Singapore recently celebrated its 50th National Day, and with a pure stroke of luck I happened to be there for two weeks right up to the big day! Upon full independence in 1965, Majulah Singapura was formally adopted as Singapore’s national anthem. Majulah means March-On and this slogan shows the true spirit of the country. They indeed are marching towards a better tomorrow.
Here is why I fell in love with this small yet mighty country:
1. Kaya Toast – an amazing delicacy
Funny story, I had no idea what it was and after just 1 bite, I was hooked. This local delicacy can be found in every nook and corner, I tried as many places I could and the winner was – UBI 33. A small tea stall in Ubi Avenue 3. They serve it with love – literally!
I am a strong believer of Public Transport. That is how you get to know the city, see the people in their natural avatar and feel like a part of that ecosystem. I always take the bus/train/rickshaw and try to avoid the taxi as much as possible. However, taking a taxi in Singapore turned out to be an equally awesome experience. How? The drivers! Talk to them, and even if you don’t, they will. Singapore I think has the best taxi drivers in the world. They are friendly, chatty and speak good English. The moment they notice you are a tourist, they will give you their own version of Singapore 101, and it always includes some amazing inside tips. So ride on!
3. Little India
It literally is. A stroll through the beautiful lanes will transport you to the southern part of India. Colorful buildings, delicious Indian food and temples, what a delight! This is also your chance to shop as if you were actually in India.
Architectural marvel! Take a walk around and admire this concrete beauty. It was like a symbol of all the progress that the country has made in the past 50 years and is in true sense Marching On!
5. Delicious Local Food
Singaporeans take their food very seriously, and they have come up with a fantastic idea that avoids overhead costs and just concentrates on serving yummy food – Local Food Courts. Not the fancy ones we find in shopping malls, these are huge halls with common seating and food stalls on all sides. All I knew about Singaporean food was Laksa! Here I discovered delicious local food, various cuisines, fresh ingredients and the fact that its being cooked right in front of you makes it a wonderful experience.
Imagine walking down a random street and bingo, there is a beautiful temple. You will find amazing hindu and Buddhist temples almost everywhere in the city and they are all worth a visit!
Even though Singapore has transformed itself into a cosmopolitan country. There is a lot more to it than Santosa Island, Marina Bay Sands and Universal Studios. This you can see in the hearts of people; the love for their culture, the pride in their history and acceptance for anyone who wants to be a part of this great nation!