What is Singapore?

Prior to becoming an expat in Singapore, I’d actually never heard of the place.  That in itself isn’t really surprising though.  There are a lot of countries in the world that I’d never heard of until recently.  I suppose you could say you don’t pay much attention to something until it becomes important to you.

So, what is Singapore?  Singapore is an island nation, a city-state, located at the southern tip of the Malaysian peninsula.  Singapore has a fairly interesting history.  It was originally part of Malaysia, and has been colonized by the British and conquered by the Japanese.

When Singapore finally achieved its independence it was little more than a fishing village, but in the small span of 50 years it has developed into a pretty powerful economic force in southeast Asia.  The speed in which the country developed is fairly impressive, as it is now a very urban country with high-rise buildings covering most of the island.

Singapore has also become a great hub for business.  In part this is because it is a great sea port.  Also, as a very developed nation it is attractive to foreign business investors.

Singapore strives to modernize at a rapid rate and is doing a very fine job of it.  A lot of the architecture seems to be borrowed from Malaysia, and there is still a very discernible British influence.  I’ll go into more detail about those things as this blog progresses.

I’ll also hit on some of the better spots in Singapore to visit if you come here as a tourist, and discuss what you might expect as an expat living in this country.