Officially the Republic of Singapore, Singapore is a combination island/country/city/state located in maritime Southeast Asia. A combination of one main island and more than 60 satellite islands islets, Singapore has one of the largest population densities in the world, coming in only behind Hong Kong and Macao.
Singapore's population is diverse in its ethnicities and religions, with Chinese, Malaysian, and Indian groups practising everything from Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism, to Taoism and Hinduism. As a result, the country has four official languages: English, Mandarin, Malay, and Tamil.
Historians believe the first written record of Singapore was written sometime during the third century; however, little else of the country's history from the 300s to 1000s has been verified due to lack of discovered written records. It wasn't until the 1300s that Temasek and Tumasik, the names for early settlements in Singapore at the time, began regularly showing up in Javanese, Chinese, and Mongol Empire records.
Nowadays, Singapore is one of the Four Asian Tigers and home to a highly competitive market economy with the highest GDP per capita among its peers in the region. Truly a city of luxury, Singapore also has the highest percentage of millions in the world, with a minimum of one in six households having more than one million US dollars of disposable wealth (and that doesn't even include the value of properties, luxury goods, or businesses).
Luggage Storage near Train Stations in Singapore
One of the best ways to get around Singapore is via the Mass Rapid Transit System, often shortened to simply MRT, the principal railway system in the country. With an average ridership of more than 3 million passengers daily, the MRT is one of the most utilised mass transit systems in the world.
Jurong East MRT Station
The Jurong East MRT Station is one of the busiest on any of MRT's lines and has been a critical station in the system since its grand opening in 1988. Consisting of four tracks and three island platforms providing North South and East West line services, the Jurong East MRT Station is a critical transit centre, especially since it connects passengers with the adjacent Jurong East Bus Interchange.
Currently, the station is undergoing massive construction efforts to modernise and expand the facility, with completion of the project expected to wrap up in 2028. While construction efforts are underway, Jurong East MRT Station only opens the new A and B platforms during weekdays for peak hours during the mornings and evenings.
Fans of the board game Monopoly may recognise the station's name from the original Singapore edition of the game, as it was one of the four MRT stations featured on the board.
Choa Chu Kang MRT/LRT Station
One of the main interchange stations in Singapore, the Choa Chu Kang MRT / LRT Station, provides connections between the MRT and Light Rail Transit lines. The Choa Chu Kang Station, as it's often shortened, is conveniently located between Lot One in Choa Chu Kang's town centre and the Choa Chu Kang Bus Interchange.
In addition to the Jurong Region Line, the station consists of six platforms serving four tracks: two MRT lines and two LRT lines. At present, Choa Chu Kang MRT/LRT Station is in the early phases of construction to become an interchanged for the Jurong Region Line, with work expected to finish in 2027.
Located on Choa Chu Kang Avenue 4, its namesake, the Choa Chu Kang MRT / LRT Station, is only a short distance from the Lot 1 Shoppers' Mall. Here, visitors can enjoy a day of shopping or stop in at one of the Mall's many eateries.
Woodlands MRT Station
Not to be mistaken for Woodlands North MRT Station or Woodlands South MRT Station, the Woodlands MRT Station is situated on the corner of Woodlands Avenue and Woodlands Square in Woodlands, Singapore. The first MRT station in the country with a bus interchange built underground, Woodlands MRT Station first opened to the public in 1996.
Another important interchange station in Singapore, Woodlands MRT (as it's sometimes shortened), connects the North South Line and the Thomson-East Coast Line services. Woodlands MRT Station is integrated with the Woodlands Civic Centre and Causeway Point, one of the island's top ten largest suburban shopping malls.
Interestingly, the station is home to several artwork installations, including an incredible stainless steel sculpture measuring more than 15 metres (49 feet) high named Faces II by the artist Min Chen. Visitors to the station can also sneak a peek at The Day's Thoughts Of A Homespun Journey Into The Night, a massive mural depicting various public transport systems and vehicles created by Terence Lin.
Luggage Storage at Singapore's Airports
Hong Kong is primarily served by two commercial airports, the Singapore Changi Airport and the Seletar Airport.
Singapore Changi Airport
Colloquially known as Changi Airport, Singapore Changi Airport is one of Asia's most prominent and busiest transportation hubs. Rated the World's Best Airport by Skytrax for eight years in a row, the airport is considered one of the cleanest and highest rated in the world.
The Singapore Changi Airport directly connects passengers with the massive attached retail and entertainment complex, Jewel Changi Airport. Jewel Changi Airport, often shortened to Jewel or Jewel Changi, is home to the tallest indoor waterfall on the globe and includes a hotel, attracts gardens, and more than 300 shops and restaurants.
There are more than 100 airlines operating flights in and out of Singapore Changi Airport, utilising the four separate passenger terminals arranged in an inverted 'U' shape around Jewel. Additionally, the airport is equipped to handle a maximum capacity of up to 85 million passengers a day and sees an average of more than 5 million passenger movements every month.
Seletar Airport is located in the northeast region of the island, about 20 kilometres (12 miles) from the Singapore city centre and about 16 kilometres (9.9 miles) from Singapore Changi Airport. In addition to serving as a reliever airport for Singapore Changi Airport, Seletar Airport serves turboprop aircraft, private jet airlines, and business jet airlines.
First used by the Royal Air Force from 1928 to 1971, Seletar Airport served as a critical military base during World War I and World War II. Later, in 1968, Seletar began its transformation into an airbase when the Flying Training School was set up on the site.
Today, Seletar Airport mainly operates as a general aviation airport, with the vast majority of operations being performed by charted flights, private aircraft, and training flights. The airport consists of a single passenger terminal building, recently opened in 2018, containing four check-in counters and a gate hold room capable of accomodating up to 200 passengers at a time.
What to do in Singapore
- Stroll down Marina Bay, where you can catch the 8 pm light show and take museum-worthy selfies in front of one of the city-state's most iconic landmarks.
- Take in the incredibly cultivated greenery and colourful flowers at the ultra-modern Gardens by the Bay.
- Ride the roller coasters or cool off in the water slides at Universal Studios Singapore.
- Visit Singapore's oldest temple, Thian Hock Keng Temple, in Chinatown. And, don't forget to grab lunch from one of the countless authentic Chineses food vendors and restaurants in the area.
- Enjoy a one-of-a-kind ride more than 165 metres (more than 540 feet) above the island aboard the world's biggest observation wheel, The Singapore Flyer.
- Try your luck at one of the city's casinos and casino resorts, including the massive Marina Bay Sands Casino Resort with more than 700 table games and 2,500 slot and gaming machines.
- Spend an afternoon bird watching among the mangrove trees at The Sungei Buloh Nature Park's sprawling 87 hectares (more than 214 acres) of wetland reserves.
Due to its close proximity to the equator, Singapore is classified as a tropical climate, with uniformly high temperatures, high humidity, and regularly abundant precipitation. Singapore experiences two monsoons every year: the north-east monsoon from November to March and the south-west monsoon from June to September.
Even during Singapore's coldest months, temperatures tend to vary very little from the summer months. As such, the average temperature in the country only fluctuates between 24 and 31 Celcius (or 75.2 and 87.8 Farenheight).
To make sure you experience the best weather possible during your trip to Singapore, aim to visit in February, as it's the sunniest month on average throughout the year. Furthermore, while they are relatively uncommon, Singapore does, on occasion, experience tropical cyclones or typhoons, so be sure to check the weather before you depart on your journey.
Fun Facts About Singapore
- Singapore is also known as The Garden City, The "Fine" City, The Lion City, The Little Red Dot, and The Asian Tiger.
- According to the World Bank, Singapore is the easiest place in the world to conduct a business.
- The city is so obsessed with cleanliness that it famously enacted a ban on chewing gum to prevent the sticky stuff from gumming up the streets, so to speak.
- As a whole, the pedestrians of Singapore walk faster than any others in the world, keeping a speed of around 6.15 kilometres per hour (a bit more than 3.8 miles per hour).
- Singapore is an oasis for history buffs, with more than 50 museums spread out across the island for visitors to enjoy.