boasts pristine beaches, must-try restaurants, exceptional hotels, and exciting activities and attractions. This island is the perfect place to get in touch with nature and bask in a one-of-kind experience.
24. Hot and Humid Weather
Singapore is known for having scorching and humid weather due to its tropical climate and proximity to the equator. And as described in a video from CNA Insider, the heat that the country experiences can be dangerous.
To know more details about Singapore’s interesting weather, check out this YouTube video:
25. Weird Laws
Every country has its laws that locals and visitors should strictly abide by to keep things in order. However, certain Singaporean laws may raise some brows since some are unusual.
Here’s a list of things one must not do, as supported by Singapore’s reinforced laws:
- Chew gum.
- Create noise beyond 10 pm.
- Walk around nude — in public or at home.
- Fail to flush in public toilets.
- Connect to other people’s WiFi.
- Smoke in public areas.
Some of the laws mentioned may seem out of the ordinary. However, it greatly contributes to the discipline of people residing in and visiting Singapore, which also results in the country’s peace and order.
26. Ban on Chewing Gum
The ban on chewing gum was imposed on January 3, 1992, due to the unmanageable scraps left in public spaces, such as MRT train doors, lifts, public benches, and cinemas. Before the ban, Singapore’s government would allot SGD 150,000 yearly just to clean up all the gum scraps.
However, in 2004, an exception to this rule was granted for medical reasons. Only people with prescriptions are allowed to purchase and chew gum.
Another reason Singapore remains one of the most disciplined countries in Asia is because of the consequences faced when a person goes against the law. The punishments depend on the extent of one’s violation. It can go from paying fines, to going to jail, to caning.
28. Heavy Fines
One of the punishments given to law offenders is paying the corresponding fines for each violation committed. Below is a table showing how much one should pay:
|Chewing gum||SGD 500 -SGD 1,000|
Creating noise beyond 10 pm
|No more than SGD 2,000|
Walking around nude — in public or at home
|Maximum of SDG 2,000 (can lead up to 3 months in prison)|
Failing to flush in public toilets
|Approximately SGD 150|
Connecting to other people’s WiFi
|SDG 10,000 (can lead up to 3 years in prison)|
Smoking in public areas
|SDG 200 – SGD 1,000|
29. Universal Studios Singapore
Universal Studios Singapore is the only Universal Studios in Southeast Asia situated in Resorts World Sentosa. It has 6 themed zones: New York, Ancient City, Hollywood, Sci-Fi City, Far Far Away, and The Lost World.
The theme park features various attractions, including:
- Roller coasters.
- Water rides.
- An arcade.
- Live shows.
- A castle.
Singapore is a fantastic place to enjoy shopping. It has stores that offer great deals on branded items that you should check out. Aside from that, you can also get quality pieces on a budget.
Here are some of the best spots to visit for shopping:
- Bugis Street.
- The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands.
- Haji Lane.
- Orchard Road.
Singapore impressively boasts stability and continuous progress, becoming one of the world’s most prosperous countries. It has managed to sustain a debt-free status outside the country and continues to thrive on high government revenue.
32. Business Environment
With its consistent economic growth and innovation, hassle-free process, and ensured security supported by the country’s robust legal system, it’s no surprise that Singapore has become a world-renowned business hub.
You can experience plenty of benefits when you start your business in Singapore, such as acquiring a solid team from a highly-skilled workforce, extensive trade agreements, and easy processing.
Another reason why Singapore is a top tourist destination is because of its phenomenal skyline. Its tall structures are well-constructed and placed, making it a sight to see, especially at night, when the city lights emphasize them beautifully.
Some spots where you can get the best view of the Singapore skyline include the SkyPark Observation Deck, Gardens by the Bay, and the Singapore Flyer.
34. Extremely Safe
Singapore has been dubbed as one of the safest countries in the world, backed by statistics. It’s known for having low crime rates, accompanied by a dependable police force and well-enforced rules and regulations.
Singapore is one of the few countries where anyone can walk the streets at night without the fear of getting mugged or being harassed by strangers.
35. Singapore Airline
Providing a top-notch in-air experience for its passengers, Singapore Airlines is Singapore’s leading 5-star airline recognized as one of the best airlines in the world.
This airline is known for having sizable cabins, impeccable service, and delicious food created by some of the most prominent chefs in the world. Plus, your premium experience starts as soon as you set foot in the Singapore Changi Airport.
Now that you know more about Singapore, don’t miss out on visiting the country to see their top attractions and get a taste of their mouth-watering dishes.
And, as long as you follow their unique rules and laws, you’ll surely experience an adventurous trip that you’ll never forget.
- National Parks: Gardens by the Bay: A Garden for Singaporeans
- Visit Singapore: Gardens by the Bay
- Gardens by the Bay: OCBC Skyway
- Gardens by the Bay: Cloud Forest
- Natural Cool Air: Clean, Cool Singapore – Greenest City in the World
- Explore Shaw: 14 Singapore Laws You Should Know Before You Go
- Singapore Infopedia: Chewing Gum Ban
- BBC News: Why Singapore Banned Chewing Gum
- Go Abroad: Singapore: Laws To Know Before You Go
- Gov.SG: No-Smoking Rules in Singapore
- Singapore Legal Advice: PSA: Appearing Naked in Public View Is Illegal, Even if You Do It at Home
- Holidify: Chewing Gum in Singapore – Why Singapore Banned Chewing Gum?
- Scooper: EXTREME? In Singapore, Connecting to Someone Else’s Wi-Fi Is Illegal and Can Be Punished With Up to 3 Years Imprisonment
- Insider: 16 Odd Things That Are Illegal in Singapore
- Drop Noise: Noise Pollution Regulations in Singapore
- Yahoo News: Zero Tolerance for Litter Bugs: MP
- Klook: 20 Nature Parks & Nature Reserves To Visit In Singapore For A Scenic Escape
- Visit Singapore: Nature & Wildlife
- Urban List: Singapore’s Best Street Food for Delicious Cheap Eats
- Salu-Salo Recipes: Char Kway Teow (Singaporean Fried Rice Noodles)
- Visit Singapore: Fried Carrot Cake
- Insight Guides: Singapore’s Best Street Food
- Visit Singapore: Chicken Rice
- Our SG Heritage: Hawker Culture in Singapore
- Culture Trip: The 10 Best Hawker Centres in Singapore
- Lady Iron Chef: 17 Kaya Toasts Places in Singapore for the Best Traditional Kaya Toasts and Kopi
- Visit Singapore: Merlion Park
- Trip Savvy: Singapore Changi Airport Guide
- Tiger Beer: Our Story
- ABP Singapore: Tiger Beer
- Tankfully Fresh: Top 10 Seafood Dishes in Singapore
- Lifestyle Asia: A Local’s Directory to the Best Chilli Crabs in Singapore
- Meteorological Service Singapore: Climate of Singapore
- Explore SG: The Reason Why Singapore Is Called the Little Red Dot
- Resorts World Sentosa: Universal Studios Singapore
- Hype & Stuff: 10 Outlet Stores in Singapore for Cheap, Branded Goods
- Travel Triangle: Shopping in Singapore: 19 Places for Buying the Best Handbags, Electronics & More
- Visit Singapore: Sentosa Island
- Marina Bay Sands Singapore: Marina Bay Sands Hotel & Sands SkyPark
- Prime Minister’s Office Singapore: Mr Lee Kuan Yew
- The World: Lee Kuan Yew Is Dead. Here Are 7 of His Most Provocative Quotes
- Smart Wealth: 9 Statistics on the High (& Rising) Cost of Living in Singapore
- University of Hawaii: Singapore Colloquial English (Singlish)
- Tripzilla: 34 Singlish Phrases To Know Before Visiting Singapore
- National Geographic: Singapore: Where Cultures Come Together
- Miss Tam Chiak: 17 Best Hawker Stalls at Old Airport Road Food Centre
- Sethlui: 22 Food Stalls at Old Airport Road Food Centre That’ll Make It Your Favourite Makan Destination
- Hawkerpedia: Guide to Amoy Street FC – 40 Food Stalls Reviewed [Updated 2022]
- Women’s Weekly: Chinatown Complex Food Centre: 10 Best Hawker Stalls To Try
- Smile Tutor: 6 Reasons Why Singapore’s School System Is the Best Worldwide
- The Field: From Slums to Sky Gardens – Singapore’s Public Housing Success
- The Flat: What Makes Singapore a Global City?
- University of Nevada, Las Vegas: The Future Is the American City-State
- Singapore Infopedia: Chomp Chomp Food Centre
- Singapore Infopedia: Maxwell Food Centre
- Conde Nast Traveler: Maxwell Food Centre
- Skytrax World Airline Awards: World’s Top 100 Airlines 2021
- Macro Trends: Singapore Crime Rate & Statistics 1990-2022
- Culture Trip: The Best Views of Singapore’s Skyline
- Rikvin: Why Singapore Is Preferred by Foreign Companies
- Singapore Company Incorporation: 5 Reasons To Start a Business in Singapore